Damsels in Distress

A Claire Malloy Mystery

Claire Malloy Mysteries (Volume 16 of 20)

Joan Hess

Minotaur Books

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A Renaissance Fair is coming to the relatively quiet college town of Farberville Arkansas, which is not the sort of news that usually sets local bookseller Claire Malloy’s heart racing.  But with Caron, Claire’s perpetually petulant teenage daughter, being pulled into volunteering (or face the horror of doing homework over the summer) and her fiancé, Police Lieutenant Peter Rosen, away, Claire finds herself drawn into the strange inner workings of the group putting on the fair.
     But just as Claire has decided that her time might be better spent fretting over the details of her upcoming nuptials, one of the volunteers helping with the Ren Fair falls victim to arson, her body found burned in the wreckage of her rented home. Even stranger, none of the members of the local chapter of The Association for Renaissance Scholarship and Enlightenment (ARSE) – the group putting on Farberville’s first RenFair – had ever met the woman in the flesh and can’t provide any information about who she is and where she came from.  However, someone is definitely dead and the fire looks very suspicious – but is it murder?  When the fair opens, tensions expose the dark secrets and malevolent schemes that lurk beneath the superficial congeniality of the ARSE members.  The lords are leaping, the ladies are lying, and the knights are fighting--while someone is committing murder most heinous.  And with Claire’s dreams of a blissful wedding hanging in the balance, she has no choice left but to fling herself into the battle and match wits with the killer…

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Book Excerpts

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Chapter One

“Good morrow, Kate; for that is your name, I hear.”

I blinked at the young man in the doorway. “Well have you heard, but something hard of hearing. They call me Claire Malloy that do talk of me.”

“You lie, in faith; for you are call’d plain Kate, and bonny Kate, and sometimes Kate the curst; but Kate, the prettiest Kate in Farberville. Kate of Kate Hall, my superdainty Kate, for dainties are all Kates, and therefore—”

“Mother,” Caron said as she came out of my office, “who is This Person?”

“I have no idea,” I admitted.

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Reviews

Praise for Damsels in Distress

“If you’ve never spent time with Claire and her crew, I feel sorry for you. Stop reading this nonsense and hop to it. You’ll see wit and humanity all wrapped up in a nifty murder mystery.”—Harlan Coben, author of Promise Me

“Lively, sharp, irreverent.”—The New York Times Book Review on Poisoned Pins


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About the Author

Joan Hess

Joan Hess is the winner of the American Mystery Award and the author of twelve previous Claire Malloy books, including Dear Miss Demeanor and Strangled Prose, as well as the Maggody mystery series. A member of Sisters in Crime and a former president of the American Crime Writers League, she lives in Fayetteville, Arkansas.

Joan Hess

Photo: Charles E. Roberts
Joan Hess

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Available Formats and Book Details

Damsels in Distress
A Claire Malloy Mystery
Joan Hess

e-Book Agency

e-Book Agency
St. Martin's Press
Minotaur Books
March 2008
e-Book Agency
ISBN: 9781429948739
ISBN10: 1429948736
304 pages
$7.99
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Minotaur Books

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