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The Body in the Moonlight    by Katherine Hall Page order for
Body in the Moonlight
by Katherine Hall Page
Order:  USA  Can
HarperCollins, 2002 (2001)
Hardcover, Paperback

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* *   Reviewed by G. Hall

Katherine Hall Page's The Body in the Moonlight is the eleventh in her 'Body in the ... ' series centered on caterer Faith Fairchild. The books are set in the picturesque fictional New England village of Aleford, Massachusetts. Fairchild is the proprietor of the Have Faith catering company, and also the wife of Reverend Thomas Fairchild and mother of two small children. Faith is a transplanted New Yorker who looks at the eccentricities and intrigues of village life from an outsider's perspective. This gives her an advantage when real life, in the guise of murder, intrudes on their cozy village existence.

In the latest book, Faith caters a 'murder mystery' dinner, fund-raising for the restoration of a historic house. One of the guests dies of poison found in her dessert. The murder victim is the fiancée of the organist at Reverend Thomas Fairchild's church. Although the death is ruled a homicide, the catering firm starts losing business. Faith decides to investigate the murder both to salvage her firm's future and to understand the victim's disturbingly close relationship with her husband. Along the way, the beloved elementary school principal is accused of child molestation, and Faith encounters several quirky and very interesting mystery authors who all were present at the ill-fated fund-raiser.

Page's books are definitely comfort reading, and it is enjoyable to revisit the familiar cast of characters and see how their lives have developed since the last volume. The Body in the Moonlight is not the author's best work. Like many long term series this one falls into predictable patterns, but fans will still enjoy immersing themselves in Faith's Aleford life. It is, after all, only the best mystery writers - think Deborah Crombie, Marcia Muller or Elizabeth George - who can continue to surprise the reader with each new book.

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