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Book Review: Foul Play at the Fair by Shelley Freydont

Updated on November 6, 2014
Foul Play at the Fair
Foul Play at the Fair

Murder At the Fair

Previously I've reviewed books where I've been excited about fairs and carnivals in small towns. There's something about them especially when you're from the "big city."

Unfortunately, the debut of the Celebration Bay Mysteries doesn't come close to being excitable.

In Foul Play at the Fair, author Shelley Freydont has created a likeable small town, but a main character that I didn't find too likeable. I also felt this wasn't a mystery, per say, but more of a look at small town life.

Olivia "Liv" Montgomery has recently moved to Celebration Bay from Manhattan to work as the town's event coordinator. While in Manhattan she was an event planner, but she thinks she's left the stress of the Big Apple behind her. Life doesn't work that way.

Liv's first event, the Harvest by the Bay Festival, is anything but uneventful. She has to deal with the mysterious Zolodosky Brothers, an acrobatic troupe and the discovery of Pete Waterbury's body, who left the town thirty years prior. Pete's body is discovered on his brother's property which sets the town into a tizzy.

With the discovery of the body, everyone in town fears their secrets will come back to haunt them and they go to great lengths to keep them buried-forever.

While the title indicates a fair, the fair itself is barely a few pages long. Most of the events leading up to the fair include Liv and her assistant, Ted, going over plans and the murder. It never seems to end. After the fair, the events tend to be the same- they do follow-ups of the fair and the residents of Celebration Bay keep quiet around Liv.

Freydont tends to make Liv's profession one that if not done right, the entire world will come to an end. She gives Liv a boring daily routine (she picks up pastries from the bakery and then coffee from the coffee shop) and when Liv takes her dog, Whiskey, to the office, the dog and Ted have their own annoying routine.

I kept hoping the pace of the book would pick up but it doesn't. Although I do have to give Freydont credit in one department. During the "big" action scene, she does an excellent job in pulling together the characters and makes you feel as though you're a part of the action.

I think it's best to skip the fair this year.


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