Treacherous Toys
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Treacherous Toys (A Renaissance Faire Mystery #5)

3.87 of 5 stars 3.87  ·  rating details  ·  160 ratings  ·  35 reviews
Hail ye, hail ye, and welcome to the Renaissance Faire Village. Here, associate professor Jessie Morton spends her summers honing her skills and finding the lady, lord, or serf whodunit. But when she comes for Christmas, will murder mean a very unhappy holiday?A NAUGHTY TOY MAKER BETTER WATCH OUT…Jessie Morton is getting just what she wished for this holiday season at the...more
Paperback, 304 pages
Published September 4th 2012 by Berkley
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This was a fun read. A friend calls it "fluff" which it is but it is entertaining and a quick read too.

Jessie Morton works, at times, at a Renaissance Faire, while also working on her master's degree at Columbia. This Christmas season she is to be an apprentice to the Toy Maker aka Father Christmas. Like so many other mystery series protagonists, Jessie always seems to be where the bodies are and this story is no exception. And, she wants to help solve the murder, even though her boyfriend Chase...more
Susan Ferguson
Jessie has some serious stuff on her mind. There have been cuts at the college and hints that she will not be needed the next semester. The owner of her apartment wants to turn them into condos and she can't afford it and, last but not least, her clunker car died on the way to the Renaissance Faire and us barely running. She has come to the Faire over the holidays to apprentice with Chris Christmas to make toys. But a heavy preoccupation is how to support herself to get the doctorate she really...more
Robert Schneider
This is the 5th book in the series and the first I have read and I can not recommend anyone picking this book up first. The authors give new readers nothing by way of an introduction to the setting nor the characters. I felt that they just assumed you would have read all the others first as you get just enough backstory to refresh long time readers memories. It didn't help that I could not believe how annoying the main character Jessie was. Why would anyone want to be friends with someone like t...more
Shala Kerrigan
Sep 01, 2012 Shala Kerrigan marked it as to-read
I've loved this series so far. Jessie is just a wonderful, fun, quirky, strong character, the crafts are described well, and the setting is just wonderful. Looking forward to more of Merlin! I hope to win!
"Treacherous Toys" is a cozy mystery. It's the fifth novel in the series, and it didn't spoil the mysteries in the previous novels. However, if this series sounds interesting to you, I'd suggest starting with the first novel in the series as it's probably better than this one.

I was interested by the setting of a permanent Renaissance Faire and in learning how toys were made. However, the setting was only vaguely described, and there was only a brief, generic description of making "kit," hand-ass...more
This series features Jessie Morton, an assistant history professor at the University of South Carolina at Columbia that may be out of a job after the holidays. She returns to Renaissance Faire Village to work as an apprentice for her dissertation - "The Proliferation of Medieval Crafts in Modern Times".

It is Christmastime at Renaissance Faire Village. Jessie's wishes are coming true as she apprentices for a new toy maker. Unfortunately Chris Christmas's time at the Faire is abruptly cut short wh...more


I liked Treacherous Toys. It is the 5th book in the series but second one I have read. I liked this series. This is a cozy mystery. It starts the drama right away. I was surprised with who the murder was.
It is fun book.

I like the Renaissance Faire Mystery. It would be fun to visit a village like this.

Jessie Morton is supposed to be a apprentice Toy Maker. She also plans to finish her Doctorate. Her first day at the village this year she ends up taking pictures of Father Christmas and...more
Treacherous Toys by Joyce and Jim Lavene
Jessie and Chase find themselves at an impasse. Jessie wants to be independent and self supporting but Chase wants her to depend on him and think about taking their relationship to the next level. When Jessie is furloughed for the next six weeks from her teaching position she finds herself doing Christmas at the Renaissance Faire and Market. Jessie Morton is all set to do an apprenticeship with Chris Christmas making toys, but someone kills Santa soon aft...more
Nov 04, 2013 Liz rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: mystery
I would do three and a half stars if I could. The who dunnit part of the book was fantastic, I really did not see that coming. The mystery part of the book would be five stars, reading who is in whose bed now (what a romper room) - and I am not sure all of it was necessary. We knew about the King and Queen; and it was no surprise to find out the murdered suspect had a part in all the shenanigans, but adding in everyone else - overload.

Then Jessie never does serve as an apprentice, nor does she...more
I wanted a Christmas Cozy Mystery and found this at the bookstore. It is the first book that I've read from these authors and I plan to read more.

Treacherous Toys is the 5th book in the authors' Renaissance Faire Mystery Series. It finds protagonist Jessie Martin, an associate professor summer interning as a toy maker apprentice at the year round Renaissance Festival. But her apprenticeship is cut short when the toy maker Chris is murdered and his wife is arrested. Dissatisfied with the police i...more
It was impossible for me to get through this book. I enjoyed Harrowing Hats, the only other book in this series that I've read, and my library had Treacherous Toys as well. *le sigh* Sadly, this book lacked the witty sparkle of the previous book. Instead, it felt flat and effortful, and I abandoned all hope less than 100 pages in.
Dharia Scarab
Great series! I'll definitely be rereading this one.

Since I don't normally write reviews unless I have something specific to say, here's the break down of how I rate my books...

1 star... This book was bad, so bad I may have given up and skipped to the end. I will avoid this author like the plague in the future.

2 stars... This book was not very good, and I won't be reading any more from the author.

3 stars... This book was ok, but I won't go out of my way to read more, But if I find another book b...more
This is the first Renaissance Faire mystery that I have read and it was enjoyable and fast paced. Because it takes place at a permanent Renaissance village, it is almost schozophrenic in that modern times and protrayed olden times work together. This story finds that Chris Christmas who protrays Father Christmas is found murdered in his toy shop. He actuallly had a handmade toy business. His wife Christine is the number one suspect but Jessie Morton, girlfriend of the village's baliff investigat...more
good story.

at least, the heroine is actively trying to pursue clues - and not just letting things happen because she happens to be in the right/wrong place at the opportune moment...

This was dumb. Takes place in a year-round, Ren Fair where the inhabitants, at least the Queen and King think they actually are. Add to that Father Christmas, whose name is "Chris Christmas", his kids are named "Jolly", "Merry", etc. So, Chris is killed, and his wife and kids appear the very next day in the toy shop, working away, and laughing and joking with all the visitors. They have, of course, asked the protagonist to discover the killer (they just met her the day before). And it goes downh...more
I always enjoy books by these authors and this one was no exception. There is a lot going on in Adventure Land- the Queen is pregnant, Jessie is apprenticing in a toy shop to make Christmas toys, and Santa Clause is found murdered in his shop. Between taking care of Santa's 8 elves, trying to track down a killer and finding new work at the Castle, Jessie is kept very busy. The Christmas theme is very strong in this book and it was fun to learn about how they celebrated the holidays in Ren times....more
I won this book in a first reads giveaway. I took this book to my parent's house while visiting them for Christmas, and my mom picked it up and started reading it because of the festive cover. Because I have a pretty hefty TBR pile, I passed the book onto her since she was in the middle of it when it was time for me to go. She ended up really enjoying it. She said it was a fun book to read next to the fireplace during the holidays. She hadn't read the others in this series, but was able to follo...more
I won this book on Goodreads; but I would have gladly paid for it on Amazon or elsewhere. I love the setting of the Renaissance Faire and the descriptions of the characters are funny and entertaining. This is not a spine tingling, edge of the seat type of book; but it does keep you guessing as to who did it. I would highly recommend for taking on a plane or for the beach. And, I will definitely try to catch up on the series.
This book wasn't bad, but it wasn't really good either. The setting of a year-round Renaissance Village was a novelty, but I never really liked Jessie much. Her boyfriend, Chase, was a good character, but I had trouble seeing why he was in love with her. Just okay....wouldn't go out of my way to read another in this series.
Treacherous Toys, by Joyce and Jim Lavene, was released back in September and is the fifth book in their Renaissance Faire Mystery series. I haven’t read the first four, and I think that was the problem. ... [See the full review at]
Alyssa White
A Renaissance festival murder mystery?! It is like a dream come true for me! There were a lot of twists and turn in this book! I loved it! I was on the edge of my seat during a good portion of this book, the adventure was great! This book had many characters, but they were easy to get to know.
May have been better if I had read other books in the series but I had just wanted a cutesy Christmas story. It kind if fit that bill but the protagonist seemed so annoying. Maybe if I'd been reading her story from the beginning I would have found her more likeable.
I'm a sucker for a Christmas cozy. I enjoy the Reniassance series and I think this was one of the best. There are lots of quirky characters including a randy Father Christmas. Jessie is an appealing protagonist and I look forward to the next in the series.
Brenda Lower
So Just finished this last night, and it was okay, but not gripping. I liked premise, and the characters were okay, but the story line just got bogged down. I ended up skipping about 100 pages toward the middle, just to get to the good stuff at the end.
Emily Boivin
i enjoyed this cozy mystery it is the 5th in a series, and i liked it well enough that i will be going back and will be reading the other books in the series as the charecters were charming and the situations interesting.
Paulette Webb

This was a typical Ren Fest book. It started slow but gathered momentum as the story developed. I enjoyed this book as I did the others in this series. I recommend it to anyone who enjoys cozy mysteries.
I just love the Renaissance Faire Mystery series. I love the idea of a history prof learning different trades at a Faire in order to get her doctorate.

These books are well written.
I liked this one, which advanced the series. It was a Christmas one, which I always like too. Jessie and Chase figure out their relationship. Can't wait for the next one.

Fun who done it mystery murder, with all the twist and turns needed to keep you reading. I'm not usually a fan of this type book, so this is saying a lot for me.
This is one of my favorite series . This book was the usual relaxing fun!
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aka Elyssa Henry and Joye Ames, J.J. Cook, and Ellie Grant

Joyce Lavene and Jim Lavene are a wife and husband team who have written and published more than 70 books since 1999. They live in North Carolina with their family and enjoy cooking, photography and ghost hunting.
More about Joyce Lavene...
A Timely Vision (A Missing Pieces Mystery #1) Wicked Weaves (A Renaissance Faire Mystery, #1) A Touch of Gold (A Missing Pieces Mystery, #2) A Spirited Gift (A Missing PIeces Mystery #3) Ghastly Glass

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