I love the Faith Fairchild series of cozy mysteries by Katherine Hall Page. The Body in the Sleigh is the eighteenth in this series and recently released. It has a bit of a Christmas theme, so this was the perfect time of year for me to be reading it. For those of you new to this series, Faith Fairchild is a caterer, mom, and wife of a minister, transplanted from NYC to the suburbs of Boston, where she has a Jessica Fletcher-like propensity for finding dead bodies and solving mysteries. The stories are fun to read – especially since I live in the same area as Faith does – and include yummy recipes, too.
This installment was a bit different from the previous ones. Yes, it does center on Faith and her family – vacationing for Christmas in their favorite holiday spot, a quiet island off the coast of Maine – but it is less “cozy” and more intense than the previous novels. Faith finds the dead body of a young woman who is part of an island family, but there are questions about her death (and about her life, too). At the same time, on Christmas Eve someone leaves a newborn baby in the stable of a local woman goat farmer, requesting her to “raise him to be a good man”. These two events are separate but intertwined. This novel has intense themes in it: drug abuse, sexual abuse, neglect, etc., but Page does a good job, as always, in making them into a powerful and enjoyable read.
This was a different type of Faith Fairchild mystery, but I liked it, even though it was somewhat sad and poignant.
I recommend it to those who enjoy cozies and the other Faith mysteries, just be prepared that it is not all light. I got my copy from the library.
On another note, we’ll be heading out of town to visit relatives for the holidays at the end of this week, so I’ll be off-line for a bit. I do hope to post – soon – a review of my first year of blogging!