After reading several books that made me stop, think and ponder, I was ready for some fluff. Fluff to me is a nice cozy mystery. I was fortunate to snap up Katherine Hall Page's latest Faith Fairchild mystery, The Body in the Birches, last week when I visited the library.
While I love a good Southern book, New England is my second favorite spot to read about in my armchair travels. Katherine Hall Page writes about Faith Fairchild, pastor's wife, mom, caterer and amateur sleuth. Though now that I have read 22 mysteries in which Faith solved all the murders, she is probably a professional sleuth now! The first book in this series is my favorite, The Body in the Belfry. It opens when Faith is still finding her place in the small Massachusetts town of Aleford. She has married Tom, the pastor of the local church. Being a pastor's daughter, she had sworn never to marry a man of the cloth but when she met Tom at a party, she did not realize he was a pastor. They marry, move to the parsonage and begin their lives together. Faith becomes mom to Ben and Amy and continues her catering business, Have Faith. In The Body in the Belfry, Faith finds one of the members of their youth group, dead in the historic belfry. I guess because it first introduced me to Faith, Tom and the citizens of Aleford, it is special to me. Here I am many years later and I start to read The Body in the Birches. It has every element to make me happy. Tom and Faith are on the Maine island of Sanpere where they own a vacation cabin. They have big plans for their cabin and they are looking forward to the annual July 4th celebration on the Island. But somewhere along the way, the story became plodding and rather contrived. It focuses more on another family on the island and the mystery is not much of a mystery. I was disappointed to say the least. I realize that cranking out mysteries one after another is not a job for the faint hearted but maybe there comes a time to just end the series. There are two more authors who write cozy mysteries set in New England that I also enjoy. One is Leslie Meier who writes about Lucy Stone who lives in Tinker's Cove, Maine. My only quibble with Ms Meier is that she seems to have a bit of prejudice against those of us who have conservative views. That prejudice seems to be quite evident in her last few books. And lastly, there is Valerie Wolzien who pens the Susan Henshaw mysteries which take place in Connecticut. Susan is a more upper crust sleuth but I love reading about her house and all the people in their pricy neighborhood.
At the moment I am reading The Wild Girl which is a novel about the love story of Wilhelm Grimm and his wife, Dortchen. Being married to a Grimm Brother myself , I am finding it quite entertaining.