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Murder Served Piping Hot
Minister's wife, sometime sleuth, and culinary artist Faith Sibley Fairchild is intrigued by rumors of mysterious doings at Hubbard House — an elegant, secluded retirement home for the well-heeled Yankees of Aleford, Massachusetts. Determined to do some surreptitious snooping, she joins the pricey retreat's flu-depleted kitchen staff, only to witness an aging resident collapse face-first into a bowl of Faith's hot and savory bouillon. But it isn't until ...
Murder Served Piping Hot
Minister's wife, sometime sleuth, and culinary artist Faith Sibley Fairchild is intrigued by rumors of mysterious doings at Hubbard House — an elegant, secluded retirement home for the well-heeled Yankees of Aleford, Massachusetts. Determined to do some surreptitious snooping, she joins the pricey retreat's flu-depleted kitchen staff, only to witness an aging resident collapse face-first into a bowl of Faith's hot and savory bouillon. But it isn't until a blackmailing drug dealer turns up dead in Faith's bedroom that the amateur investigator realizes that Murder not only happens at Hubbard, it's the specialty of the house! And Faith's own demise might very well be the next item on the menu.
From the Agatha Award-winning author of The Body in the Belfry comes a third entertaining cozy featuring minister's wife/amateur sleuth Faith Fairchild. Intrigued by rumors of mysterious doings at a secluded retirement home, Faith joins the kitchen staff to do some snooping--only to witness an aged resident collapse face-first into a bowl of soup. Author signings. Martin's.
"I'm not going to tell you anything unless you do exactly as I say and do not get involved any further than is necessary for my peace of mind. I want you to promise, Faith."
Faith Sibley Fairchild considered for a moment. Her Aunt Chat, short for Charity, was using her most uppish aunt voice. The only way to find out why she had called all the way from New Jersey to Massachusetts -- and before the rates went down -- was to agree with Chat's no uncertain terms. But, Faith reflected as she dutifully swore, peace of mind could cover quite a bit of territory.
"I don't know if you remember my old friend Howard Perkins. He moved to a retirement home near you last month. I had meant to tell you, so you could go and see how he was."
This didn't seem like much to ask, and Faith was puzzled about the oath. Going to pay a call on Howard Perkins, whom she vaguely remembered as a dapper colleague of Chat's in the advertising business, wasn't even up there with the secret of the Rainbow Girls. Why all the cloak and dagger?
"No problem, just tell me the name of the place and I'll be happy to run over -- today, if you like."
"I said 'was,' Faith. Howard died last week. He had a very serious heart condition and certainly should have stayed in his apartment, but he wanted to spend his last years in New England, where he'd grown up. The move was a strain, and then there's all that abominable weather you have."
Chat sounded bitter. She had lived in Manhattan all her adult life and moved out to Mendham, New Jersey -- a sensible distance away -- when she'd retired as head of her own lucrative ad agency. Faith, a native New Yorkerherself, was torn between loyalty to her new home in the small village of Aleford and tacit agreement with Chat as to the climate and even the virtues of city life. She'd been in Aleford for more than three years, and she still missed New York. She wondered what Howard had done with his apartment. Like Chat's old one, it had been in the San Remo on the West Side. Not that the Reverend Thomas Fairchild, Faith's husband, would ever entertain the idea of even a pied-à-terre anywhere except in his own backyard, but Faith would always enjoy playing that absorbing and perpetual New York pastime "Apartment, Apartment, Who's Got an Apartment?"
"Oh Chat, I'm sorry to hear that. I do remember him. He was a lovely man."
"Yes, he was. We thought we might get married once, but we were such good friends, it seemed foolish to risk it." Faith thought she detected a slightly wistful note in her aunt's voice, which quickly vanished as Chat got back to business. "Now, I'm sure you're wondering what this is all about and too polite to say so. There was a letter in the mail from Howard today -- another example, incidentally, of the scandalous way the postal service is being run. He mailed it several days before he died and I'm just getting it now. Anyway, I'll read you the relevant part:
...I must close now, Chat dear. It's time for dinner and I don't like to be late. The food takes me back to my boyhood -- all sorts of old favorites I haven't had for years. I've put on a pound or two! There is one thing that is bothering me, though, and I don't quite know what to do about it. I plan to tell Dr. Hubbard eventually, but I want to get it all straight first. I'm sure he'll be able to handle the matter. I'm already fond enough of the place to want to avoid involving the authorities. I'll tell you all about it in my next letter. Human nature being what it is, I suppose I shouldn't have been surprised -- even here at Hubbard House, surely an oasis, and that's why I must do something to keep it that way for my fellow residents-and yours truly too. I miss you...
"Well, the rest you don't need. Poor Howard -- he must have stumbled across some kind of scandal, who knows what. But I feel a certain responsibility to follow up on it. I'd hate to think that people were being mistreated in any way. I thought of going there myself and having a look around. I could pretend to be interested, however difficult that might be, but it might not be necessary if you could make a few discreet inquiries for me and find out what kind of reputation the place has."
"Hubbard House is nearby in Byford -- and I've never heard anything negative about it. Tom has made some pastoral calls there. I could start by talking to him and then speak to Charley, if you like. If there are any rumors, he'll know."
Charley Maclsaac was Aleford's veteran chief of police. While consuming bottomless cups of coffee and dozens of corn muffins at the Minuteman Cafe, he was also taking in at the same time whatever was happening -- or not happening -- in the town and surrounding environs.
"And don't leave Millicent out," Chat admonished.
"I was afraid you'd say that." Faith sighed. "But for you, anything."
Millicent Revere McKinley gathered her information from the vantage point of her authentic colonial clapboard house with a bow window (a nineteenth-century addition by a like-minded ancestor) affording a panoramic view of Aleford's Green and Battle Road, its main street. Millicent had regarded Faith with suspicion ever since Faith had rung the historic call-to-arms bell in the old belfry after discovering a fresh corpse therein. The body was warm, and Faith...The Body in the Bouillon. Copyright © by Katherine Page. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
Posted August 12, 2012
I really like this series and the third book didn't disappoint me. I loved the snowy setting and the description of the old estate that was converted to a retirement home. I love following the residents in this old Yankee town. We get to know Faith and her family a little bit more. The mystery had a few nice twists and turns. This is a easy, quick read that will have you curling up next to the fire!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted June 6, 2012