Book Review: Katherine Hall Page’s The Body in the Snowdrift

Posted April 11, 2011 by Kathy Davie in Book Reviews

I received this book for free from the library in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Review: Katherine Hall Page’s The Body in the SnowdriftThe Body in the Snowdrift by Katherine Hall Page
is a Amateur Sleuth, Mystery
in the Faith Fairchild #14 series.
This edition was published by Avon Publications on May 30, 2006 in paperback and has 336 pages.

Explore it on Goodreads or Amazon..

Other books in this series include Small Plates

Fourteenth chronologically and fifteenth in the publication order in the Faith Fairchild cooking mystery series that finds the Fairchild family in Vermont.

In 2006, The Body in the Snowdrift won the Agatha Award for Best Mystery Novel.

My Take

It’s an interesting look at family dynamics. Amongst the Fairchilds, Betsey resents being invisible — everyone refers to the “Fairchild boys” — and the family disciplinarian for the boys; Craig has been so petted and rescued that he’s never developed his own identity; and, Robert has been an athletic nonentity. Fred and Naomi Stafford actually set all the events in motion with how they treated Joanie/Ophelia. An opportunity happily taken up by Aunt Gertrude.

That’s just the business externals. From the outside, all the Fairchilds look happy until you get a closer look at Craig and his new bride, Glenda, and the relationships between Betsey and the boys and between her and her husband, Dennis. Personally, I think Faith should get a sainthood.

The Staffords’ personal issues are exploding all over the place. “Ophelia” resembles Shakespeare’s Ophelia fairly well. Betsey is driving the boys away; Scott is particularly interested in Ophelia’s orbit while Ophelia herself is being sucked into Gertrude’s sphere of influence. Who can blame her? At least Gertrude treats her like a person. Craig is panting at Fred’s heels while his wife is panting at her ski instructor’s.

Life is imploding everywhere.

It was rather weird at the end when we jumped from the third week in February to Thanksgiving.

The Story

It’s Dick Fairchild’s birthday this Valentine’s Day in 2004 and he wants the whole Fairchild clan to spend the week at Pine Slopes.

Faith is resigned to an entire week spent with Tom’s family but murder steps in. A valued friend and investor is found dead of what is thought to be natural causes. Then the chef for the restaurant disappears, and Faith very gratefully steps in to help out. More acts of sabotage follow. None of it makes sense and Simon is working overtime to put a good spin on things.

In between, the week is a success. Ben and Amy are getting intensive ski lessons with Ben picking up tips on boarding from Ophelia, Scott, and Andy, and the older Fairchild boys are on the slopes morning, noon, and night.

The Characters

Faith Fairchild is a caterer with a very successful business, Have Faith. She’s also married to The Reverend Tom Fairchild, and they have two children, Ben and Amy.

Dick Fairchild is Tom’s father and is celebrating his 70th birthday with his wife and children: Craig (his new bride is Glenda), Betsey (married to Dennis; they have sons whom I think are Scott and Andy (I’m trying to recreate this)), Robert, and Tom.

Aunt Gertrude is Miss love-and-peace herself.

Pine Slopes is…
…a ski resort in Vermont owned by Naomi and Fred Staffords, friends of the Fairchilds and where the Fairchilds have had a condo since before Tom was born. Joanie, oops, sorry, Ophelia (Joanie renamed herself) is Naomi’s daughter and Fred’s stepdaughter. Simon Tanner is the manager.

The Cover and Title

What a subtly gruesome cover! And so appropriate with the snow-laden trees…it also reminds us of the title, The Body in the Snowdrift, or what remains of it.


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