BOOK REPORTI finished another Halloween theme cozy and 2 more to go. This one was a Celebration Bay Mystery by Shelly Freydont, TRICK OR DECEIT.
Set in the fictional town of Celebration Bay, New York, which is north of Albany, my best guess in the Lake Champlain area? It is a town that knows how to celebrate a holiday. This is the second in the series with a Halloween theme. I think that is what really drew me to this series first, and it is also nice when the author adds in some factual NYS tidbits.
Liv Montgomery is a transplant to town from downstate New York, she is hired as the town's event planner. She moves up to the rural town of Celebration Bay with her pup Whiskey. Her side kick is her office assistant, Ted (who I love,) who is a bit secretive about his past. And another character I love is the eccentric Henry Gallantine. He doesn't have as much of a roll in this story as he did in INDEPENDENCE SLAY, but he is still there quirky as ever.
This week long Halloween festival also has an important function, to earn some money to help build a new community center. So, there is a official town haunted house competition. And John, a former NYC associate of Liv is in town to check out the town as a possible recipient of grant funding.
This story has is all, a murder of course, and crazy mysterious drifting radical, a coven of witches and a rumor mill to rival any other.
After the winning haunted house is vandalized the body of one of the contest judges is found in the adjoining field among the mess. There are more than enough suspects with as many motives and Liv is determined not to let it spoil the festivities. The town is full of quirky characters, many with their own mysterious pasts. And when John becomes a suspect Liv makes quick work for trying to clear his name.
The town is lovely and the characters diverse, it is a very well crafted mystery with just a touch of humor.