A Fair To Die For
by Radine Trees Nehring
A 2012 release from Oak Tree Press
238 pages (without recipes)
In spite of continual bumps on their road of life, Carrie McCrite and her second husband, Henry, forge onward. They both have healthy, positive attitudes. That’s mildly surprising for Henry. He’s retired from a career as a cop in Kansas City. They expected to live a quiet, typical retiree life in the Ozarks. Fate intervenes, in the form of a long-forgotten cousin named Edith Embler. Edith blows into town looking for family history and bringing behind her a variety of really bad dudes who seem to hang around craft fairs with evil intent.
The story rests in a really clever idea, and the author handles the plot necessities carefully and responsibly. Her skill as a writer puts this novel very much in a positive cozy sort of grouping. Like a lot of traditional American mysteries, this story has a harder edge than is typically found in the classical, traditional, stories from the UK.
Carrie’s experience and generosity of spirit in wanting to help Edith in every possible way play out nicely against her husband’s more suspicious and cautious nature. The novel is interestingly peopled with several unusual characters who add to the richness of the scene. I’ve been reading this author over a number of years and am pleased to recommend this novel. It is, in the end, a satisfying mystery involving nice people who are truly competent. If there is a message here, it is a cautionary one. We all might view with a certain hesitation, if not suspicion, the abrupt arrival of long-lost relatives.