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

Posted April 8, 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 Attic

The Body in the Attic


Katherine Hall Page

It is part of the Faith Fairchild #13 series and is a amateur sleuth, mystery that was published by Avon Publications on April 26, 2005 and has 320 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 Lighthouse, 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

Publication-date-wise, The Body in the Attic is fourteenth in the mystery series, Faith Fairchild; chronologically, it is thirteenth. This story is set in Cambridge as Tom is teaching at Harvard.

My Take

This story is rather different from the ones that have come before: Faith is “cheating” on Tom while Tom is not playing fair with Faith nor are there dead bodies in the usual sense. The tragedy of that young girl…thank god, we’ve come as far as we have in “letting it all hang out”!

I do think the penultimate act was rather lame. How could he have thought that Faith would betray him? Why would he think that he would get such short shrift from the authorities with that evidence to back him up?

It seems odd that, in previous books, Faith has been so busy with her catering, and when she moves to Cambridge, she has so very much time to be a “lady who lunches”. Rather convenient for Page. When Richard’s body is found, Faith does nothing except contact Richard’s sister who tells her the truth about him. She doesn’t contact the police to tell them about the book he’s researching. She doesn’t try to see his body. She has one useless conversation with another homeless man ages after Richard was found dead. Who is this woman? What has Page done with the real Faith? Or is Faith that shallow?

One of the few positives is Hope’s upcoming wedding.

In spite of my whining, this story was very good and also very, very sad; I’m curious as to where Tom’s needs lead him next, as I find that I like Aleford too.

The Story

Oh-ho, Tom is not thinking when he sets up an entire semester away from Aleford without Faith’s knowledge. Tom is having a crisis of conscience, unsure if he wants to minister to a parish or a shelter. When the opportunity comes along to teach a course at Harvard, he jumps at it, dragging Faith and the children along where they stay in a colleague’s old home on Brattle Street in Cambridge.

There is something evil about the house, an evil that is confirmed when young Ben finds a diary after he and Amy try to find Narnia through an old armoire up in the attic. Faith becomes riveted in its reading and attempts to learn more about the identity of those who lived in the house before. At the same time, she comes across an old lover while helping Tom serve dinner at a homeless shelter.

The Characters

Faith Fairchild is married to the Reverend Tom Fairchild. Their children are Ben and Amy. Hope is Faith’s younger sister about to marry Quentin.

Richard Morgan is a former lover Faith hasn’t seen in 13 years (see The Body in the Big Apple, 0.5).

The Cover and Title

I really don’t know what the cover is supposed to represent. Okay, the dormer could well be the attic but the streetlight with its cracked glass is what’s prominent, and I don’t recall any such reference in the story.

The title is what it is, The Body in the Attic, although it’s more of a “body of evidence”.