Joyce and Jim Lavene are here with a guest post to celebrate the release of Murderous Matrimony, their sixth Renaissance Faire Mystery. I’ve always loved the idea of Renaissance festivals, though I’ve only visited one or two. If you’ve never experienced one, here’s Joyce to tell you why they’re so much fun — and why they make a wonderful setting for a mystery series!
Fantasy at the Ren Faire
By Joyce Lavene
If you’ve ever been to a Renaissance festival or faire, you know it’s the perfect place to incorporate magic and fantasy of all types. Just look at the guests coming in at the gate. There may be centaurs, giants, fairies, wizards, and werewolves.
You’re just as likely to see robots, Spiderman, and other science fiction heroes because it’s the perfect place to let your imagination run wild!
I don’t want to knock people who say that that these faires and festivals should be more realistic, but come on! The mission for these events is fun first. Maybe Snow White didn’t exist. Maybe Robin Hood wasn’t around at the same time as Merlin and King Arthur. Events of this type cross all borders between real and fantasy, historic and the Three Little Pigs.
When you walk through the main gate, as you do in my Renaissance Fire Mystery, who knows what wonders will delight you?
There will be jugglers and fire-eaters, goatherds and knights. Colorful costumes abound, and hats are large! Pranksters and comediennes will try their best to make you laugh, and fine ladies will try to catch your eye.
Food? The air smells so good that you will be hungry well before you expect to be. Roasted corn and potatoes. Bread bowls full of soup and chili. Pies and candy will make your mouth water. There will be plenty of beer and ale, wine and tea.
Sit outside at a table in the shade and watch the merry goings-on. The paths are full as people wander from the jousts to the dungeon and back again. Stay and enjoy a show or listen to Shakespeare recite an ode. Horsemen with extraordinary flair and skill will amaze you with their tricks. The king and queen will preside over these festivities, their royal deportment sometimes raising a few eyebrows.
Buy a hot pretzel and smear it with mustard as you eat in the sun. Pitch a penny to the organ grinder and watch dancing girls perform with their colorful veils.
You never know what you’ll find when you visit the Renaissance Faire—either in these books, or in real life. Huzzah!
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In less than two short weeks, Jessie Morton will marry Chase Manhattan at the Renaissance Faire Village and Marketplace. But so much can go wrong in that short time. A man is murdered in Jessie’s new Arts and Crafts Museum and her assistant is being scrutinized for the deed. Chase’s brother and parents have arrived and are still against their marriage. Wanda’s ghost is busy making Jessie’s life miserable. The Ren Faire wedding of her dreams may never take place. Can she talk Chase into eloping before it’s too late?
Murderous Matrimony gets off to a rousing start and keeps the suspense going. When ‘madman’ Dave’s body is found on the steps of Jessie’s museum shortly before its grand opening, her assistant Manny, who found the body, immediately becomes suspect number one. Jessie’s attempts to clear him are complicated by the antics of Wanda, a former Village resident now wandering the Faire as a blue, naked, and very obstreperous ghost. Things only get more difficult with the arrival of Chase’s family, who don’t approve of Jessie. Then there are all the smaller puzzles, like the odd new owner of the Lady of the Lake pub and her assistant, the real-live dragon only Jessie can see, and Manny’s true identity. There’s plenty of humor along with the suspense. The result is a book that’s fun to read from start to finish.
You don’t need to read the previous books in order to understand this one; the Lavenes do an excellent job of bringing the reader up to speed without slowing the action down for exposition. But if you enjoy reading your mystery series in order, by all means begin with Wicked Weaves, the first book in the cycle.
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Category: Cozy mystery
Series: Renaissance Faire Mystery #6
Publisher: self-published (earlier books in series by Berkley)
Release date: 11/13/13
Book source: I received a digital review copy from the authors via Great Escapes Book Tours, in exchange for an honest review.
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About the authors:
Joyce and Jim Lavene write award-winning, best-selling mystery fiction as themselves, J.J. Cook and Ellie Grant. They have written and published more than 70 novels for Harlequin, Berkley, Amazon, and Gallery Books along with hundreds of non-fiction articles for national and regional publications. They live in rural North Carolina with their family. Visit them at www.joyceandjimlavene.com.
Learn more about Joyce and Jim Lavene and the Renaissance Faire Village series:
Blog tour participants:
November 12 – Melina’s Book Blog– Review, Guest Post, Giveaway November 13 – rantin’ ravin’ and reading – Review, Guest Post, Giveaway November 14 – Mochas, Mysteries and More – Guest Post, Giveaway November 15 – A Chick Who Reads – Interview November 16 – My Devotional Thoughts – Review, Guest Post, Giveaway November 18 – Community Bookstop – Review November 19 – Brooke Blogs – Review, Guest Post, Giveaway November 20 – The Bookwyrm’s Hoard – Review, Guest Post, Giveaway November 21 – readalot – Review, Giveaway November 22 – Escape With Dollycas – Review, Giveaway November 23 – A Blue Million Books – Guest Post, Interview November 24 – Books-n-Kisses – Review, Giveaway November 25 – THE SELF-TAUGHT COOK – Review, Giveaway November 26 – Dalene’s Book Reviews – Review, Interview, Giveaway November 26 – dru’s book musing – Guest Post, Giveaway
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Read as part of the Cruisin’ thru the Cozies challenge hosted by Socrates’ Book Reviews, and the Clean out your E-reader Challenge hosted by Fantasy is More Fun and Because Reading is more fun.