Friday, January 12, 2018

Book Review and Giveaway - The Body in the Casket by Katherine Hall Page

Book Synopsis

The inimitable Faith Fairchild returns in a chilling New England whodunit, inspired by the best Agatha Christie mysteries and with hints of the timeless board game Clue.

For most of her adult life, resourceful caterer Faith Fairchild has called the sleepy Massachusetts village of Aleford home. While the native New Yorker has come to know the region well, she isn’t familiar with Havencrest, a privileged enclave, until the owner of Rowan House, a secluded sprawling Arts and Crafts mansion, calls her about catering a weekend house party.

Producer/director of a string of hit musicals, Max Dane—a Broadway legend—is throwing a lavish party to celebrate his seventieth birthday. At the house as they discuss the event, Faith’s client makes a startling confession. “I didn’t hire you for your cooking skills, fine as they may be, but for your sleuthing ability. You see, one of the guests wants to kill me.”

Faith’s only clue is an ominous birthday gift the man received the week before—an empty casket sent anonymously containing a twenty-year-old Playbill from Max’s last, and only failed, production—Heaven or Hell. Consequently, Max has drawn his guest list for the party from the cast and crew. As the guests begin to arrive one by one, and an ice storm brews overhead, Faith must keep one eye on the menu and the other on her host to prevent his birthday bash from becoming his final curtain call.

Full of delectable recipes, brooding atmosphere, and Faith’s signature biting wit, The Body in the Casket is a delightful thriller that echoes the beloved mysteries of Agatha Christie and classic films such as Murder by Death and Deathtrap.

Book Details

Genre: Mystery
Published by: William Morrow
Publication Date: December 5th 2017
Number of Pages: 238
ISBN: 0062439561 (ISBN13: 9780062439567)
Series: Faith Fairchild, 24

Purchase Links:  
Amazon 🔗 | Barnes & Noble 🔗 | Goodreads 🔗

My Review
The Body in the Casket tells the story of Faith Fairchild, a caterer who plans a big 70th birthday party for Broadway legend Max Dane.  The problem?  One of the guests wants Max dead.  Faith juggles her catering work and sleuthing to solve the mystery.

This is my first Faith Fairchild mystery, and I really enjoyed it.  I would like to go back and read the other novels in this series by Katherine Hall Page, but this book does work as a standalone.

The Body in the Casket is a wonderful traditional mystery.  I found the rambling old mansion setting fascinating and loved the description of the house.  I also enjoyed the theater details.  I worked in theater in my 20's and thought these details were particularly well done.

I loved the storytelling in The Body in the Casket.  The mystery was intriguing and kept me guessing for quite a while.  The characters were well developed.  I especially liked Faith and enjoyed the different aspects of her life -- part time sleuth, caterer, wife, and mother.

There were some unique elements of The Body in the Casket that I particularly liked.  Faith received a list of guests from Max Dane's assistant early in the novel, so this also shared a list of characters with readers.  There are a number of characters (and suspects!) and I found this list really helpful.

There are also italicized glimpses into the lives of the guests/suspects.  The first time this occurred in the novel, I found it a little disconcerting because the style and perspective suddenly changed without a character attribution.  However, once I realized these were scenes involving the dinner party guests, I found them very interesting and appreciated what they added to the story.

The book also includes several recipes in a section cleverly titled "Have Faith in Your Kitchen."   The most intriguing recipe to me was Himmel und Erde (Heaven and Earth), a dish that includes Russet potatoes and apples.

The Body in the Casket is a very enjoyable read, and I would recommend it to other mystery fans.  I am off to explore the rest of the series!

Author Bio
Katherine Hall Page is the author of twenty-three 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 Lifetime Achievement Award at Malice Domestic, she has been nominated for the Edgar Award, the Mary Higgins Clark Award, and the Macavity Award. She lives in Massachusetts, and Maine, with her husband.


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This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for Katherine Hall Page and Witness Impulse. There will be 3 winners of one (1) physical copy of Katherine Hall Page’s The Body in the Casket. The giveaway begins on December 4, 2017 and runs through January 14, 2018. This giveaway is open to US addressess only. 

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I received a copy of this book from Partners in Crime Tours. 

1 comment:

CMash said...

I also enjoyed this book. However, I found myself wanting to eat while reading it because of all the good food mentioned.