Like me, Carrie McCrite finds cleaning and cooking much easier tasks when singing and dancing to loud music. (I do try not to dance and chop veggies at the same time, just so you know.) Her husband Henry calls to tell her his meeting is running over and that he's going to be late. Before Carrie has time to digest that piece of news, the phone rings again. This time it's a woman claiming to be her cousin. Trouble is, Carrie was told that she did indeed have a cousin... who died when she was a child. She can't help but wonder-- if the woman is her cousin-- why it took so long for her to get in touch, and just what is it that she wants?
When Carrie and Henry begin helping their friend Shirley at the War Eagle Craft Fair, she becomes increasingly concerned over her "Cousin" Edie's strange behavior. Then a vendor disappears, there are rumors of some sort of drug connection in the Arkansas Ozarks, and Carrie finds herself in mortal danger.
This is the first book I've read in Nehring's Something to Die For series, and I enjoyed it a lot. The author told just enough backstory to prevent any confusion on my part-- and just enough to make me want to go back and read the previous books. Not being familiar with the Arkansas Ozarks, I appreciated how Nehring seamlessly wove information about the area into her book.
What I enjoyed most, however, was the story and the characterizations. Carrie is a strong, intelligent, funny woman whose faith is an elemental part of her being. I also loved the characters of Carrie's husband, Henry, and her best friend, Shirley, although there just wasn't enough of those two in the book. (I think that's where reading previous books in the series is going to come into play!) A Fair to Die For is most definitely Carrie's show, and the mystery she's been given to solve is a puzzling one. I was able to piece together enough clues to know whodunit, but the answers to why and how didn't become clear till the end of the book.
Nehring knows how to make a reader's heart beat faster, too. I'm not going to give away one of the very best parts of the book, but suffice it to say, at one point Carrie's life definitely hangs in the balance, and I loved reading how she kept herself together in order to figure out what she had to do.
Now that I've sampled the Something to Die For series, I have a strong suspicion that I'll be coming back for more!
A Fair to Die For by Radine Trees Nehring
Dark Oak Mysteries © 2012
Paperback, 244 pages
Cozy Mystery, #7 Something to Die For mystery