The Body in the Bog (Faith Fairchild Series #7)by Katherine Hall Page
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… See more details below
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 sleuthingwhile 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.
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.
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
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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