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

Posted June 16, 2012 by Kathy Davie in Book Reviews

This book came from the library, and I will never give you less than an honest review, no matter its source. I do provide informational and purchase links to make it more convenient for you to access the book. I also receive a percentage of the sale if you use one of my links to buy it. And that's not enough money to be less than truthful *grin*.

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

The Body in the Boudoir

by Katherine Hall Page

four-stars

Series: Faith Fairchild #20

Other books by this author that I've reviewed include The Body in the Bouillon, The Body in the Vestibule, The Body in the Cast, The Body in the Basement, The Body in the Bookcase, The Body in the Big Apple, The Body in the Moonlight, The Body in the Bonfire, The Body in the Lighthouse, The Body in the Attic, The Body in the Snowdrift, The Body in the Ivy, The Body in the Sleigh, The Body in the Bog, The Body in the Gazebo, The Body in the Piazza, The Body in the Birches.

Genres: Amateur Sleuth, Mystery

This Paperback has 272 pages and was published by William Morrow on May 1, 2012. Discover more about it at Goodreads. You can also buy it at Amazon

Twentieth in the Faith Fairchild cooking mystery series about Faith and Tom Fairchild based outside Boston, Massachusetts.

The events here take place about a month after The Body in the Big Apple which Page ranks as tenth in the series, but I would put it at the start as it’s pre-Tom and I never got the impression that it was a flashback as this story is.

My Take

How very appropriate that the twentieth installment is also a celebration of Faith and Tom’s twentieth wedding anniversary! Yeah, as I wrote it, I suspected some of you might think I was being sarcastic. In truth, I thought it was a sweet idea and very appropriate for this cast of characters — and we finally get the details on how Tom and Faith met and i

I particularly enjoyed Page’s using the flight over as a time for Faith to reminisce over the events between her and Tom’s engagement and their wedding day.

Page has created a nice range of characters with all the decorum and tastefulness of their created ancestry. She’s managed a faith-based family with a daughter who marries a clergyman which doesn’t preach at you. Instead, they display all the family values you could want with generosity that warms the heart. With all the paranormal and historical fiction I read, Faith Fairchild is a nice, homey treat. Now if only her books came with her entrees…

It’s a story about beginnings. Josie’s chance. Faith’s wedding. Francesca’s grandparents. Yes, there are some endings as well…which you’ll just have to read about. Sad, but insightful.

I just loved reading about Marian’s worries about Faith. Getting ready to meet her for the first time. The panic about cooking for a professional chef. The attitudes both sets of parents have about the couple. Page has written a nice blend of mostly happiness with dramatic and traumatic incidents interspersed throughout. It’s rather odd reading about a Faith who freaks out at dead bodies, though. It’s also a tour of New York City restaurants so eat before you read lest you start drooling.

The batterie de cuisine at Aleford gave me a giggle. As an English-speaker, it was quite easy to re-interpret Page’s description of the “dented aluminum saucepans” as having been through the wars. And Tom’s discomfort level with the idea that a cousin of Dad’s would have the nerve to toss out a perfectly good bed simply because she got a new one…how very odd of her! The Fairchilds are after my own packrat heart.

I think Page could have done with creating more tension with the questions about Francesca’s possible complicity in the subway incident.

I’m looking forward to trying out some of the recipes in the back. Be sure to read the Author’s Note at the back. I always find interesting information from Page there.

The Story

Looking back, it’s a whirlwind romance with Faith gaining on the one hand and losing on the other. Josie has had a change in fortune and both Josie and Faith will be leaving Have Faith. Tom cannot move from Aleford while Have Faith… Well, Faith will just have to Have Faith that life up in the wilds of Massachusetts won’t be so bad. Something seems to be up with Francesca as well.

It’s the bridal shower where the incidents begin. All aimed at Faith. Small, yet irritating even as Faith goes about the joyful chores of planning a wedding.

The Characters

It took awhile before Faith Sibley discovered the path she wanted to take, but once she did, she dove into it wholeheartedly and opened a successful catering company, Have Faith. I just love this name. It plays so well in so many directions.. Her sister, Hope, is a financial manager and her current boyfriend, Phelps Grant, does the same for another company. Her parents are the Reverend Sibley and Jane Lennox Sibley.

The Reverend Thomas Fairchild is a New Englander born and bred with a parish in Aleford, Massachusetts. While Faith is a New Yorker to the bone. Worse, Faith and Hope had sworn never to marry a clergyman — they’ve already lived that life! Tom’s mother is Marian Fairchild who is quickly adored by Faith’s family and friends. Dick is in real estate and Tom’s father; he has a decided preference for a rather limited range of foods. They and Tom’s brothers Robert and Craig all love Faith. Sister Betsey. Well, the best we can say of her is that she’s married to Dennis Parker and they have a year-old son, Scotty. Sydney Jerome is an old family friend having grown up next door to the Fairchilds. It’s also obvious that she’s Betsey’s preferred choice of sister-in-law. It certainly helps that the Fairchilds know what Betsey is like. Uncle Will is Dick’s brother and owns Fairchild’s Market. Tom’s next door neighbors in Aleford are Pix and Sam Miller with their very broadminded approach as well as their three children: Mark, Sammy, and Danny.

Have Faith’s employees include…
Howard, a brilliant bartender quite adept at concocting new drinks, Josie Wells who intends to open her own place one day, and Francesca Rossi who is Josie’s roommate and works at the health club Josie frequents. Salvatore Rinaldi is a private detective with whom the police are rather interested in having a more in-depth chat. Gus Oliver has been missing for over sixty years and there are a number of people in Italy interested in his whereabouts.

Aunt Chat (Charity Sibley) has recently retired and moved out to New Jersey. On her mother’s side, there’s her grandmother, Eleanor Wayfort Lennox and Great-aunt Frances Wayfort. Their brother, Schulyer “Sky” Wayfort and his fourth? wife Tammy live at The Cliff, a truly palatial estate where Faith has always dreamed of having her wedding with Uncle Sky to give her away. Mrs. Mabel Danforth is Uncle Sky’s housekeeper. She’s been with him forever and tolerates no one else. A fact of which Tammy is heartily aware. Gertrude Danforth Todd is Danny’s sister; Herbert is her husband. Both have “hurry” very much on their minds.

Jennifer is Hope’s secretary. Chief Matt Johnson is in charge of the murder at The Cliff. The musical Marley Clarke saves Faith’s life. Max‘s desperate need for Faith’s help puts her in the right place to solve at least one of the problems in this story.

Emma Morris is an old friend of Faith’s from Dalton (The Body in the Big Apple, 0.5) and her mother, Poppy, wants to give her a bridal shower.

The Cover and Title

The cover is appropriate! Well, in a rather gruesome way, anyway. The foreground catches the eye with its white satin pumps with their tasteful bows on the toes standing primly next to a tight little bouquet of red roses, petite white flowers, an orchid, and studded with pearls. A few red petals are sprinkled onto the cloud of white fabric leading the eye to the background with its impression of a veil. Made more visible by the dead body in the background. I’m kind of surprised there weren’t a few red feathers…it would have been appropriate.

No kidding! There is The Body in the Boudoir and I can’t believe no one started connecting the dots earlier!


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