Reviewer: Mary Lignor
Title: Harrowing Hats - 4th in the Renaissance Faire Mystery series
Author: Joyce and Jim Lavene
Publisher: Berkley Prime Crime
Release Date: August 2011
Genre/Sub-genre: Cozy Mystery
Year/Setting: Present day, Myrtle Beach, SC
Overall Rating: 4.0
Sexual Content Rating: Subtle
Language (Profanity/Slang) Content Rating: Mild
Violent Content Rating: Moderate
The Lavene's Website/Blog: www.joyceandjimlavene.com
Another great cozy series that features Jessie Morton, an assistant History Professor at the University of South Carolina at Columbia. On her summer vacation she comes to Myrtle Beach to the Renaissance Faire Village to work as a helper for her college dissertation: The Proliferation of Medieval Crafts in Modern Times. This year she is working for Andre Hariot at Harriet’s Hat House. He used to work in the movie business making hats for movie stars but something sent him away and he ended up at the Renaissance Faire Village.
Jessie believes that living at the Faire is a treat until one of the Three Chocolatiers Cesar Rizzo, who made many enemies, is found dead in his vat of chocolate with a hat pin in his eye. This makes the authorities look at Andre because he has many hat pins and did not like the victim. But, Andre is only one of many as Cesar upset many people. Jessie feels that she must investigate on her own to save her boss and clear his name.
This is a real mystery and the first in the series that made the mystery a little harder to solve. There are some new characters and the regular ones have seemed to heighten their personalities. There are a couple of puzzles that keep the reader busy and waiting for the next book. I highly recommend this series to all mystery readers, cozy or not.
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