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

Posted April 5, 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 Lighthouse

The Body in the Lighthouse


Katherine Hall Page

It is part of the Faith Fairchild #12 series and is a amateur sleuth, mystery in Paperback edition that was published by Avon Publications on March 30, 2004 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 Bonfire, 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

Twelfth chronologically and thirteenth in the publication order in the Faith Fairchild cooking mystery series. This story is set in Maine.

The Body in the Lighthouse was one of three Mary Higgins Clark Award nominees.

My Take

This particular story takes place the summer of 2001 in Sanpere, Maine, where the Fairchilds are about to move into their enlarged and remodeled cottage.

The dialog, is, as ever, excellent and very believable. Page does a convincing portrayal of a normal marriage with its disagreements, love, and concerns.

I love Page’s description of the area, the people, the contents of Ursula’s cottage with all its accumulated family history of furniture, children’s drawings, photographs, games, books, and vintage kitchen. The oversize dock everyone in Sanpere is welcome to use for its convenience. The very hominess of people’s interactions with each other — knowing each other warts and all.

I love the concept of a Down East version of Romeo and Juliet. Reading of the adaptations Roland and Linda are making for the cast and the sets was fascinating. I especially enjoyed the effect Romeo and Juliet had on its stars and how they used it!

On the plus-side,I love that we get to learn all about lighthouses too!

Everything’s a family affair in Sanpere from the long-held traditions like the Fish ‘n Fritter Fry with its Wacky Rowboat Race to the local enthusiasm for raising money to benefit the town to…

The Story

The island is experiencing a boom in real estate with the Fairchilds’ contractor, Seth, moving on and up. He’s one of the few as the island has exploded into rage and sabotage over the McMansions going up. Meanwhile, Tom has come up to help work on the family cottage, too excited to wait.

That excitement soon turns to missing his family, and maybe being a little overenthusiastic about the finished state of the house. Faith soon throws herself into volunteering with the benefit performance of Romeo and Juliet and the Fish ‘n Fritter Fry benefit, getting to know yet more of the Sanpere residents.

But this summer of excitement soon turns vicious. It’s lucky for Sanpere that Ben is absorbing those stories about lighthouses from Ursula.

The Characters

Faith Fairchild is the sleuthing cook with Tom as the loving husband, reverend, and, now, builder. Ben and Amy are their children.

Ursula is Pix’s mother and the current owner of the family cottage, the Pines. (Pix and her family are on a road trip this summer.)

Sanpere Island is…

…where the Fairchilds’ and Ursula’s cottages are located.

Sanpere regulars include…
Earl, the local police presence, who is extremely happy to have finally talked Jill, another islander, into marriage. Freeman and Nan Marshall, also islanders, are a solid, older, salt-of-the-earth couple. Seth was/is the contractor on Faith and Tom’s cottage.

Sanpere characters I suspect were introduced for this story include…
Lyle, an islander who remodels houses, including the Fairchilds. Persis is an islander as well and a very successful real estate agent while Kenny, her not-much-loved son still living at home, is a talented woodworker who’s been helping with the finishing work on the Fairchilds’ cottage.

Don and Terri Osborn are founding members of KSS, Keep Sanpere Sanpere, the eco-group; Don and Harold had been friends since childhood until Harold turned into a development mogul. Harold Hapswell has had a varied past, starting as a hippie working the fishing boats and selling photographs to tourists until he moved up to real estate.

Linda Forsythe is a year-round resident (a euphemism for “not from ’round hyah”) who is a member of KSS and a successful artist residing in the midst of Harold’s Sanpere Shores on Butler’s Point. Roland Hayes is retired from the local high school English department and turning out to be quite brilliant in pulling a performance from amateurs.

The Cover and Title

The cover is certainly appropriate with its lighthouse while the title tells where they found The Body in the Lighthouse.