Foul Play At the Fair (Celebration Bay #1) by Shelley Freydont (Berkley Prime Crime mass market, 4 September 2012).
Liv Montgomery, an event planner, is tired of her stressful life in Manhattan, so she takes a job in tiny Celebration Bay, NY as the "professional coordinator", which basically means that she organizes the town's numerous seasonal festivals.
As she prepares for her first function, Harvest by the Bay, she feels that she and her little dog Whiskey are fitting in pretty well.
But when one of the Festival's traveling entertainers is found stuffed into an antique cider press, she realizes she's still an "outsider" after all. There's much of the town's social history that she doesn't know, and it seems no one wants to fill her in.
Despite this, Liv realizes that she wants to be a part of Celebration Bay, and that the only way she can do it is to find out who killed the man so that the townspeople will stop being suspicious of each other (not to mention Liv, herself).
As she begins to investigate, she discovers that perhaps she's more a part of the town than she'd at first believed.
Liv is a believable protagonist; an unattached young woman who wants to live in a place where she knows her neighbors, and where her dog isn't confined to a high rise apartment while she's at work all day. Energetic and proactive, and a good judge of character (particularly with the help of her dog) she's perfect for the role of amateur sleuth.
Though small-town mysteries abound, Freydont's approach is fresh, and her prose entertaining. This is a promising opening for a new cozy series!