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BOOK REVIEW: WICKED WEAVES
BY JOYCE AND JIM LAVENE

We hope you enjoy this book review by Caryn St. Clair.



Wicked Weaves, a new series for the Lavenes, takes readers to the world of Renaissance faires with protagonist Jessie Morton. Jesse is using her experiences of working as an apprentice to a different crafter at the Renaissance village each summer, to write her dissertation. In Wicked Weaves, Jessie is working with Mary Swift, a Gullah basket weaver. When a man is found dead just outside the basket shop's door with basket weave around his neck, Jessie and Mary are immediately suspects. Jessie soon realizes she knows very little about Mary's life outside of the Renaissance village. While trying to remove herself and Mary as murder suspects, Jessie learns that along with her basket weaving skills, Mary was also a healer in her community and has quite a family story filled with dark secrets.

Being set in a Renaissance faire gives Wicked Weaves, a cozy small village mystery, an interesting twist. The village is filled with illusions, much like a magic show. Visitors to the faire, in this case readers, are left to wonder what is real and what is but an illusion. Also, some of the characters are so immersed in their Renaissance roles, that they seem to have forgotten that the faire is pretend.

While many cozies feature crafts, the Renaissance faire setting adds a historical element to the art of basket weaving. The authors have done quite a nice job of working that history as well as the history of the Gullah culture into the book. In addition to the information incorporated in the story, at the end of the book the authors include a “newsletter” written by Jessie to the readers explaining more about the art of basket weaving. Following that are a few pages from the authors on “Little Known Facts about the Renaissance” which I found helpful and lastly, there is recipe for Banbury Cakes.

Next summer Jessie returns as an apprentice with a glass artist.

REVIEWED BY CARYN ST. CLAIR

DO NOT REPRINT WITHOUT PERMISSION OF THE REVIEWER, CARYN ST. CLAIR


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