Sunday, December 13, 2009

Review: The Body in the Sleigh

Body in the Sleigh is Katherine Hall Page's latest entry her Faith Fairchild mystery series. It is actually two mysteries, that of a baby boy, named Christopher, left for a single woman named Mary to find in her goat barn (and lay in a manger) on Christmas Eve, and that of a murdered young woman left in an antique sleigh used as a holiday display. The story moves back and forth between Mary, Faith, and the mother of the baby for the first half of the book. The young woman's story is taken up in the second half, and the baby story picks up speed and moves to a satisfying conclusion.

That's not to say Body in the Sleigh is necessarily worth a read. The mystery of the baby is fully explored, but the young woman's story feels a bit like it was slapped on top to keep with "The body in the..." titles of  the series. If you like your fictional world filled with well-behaved children, caring neighbors, and people who do wrong only because of some deprivation in their backgrounds, you will love this book. Those who appreciate a Christian focus on the Christmas holiday will also fall for this one this one. In addition, recipes for many of the delicious-sounding dishes discussed are included. If it all that sounds a little too neat and upbeat -- if you like your mysteries realistic and gritty -- than skip this entry in the minister's-wife-protagonist Faith Fairchild series. Librarians take note: the afterward is a love-letter to libraries and librarians.

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