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 www.shelleyfreydont.com.
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.