A Renaissance Faire Mystery #5
Joyce and Jim Lavene
Sept 2012/ ISBN 978-0-425-25158-4
Mystery/Amateur Sleuth / Holiday: Christmas
by Laura Hinds
has spent many a summer at the Renaissance Faire Village as she
works on her dissertation on “The Proliferation of Medieval
Crafts in Modern Times.” This working visit is different,
because it is held during the Christmas season and the atmosphere
is highly charged with anticipation.
workshop is all set up and Josie will be an apprentice to Chris
Christmas aka Santa. His wife and children also work the Christmas
crowds, making toys and selling pictures of children on Santa’s
lap. For once Josie believes she will have a hectic but safe adventure
at the faire.
is short-lived when Chris Christmas himself is shot and killed in
his own workshop. With a reputation for being a “ladies man”,
there is the potential for a long list of suspects. Jilted lovers,
jealous husbands or boyfriends, or even the Santa who takes over
the job at the faire could be responsible for the untimely death
of the village Santa. Yet the police are looking closer to home
and his wife, Christine is arrested. This leaves Josie and her boyfriend,
the village bailiff, Chase Manhattan, to take care of the eight
Christmas children while searching for a more viable killer. Josie
doesn’t want to believe that Christine could have killed her
philandering husband, but if not, who did?
I always learn
a lot from the Renaissance Faire Mystery series. It was a nice change
of pace to read about the village at Christmas time. I learned how
the artificial snow is made and how a skating rink is kept frozen
from below, necessary because the village is set in the warm climate
of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. More importantly, I learned that
the Christmas spirit can thrive despite tragedy and that people
will pick themselves up and carry on when they have to.
I was also
reminded that in mystery books there often will be a miracle, and
it doesn’t always have to be the holiday season for said miracles
to occur. The miracle in Treacherous Toys is that Josie Morton survives
against all odds. Even when she put herself deliberately in danger,
and as expected, had let her cell phone die, and of course, had
not told anyone she was sneaking out to face the killer on her own.
get me wrong; I love the series and enjoyed this book. I just had
to ramp up my willing suspension of disbelief to get past the protagonist’s
lack of concern for her own safety. The mystery is a good one, the
cast of characters is fun, and the setting of the village faire
is colorfully described. Longtime fans of the series won’t
want to miss this special holiday story.
of other titles in this series