Thursday, September 27, 2012

Foul Play at the Fair by Shelley Freydont

Shelley Freydont mentioned in her guest blog the other day that she loved the town of Celebration Bay, the small New York town she created for her new mystery series. She's not the only one. Foul Play at the Fair launches a series filled with interesting characters, beginning with two wonderful ones, Liv Montgomery and her Westie terrier, Whiskey.

Liv Montgomery escaped from a job handling bridezillas and celebrities to move to Celebration Bay. She's the new event coordinator in a town where she can take her dog to work, stop in the bakery for a treat for Whiskey, and watch her assistant, Ted, yodel with Whiskey every morning. She loves the town and its people. So, when a murder at the close of the Harvest by the Bay Festival threatens the future of all the town festivals, Liv takes it personally. That doesn't mean just the end of her job. Closures could threaten the livelihood of all the townspeople who depend on the festivals since the town is now a tourist destination.

The identity of the dead man comes as a surprise to everyone, but a well-known victim in a small town means the police chief is yanked off the case. And, outside investigators don't care whose toes they step on. Liv cares about the future of Celebration Bay, and if she has to wheedle information from people, even the uncooperative owner of the local newspaper, she'll do it. Liv Montgomery is determined to use all her skills to save her new town from collapsing under the weight of innuendo and suspicion.

I read mysteries looking for good characters. Liv Montgomery is a terrific new amateur sleuth, competent, intelligent, with a few surprising skills. Freydont introduces an interesting cast of characters as residents of Celebration Bay, people who will be fun to see again in future stories. Foul Play at the Fair just leaves me wishing to return soon for more of Liv's adventures in a community that capitalizes on its small town atmosphere.

Shelley Freydont's website is

Foul Play at the Fair by Shelley Freydont. Berkley Prime Crime. 2012. ISBN 9780425251553 (paperback), 298p.

FTC Full Disclosure - The publisher sent me a copy of the book, hoping I would review it.


donna said...

Hi Lesa -
Just want you to know how saddened I was about the news concerning your library and the loss of jobs. I don't know what kind of society we are going to become if we don't value our libraries. I wish you and your staff best the of luck in your job search. Hope you have a wonderful time at Bouchercon - I just found out that Elizabeth George is appearing - she is my absolute favorite mystery author - just adore her Inspector Lynley novels. If you get the opportunity, please find out when the next Lynley novel is coming out. Apparently she is launching some new YA series - I guess she is going for the money! Just want you to know that you have a lot of people out here sending positive thoughts your way,
Donna from CT (P.S. I recently donated the book that I won to my library and they were very happy)

Jane R said...

Thank you for the great review! After reading your comments, as well as the intro by Shelley Freydont, I'm definitely going to scout this one out. I was born and raised in a small town and love the stories that they can produce. It sounds as tho Shelley has captured the essence of a small town and it's proud inhabitants.

Lesa said...


Thank you for your kind note. I do appreciate all the positive thoughts! Thank yo so much. And, I'm so glad you donated your book to the library! Another thanks! I'll see what I can find out about Inspector Lynley.

Lesa said...

Jane, I just loved the people of Celebration Bay, even with all their secrets. That made the book fun. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!