The Body in the Bog (Faith Fairchild Series #7)

The Body in the Bog (Faith Fairchild Series #7)

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by Katherine Hall Page
     
 

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A DEADLY ENVIRONMENT

When Faith Fairchild finds her husband Tom embracing nursery school teacher Lora Deane, she's alarmed, if only for an instant. The Reverend Thomas Fairchild has never been known for philandering, so Faith waits for the explanation. It seems that Lora, terrified by some threatening phone calls, has come seeking solace and advice from both Faith

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Overview

A DEADLY ENVIRONMENT

When Faith Fairchild finds her husband Tom embracing nursery school teacher Lora Deane, she's alarmed, if only for an instant. The Reverend Thomas Fairchild has never been known for philandering, so Faith waits for the explanation. It seems that Lora, terrified by some threatening phone calls, has come seeking solace and advice from both Faith and Tom.

It doesn't take Faith long to discover that Lora isn't the only Aleford resident being terrorized. Local environmentalists are outraged over a proposed housing development that will destroy Beecher's Bog and the more vocal opponents of the plan have become the targets of vicious anonymous letters. The police are called in, yet Faith can't help doing her own sleuthing—while whipping up a batch of her famous Chocolate Crunch Cookies. But when the heat is turned up on the controversy and a body is discovered in he charred ruins of a house fire, Faith finds herself investigating a murder. . .while trying to make sure she's not the next victim.

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Editorial Reviews

Index-Journal Greenwood
Mouth-watering...intriguing...charming...Mystery lovers will enjoy The Body In The Bog.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
The cozy village of Alesford, Mass., may seem an unlikely spot for murder, but such crimes gravitate toward Faith Fairchild, the local minister's wife and self-employed caterer. In her seventh case (after The Body in the Kelp), the sleuthing mother of two and her husband, Tom, find themselves in the middle of a town controversy over the proposed development of Beecher's Bog, a popular nature spot. The disagreement turns nasty when opponents of the planned luxury housing begin receiving poison pen letters. An arson fire and a corpse later, the town's residents are enraged and fearful as they plan the annual Patriots' Day celebrations. Faith keeps an eagle eye out for the murderer, whom she eventually encounters in her own company kitchen. While Page's pacing lacks crispness, some unusual characters-a preschool teacher who has an apparent double life and the feisty town historian who heads up POW! (Preserve Our Wetlands!)-and Faith's good nature generally compensate in this New England mystery, which is accompanied by five recipes, including one for Faith's Yankee Pot Roast. (Apr.)
Library Journal
Although Page (The Body in the Cast, LJ 10/1/93) employs an alliterative title gimmick, the real hook lies in the recipes she has included in her book. Series sleuth Faith Fairchild occupies her time in small-town Massachusetts with her husband, Tom, a preacher; their two small children; Have Faith, her catering business; and an occasional murder. When wetlands are converted into a chi-chi housing development, poison pen letters fly, one of the houses burns, and police discover murder. Faith's persistent quest for clues exposes many secrets, but the ultimate confrontation occurs in Have Faith's kitchen. Well-delineated action and characters mix easily with Faith's attendant domesticity. A good read.
Kirkus Reviews
The seventh in the author's recipe-laden, rife-with-murder adventures set in Aleford, the small Massachusetts town where amateur snoop Faith Fairchild (The Body in the Basement, 1994, etc.), wife of the minister and mother of two, runs a catering service. Aleford's citizenry is being torn apart by the plans of builder Joey Madsen, brash and ambitious, who wants to convert Beecher's Bog to Alefordiana Estates—a swath of high-priced houses. Town doyenne Millicent Revere McKinley, with computer expert Brad Hallowell, bird-watchers Nelson and Margaret Batcheldor and others, are busy recruiting members to POW—Preserve Our Wetlands. Meanwhile, Brad's ex-girlfriend, prim nursery-school teacher Lora Deane, one of the extensive clan, is having her own problems with threatening phone calls, a brick through her window, and a second identity, soon ferreted out by Faith. All this pales when Margaret Batcheldor's body is recovered from a new, unoccupied house—one of Joey's—that has burnt to the ground. The verdict is murder; weeks later, in midst of Patriots' Day celebrations, husband Nelson gets a near-fatal dose of poison. There's yet another death—this corpse discovered by Faith, who, between meetings, meals, catering jobs, funerals, sermons, and child care, resolves to set a trap for the killer in a clichéd climax.

A good-humored but soon tedious domestic chronicle (mercifully sans dogs and cats), allied with talkative, mildly interesting characters and makeshift plotting. Cozies' fans will find it comfy if not compelling.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781574900873
Publisher:
Beeler, Thomas T. Publisher
Publication date:
06/01/1997
Series:
Faith Fairchild Series, #7
Pages:
299
Product dimensions:
6.32(w) x 9.56(h) x 0.99(d)

Read an Excerpt

Seeing another woman in the Reverend Thomas Fairchild's arms was not a sight his wife, Faith, had expected. She'd flung open the door to her husband's study prepared to deliver an impassioned account of the infuriating select men's meeting she'd just attended this April evening. In stead, she stood frozen on the threshold, perversely embarrassed at having walked in on something. Then the anger so conveniently close to the surface veered toward another target and she made her presence known by slamming the door-hard.

As a matter of course, Tom had to comfort the afflicted in mind, particularly the bereaved, and Faith could only hope that the woman, whoever she was, had lost her entire family to the bubonic plague, or else there would be some serious explaining due.

While she was considering whether to grab said woman by the hair, wrenching her from the good reverend's grasp, Tom spoke.

"Faith, you're home!"

"Yes, dear," she replied, quelling the impulse to add, "obviously."

She'd no sooner spoken when the woman turned around and abruptly threw herself into Faith's arms. "I'm so glad you're here!" she cried. So was Faith.

It was Miss Lora, almost-five-year-old Benjamin Fair child's beloved nursery school teacher and sometime week end sitter for Ben and his younger sister, Amy. Miss Lora was crying. Miss Lora was upset. Faith patted Miss Lora's back, the fleeting earlier notion of clocking her one totally obscured. This was the woman who provided her son with quality care and-possibly more important-actually enabled the elder Fairchilds to get away for a few weekends alone together.

Faith looked at Tom over Miss Lora's heaving shoulders. It was a bitdifficult to read his expression since, Janus like, one side of his face was registering deep concern while the other displayed acute embarrassment. He repeated his earlier cogent remark. "Ah, honey, you're home," adding, "and early. Good, good, good."

Faith again opted for brevity. "Yes," she replied, trusting that after six years of marriage, Tom could read the volumes between the lines, volumes entitled, "What the Hell Is Going on Here?"

"Lora came to discuss a problem, and I've been trying to convince her that it really is a police matter."

Things were looking up. Faith loved nothing better than poking her nose into police matters. But Miss Lora? What on earth could be going on?

"Absolutely not! No police," Lora said, fishing around ~n her pocket for a tissue, with which she proceeded to blow her already-red nose noisily.

Faith regarded the teacher and thought, not for the first time, that Miss Lora needed to look to a fashion beacon other than Raggedy Ann. Lora wasn't wearing red-and white-striped tights and a ruffled apron at the moment, but these were staples of her wardrobe, which also included a number of shapeless denim and corduroy jumpers, gingham blouses, and the like. She had an abundance of mousy brown hair, worn pulled back with a scrunch. Unlike the doll, however, she did not have even a hint of red on her lips or cheeks. What paint there was lay under her fingernails, the result of active participation with her young charges.

"Why don't we go into the kitchen and have something to eat while you tell me all about it?" Faith suggested. The makeover could wait. "I assume," she said to Tom, "that the children are asleep."

"Naturally," he replied, adopting an attitude of injured dignity as he led the way into the parsonage kitchen.

Copyright ) 1997 by Katherine Hall Page

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Meet the Author

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.” The recipient of the Malice Domestic Award for Lifetime Achievement, she has also been nominated for the Edgar, the Mary Higgins Clark, the Maine Literary, and the Macavity Awards. She lives in Massachusetts and Maine with her husband.

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Body in the Bog (Faith Fairchild Series #7) 3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
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