The Body in the Wake
Faith Fairchild Mystery, Book #25
By Katherine Hall Page
Author Website: katherine-hall-page(.)org
Brought to you by OBS Reviewer Daniele
Amateur detective and caterer Faith Fairchild is at her Penobscot Bay, Maine cottage preparing for a summer wedding, when she stumbles across . . . another body in this 25th entry in the beloved mystery series.
For the first time in years, Faith Fairchild has time for herself. Her husband Tom is spending days on the other side of the island using a friend’s enhanced WiFi for a project; their son, Ben, after his first year in college, is studying abroad for the summer; and their daughter Amy is working at the old Laughing Gulls Lodge, now a revamped conference center.
Faith is looking forward to some projects of her own. Her friend Sophie Maxwell is also spending the summer on Sanpere Island, hoping for distractions from her worries that she isn’t yet pregnant. And the daughter of Faith’s good friend Pix Miller is getting married to a wonderful guy . . . with a less-than-wonderful mother. Between keeping Sophie’s spirits up and Pix’s blood pressure down, Faith has her hands full.
And that’s before a body with a mysterious tattoo and connections far away from small Sanpere Island appears in the Lily Pond. Once again, Faith will get to the bottom of this strange case—and whip up a delicious blueberry buckle on the side. (Goodreads)
I have been a fan of the Faith Fairchild Mystery series since reading the first book back in the early 1990s and have read all of the books so I was really excited to celebrate the 25th installment with The Body in the Wake. Faith and her friend Pix’s family are the focus, but there is very little mystery involved and even less investigating. I feel a bit let down.
Faith and her friends are spending the season at their beloved summer homes in Maine. It is a bucolic, gently paced life with the exception of preparing for Pix’s daughter’s wedding. Faith fills her days sailing, spending time with friends and family, and, of course, cooking. While on an outing at the lake with her young friend Sophie, the pair finds the body of a tattooed stranger. Dealing with a clueless mother of the groom, an absentee matron of honor, a writing retreat, and helping at Faith’s daughter’s work, Faith has plenty to keep her busy.
I have always enjoyed Faith, even when her snobbish tendencies arise, and I appreciate her love of fine things and good food. In fact, the culinary theme has always been my favorite aspect of the series. There is not as much prominence of the food here (it is summer after all), but there are a few scenes featuring meals, and the requisite mouth watering recipes at the back of the book are included. The camaraderie of family and friends is also appealing, and reading feels like a comfortable visit with old friends.
Unfortunately, there is virtually no murder mystery solving within the book’s pages. There is no urgency, no potential danger. No one seems to care much about the deceased. The bigger issue of drugs is the prominent theme, and it is pretty easy to figure it all out. Instead of a tightly wound mystery, The Body in the Wake is a meandering snapshot of summer drama. I so wanted to love it, but I didn’t.