11 January 2010

Just finished reading...

The Body in the Sleigh by Katherine Hall Page.

This is (wow!) the eighteenth Faith Fairchild mystery. I've read them all, and I've enjoyed them all. There are not a lot of series one can say that about.

Faith's husband Tom is recovering from major surgery, and they've gone to their cottage on Sanpere Island, Maine for the Christmas holidays. Ben is now in middle school (I couldn't find his exact age, but if he's in Grade 6, he must be 11), and Amy is a couple of years younger. The community on Sanpere is even smaller and more tightly knit than Aleford's, and apart from the tourists, everyone seems to have been there forever.

Faith and the kids are touring the island's Christmas displays, and the last stop is at the Sanpere Historical Society, which has a display featuring an antique sleigh. Faith notices something odd about the mannequins in the sleigh, and goes to check it out. She's glad she left Ben and Amy in the car when she discovers that one of the three "mannequins" is really the body of a young woman.

Meanwhile, solitary goat-farmer Mary Bethany finds a baby in her barn on Christmas Eve, with a note asking her to raise him, and a bundle of cash. Knowing her reputation for solving puzzles, Mary enlists Faith's help to find the mother.

While the whole population of the island is aghast about the death of (it turns out) one of the local teens, few people besides Mary and Faith know about Mary's Christmas gift.

So despite the fact that Faith is holidaying on a remote Maine island, she's still very busy solving problems, which she does with her usual grace and tact.

Yes, I aspire to be Faith Fairchild, at least regarding her intelligence and social skills, as well as her culinary ability. I loved this book, and I hope Ms. Page keeps writing about Faith for a long, long time.

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