Book Review: Ghastly Glass by Joyce and Jim Lavene

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Ghastly Glass (A Renaissance Faire Mystery, #2)Ghastly Glass by Joyce Lavene

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

November is the Renaissance Faire cozy mystery readathon on my blog @ This Is My Truth Now. We’re in our second week with the second book in the series by Joyce and Jim Lavene with Ghastly Glass. Anyone is welcome to join…. we’re reading the first 4 books in the series and posting our reviews each Friday. I link them together on my blog’s dedicated page so we can all review and comment. You can read any number of books you want in the series, too. Let’s get on to my review of Ghastly Glass.

Last week, I mentioned that I wasn’t a huge fan of the first book, Wicked Weaves. It had some good elements, but it was disconnected and repetitive in parts. While much of the repetition seems to be gone (not all), the disconnected parts are still present in Ghastly Glass. Part of me wonders if it might just be the duo’s writing style as it’s very blunt when it happens. The narrator comments on all the happenings around the Renaissance Faire; for instance, we could be ending a scene where the main character, Jessie, is doing something and she runs into people along the way. We hear one-liners about various performers and apprentices, Renaissance-Faire settings, et al. It’s good knowledge, but it’s just dropped in, in a way where I can’t tell if it’s part of the plot or background. And it will name drop so much that I can’t keep track of who is who. While it’s awesome for building the whole world in the books, it can be a tad frustrating for someone trying to also focus on the mystery.

In some parts, even the writing is stilted and awkward when these disconnections happen. Random lines (I’m paraphrasing) like “Death just walked by on stilts. Were they real? He looked taller.” The character of ‘Death’ wasn’t mentioned anywhere in the immediate pages before nor in the pages afterward. Just a random drop in. Okay, I’ve vented enough… while it can be jarring, it isn’t enough to say I wouldn’t want to read more in the series. If I hadn’t committed to it for the blog, I probably wouldn’t read another one, but since I agreed to 4, I will read them all and put on a positive spin wherever I can.

For instance, they do have a really fun and cool setting. I love hearing about all of the different side acts in the Renaissance Faire, meeting the performers and learning their history, watching the relationships develop between characters, etc. I also liked the mystery in this one as it was definitely a shocker. I wonder if I re-read it, would I notice the hints along the way? That’s always a good way to feel at the end of the book… so kudos to the authors for building that connection for us readers. In this caper, the actor playing Death is killed, then Jessie’s boss where she’s apprenticing, Roger, is attacked. We met him in the first book, so I felt closer to him than any newbies. Chase is back which provides a cute love story for Jessie.

Next up is the third in the series, Deadly Daggers… we read and review week of 11/17… come join us!

View all my reviews

About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My stand-alone novels, Watching Glass Shatter and Father Figure, can be purchased on Amazon as electronic copies or physical copies. The debut book, Academic Curveball, in my new mystery series, Braxton Campus Mysteries will fit those who love cozy mysteries and crime investigations. I read, write, and blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at, where you’ll find the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge –and multiple Readathons. You can also find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators. Follow my blog with Bloglovin.


13 thoughts on “Book Review: Ghastly Glass by Joyce and Jim Lavene

    The Cozy Pages said:
    November 14, 2018 at 8:04 AM

    It is a very unique setting; that’s definitely a strong point!

    Liked by 1 person

    Cozynookbks said:
    November 14, 2018 at 8:17 AM

    Great review, Jay.

    Liked by 1 person

    Martie said:
    November 14, 2018 at 10:17 AM

    I’m not sure if I would like the book. But I did enjoy your review.

    Liked by 1 person

      James J. Cudney IV responded:
      November 14, 2018 at 6:23 PM

      It’s a tough start to the series. Worth a chance but not very strong on some counts.

      Liked by 1 person

    scr4pl80 said:
    November 14, 2018 at 11:00 AM

    I’m still struggling with the first one. I’m almost done. Like you, I’ll try the next one. Thanks for the review and I’m glad to see it’s not just me.

    Liked by 1 person

      James J. Cudney IV responded:
      November 14, 2018 at 6:24 PM

      Third is better. Fourth is in progress now on flight home.

      Liked by 1 person

        scr4pl80 said:
        November 15, 2018 at 11:24 AM

        Where did you go now? I’m missing all your daily updates. 😦 You need to do another 365!

        Liked by 1 person

        James J. Cudney IV responded:
        November 15, 2018 at 12:02 PM

        Ha! I’d lose my mind. 🙂 I went to visit Roda in Michigan.

        Liked by 1 person

    carhicks said:
    November 15, 2018 at 7:17 PM

    I do enjoy the setting and the staying in character that they do. I am not finished this one yet, but posted the first one.

    Liked by 1 person

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