Claire Malloy's 16th adventure, Damsels in Distress, is full of fun. Farberville, Arkansas, is overrun with eccentric would-be knights who are members of the Association for Renaissance Scholarship and Enlightenment and preparing for a Renaissance Fair. Claire can only hope the event will inspire people to buy medieval bestsellers at her bookstore. When murder and arson disrupt those plans, Claire is ready to investigate she's feeling jittery about her upcoming wedding to police Lt. Peter Rosen and welcomes the distraction. Joan Hess has a deft hand with dialogue and does a fantastic job with the repartee between Claire and her teenage daughter, Caron. Full of humor and a very human set of characters, Damsels in Distress is a strong addition to Hess' long-running series.

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