Jousting and Justice by Elizabeth Pantley

Jousting and Justice by Elizabeth Pantley

Publisher: Better Beginnings, Inc.

Publication date: February 15, 2022

My rating: 5 out of 5 stars

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Publisher's description:

An invitation to a medieval festival. A ferry ride to a mysterious island. A scheming, inept witch. An office break-in, an unidentified body, and a string of suspects. Can Hayden, her brave, sassy cat, Latifa, and the people of Destiny Falls solve the mystery and enjoy the festival?

~ Jousting and Justice follows the series format of combining two stories that blend into one. A murder mystery and the island mystery.

The Island Mystery: Hayden and all her friends get an invitation to a medieval festival - but it's on "the forbidden island." It's too enticing to pass up. Of course, strange things will happen once they get there! . . . You'll also learn the truth about the witch's sister in this book!

The Murder Mystery: A dead body shows up in the most shocking place. First, they need to figure out who this dead guy is. Then, who killed him and why. There are so many twists and turns on the way to the answers! But we know that Hayden, Latifa, and their family and friends will figure it out and justice will be served.

Hayden’s many adventures in Destiny Falls will keep you guessing with each book in this intriguing series.

My review:

I received a free copy of the ebook from the author. All opinions shared are 100% my own.

Hayden and her Destiny Falls family and friends are back in the fifth installment of the Destiny Falls Mystery & Magic series. A mysterious invitation arrives to come to the “Forbidden Island” for a medieval festival! When Hayden’s secretive, and possibly magical, grandmother okays the trip to the festival, the whole family, and most of the residents of Destiny Falls, start planning costumes, make plans to enter contests, and generally get super excited for this adventure off their island.

Unfortunately, Hayden is also caught up in another murder investigation. The former editor of the small town paper she now runs is found dead in the office archive room - double poisoned and stabbed in the back. Someone wanted him dead and wanted him dead good. Hayden and her brother Axel spend a lot of time together helping Jaxson, the sheriff, solve this mystery, learning that the editor wasn’t such a nice guy and maybe a lot of people would have wanted him dead! One definite deviation from the cozy mystery norm here is that law enforcement regularly enlists our heroine's aid in solving crimes. It’s a bit of a nice change from the antagonistic relationship most cozy heroines have with the local constabulary.

So many mysteries solved here. At least for me, none were obvious as I read. I also don’t spend a lot of time trying to figure out the mystery as I read. I always have my guesses as I go along but I’m not too worried about being right and I like it when the reveal is a surprise. There is a lot of adventure in this book. Hayden travels to the other side of Destiny Falls’s island and finds out just how large the island really is. She travels off the island to the “Forbidden Island” and has a grand adventure there (at a Renaissance Festival that I’d love to visit).

Most of the cast of characters is here with a couple of notable people missing, including Han, Hayden’s boyfriend, and her parents. Hayden hopes to see them both at the festival but a turn of events makes that not possible (no spoilers!). Han is called off on one of his mysterious missions early in the book. I will say he is “back” in the story right at the very end… in a way that has me anxiously awaiting Book 6!

When I first started this series, I always had this fear that there was going to be a plot twist that Hayden’s new Destiny Falls family wasn’t as wonderful as they first appeared. I am quite thankful that I was wrong and they really are wonderful. Hayden learns new things about other friends on the island as well that… just Oh. My. Gosh! The cats are here as well and just as adorable, especially as baby Lola starts “talking” to Hayden! I haven’t had a series that I anxiously await the next installment in a while, but this one is definitely in that camp! When a new book is released, it always goes to the top of my TBR pile. All right, Elizabeth… get to crackin' on book 6!

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