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

3.83  ·  Rating Details ·  244 Ratings  ·  41 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?


Jessie Morton is getting just what she wished for this holiday season at the
Paperback, 304 pages
Published September 4th 2012 by Berkley
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Sep 20, 2012 Linda rated it really liked it
Shelves: christmas, mystery
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
Susan Ferguson
Jan 30, 2014 Susan Ferguson rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mystery, series, 2014
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
Nov 18, 2015 Debbie rated it it was amazing
I really like this series and this was a great Christmas themed book to start out my holiday reading. I am so sad that we lost Joyce. I hope Jim can find the strength to keep on writing...
Jenn C
Apr 10, 2016 Jenn C rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery, read-2015
I broke one of my cardinal rules when I plucked this book from the shelves.

I read it out of order.

Gasp! I know. I'm ashamed of myself. ;)

Unfortunately, it took me a little while to warm up the characters, and I think it stemmed from jumping into a new series at book #5. That being said, I did enjoy the mystery and the romance - though Jessie drove me nuts with her hang-ups.
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!
Mar 24, 2015 Patricia rated it it was amazing
This is the first book I've read, in the Renaissance Faire series, and I loved it! I may be getting a late start, with the series, but will enjoy catching up!

Associate professor, Jessie Morton spends her summers working at the Renaissance Faire. This year, though, she is excited to be an apprentice, during the holiday season, for the new toy maker. No sooner does she meet Chris Christmas, and his family, than he is murdered. Her investigation involves a great cast of characters, lots happening (
Robert Schneider
Jun 12, 2014 Robert Schneider rated it did not like it
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
Aug 28, 2012 Debbie rated it it was ok
Shelves: mystery
"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
Jan 16, 2016 LORI CASWELL rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-2012
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
Nov 22, 2013 Rhonda rated it really liked it


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
Dec 16, 2013 Michelle rated it it was amazing
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
Nov 04, 2013 Liz rated it really liked it
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
Lauren T
Dec 02, 2015 Lauren T rated it really liked it
I am surprised. I wasn't sure about reading a book that involved the Renaissance era (although fake) but it was so subtle and the murder/mystery theme was in full force. Despite my busy schedule, I found myself wanting to read this book with every down time that I had. I felt a little lost in the beginning with identifying the characters and how they relate to Jessie, but I caught on fairly quickly. In return, my next book will be the beginning of this series and work my way up from there.

Jan 04, 2013 ContemplativeCat rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery
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
Paula Ratcliffe
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Aug 19, 2014 Sam rated it it was ok
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
Jul 04, 2014 Dharia Scarab rated it it was amazing
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
Jan 04, 2013 Sallee rated it really liked it
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
Sep 06, 2014 aem rated it liked it
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...

Nov 05, 2012 Terri rated it did not like it
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
Oct 16, 2012 Kate rated it really liked it
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
Extra 1/2 star
Jan 07, 2013 Ila rated it really liked it
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
Oct 08, 2012 Brandy rated it really liked it
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.
Feb 05, 2013 Melodie rated it it was ok
Shelves: read-2013
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.
Jan 09, 2013 Cellardoorians rated it did not like it
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
Aug 24, 2015 Alyssa White rated it it was amazing
Shelves: cozy-mystery
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.
Dec 10, 2013 Crystal rated it liked it
Shelves: library-books
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.
Nov 03, 2012 Deb rated it really liked it
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
Apr 23, 2013 Brenda Lower rated it it was ok
Shelves: mysteries
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.
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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...

Other Books in the Series

A Renaissance Faire Mystery (8 books)
  • Wicked Weaves (A Renaissance Faire Mystery, #1)
  • Ghastly Glass (A Renaissance Faire Mystery, #2)
  • Deadly Daggers (A Renaissance Faire Mystery, #3)
  • Harrowing Hats (A Renaissance Faire Mystery, #4)
  • Murderous Matrimony (A Renaissance Faire Mystery #6)
  • Bewitching Boots (A Renaissance Faire Mystery #7)
  • Fatal Fairies (A Renaissance Faire Mystery #8)

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