Review: Foul Play at the Fair by Shelley Freydont

Description (from cover):

“Every day is a holiday in Celebration Bay…but unfortunately death doesn’t take a holiday.

As more and more tourists flock to Celebration Bay, New York, to enjoy their seasonal festivals, the town is in need of a professional coordinator. Enter Manhattan event planner Liv Montgomery, tired of big-city stress and looking for an idyllic spot where she and her Westie terrier, Whiskey, can put down roots. The Harvest by the Bay Festival is Liv’s first chance to prove herself, and everything from apple bobbing to pumpkin painting goes perfectly–until the body of an itinerant juggler is discovered stuffed into an antique apple press.

With a murderer on the loose, town leaders threaten to shut down the upcoming Halloween and Christmas festivals. But the town’s livelihood is at stake, and there is no way Liv is going to let that happen, even if she has to solve the murder herself. No matter how many balls she needs to keep in the air, Liv is determined to find a killer who’s rotten to the core…”

My thoughts:

          I loved the coziness of the small town of Celebration Bay, New York. A quaint and quiet little town where they rely on tourists coming to their festivals in order for the economy to survive. Another town where everyone knows everyone and there are no secrets (typical of the cozy genre). Liv Montgomery is a party planner who got fed up with bridezillas and housewives as clients and has decided to relocate to Celebration Bay to head up the coordination of their festivals. Liv and her dog, Whiskey, move to Celebration Bay where she finds that the townspeople are wary of her because she is an outsider. Determined to prove herself to the town and show that she is here to stay, she jumps into action when someone is found murdered on a local farm.

          Here’s what I liked about this book. The publisher released this book at the right time. This book features the season of fall and Halloween and seeing that was like a week ago or so, perfect timing. I see that this was published in early September, so it might just have been coincidence, but it really worked for me. There are times where I pick up books released at different times of the year than the setting and I just think that having those two factors meet sets the scene for a perfect cozy mystery reading experience. I also enjoyed Liv’s interaction with her dog, Whiskey. It reminds me a lot of my own relationship with my chihuahua (Avery) and how we interact everyday. She talks to her dog and treats him like family, which is exactly what I do. So I could relate to that. I also enjoyed Liv as the main character. She has gumption and doesn’t take anything at face value. She is a great primary character and I think Freydont has hit a home run with her. I can’t wait to see where Liv is going to go as a character and what Freydont has planned for her.

         I didn’t particularly care for the ending. It was a little disappointing for me as an avid cozy mystery reader. The set up of the mystery was good, it could have used a little more plot twists and a little more element of mystery surrounding the suspects, but the ending just fell flat. If you like your mysteries to involve some thinking and surprise, then this book may leave you a tad disappointed. Nevertheless, a good debut, but in order to keep me as a fan of the series, the plot line and the “mystery” process needs some work. I will probably check out the next in the series, but if the plot is like this one, then I’ll probably call it quits.

Overall Rating: 3/5

Title:  Foul Play at the Fair
Author:  Shelley Freydont
Series:  Celebration Bay Mystery #1
Publisher:  Berkley
Publication Date:  September 4, 2012
Pages:  304
Genre:  Cozy Mystery

Disclaimer: This book was selected from the library by myself and I reviewed this book without compensation of any kind. All thoughts and opinions are solely mine.

11 thoughts on “Review: Foul Play at the Fair by Shelley Freydont

  1. I have this one checked out, but haven't read it yet. I wish I'd known it was around Halloween… I would have read it earlier instead of something else. Ah well.I enjoy both finding the mystery out before the sleuth (as long as it isn't TOO obvious) and getting answers to questions I just didn't get. I hope this means your issue with the book won't be a problem for me. Guess we'll see.


  2. The characters were very likeable. The series has potential and I am hoping that it was just a case of debut disappointment and that the rest of the series will be better. We shall see. Thanks for stopping by.Kimberlee


  3. Westies are my second favorite breed. I may actually have to read this one though I read very few contemporary novels. You might like Kristan Higgins' romance novels if you haven't read them already. The heroines all have adorable canine companions.


  4. I enjoyed this story a lot. The big reveal was a bit of a disappointment but not too bad. I love Whiskey and I can't wait to see what he and Liv get up to next. I hope he has a larger role in her future investigations.


  5. I felt the same way and I hope the series picks up with the next book. I felt it had a lot of potential and I hope that the next one lives up to it. Glad to see you liked this one too.Kimberlee


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