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Foul Play at the Fair

(Celebration Bay #1)

3.81  ·  Rating details ·  501 ratings  ·  76 reviews
Every day is a holiday in Celebration Bay . . . but unfortunately death doesn’t take a holiday. 

New York City event planner Liv Montgomery is burned out, sick of the bridezillas, the mad men, the desperate housewives, the anything but sweet sixteens. So the job of event organizer in the small, rural town of Celebration Bay, sounds like a little piece of heaven.

With the suc
Mass Market Paperback, 304 pages
Published September 4th 2012 by Berkley
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3.81  · 
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 ·  501 ratings  ·  76 reviews

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Sep 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Great first in series! Looking forward to the next book.
Sep 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Liv Montgomery is a Manhattan event planner who has pretty much seen it all. For a change of pace, she's relocated to Celebration Bay, NY where it's more peaceful and laid back than the big city. She doesn't feel quite like she's one of the locals especially since the woman who had the job before her when it was an unpaid volunteer position treats her nastily. The biggest festival of the fall is underway and all seems fine with the world until Liv gets a call from her assistant Ted to hurry over ...more
Dawn Michelle
I needed to read this for the Facebook Cozy Group I am in and then they moved the darn discussion date and I was already into the book. So even though I cannot participate, I decided to finish the book.
Ugh. I am so sorry that I wasted my time.

This was a tepid, slow, boring and tedious cozy mystery. I didn't care about any of the characters [until the end and you were supposed to care about this person and it is written that way, even though he factors into the story very little] and thought t
Sep 22, 2015 rated it really liked it
I really liked this book. A great start to a series.
The town, the descriptions are a place most of us would like to live. Located in upstate New York, lies the town of Celebration Bay. It is the Autumn season and the descriptions of the fall leaves, the trees, the fair, the town are breathtaking.
The main character, Liv has left the busy life of New York City to adapt to the slower country life of this town as an event planner. When a murder occurs this puts a big damper on the beloved town fair
May 24, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2014
This was a great start to this series. We were introduced to several characters and a new mystery that connected to an old one. I was impressed with the way the author kept a great solid pace with a very interesting twist.

I will be squeezing Silent Knife into my reading schedule before reading Independence Slay (A Celebration Bay Mystery) to review for Shelley’s visit on June 25th. Independence Slay (A Celebration Bay Mystery)hits stores on June 3rd.
Alicja P
Sep 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
I have to say I didn't go into this one with any expectations and it wasn't a book I came across on my own. I'm so glad I picked it up though! It was a great read for fall. Also, I love a cozy that keeps me guessing, and this one certainly did. Not just about the whodunnit but about the characters as well. The more I read the more I got to know everyone in the town. Definitely not predictable and kept me guessing, which I love. Can't wait to pick up the next one and see what everyone in town get ...more
Oct 30, 2014 rated it it was ok
I guess what I didn't like about this book was that it felt like a book the whole time I was reading it. is that a legitimate complaint?? it's like there was a formula, and so stuff had to be introduced whether it was valuable to the story or not. there's the obligatory love interest, who is irritating but so handsome and charming that you have to forgive him. (or resign yourself to his continued presence.) there's also a lady rival who has no good qualities and offers no credible threat (relati ...more
❂ Jennifer
Jul 22, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: cozy-mystery
A first in a new series, I liked this book. First books can often times be the weakest, but if that's the case here, I look forward to a very good series.

The story centers on Celebration Bay, a tourist town in NY. While I didn't get a very strong sense of the town itself, it's inhabitants were very well drawn and it was very easy to 'see' the individual personalities. There's a hint of future tension (of the good kind) between the main character, Liv and the newspaper editor.

The mystery, I thoug
Jeannie and Louis Rigod
Oct 03, 2012 rated it really liked it
This new series was skillfully written to draw the new reader along with the new character of Liv Montgomery, who has just accepted the new position of professional event planner for the town of Celebration Bay, New York.

We are introduced as Liv is busy running her first event in town, The Harvest By The Bay. Liv and her pup, Whiskey are finding living in their new home a joy after the crazies she had to endure while in New York City. All is going great until...until a body is found in the Antiq
Shirley Schwartz
Nov 11, 2015 rated it really liked it
I'm always on the lookout for a new cozy mystery series, so I read this first book in the Celebration Bay Mystery series. It's set in upstate New York. The protagonist is an events coordinator who left a big job in New York City to move to Celebration Bay, a small town in upstate New England. Her new job has Liv Montgomery planning the many big tourist events that are held in Celebration Bay every year. Live and her West Highland terrier Whiskey love their new home. When murder comes to town, sh ...more
Oct 05, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: shelly-freydont
It angers me when a book jacket has reviews that inaccurately describe the story. The review of this does that. This is listed as a Halloween book in the cozy-mystery website I use. It does take place then but it really isn't a Halloween book. Somehow she manages to steer clear of the festivals that the book is supposed to be about. It was disappointing and I may never read her books again.

Jul 12, 2013 rated it liked it
not a bad 1st book--new series about an "event planner" transplanted from Manhattan. The behavior of the townspeople was a bit "sinister", not sure I like that--people willing to cover up a murder for the sake of "their own?" I will reserve a decision of whether to continue to read this series until the next book....only because this could just be my take on the storyline of this particular book.
Amy Vendetti
Sep 04, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2013, cozy-mystery
Another first in series for me! I really enjoyed this one :) Liv was an event planner in manhattan and decided she had enough of crazy brides in the big city and moved to Celebration Bay, New York to become the event planner for this close-knit, quirky small town. And she soon finds herself (and her adorable little Westie, Whiskey) smack dab in the middle of a murder and a lot of town secrets!

Fun start to a series and I'm looking forward to reading the next one soon :-)
Oct 09, 2015 rated it liked it
It was pretty good. I felt a lot of sympathy for the main character as she was going around in circles, feeling pushed around and locked out of the happenings in town due to her newcomer, or "outsider", status. Unfortunately, those aspects made the pacing of the mystery uneven, in my opinion.
Aug 16, 2012 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book- the small town feel, the fall/harvest setting, the unique mystery and the main character's Westie all came together to make this a really fun read. I'm looking forward to the next installment, which is Christmas theme!
Jul 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
Liv Montgomery was a Manhattan event coordinator. She could handle the worst, most temperamental human beings, and any craziness that threatened the planning of the perfect event. She’s had enough of that big city stress. Now she’s the event coordinator in the country town of Celebration Bay. Liv can finally kick back, get to know her new neighbors, and enjoy it all with her Westie, Whiskey.
Well, except for one thing; murder. In this first book of the series, you get to know all the small-town c
Emily Cullen
Nov 04, 2017 rated it liked it
The Harvest By the Bay Festival is New York City's former even planner Liv Montgomery's first festival of her new life in Celebration Bay and goes well until a juggler is found murdered. With the Halloween and Christmas festivals now in jeopardy, Liv goes sleuthing to catch a murderer. I chose this book due to it's Fall theme but it didn't interest me enough to continue reading the series. Liv and the storyline were likable enough, I just have better cozy mysteries to read!
Deborah Almada
Jun 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is a new author and series for me, and I really enjoyed this book!! It was well written, and I really loved Liv, the concept of her job and the town of Celebration Bay!!!! The book also had a very good mystery which I could quite figure out to the end. I will definitely read the next book in the series!!!!!
Diane Yonchuk
Sep 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
LOVED IT! This was well written, a great protagonist in Liv, charming setting, lovable characters. The author obviously knows what life is like in a small town. Very much looking forward to the next Celebration Bay mystery!
Aug 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this one though Liv did annoy me at times. I really enjoyed the mix of characters. Mystery was interesting as well.
Jun 09, 2017 rated it liked it
3.5 stars. Quick and light mystery. Not entirely plausible, but enjoyable enough.
Aug 15, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Foul Play At The Fair by Shelley Freydont is the first in the Celebration Bay Mystery series.

Liv Montgomery has left the "fast lane" as an event planner in Manhattan and has moved to the quaint community of Celebration Bay with her Westie, Whiskey, to become the professional coordinator of seasonal festivals in Celebration Bay.

The final touches are being put on for the fair to wrap up the month long Harvest By The Bay festival. Liv and Whiskey are heading to work and almost get run over by Janin
Oct 06, 2016 rated it really liked it
Finding the cozy mystery genre this summer has proven to be so much fun for me. Whether I listen to the books while I work or drive or even make dinner, I’ve enjoyed nearly all the books I’ve selected but I was on the fence before I started reading “Foul Play by the Fair” – the debut book in the Celebration Bay mystery series by Shelly Freydont. Can you say pleasantly surprised?
Set in Upstate New York, the series focuses on Liz Montgomery – who has fled to Celebration Bay from Manhattan. She’s t
Sep 06, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: cozies, mystery
Liv Montgomery, an event planner, is tired of her stressful life in Manhattan, so she takes a job in tiny Celebration Bay, NY as the "professional coordinator", which basically means that she organizes the town's numerous seasonal festivals.

As she prepares for her first function, Harvest by the Bay, she feels that she and her little dog Whiskey are fitting in pretty well.
But when one of the Festival's traveling entertainers is found stuffed into an antique cider press, she realizes she's still
Aug 25, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mystery
"Foul Play at the Fair" is a cozy mystery. The author was good at giving clues in a way that pulled the readers' focus away from them. I had a sense of whodunit and why, but I didn't have it all figured out by the big reveal. I appreciated that the author took the time to learn basic police and crime scene procedures.

A nice level of detail about Liv's job and the setting was woven into the story without slowing the pacing. The suspense came from Liv's worry about losing her job and from some sc
Jan 27, 2013 rated it really liked it
1st in a new series. Overall I enjoyed the book. The characters were fun to read about and think that they will grow on you as the series grows. Liv goes from living in Manhattan to a small town where everyone knows everyone. Title was a little misleading to me as there really wasn't a fair so to speak and the murder doesn't even occur where the festival was taking place. Liv is feisty but I did get a tad irritated that she kept saying if she could handle some of the crazy brides and other clien ...more
Not bad. Very readable, though forgettable, too.
James Jackson
Mar 30, 2013 rated it really liked it
This cozy is set in smalltown upstate New York where former Manhattanite Liv Montgomery is trying for a new start as the event planner for the town (Celebration Bay). Freydont does a good job exploiting the natural tensions of a nosy outsider meeting the nearly closed society of generations who grew up together. She does a great job tying in the event planner's skillset to Liv's personality and how that affects all those around her.

When the dead body is pressed into action (intended pun which wi
Nov 11, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: cozies
A new series, and a new to me author... A wonderful way to weather a hurricane that took out the power for 11 days. It made sitting wrapped in a blanket in my lounger reading by a battery lantern extremely bearable.

A New York event coordinator tired of all the bridezillas in her life takes a job as even coordinator for an upstate NY town. Live Montgomery never thought it would include a mix of townspeople who could have been ripped from the pages of Mad Magazine. She also never thought that fin
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aka Gemma Bruce

Shelley Freyont is the author of the Lindy Haggerty Sudoku mysteries. She attended the University of Utah majoring in philosophy and dance. Shelley Freydont has also toured as a professonal dance with Twyla Tharp Dance and Americal Ballroom theater. She has appeared and choreographed in television, film, and Brodway.

* Lindy Haggerty Mystery
* Kate McDonald Mystery

Other books in the series

Celebration Bay (4 books)
  • Silent Knife (Celebration Bay, #2)
  • Independence Slay (Celebration Bay, #3)
  • Trick or Deceit (Celebration Bay, #4)