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Deadly Daggers: 12/25/21
Deadly Daggers by Joyce Lavene and Jim Lavene is the third book in the Renaissance Faire mystery series. It has me scratching my head wondering why the hell I chose to read another one.
In this alt-timeline train wreck of a mystery series, the former Myrtle Beach Air Force Base has been turned into a Renaissance Faire amusement park where much of the staff ends up living on site. The castle and dungeon which feature heavily in this volume is built around the air traffic control tower. Because why not?
The choice of location for this park by itself isn't that big of a deal. See my unending love of the Bodie Island lighthouse mysteries where the lighthouse is given the TARDIS treatment so it can be a public library! Here though, it's just one of many tossed out details that are given with no sense that research or thought was given to back them up.
In this volume Jessie Morton is apprenticing with a master swordsmith, Daisy. Despite being given the attribute of being a master both in the crafting of swords as well as the wielding of them, in her first ten pages she demonstrates that she doesn't know how to fight in a dress or wear armor. She's also apparently fighting for keeps instead of doing theatrical fighting. Essentially she's a danger to herself and to others and no one seems to notice or care. Every time there was a scene with her, I wanted to send her to Jill Bearup's YouTube channel.
In the middle of this nonsensical set up, there's a murder. The park's much better swordsman is dead. Along with his death is the theft of his collection of "cursed daggers." Each dagger leads to more trouble and more distractions from the actual case at hand. Like the previous books, this volume has too many characters, too many side plots, too many red herrings. In the middle of all this extraneous nonsense, the murderer makes a few rare appearances. If you're paying close attention, which in this book is very hard to do, you can see them essentially being evil and unhinged. But they're otherwise such a minor character that their confrontation with Jessie at the end is unnecessary. Literally they could have just continued to do their job and gotten away with the murder.
The fourth book is Harrowing Hats (2011).