Foul Play at the Fair by Shelley Freydont is the first book in the new “Celebration Bay” mystery series. Publisher: Berkley Prime Crime, September 2012

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.

Life in her newly adopted town is like a celebration until a murder threatens her upcoming festival preparation. Fearing cancellation and her job, Liv takes it upon herself to solve this case before Celebration Bay is no longer.

This was a good read and I enjoyed the action from the start as the story moved forward. The author did a good job in keeping the mystery flowing with surprising twists and turns that kept me turning the pages as I wanted to know how it will all end. Liv is such a great character and I like that she wanted to do right by the town by finding the killer. The town of Celebration Bay with its quirky-named businesses is the perfect setting for this delightfully entertaining tale and I look forward to more festivities for years to come.

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