The Body in the Ivy (Faith Fairchild Series #16) by Katherine Hall Page | Paperback | Barnes & Noble
The Body in the Ivy (Faith Fairchild Series #16)

The Body in the Ivy (Faith Fairchild Series #16)

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by Katherine Hall Page

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In this homage to Agatha Christie's And Then There Were None, Faith Fairchild is asked to cater a very small, very private college reunion on an isolated New England island—an event that could be her dream job. But when she discovers the true reason for the get-together, not even the spectacular ocean views can keep it from turning into a nightmare.


In this homage to Agatha Christie's And Then There Were None, Faith Fairchild is asked to cater a very small, very private college reunion on an isolated New England island—an event that could be her dream job. But when she discovers the true reason for the get-together, not even the spectacular ocean views can keep it from turning into a nightmare. Thirty years ago, bestselling suspense writer Barbara Bailey Bishop lost her twin sister in a tower fall deemed a suicide. But Barbara is convinced that Hélène did not die by her own hand, and she's trapped Hélène's former classmates—her prime suspects—at her home with no phone lines, no cell reception, and no means of escape.

One by one, the alumnae fall prey to a madwoman. A disturbed sister's revenge . . . or a former coed's coverup? Faith must quickly unlock the secrets of Hélène's last night if she wants to leave the island alive.

Editorial Reviews

Boston Globe
“...intricately plotted...”
Publishers Weekly
Agatha Award-winner Page pays clever homage to Christie's Ten Little Indians in the 16th outing of her Faith Fairchild series, which finds the amateur sleuth trapped on a remote New England island with a group of imperiled weekend guests. Faith is invited to the island by reclusive bestselling author, Barbara Bailey Bishop, presumably to cater the gathering, but Faith soon suspects that she and the other guests, the hostess's former classmates from Seven Sisters-style Pelham College, have all been invited under false pretenses. Flashbacks to the class of '70s school days reveal that Barbara's twin sister, Helene "Prin" Prince, fell from a campus tower the night before graduation an apparent suicide. After a northeaster cuts off all access to the mainland, one of the guests is found dead. As the death toll mounts, Faith seeks answers and wonders if she will be the next victim. Readers of the series will relish this addition; Christie fans will enjoy an engaging tribute. (Nov.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
MNine women, all graduates of a prestigious Pelham College, are invited to an island off the coast of New England by best-selling author Barbara Bailey Bishop, and food guru Faith Fairchild (The Body in the Snowdrift) has been hired to cater the reunion. It is soon apparent that these women are no longer friends and everything revolves around H l ne "Prin" Prince, the girl who died just before they all graduated. Page, the Agatha Award-winning author of 16 Faith Fairchild novels, has patterned this one after Agatha Christie's classic And Then There Were None. Each of the eight former friends and Bishop had a solid reason to kill Prin, and now the guilty one is killing again to keep her secret safe. Page keeps the reader guessing to the very end. Cozy mystery buffs will enjoy trying to find the Christie references. Page lives in Massachusetts. [See Prepub Mystery, LJ 7/06.] Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
A lucrative contract for Faith Fairchild to cater a reunion of college classmates on the private island of a famous author becomes a nerve-wracking game of cat-and-mouse. Long before she dubbed herself Barbara Bailey Bishop, Elaine Prince lost her twin sister, Prin, to a fatal fall from the tower at Pelham College in 1970. Pelham, a distaff Ivy League school, was still a bastion of old money and strict rules in the late 1960s. Prin's stunning beauty attracted both men and women, but she was manipulative and cruel, collecting and creating misdeeds and sadistically torturing the friends who came to hate her. Now Elaine, who suspects that her sister was murdered, has invited eight women she believes include the culprit. She's given each guest a different pretext for the invitation. Once they arrive, the boatman departs, leaving them stranded. The first death seems like an accident, but when another classmate is found stabbed, the ladies panic, some hiding out on the island, others huddling together for safety. Because Faith is the only one they can trust, it's up to her to discover the murderer before she strikes again. It may be impossible to surpass And Then There Were None, the obvious model here, but Page (The Body in the Lighthouse, 2003, etc.) builds tension and makes us care about the suspects' troubled lives. Agent: Faith Hamlin/Sanford J. Greenburger Associates

Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
Faith Fairchild Series, #16
Edition description:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
4.18(w) x 6.75(h) x 0.88(d)

Read an Excerpt

The Body in the Ivy

A Faith Fairchild Mystery
By Katherine Page

HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.

Copyright © 2006 Katherine Page
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0060763655

Chapter One

Faith Sibley Fairchild stared out the train window, the book she had brought to while away the trip resting unopened in her lap. The scenery wasn't particularly engrossing--yards backing up to the tracks, some with fences or hedges in an attempt to block the view and every so often a town center, a glimpse of a bandstand in the middle of a green or a white clapboard church with a spire, followed by a row of pines. A New England flip book. The churches reminded Faith of First Parish in Aleford, Massachusetts, where her husband, the Reverend Thomas Fairchild, tended the spiritual needs of the community while Faith quite literally catered to its physical well-being, continuing the business she had started in her native New York City in the late 1980s. Her clientele looked different--if a man was in a tux and a woman in a gown it was either the opening night of the Boston Symphony or a wedding--but the food was of the same quality. It wasn't a question of serving no boiled dinners before their time, but never serving them at all.

June had finally arrived and the flickering shades of green outside were deeply comforting after a winter of record snowfall that had stretched well into April. The cold had clung to May, and Faith found herself placing her palm on the window to feel the warmth of the day's bright sunshine. She was alonein the row of seats that stretched to both sides of the aisle. Later trains would be packed as Bostonians headed north for weekends by the shore.

Alone. This was such an unusual state of affairs that she wasn't quite sure what she was feeling. When she wasn't involved with Tom and their two children, eleven-year-old Ben and eight-year-old Amy, she was at work with her staff or active in other Aleford pursuits that mostly revolved around the church and the kids' school. Technology meant she was always within reach. She slipped her cell out of her purse. No service. She smiled. What she was feeling snapped into focus as fast as the TGV, the swift French train they had taken last summer from Paris to Lyon. Faith felt absolutely wonderful, suspended for a few brief hours with no responsibilities whatsoever. Wonderful. The book slipped unnoticed to the floor.

The train was making that clickety-clack train noise that never failed to excite her, bringing with it the notion of all those other trains--Trans Siberian, Orient Express, Canadian Pacific--and trips, some imagined; some real. She was back in Grand Central Station with her sister, Hope, one year younger, pulling away from their parents to spot Camp Merrydale's banner, darting toward it squealing excitedly with several dozen other girls, accompanied by counselors who already looked exhausted.

Another journey. One of her camp friends lived outside Philadelphia, and twice a year Faith would be placed on the train in Penn Station and be met at the 30th Street Station in Philly. She could still remember the names of the stops on the way and her disappointment when she discovered that Cherry Hill, New Jersey, bore little resemblance to what she had been envisioning--a town filled with acres of delicate blossoms ripening into sweet ruby-red fruit.

She'd missed the glory days of train travel, Faith thought regretfully. The Twentieth Century from New York to Chicago. Nick and Nora Charles traveling coast to coast in style with Vuitton steamer trunks and martinis in the club car. And her favorite, Hitchcock's North by Northwest; Cary Grant and Eva Marie Saint in a compartment larger than most NYC studio apartments. Faith thought wistfully of the meal they had consumed--brook trout--with a Gibson first for Grant. Fine linens, cutlery, china, and glassware--fresh flowers on the table. The only sustenance offered on this train consisted of prepackaged sandwiches with expiration dates so far in the future they were ready-made time capsules, and a machine that offered the ubiquitous snacks that Americans seemed unable to exist without, despite the absence of either nourishment or flavor. Faith had packed her own lunch--smoked turkey, watercress, and a dollop of mango chutney on buckwheat-walnut bread, one of her assistant Niki's delectable blondies, some muscat grapes, and a bottle of Voss water. She wasn't hungry yet, and besides, having the food was like having a few hefty deposits in the bank--or a number of dinners in the freezer. You were tempted to use them, but it felt equally good just to know they were there.

The train swayed slightly from side to side, the motion keeping time with the sound of the tracks. Another movie, Silver Streak. Gene Wilder is in the bar with Ned Beatty, supposedly a vitamins salesman, who is telling Wilder he's in "for the ride of your life." Pick a woman, any woman. "It's something about the movement of the train that does it." Faith did find herself thinking about Tom, heading by plane in the opposite direction for the weeklong annual meeting of the denomination in Virginia. Beatty strikes out with Jill Clayburgh, who responds to his obvious come-on by pouring her drink in his lap to "cool" him down. And it's Wilder who gets to eat dinner with her--another well-appointed table and menu: macédoine of fruit, beef oriental with rice and carrots, apple pie à la mode, a bottle of Mouton Cadet 1961, and several bottles of Korbel in an elegant champagne bucket back in another spacious compartment. Ah, for those days. Faith sighed to herself and resolved to watch all three movies upon her return. Plus Agatha Christie's Murder on the Orient Express.

Another train going in the opposite direction hurtled by and for a moment the sensation of motion was suspended as her car traveled parallel to the next. Then the passing train built up speed. Faith looked at the people in the cars. The train was as empty as the one she was traveling on. There were . . .


Excerpted from The Body in the Ivy by Katherine Page Copyright © 2006 by Katherine Page. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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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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