If it has a chihuahua in it as a major - or even minor - character - I'm willing to read it. So when I read about this new series by Rose Pressey, I figured I'd giver her a chance.
Of course it's a murder, interrupted by theft, during a four-day craft fair. At the beginning, our heroine - Celeste Cabot - is helped by her "wacky and overprotective" family in setting up her booth with her pink-and-white trailer behind it. Van - for Van Gogh since he has a floppy ear - is her chihuahua companion who she takes for numerous walks which all seem to start with 'and she'll likely have to carry him back' and gets put in the trailer far to often as Celeste wanders the fair looking for suspects in the murder.
Yes, another amateur investigator. Oh, and there's a ghost involved - not the murder victim - because Celeste apparently has psychic powers that manifest in her paintings in macabre ways. Skeletons and skulls. The cover of the paperback shows a good example with the sugar skull-like bouquet of flowers in a vase. I won't tell you how it ends but the murderer and the thief are discovered and arrested.
I have to admit that Pressey needs to work on her timing. This is a four-day craft fair. The first chapter has her family helping with set-up and the next morning starts the fair! Only we have the murder and first theft on Day 1. Chapter 5-10 are day 2, chapter 11-12 are day 3, chapter 13-14 are day 4; chapter 21-23 is day 5 has the family get together for a meal. Day 6 is where best friend Sammie drags Celeste off at the break of dawn to visit a medium to find out information on the friendly ghost and they return while the police are investigating another theft, which has Detective Pierce Meyer walk Celeste back to her trailer "cause it's dark"?? Day 7 has ghostly Elizabeth identified and that night, the murderer is identified and arrested. And vendor Caleb says "the fair is almost over"?
Talk about messed up timing and something her editor should have caught.
Celeste is also concerned about being banned from further fairs due to her nosiness. I can see her being banned but likely due to her rarely being at her booth. Exploring, talking with other vendors, spying on possible suspects and interfering with a police investigation. And then there is her family and friends dragging her off to do something else. It's like they don't want her to succeed at being an artist.
I don't know. The story was okay. The insight into craft fair - especially ones that involve staying on the premises overnight or weekends - is interesting. It might have been more interesting if Celeste spent more time getting to know her fellow vendors. Of course, her snooping around while thefts are occurring only make them suspicious that she - a new vendor and therefore an outsider for now - is actually the thief. She only got to "know" one of them beyond the "This is so-and-so and she does this craft".
Oh, the trailer tips are a nice interesting addition at the beginning of every chapter.
Definitely hoping the next one in the series is better. With less interfering, wacky family.
Note: This review is identical to that posted on GoodReads.com