Tuesday, July 02, 2013

A Fair to Die For by Radine Trees Nehring

First Line: Carrie clicked "Play." Neil Diamond began singing to her about Sweet Caroline, and she increased the volume on her CD player to wall-shaking level.

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
ISBN: 9781610091220
Dark Oak Mysteries © 2012
Paperback, 244 pages

Cozy Mystery, #7 Something to Die For mystery
Rating: B
Source: publicist 


  1. Cathy - I can definitely identify with a character who enjoys music that way. And it sounds like an interesting story in a solid atmosphere and setting. An author who can keep a skilled crime fic fan like yourself guessing about things has got skills.

    1. I am so touched when people enjoy Carrie and friends, and get the important things about her as I see them. (Of course it's also great when people pick up on entirely different ideas too, and see something in one of my characters that I don't see.) By the way, Shirley probably has her biggest role thus far in A RIVER TO DIE FOR. She has long been my favorite "other" participant in Carrie and Henry's adventures.

    2. I *really* enjoyed the "Carrie in Danger" section. (I started to say "Carrie in Jeopardy" but didn't want anyone to think that she'd been a contestant on the game show!) Carrie impressed me with her ability to remain calm and to use her common sense.

  2. This is one of my favorite series and favorite authors!

  3. Gosh, this comment from Marilyn Meredith/F.M. Meredith, whose novels I always buy and thoroughly enjoy, is a real uplift for me.


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