I've been putting off writing a review of Wicked Weaves by husband and wife authors Joyce and Jim Lavene. I knew I didn't like this book but I didn't really know why. I wanted to like this book. I should have liked this book. Here's the blurb from the back:
Assistant professor Jessie Morton spends her summers at the Renaissance Village honing her skills and finding the lady, lord, or serf whodunnit. Now that she's studying for her Ph.D, it's not just work; it's research. This summer her apprenticeship is with Mary Shift - a skilled basket maker with a dark past.
Things appear to be going without a hitch, until a man is bid a deadly fare-thee-well with Mary’s signature weave around his neck. It’s up to Jessie to spring Mary from the stocks of the Myrtle Beach police station. Yet innocence is hard to prove in a place where there’s a fine line between reality and good theater—and history is bound to repeat itself.
Sounds Interesting right? Turns out not so much. It's not the little problems pointed out by other reviewers: animatronic sheep that get sheared every spring or fraternal twins coming from one egg. Those are just stupid mistakes that should have been caught by a good editor.
The real problems with this book are the plot and the main character.
Jesse is insecure and immature. She's slept with half the town and mentions it every time a new guy enters the story. The guys she hasn't slept with are too old or unattractive. Except for Chase. He's perfect. Cute, rich, honorable, sexy. Jesse spends way too much time thinking about screwing this boy and/or worrying that he's just another summer fling.
As for the other characters: the cops are cartoons; Chase is just too perfect – turns out he's a lawyer right when Jesse needs one – to be believable and Mary is the stereotypical exotic with a past that is revealed bit by bit but is still uninteresting.
As for the plot... it's rather flimsy. Mary's estranged husband is killed and she looks guilty. Jesse decides to investigate and prove that Mary is innocent. Readers are taken along as Jesse blunders from one suspect to another. After awhile learning one more secret about Mary's past just doesn't add to the story.
This was the first book in a series but I don't think I'll bother with the others.