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

Posted April 4, 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 Bonfire

The Body in the Bonfire


Katherine Hall Page

It is part of the Faith Fairchild #11 series and is a amateur sleuth, mystery in Paperback edition that was published by Avon Publications on January 28, 2003 and has 352 pages.

Explore it on Goodreads or Amazon.

Other books in this series include Small Plates

Other books by this author which I have 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 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 Boudoir, The Body in the Piazza, The Body in the Birches

Eleventh chronologically and twelfth in the publication order in the Faith Fairchild cooking mystery series set in the small town of Aleford, Massachusetts.

In 2002, The Body in the Bonfire was nominated for an Agatha Award for Best Novel.

My Take

Daryl was amazing, he is so mature and insightful for his age with a wicked sense of humor; I hope he’ll appear in future Faith Fairchild installments.

The whole concept of a cooking class for high school students is a good one. I should think that such a course could be tailored to account for college-bound students who would be cooking in a dorm or a very restricted space. I like that Faith included table manners as part of the course.

Faith learns both about the characters of the individual students as well as gaining some reassurance as to when Ben hits the teen barrier.

My peeve in this story is that I didn’t feel she had much in the way of evidence when she leapt to her conclusion of who was behind the racial attacks. Yes, he seemed the most obvious, but there was no evidence for it. In fact, Faith seemed to leap to conclusions quite a bit; it would certainly make me leery of partnering up with her.

Patsy Avery is the driving force in this story. Pix is having her own particular crisis with her son, Danny…oops, I mean Dan, in this issue. To top it off, Lorraine Kennedy is so not a Faith fan!

Still, it is a quick and easy read with a very homey feel to it.

The Story

Patsy Avery has asked Faith to conduct a two-and-a-half week cooking class at the local prep school as a cover to investigate racial attacks on a young black student.

The Characters

Faith Fairchild is a caterer, wife, mother, and much-too-interested amateur sleuth. The Revered Tom Fairchild is her husband. The kids, Ben and Amy, add their small complications. Pix is a neighbor and good friend — as well as a sounding board for all things family. Dan is one of Pix’s kids.

Mansfield Academy is…
…a prep school in Massachusetts. Daryl Martin is a young black student there.

Patsy Avery is a lawyer and Daryl’s main champion. Her husband, Will, is also a lawyer; he makes a brief appearance.

Lorraine Kennedy is a colleague of John Dunne’s.

The Title

The title is of The Body in the Bonfire that underscores the seething cauldron of the school.