The Body in the Birches
I really enjoyed this one although it is my first by the author, I thought the characters were strong and well developed from the start, The author keeps your attention from the first page and leaves you wanting more at the end.
by Katherine Hall Page
~Shelley’s Book Case
…the story was more about families than it was about the actual murders- family make up, family fractures, family expectations…A wonderful summer mystery, so be sure to add it to your reading list.
~Bea’s Book Nook
~Bea’s Book Nook
The author writes interesting and complicated characters and includes descriptive passages that create virtual visual settings. I felt like I was observing the goings on first hand.
The Body in the Birches is an engaging story that will keep the reader hooked.The Body in the Birches: A Faith Fairchild Mystery
22nd in Series
Publisher: William Morrow (May 12, 2015)
Hardcover: 256 pages
E-Book ASIN: B00MTS3MEW
At home on Sanpere Island, Maine, caterer and amateur sleuth Faith Fairchild discovers that real estate can be murder, especially when it’s all in the family, in this twenty-third book in the popular mystery series.
The Fourth of July is one of the hottest on record and even the breeze off Penobscot Bay can’t seem to cool things down for Faith Fairchild and the rest of the folks on Sanpere Island. But the fireworks are just beginning. After the celebrations are over, Faith discovers a body in the woods near The Birches, an early twentieth-century “cottage.”
The body is identified as The Birches’ housekeeper, who seems to have succumbed to a heart attack. The death is only one of the dramatic events upending the historic house. A family gathering has been called to decide who will inherit the much loved, and very valuable, estate that has been in the Proctor family for generations. With this much money involved, it’s just a matter of time before trouble arises.
Faith is juggling her own family problems. Her teenage son, Ben, has started a new job as a dishwasher at The Laughing Gull Lodge—learning things that could land him in very hot water. And her daughter Amy is worried about her new friend, Daisy Proctor. Daisy is terrified—convinced that someone is trying to eliminate her mother from getting a share of The Birches. To protect her children, Faith has to find a possible murderer—before he strikes too close to her own home.
Katherine Hall Page is the author of twenty-two previous Faith Fairchild mysteries, the first of which received the Agatha Award for best first mystery. The Body in the Snowdrift was honored with the Agatha Award for best novel of 2006. Page also won an Agatha for her short story “The Would-Be Widower.” In addition, she has been nominated for the Edgar Award, the Mary Higgins Clark Award, and the Macavity Award. She lives in Massachusetts and Maine with her husband.
Guest Post; 3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy, & Sissy Too! would like to thank author Katherine Hall Page for sharing her thoughts with us today!!
Make Mine Murder
By Katherine Hall Page
It’s a conversation grabber—and sometimes stopper. “I write murder mysteries.”—the answer to the polite, “What do you do?” What follows has ranged from a perceptible move away to comments like, “You don’t look like you write about murder”—(and that would be what kind of face?)—and an enormous number of suggestions for killing without a trace, which continues to give me pause. I’ve occasionally been tempted to get names of the near and dear…
There was never any question that when I was given a gift of time—leaving my job during my husband’s sabbatical in another country—I would write the novel in my head as a mystery. Since childhood, I had read anything and everything, but it was mysteries that posed the wondrous challenge of trying to guess whodunit before the final page. And here I am so many years later trying to keep readers from doing just that.
Agatha Christie set the bar. As I write, it’s one I gaze upon from below with admiration, longing, and very occasionally a glimmer of recognition. I think of Jane Marple as a kind of Great Aunt to my own series character, Faith Fairchild. Jane Marple was—and remains—the quintessential female sleuth, relying on her own intuition and keen powers of observation as the basic tools for detection. She, and Dame Agatha, would scorn the current use of the Internet to ferret out information, having no need for Google. Instead, Miss Marple displays an uncanny ability to make connections between apparently disparate individuals and events, past and present. Human beings are much of a type, as are the situations in which they find themselves. The classic village mystery, of which Christie’s Murder at the Vicarage may be the best example, is the genre into which my series falls. However, I do not limit the locale to a place like St. Mary Mead or in my case, Aleford, Massachusetts, a fictitious Boston suburb and my other locale, Sanpere Island, Maine. I’ve broadened the definition to include New York City; Lyon, France; Cambridge, Massachusetts; and locales in Vermont, and Norway. What motivates individuals to commit murder, knows no borders. The kinds of communication that exist in a village exist in a city, a country. Miss Marple with her bird watching binoculars or sudden need to weed her garden becomes transformed into someone looking into apartment windows across an airshaft or the individual who spies a moving van, stuffs newspapers into a trash bag, and heads for the curb gleaning clues about the new occupants from the furniture.
It all comes down to a passionate interest in people. Miss Marple’s self-described “hobby” is “studying people, human nature if you will.” I think of my sleuth, Faith Fairchild, as someone who metaphorically takes a stick and pokes beneath the surface of a pond to find out what’s underneath, someone who wants to know what’s behind an individual’s public face and explore any disparities. It is in this space, the gap between what seems and what is, that true terror lurks. The good neighbor who waters your plants and feeds your cat while you’re away may, in fact, be a serial killer with fifty bodies buried in the backyard.
Bodies! Miss Marple’s friend Mrs. Bantry appeals for help saying, “You’re so good at bodies!” All my titles start with, “The Body in…” With the current one, number twenty-two, The Body in the Birches; I hope I’ve become “good at bodies” too.
Besides detecting Faith, a caterer and a minister’s wife, is kept busy with her kids, job, and all sorts of other distractions—like most of the people I know. But she stands alone in trying to connect lethal dots the rest of us happily just get to read about!
Bon Appetit and Happy Reading!
Katherine Hall Page
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