17 May 2011

Just finished reading...

The Body in the Gazebo by Katherine Hall Page.*


One of the disadvantages of being discreet and an easy person to talk to is that many people entrust you with their secrets. Faith Fairchild is finding this a problem in the 19th book in Katherine Hall Page's popular series.

Faith's dear friend Pix Miller and her husband are planning a week in Hilton Head to meet their oldest son Mark's prospective in-laws. From there, Pix is going to Charleston for a week for wedding attire fittings and a bridal shower. Pix's mother Ursula has been very ill, so Pix asks Faith to stop by often to check on her.

Unbeknownst to Pix, Ursula has been receiving anonymous letters reminding her of an incident from her childhood, and decides that she needs to confide in someone about this occurrence, and that confidant will be Faith. It's a long story, and Ursula pieces it out to Faith an hour or so at a time, depending on how much energy she has.

Meanwhile, Faith deduces that her employee and friend Niki is expecting, but the newlywed tells her that she hasn't told her husband, as he has just been laid off from his job. The younger woman insists that Faith keep her secret until Niki feels that it's the right time to tell him.

Then, Faith's husband Tom learns that money has been disappearing from a bank account that supposedly only the minister had access to. Tom is the primary suspect, but tells his wife that no one must know about this mystery, so Faith is unable to share her own worries with her friends.

Of course, all of these issues do end up resolved somehow, but not before Faith feels that she is being smothered by secrets. Faith manages her usual multitasking with as much grace as ever (though she may be the only one unaware of this). As usual, food is often used as a panacea, and the book closes with some recipes from the fictional catering company Faith owns.

*FTC Full Disclosure: Many thanks to the publisher, who sent me a copy of the book for review purposes.

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