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Extended Audio Sample Damsels in Distress Audiobook, by Joan Hess Click for printable size audiobook cover
3.37 out of 53.37 out of 53.37 out of 53.37 out of 53.37 out of 5 3.37 (38 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Joan Hess Narrator: C. J. Critt Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Related: The Claire Malloy Mysteries Release Date: May 2017 ISBN: 9781538466452
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A renaissance fair is coming to the relatively quiet college town of Farberville, Arkansas. Though resistant to getting involved, Claire Malloy, local bookseller and mother of the perpetually petulant teen Caron, finds herself drawn into the strange inner workings of the group putting on the fair. But a dark mood falls over the festivities when one of the organizers is a victim of arson, and her body is found in the burned wreckage of her rented house. Someone is definitely dead—but is it murder? Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • “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, New York Times bestselling author, praise for the author

  • “A wonderfully written cozy filled with well-developed characters and nonstop suspense.”

    RT Book Reviews (4 stars)

  • “Hess fans will find much to entertain them while eagerly anticipating Claire’s wedded bliss in upcoming episodes.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “C. J. Critt delivers an entertaining performance, imbuing Claire with quirkiness and spunk. Critt smoothly alternates between belligerent teenagers and frustrated adults who prefer the world of fifteenth-century lords and ladies.” 

    AudioFile

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Eileen | 2/5/2014

    " This book was good. I will probably read more of her mysteries. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Gretchen | 2/4/2014

    " It was a cute mystery. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Annette | 2/1/2014

    " When I'm looking for fun, mindless reading, I seek out mysteries. I was in the airport looking for a quick read, when I saw Joan Hess's Damsels in Distress on the sale table. I'd been years since I'd read a book from the Claire Malloy series. Although not my favorite characters, I was fun to see the reluctant detective do her thing. This book reminded me that I sometimes need to take a break from reading professional books, children/ya, and nonfiction. Joan Hess is a great choice, because her murder mysteries are always great leisure reading. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Susan | 1/23/2014

    " Never got into it enough to finish. Didn't even stay long enough to find out who died. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Patty | 1/21/2014

    " Okay, but I'm not going to check out her other books. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Andrea | 1/18/2014

    " This is the first book I've read by Joan Hess and I loved it! The characters were great. I can definitely see myself reading another one. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Debbie | 1/15/2014

    " light, easy to read, easy to put down. I usually enjoy Hess but struggled with this book. Probably my mood. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Susan Mueller | 12/23/2013

    " I find Joan Hess' books funny and just what you need for a mindless read. I don't mean that negatively! But this book was just annoying - it seemed to be endless and I had trouble sticking with it till the end. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Nicole Spoor | 12/15/2013

    " I am reading this for a class, but I find myself actually enjoying it. Sarcastic and funny with a mystery. Not something I thought I would like, but I might actually read more of them. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Pamela | 12/11/2013

    " I loved this one that takes place at a Pen Fair. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Steve | 11/18/2013

    " Anyone who's been witness to a renaissance fair will be sure to get a kick out of this one! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jim Chandler | 11/6/2013

    " I enjoyed Damsels in Distress, as I have enjoyed all Ms Hess's books. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Judy | 9/23/2013

    " The story line/mystery was very good, but I couldn't like the heroine. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Belinda | 8/8/2013

    " Guess I am just a Joan Hess fan. Another great series for lovers of the cozy mystery mixed with dry humor. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Debbie | 4/5/2013

    " I have read all of Joan Hess' Claire Mallory series. I like them a lot. A good, funny, mystery read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Chi Dubinski | 3/17/2013

    " Another in the Claire Malloy series. Claire and her daughter get involved in a Renaissance Faire, and one of the participants is killed in a fire. No one seems to have known the woman very well, and the fire was deliberately set. Who was she and who wanted her dead? "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lain | 11/18/2012

    " Another deliciously deviant Claire Malloy mystery! Lots of interesting characters, plot twists, and colorful insults. A load of fun! "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Pam | 11/8/2012

    " This is a mystery set at a renaissance faire. I was very disappointed in the book! She spends all of the book knocking ren faires and the people that work there. The actual faire was in only a small amount in the book, and it wasn't a very good one. The mystery was a bit too soap-opery for me too. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sheila | 10/21/2012

    " Bookstore owner and amateur detective Claire Malloy gets caught up in a rennasisance group ARSE. There is a murder. Now which fair lady or knight did the deed. Claire figures it out before her police detective Peter does. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Shirley | 6/15/2012

    " Murder at a Renaissance Fair. Will stop reading Joan Hess for now, but still did enjoy this one. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Carolyn | 6/13/2012

    " I was on a long road trip and had borrowed from Library to listen to. Probably would not have finished it and I been home. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mascanlon | 12/30/2011

    " Sharp, lively and always entertaining. I thoroughly enjoyed my visit with Claire,her daughter Caron and fiance Peter. Clever plot with lots of red herrings and only an occasional glimpse of the solution before you got there. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Melanie | 11/2/2011

    " A random murder mystery series I picked up- I love the main character. She's a single mom in a small Arkansas town who owns a book shop. The writing is very funny- I laughed out loud several times. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Denise Donnelly | 8/7/2011

    " A nice bit of fluff! Good beach or summer afternoon reading. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Barbara | 8/4/2011

    " Joan Hess writes to entertain. Hasn't failed me yet. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Nancy | 7/12/2011

    " If you enjoy the Clarie Malloy Mysteries, you'll like this one. If you've read the other books, you'll find the construction of the story predictable, but also (as usual) entertaining, fast moving and fun. Watch for a cameo appearance of some of Joan Hess's Maggody characters. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Patty | 2/16/2011

    " Okay, but I'm not going to check out her other books. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Eileen | 6/29/2010

    " This book was good. I will probably read more of her mysteries. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Susan | 5/18/2010

    " I find Joan Hess' books funny and just what you need for a mindless read. I don't mean that negatively! But this book was just annoying - it seemed to be endless and I had trouble sticking with it till the end. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Melanie | 4/11/2010

    " A random murder mystery series I picked up- I love the main character. She's a single mom in a small Arkansas town who owns a book shop. The writing is very funny- I laughed out loud several times. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Judy | 4/10/2010

    " The story line/mystery was very good, but I couldn't like the heroine. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Nicole | 1/24/2010

    " I am reading this for a class, but I find myself actually enjoying it. Sarcastic and funny with a mystery. Not something I thought I would like, but I might actually read more of them. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Shirley | 7/7/2009

    " Murder at a Renaissance Fair. Will stop reading Joan Hess for now, but still did enjoy this one. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Debbie | 6/13/2009

    " I have read all of Joan Hess' Claire Mallory series. I like them a lot. A good, funny, mystery read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Patty | 2/4/2009

    " A jester comes into Claire’s book store and starts the entire thing off. Claire and her daughter become involved in the planning of a renaissance fair. Soon a body is found in a burned house and Claire is also involved in the investigation. Kind of off-beat characters make a typical cozy. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Gretchen | 10/8/2008

    " It was a cute mystery. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Steve | 9/29/2008

    " Anyone who's been witness to a renaissance fair will be sure to get a kick out of this one! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Pamela | 9/7/2008

    " I loved this one that takes place at a Pen Fair. "

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About the Author

Joan Hess is the author of both the Claire Malloy and the Maggody mystery series. She is a winner of the Agatha Award, a member of Sisters in Crime, and a former president of the American Crime Writers League. A longtime resident of Fayetteville, Arkansas, she now lives in Austin, Texas.

About the Narrator

C. J. Critt is a veteran of Broadway, regional theater, poetry slams, and solo shows. Hailed “Spoken Word Queen” by the Dallas Observer, Critt is a produced writer-director, an Audie nominee, and a CableACE Award winner.