Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Review: The Body in the Sleigh by Katherine Hall Page

When the Reverend Thomas Fairchild needed a quiet place to recover from surgery, he and his wife Faith and their two children left their home north of Boston and went to their seasonal home in Sanpere Island off the coast of Maine. Normally a laid back, quiet kind of place even in the tourist season, Sanpere has a few surprises in store for the Fairchild family, especially Faith.

Although Faith is the owner of her own catering business, she has gotten the reputation of being an amateur sleuth. So when she took her children to see the Christmas display at the Historical Society, she found a body in a sleigh; a very troubled young woman by the name of Norah whose drug addictions were well known. At first, it appears to have been a routine overdose but Faith is not too sure about that assumption. She takes it on herself to do a little prying into the tragic death.

Meanwhile on another part of the Island, on Christmas eve, Mary Bethany finds a new born baby boy in her goat shed. He appears to be well cared for and tucked in a basket with him is a large bag of cash and a note to take good care of him. Mary, local spinster who raises goats and runs a B&B in the tourist season, is stumped as to who would abandon such a beautiful baby and why. Naturally, she turns to Faith to help her solve the puzzle. Now Faith is faced with two mysteries: one of birth and one of death. As in any good cozy, justice will prevail. The enjoyment of the story is the journey to the end.

One of the things I really like about Page's writing is how she uses a character other than Faith to narrate parts of the story. In this manner Page manages to flesh out her characters a lot more and also gives the reader a little more back story bit by bit.

Another thing I really like is the setting; Maine's rugged, craggy coastline plays a big part in the mystery. I'm a New Englander born and bred and although I no longer live there, the location still draws me in. It's very obvious Page is well acquainted with the area; she has the innate traits of the native New Englanders down to perfection.

This book is the 18th in the Faith Fairchild series. Any of these books can be read as a stand- alone novel. At this point, I think I have read all of them. Although I did enjoy this book, I still think The Body in the Ivy is her best. 3.5***

Disclosure: a review copy of this book was provided by Harper Collins.


  1. Sounds like a good book, Kaye. I like the location : )

  2. Stop already Kaye!! I can't keep up with these great mysteries you've been reading!!! LOL!!!

  3. That is a lot of books, but tit does sound good :)

  4. Sounds like a perfect winter read :)

    Kaye...Wishing you the nicest holiday ever. Happy reading and blogging in 2010.

  5. Oh! I have to get this for my sister who just became a chef. And loves (and used to live in) Maine. She'll love this series!

    Have a Merry Christmas! And a happy new year of reading and blogging!

    Thanks for following Rose City Reader!

  6. I just wanted to stop by and wish you and the penguins a very Merry Christmas and a joyous New Year!

  7. Merry Christmas, Kaye! I wish you the best of all things delightful!
    Have a Wonderful Day!

  8. Thank you Kaye. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and your family too.

  9. I'm a New Englander, so I would probably love this one!

    Wishing you and yours a very Merry Christmas!

  10. Stopping by to say Merry Christmas--Happy Holidays and hoping you have a great New Year.
    Merry merry....Wisteria

  11. This book sounds pretty good Kaye. I like getting involved in a series.


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