Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Book Review: Silent Knife by Shelley Freydont (Celebration Bay Mysteries #2)

Stars: 4 out of 5
Pros: Strong characters and an enjoyable story
Cons: Plot slows a little at one point and one character annoys
The Bottom Line:
Murder at lighting
Mar the store everyone hates
Good read for season

Doesn’t Stabbing Santa Put You on the Naughty List?

When I read the first in the Celebration Bay series back in October, I couldn’t wait to visit again, and I was thrilled to see the second in the series was a Christmas themed entry.  I immediately added Silent Knife to my list of books to read this Christmas.  While not quite as strong as the first in the series, I still found it quite enjoyable.

Celebration Bay, New York, has created a reputation as the place to go to celebrate any season.  These events are a vital part of the local economy, and as the town’s reputation has grown, so has their need for a professional event planner.  Enter Liv Montgomery, who has left New York City to take on the job.  Unfortunately, she finds herself involved in the occasional murder, something that never happened back in the big city.

It’s Liv’s first Christmas as the event planner for Celebration Bay, and she is determined to make sure everything to perfect.  The kick off to the season is the tree lighting and Santa’s arrival that is happening in just a few days.

Unfortunately, Liv has major trouble in the form of the new Trim a Tree store.  The store is run by a disagreeable woman who has filled it with all kinds of tacky items.  Worse yet, she is violating the ban on duplicate Santas by hiring one to sit in her store.  When her store is the only one that doesn’t light up on cue the night of the big kick off, Liv investigates only to find this second Santa lying on the floor murdered.  With the official town Santa under suspicion, Liv has to act fast to find the killer before this killer steels Christmas.

The story starts off strongly with plenty of tension and the murder happening fairly quickly.  Unfortunately, then things slow down a bit as Liv finds herself with a couple of emergencies she has to handle brought on by the murder.  I felt that slowed down the story, but things picked up again soon enough and the tension built again until the climax.  I was turning pages as quickly as possible again before I reached that suspenseful end.

I had also fallen in love with the main cast of characters, and it was wonderful to see them again.  Well, almost all of them.  While I had found Chaz, the owner of the local paper and potential love interest, amusing in the first book, he was over the top obnoxious in this book.  I hope that changes going forward because I really do want to like him.  The rest of the returning cast was fun and charming, however.  The new characters were just as strong, and I couldn’t help but love them or love to hate them, depending on how they were drawn.

It doesn’t take much to get me in the Christmas spirit (as you might have noticed with all the Christmas reviews on my blog).  Reading this book at Christmas time put me in the Christmas spirit in a flash.  The descriptions made me want to visit if Celebration Bay were real.  Well, after the murder is solved, of course.

While not quite as strong as the first in the series, there is still much to recommend Silent Knife.  Whether you read it in December or any other time of the year, you’ll definitely enjoy this Christmas visit to Celebration Bay.

And once you visit, you want to read the rest of the Celebration Bay Mysteries in order.


  1. This sounds like a fun cozy series. I haven't heard of this author but I think I'll have to give this series a try. I've been heavy on the Christmas books but it's been mostly romances so a murder or two would be a nice break. Thanks for sharing!

    1. This is the second in this current series, but she has at least one older series that I've never read. I'd like to read it now with how much I've enjoyed this one.