Tag Archives: Katherine Hall Page

Eavesdropping on Faith and Sophie by Katherine Hall Page

The Body in the Wardrobe“The same thing happened to me,” Faith Fairchild said. She was on the phone with her friend, Sophie Maxwell, who had called from Savannah, Georgia, her new home, in distress.

“What!” exclaimed Sophie. “You found a dead body, it disappeared pretty much immediately and nobody even your own husband believed what you’d seen?”

Even though they weren’t on FaceTime, Faith nodded, “We were living in France at the time and I’d come across a very dead man in the front hall of the apartment building. He was shoved behind the trashcans near a small closet where I kept Ben’s stroller. I rushed upstairs—no elevator and many, many stairs—called the gendarmes and it wasn’t long before they were at my door saying there was no corpse. One made a gesture as if tipping a bottle of wine into one’s mouth behind my back, but I saw him in the mirror.” The image still made Faith’s blood boil. “Long story short. There had been a dead man. It all got solved, but I feel your pain. I was newly pregnant with Amy at the time and Tom thought it was hormones.”

“Well, I’m not pregnant and you know as well as I do it’s never hormones. That’s just a convenient fiction created by, well a different hormonal group. But Faith, it sounds as if there was more time to move your stiff than mine. I opened the big wardrobe, I suppose more precisely an armoire, to hang up my clothes and out he tumbled! Complete with a knife in his back! You know that Will is working in Atlanta on a case and we’re living in an historic house his stepmother is restoring, so I was alone. It only took a few seconds to run out the back door, around the side and to the front of the house. I could see everything and there nobody living or dead emerging.”

This was not the typical sort of quandary a new bride faced, Faith thought. Sophie was a dear friend, especially after the events in Maine last summer when the two of them had paired up to both solve and prevent a murder. She wished she lived closer. There was no way she could pop down from Aleford, Massachusetts, tempting as it was to both help Sophie and partake of some delicious Lowcountry specialties. It was the Reverend Thomas Fairchild’s busiest time of year, the lead up to Christmas. Faith was just as busy with holiday parties to cater and lend Tom her help. The happiest time of year was often the saddest for many.

“The main thing is that you know what you saw. Plus I believe you.” As Faith said the last words she wished she didn’t believe the young woman. Whatever was going on meant Sophie could be in danger. The advice she wanted to offer was for Sophie to watch her back—literally, but said instead, “Treat it as something like a joke for now. We don’t want whoever is responsible to think you’re any kind of threat.”

Sophie laughed. “Don’t worry. It’s Savannah. Think of its reputation. No one believes I saw a body in the wardrobe, but they’re all positive—and a little jealous —that what I saw was a ghost!”

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A word from the author: “Sometimes a character comes to life and takes a very firm hold of a writer’s imagination. Sophie Maxwell was one of these, just as Faith Fairchild had been twenty-two books ago. I wasn’t ready to let Sophie go—and never Faith!—so here they are for a second outing together. Sophie may appear again in passing, but The Body in the Wardrobe, like The Body in the Birches, is just for them. And for you, dear readers.

After Faith hangs up the phone, and yes eventually she does go to Savannah, she decides to make one of her southern favorites, Pimento Cheese. Give the following recipe a try. It’s great on crackers, most kinds of bread, stuffed into celery or cherry tomatoes, and most of all in the Fairchild’s favorite preparation, and mine— toasted cheese sandwiches.

Pimento Cheese

1 cup (8 ounces) grated white cheddar cheese
1 cup (8 ounces) grated sharp yellow cheddar cheese
1 jar sliced pimentos (4 ounces), drained
1 cup mayonnaise (Duke’s if you live where it’s sold, otherwise Hellman’s)
1 tablespoon chopped chives
Salt and pepper to taste
Pinch (or more) cayenne

This is a very easy, highly addictive dish. Simply mix all the ingredients together and it will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week. One of the cheeses has to be orange in order for it to be the real deal.

The Body in the Wardrobe is the 23rd book in the Faith Fairchild mystery series, published by HarperCollins Publishers, April 2016.

Minster’s wife, caterer, and part-time sleuth Faith Fairchild pairs up with Sophie Maxwell, last seen in Body in the Birches and now a newlywed living in historic Savannah, Georgia, where Sophie crosses paths with murder. Another delightful entry in the beloved mystery series, complete with delectable recipes.

Attorney Sophie Maxwell has come to Savannah to be with her new husband, Will. But nothing throws cold water on a hot relationship faster than a dead body. Worse for Sophie, no one believes the body she knows she saw is real. Will is spending an awful lot of time in Atlanta on a case he claims is urgent, and she’s been tasked with house hunting for them with his former sweetheart, who Sophie can’t help but suspect wishes Sophie would return to her Yankee roots!

Fortunately, Sophie has a good friend in Faith Fairchild. With teenage Amy being bullied by mean girls and husband Tom contemplating a major life change that will affect all the Fairchilds, Faith is eager for distraction in the form of some sleuthing. In between discussions of newlywed agita, surprising Savannah customs and, of course, fabulous low country food, Faith and Sophie will pair up to unmask a killer!

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About the author
Katherine Hall Page has been awarded Agathas for Best First, Best Novel, and Best SS and also was nominated for additional Agathas, an Edgar, Macavity, Mary Higgins Clark and the Maine Writers & Katherine Hall PagePublishers Alliance Literary Award for Crime Fiction. Her series features amateur sleuth/caterer, Faith Fairchild. She has also written for young adults and published a series cookbook, Have Faith in Your Kitchen (Orchises Press). Katherine is receiving Malice Domestic’s Lifetime Achievement Award this year at Malice 27. She lives in Maine and Massachusetts. Photography courtesy of Jean Fogelberg.

Find her at www.katherine-hall-page.org and on Facebook. She loves to hear from readers.

Giveaway: Leave comment below for your chance to win a print copy of The Body in the Wardrobe. US entries only, please. The giveaway will end April 29, 2016 at 12 AM EST. Good luck everyone!

All comments are welcomed.

A Faith Fairchild Morning in Maine by Katherine Hall Page

The Body in the BirchesFaith Fairchild took a long, satisfying drink from the iced tea her friend Ursula Rowe gave her, sighed and asked the question uppermost in her mind, “So what’s all this about the Proctors and a squabble over who inherits The Birches?”

“You know the old saying, ‘where’s there’s a will, there’s a way’?” Ursula said, giving a vigorous push to the wicker porch rocker she was seated in. “In this case, there wasn’t one and the way is starting to look more like a maze. Instead of leaving the place outright to one of her nieces and nephews Priscilla Proctor decided to let her husband Paul choose once she was gone. Dear man that he is, he agreed and now they’re all next door vying for his favor.”

“The only Proctor I know is Sophie Maxwell who used to babysit for us. Her mother was a Proctor. Sophie must be in her twenties now.”

“Yes, and a sweetheart. As for the others, think piranhas. You’ll meet them at the Fourth of July clambake.”

Faith brightened at the thought—not at meeting the human equivalents of piscatorial killers, but the clambake. The Fairchilds were staying with Ursula at her “cottage”—the term a misnomer for the ark of a place that had been in Ursula’s family for generations. Just like The Birches. As guests they had been invited to the traditional clambake thrown by all the residents on the Point. Faith knew this meant a pit dug in the sand, lined with hot rocks, the clams, lobsters and corn layered with seaweed to steam for hours, a vat of fish chowder plus all the sides—old fashioned eggy potato salad, tangy coleslaw, baking powder biscuits, gallons of melted butter and plenty of desserts—blueberry pie of course, but each family had a specialty like chocolate bread pudding and in one case, Pavlova—the son had married an Aussie. There would be real lemonade—one insulated container clearly marked offered it with an alcoholic twist for the adults.

These first July days had broken records for the highest temperatures in this part of Maine, Sanpere Island in Penobscot Bay. Faith had almost been tempted to swim in the frigid waters, but when she couldn’t feel her toes after wading in, she’d limped back to shore and come to her senses.

What with husband Tom down in Massachusetts, leaving Faith with Ben, fifteen, and Amy, almost thirteen—as her daughter continually pointed out to Faith’s dismay—Faith wasn’t feeling the calm a vacation was supposed to provide. Everyone said teenage girls were more difficult than boys. Although she said to herself, Ben was giving her plenty to worry about. He’d taken a dishwashing job on the island and Faith was getting a funny vibe from the place—a new one, “The Laughing Gull Lodge”. And not “funny” as in Ha Ha.

“I think we need something to go with all the iced tea we’ve been drinking,” Faith said to Ursula. “How about some of those chocolate drop cookies? Easy and I’m in the mood to bake.”

“You must be,” Ursula said dryly, “because it certainly is baking out here!”

They both laughed and Faith headed for the kitchen. Whenever she had something on her mind, cooking helped clear her thoughts. The familiar motions were comforting. As she assembled the ingredients, she realized it wasn’t the kids who were worrying her—well, maybe a bit—but the situation at The Birches next door. This sort of thing—who gets what—could make The Birches a tinderbox of emotions, even without the eighty-degree temperatures. After all, everyone knows: real estate can be murder!

You can read more about Faith in The Body in the Birches, the 22nd book in the “Faith Fairchild” mystery series, published by William Morrow. The first book in the series is The Body in the Belfry.

GIVEAWAY: Leave a comment by 12 a.m. eastern on May 19 for the chance to win a signed copy of THE BODY IN THE BIRCHES. The giveaway is open to U.S. residents only. Winner will be notified within 48 hours after giveaway closes and you will have three days to respond after being contacted or another winner will be selected. Make sure to check your SPAM folder.

About the author
KATHERINE HALL PAGE has been awarded Agathas for Best First, Best Novel, and Best SS and also was nominated for additional Agathas, an Edgar, Macavity, Mary Higgins Clark and the Maine Writers & Publishers Alliance Literary Award for Crime Fiction. Her series features amateur sleuth/caterer, Faith Fairchild. The 22nd entry is The Body in the Birches (Wm Morrow, May 2015). She has also written for young adults and published a series cookbook, Have Faith in Your Kitchen (Orchises). She lives in Maine and Massachusetts. www.katherine-hall-page.org

Author Showcase ~ Small Plates: Short Fiction by Katherine Hall Page

Small Plates Short Fiction
Agatha Award winner Katherine Hall Page presents a book of short stories featuring her famed heroine Faith Fairchild.

For years, Katherine Hall Page has delighted readers with her Faith Fairchild series, each book like a delicious, satisfying meal. Now, Page has whipped up a tasty collection of appetizing bites.

In “The Body in the Dunes,” Faith’s vacation offers more excitement than she and her husband bargained for when a terrified woman knocks on their hotel room door looking to hide from her husband. A case hits close to home in “The Proof is Always in the Pudding,” when Faith investigates a generations-old superstition that has been passed down in her husband’s family. Faith and her sister, Hope, counsel a bride-to-be suffering a number of alarming “accidents” before the big day in “Across the Pond.” In “Sliced,” Faith switches from contestant to detective when a killer reality television cooking competition turns deadly.

Small Plates also includes some irresistible standalone treats, including the Agatha Award–winning “The Would-Be Widower,” about a husband who longs to be rid of his wife, and “Hiding Places” in which a young wife’s new husband may not be all that he appears.

These stories and more will entice Faith Fairchild fans and new readers alike. Filled with the charm, wit, and the appeal of her beloved novels, Small Plates is a feast for every lover of traditional mysteries.

Release: May 2014
Publisher: William Morrow

Comment on this post by 6 p.m. EST on May 29, and you will be entered for a chance to win a copy of SMALL PLATES: SHORT FICTION. One winner will be chosen at random. Unless specified, U.S. entries only.

About the author
Katherine Hall Page is the author of twenty 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.” She has also been a nominee for the Edgar Award and the Mary Higgins Clark Award. She lives in Massachusetts with her husband.

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A Conversation with Faith Fairchild by Katherine Hall Page

body in piazza“Faith Fairchild was drunk. Soused, sloshed, schnockered, pickled, potted, and looped—without a single sip of alcohol having crossed her lips. She was drunk on Rome. Intoxicating, inebriating Rome.”

This is how Katherine Hall Page has described me in the first sentences of her new book The Body in the Piazza (April 2013) and I have to admit it is accurate! That day we arrived— and the days that followed—however, were not my typical ones. Those are spent in Aleford, Massachusetts, a small town West of Boston keeping hearth, home and job together as wife of the Reverend Thomas Fairchild, mother of almost teen Ben plus tween, Amy, and the owner of Have Faith Caterers.

Yes, I was intoxicated by the Eternal City, but also by this rare trip alone with Tom, a significant anniversary trip. My plan was to indulge in many panini, panna cottas and a whole lot of prosecco while taking in the Trevi fountain, the Colosseum and other high points before heading north to a cooking school in Tuscany for a week of classes and trips to market villages under sunny skies. As often happens, the best laid plans…

In this case, we were heading back to the hotel after a romantic dinner when a man we knew was murdered right before our eyes in the Piazza Farnese. Everything changed in a split second and of course I had to spend the rest of the trip finding out who had committed this heinous act. In one of life’s eerie coincidences, many of my suspects turned up at the cooking school. Soon I was getting to know an Italy few tourists, fortunately, do—a darker one with a trail more twisted than fusili—one that put both my beloved and me in peril.

Katherine is currently running a contest on her website, click here to enter.

Meet the author
in your kitchen1Katherine Hall Page is the Agatha award winning author of the Faith Fairchild mystery series. The Body in the Piazza is the 21st. She has also written for young adults and her series cookbook, Have Faith in Your Kitchen is available. Visit Katherine at her www.Katherine-hall-page.org or on Facebook. She loves to hear from readers.


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