Jessie is thrilled when she finds Bill Warren, an old fashioned shoemaker, and he agrees to come back to Renaissance Village with her. She’s not so thrilled when claims to have elf magic, and he falls for Princess Isabelle. The dancing slippers Bill makes for Isabelle make him a suspect when the princess takes a leap from the castle terrace. Now, Jessie must find the lady or lord who helped the princess with her last dance before she loses her star attraction.
I've been to Scarborough Renaissance Faire in Waxahachie, TX, a couple of times, but could not conceive of a place where the staff live it every day. That is the first nice surprise in this latest installment of Joyce and Jim Lavene's Renaissance Faire Mysteries, entitled, "Bewitching Boots".
The shop's name refers to the handmade works of art by the cobbler (no, not apple or cherry...a funny running gag) Bill Warren. He claims they are made with the help of his 'elf magic'. You can almost hear Jessie's eyes rolling; that is, until she has to body tackle a customer whose new purchases have quite literally run away with her. Ok, so maybe it is a little hard to fathom Jessie's disbelief in elf magic, considering she talks to the naked, blue-skinned (from dye), red-haired ghost of one of the victims from an earlier installment of the series.
"Bewitching Boots" is part fantasy, part reality; part murder, part mayhem, and full-on, flat-out entertaining! The authors need to distill and bottle whatever it is that keeps these wonderful stories flowing out of their quills (a little Renaissance humor there). Joyce and Jim Lavene are amazing storytellers; may they continue for a long, LONG time.
Joyce and Jim Lavene write award-winning, bestselling 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, Quincy, their black cat, and their rescue dog, Rudi.
(Disclosure: I received a copy of "Bewitching Boots" from the author and publisher in exchange for my honest and unbiased review. Opinions expressed in the review are my own.)