FOUL PLAY AT THE FAIR
This is the blog of Shelley Noble, women’s fiction author, but I’m also Shelley Freydont, amateur sleuth mystery author. Next week (September 4th) the first book in my new Celebration Bay mystery series will be on the shelves (real and virtual).
The title is Foul Play at the Fair and it’s about a Manhattan event planner, Liv Montgomery, who moves to a small upstate New York destination town to be its event coordinator.
Because according to the town slogan, Every Day’s a Holiday in Celebration Bay.
I love fish out of water stories. Most of my heroines, women’s fiction and mystery-wise, are usually put into locations and situations that stretch their comfort zone.
I suspect murder anywhere would stretch your comfort zone, but there are even more opportunities to challenge your sleuth when they don’t know a grain silo from a water tower or a rototiller from an apple press. Well, do you?
Liv, in Foul Play,has just settled in Celebration Bay and she’s gone all out for life in the country. No more Bloomies or Manolo Blahnik’s. She’s bought a new wardrobe straight from the LL Bean catalogue: corduroys, and plaid jackets, pullover sweaters and hiking boots. She even ordered country winter wear for her Westie terrier, Whiskey. Whiskey unfortunately is not nearly as excited about his sweater and booties as Liv is about hers. Even Liv, never slow on the uptake as they say in Celebration Bay, refuses to be the first person to put on her down parka—even with the threat of frost—especially when everyone else is walking around in shirt sleeves.
Instead of rushing from Starbuck’s to a taxi on her way to work, Liv and Whiskey walk the two blocks to the town green where she picks up pastries and coffee from the local bakery and coffee bar. She hasn’t stuffed her feet into four inch heels since she left Manhattan.
Life in Celebration Bay does have it challenges, though. The people are friendly, but slightly suspicious of outsiders. Liv’s best friend BeBe has lived there for over ten years and she’s still considered a newcomer. Fortunately she’s the dispenser of the best coffee in town so she gets a dispensation.
The locals are loyal . . .to their own, which Liv discovers in the first mystery where suspicion falls on a well-loved local farmer. And they especially close ranks when the state bypasses the local sheriff and sends in its own investigators.
What’s an event planner to do? In Manhattan Liv had to deal with temperamental caterers who wanted to be actors, demanding mothers-of-the-bride, smarmy mad men, traffic jams and union hours. But she never had to deal with Murder. I mean it was Manhattan after all.
The same can’t be said for Celebration Bay. In the midst of the Fall Harvest Festival and a record number of tourists, Liv knows she has to save her job and the town’s future and she won’t do it by waiting on someone else to solve the murder. And she won’t get much help.
So join Liv and Whiskey as they navigate the waters of country living and country neighbors In Foul Play at the Fair (Berkley Prime Crime, Sept. 4)
Join me next week, for Murder-Why Amateurs Sleuth