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

Posted June 14, 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 Sleigh

The Body in the Sleigh


Katherine Hall Page

It is part of the Faith Fairchild #17 series and is a amateur sleuth, mystery that was published by William Morrow on October 27, 2009 and has 272 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 Attic, The Body in the Snowdrift, The Body in the Ivy, 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

Seventeenth chronologically and eighteenth in publication in the Faith Fairchild cooking mystery series based in contemporary Aleford, Massachusetts, although, in this particular story, Faith and family are spending Christmas up at their cottage in Sanpere, Maine.

My Take

I confess I had hoped for a different ending although the one we have is reasonable. And on the way to that ending, I cried so much. Jake and Norah had such promise, and she was such a good person.

We learn of Mary’s family background as she copes with the discovery of a wee babe in her goats’ manger on Christmas Eve. A background similar to that of the mother who left her baby for Mary.

On the plus side, there were some lovely recipes I plan to try…it was way too tasty reading through. I’ve certainly got my heart set on some goat cheese! Another plus is the lovely sense of love for family and friends that permeates The Body in the Sleigh, the whole series. In spite of the incredibly sad events.

Definitely a good read…

The Story

Tom suffered from pancreatitis and doctors insist that he take time off to heal. Nothing loath, the Fairchilds dump everything into the lap of various assistants, deacons, and others and retreat to their cottage in Maine. It’s an odd holiday as Faith realizes she has never attended a Christmas service that was not led by someone related to her.

It’s not enough, however, to take her mind off the body of the young teen she found placed in the sleigh that is part of the holiday display at the Sanpere Historical Society. An overdose victim, her death impacts the entire community, but most especially her mother, grandparents, and Jake Marshall, the young boy who loved her and whom she loved.

Friends for years, lovers for a few, Jake was devastated the summer that Norah returned to Sanpere and refused to have anything to do with him. The change in her was beyond confusing and she refused to say what had happened that year. The year that her parents had divorced. The year that saw Norah running away time after time. Experimenting with drugs.

Then Jake becomes a person of interest for Norah’s murder. We learn what really happened that night and through a series of serendipitous actions, the truth outs itself.

The Characters

Faith Fairchild is wife, mother, and one snoopy caterer with her own business, Have Faith. The Reverend Tom Fairchild is her husband with a congregation in Aleford. Ben and Amy are their children.

Norah is a young girl in Sanpere. Her grandparents are Nan and Freeman Marshall. Jake Marshall is the young boy who loved Norah and whom she loved.

Mary Bethany raises goats and makes cheese, which Faith delightedly purchases from her.

The Cover and Title

The cover is confusing. The overall theme of snow with its hint of Christmas — I loved the snowflake borders that kept cropping up with each new chapter! I wish they had used the lobster trap Christmas tree against which Faith photographed Ben and Amy.

The title is unhappily true and too sad when they discover the identity of The Body in the Sleigh.