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Review: The Body in the Sleigh

December 4, 2009

Mary Bethany lives a simple life in Sanpere, Maine.  She raises goats, makes cheese and runs a small Bed & Breakfast during the summer.  Imagine her surprise when she goes out to her barn one morning and discovers a baby with a wad of cash and a note that says to “keep him safe and raise him to be a good man.”  Mary is smitten and decides to tell everyone that the baby is her niece’s.

Faith Fairchild and her family are wintering in Sanpere while Faith’s preacher husband recovers from surgery.  She takes her children to see the town’s Christmas display and discovers the dead body of a young woman in Santa’s sleigh.

Mary calls Faith for help and tells her the true story of the baby.  Faith tries to discover who the baby’s mother is and who murdered the young girl and puts herself in some danger along the way, but like all good, cozy mysteries, things are wrapped up in the end.

The Body in the Sleigh is Katherine Hall Page‘s eighteenth Faith Fairchild mystery, but it’s my first.  Not reading the previous books in the series didn’t keep me from enjoying this one, though.  The book started a little slow for me, but I think that had more to do with the fact that I had a lot of Thanksgiving activities going on than it did with the quality of the book, because once I had a chance to sit down and read it for a little while, I was hooked and I needed to know whodunit.

The characters of Sanpere are wonderful – they’re not perfect, but they do care for one another.  The community gossips, but also looks out for their own.  Faith is a great character and I really liked Mary Bethany’s spirit and sense of independence.   The mystery was solid and I didn’t have it all figured out until the end.

Even though The Body in the Sleigh is set around the holidays, I wouldn’t really call it a Christmas book – I think readers would enjoy it any time of the year.  Having said that, I’m still counting it as my second book for The Holiday Reading Challenge.

Review copy provided by Harper Collins.   I am an Amazon Associate.
34 Comments leave one →
  1. December 4, 2009 7:56 am

    Hi Kathy, if you liked this one, try The Body in the Ivy. I thought that one was one of the best in the series. I have to drag myself out of Russia and start this one!

    Have a great week.

  2. December 4, 2009 8:04 am

    Can I ask you a question, just one?

    How do you read so many books? In such succession?

    • December 4, 2009 8:20 am

      Kathy, nice review. I’ll look for this series!

  3. December 4, 2009 8:33 am

    It sounds like a wonderful premise. I love the idea of “raises goats, makes cheese and runs a small Bed & Breakfast during the summer.” Even though in reality it would be a lot of work, it sounds so romantic, in a way!

  4. December 4, 2009 8:37 am

    I’ve heard of this series and I’d love to read it — especially after your review. I really should finish at least one series (Oh, wait! I did when I finished Echo in the Bone) before I start another.

  5. December 4, 2009 8:45 am

    I don’t think I’ve read a cozy mystery yet. I’ll have to check one out, and I’ll keep this book in mind.


  6. December 4, 2009 8:54 am

    First, I just have to say that I’d be OK with raising goats, making cheese and running a bed and breakfast. And taking in an abandoned baby. I’m liking the sound of this book already. I like cozy mysteries, which is what this seems to be. Series scare me just a little though, because once I start them I have to finish them, at the expense of everything else!

  7. December 4, 2009 9:02 am

    I just finished this one last night. I really liked this book and I thought it was perfect for this time of year!

  8. December 4, 2009 9:18 am

    I’ve read a couple books in this series and really enjoyed them. I’d love to read about the goat farm!

  9. December 4, 2009 11:10 am

    I’m glad you said this book could stand on it’s own. I’d like to read it but I don’t want to be caught up in 18 others that I feel I must read. The setting and the characters sound very appealing.

  10. December 4, 2009 11:47 am

    Never tried this series will look for it .. Thanks for the review Kathy..

  11. Melissa S permalink
    December 4, 2009 11:50 am

    I really enjoyed the book as well. I loved Mary’s character – she seemed to be a natural for having a baby just dropped into her hands out of the blue by just anyone! I really appreciated the author’s writing in that it was a gruesome discovery, but she left out any gore and gratuitous violence that could have been included in such an awful event in the death of a character.

  12. stacybuckeye permalink
    December 4, 2009 11:52 am

    Looks like a good cozy.

  13. December 4, 2009 11:57 am

    Nice review Kathy. This sounds like a good book to relax with.

  14. December 4, 2009 11:58 am

    Sounds like a great, cozy winter read; thanks Kathy

  15. December 4, 2009 12:15 pm

    I own one her books, The Body in the Lighthouse, not surprisingly, but have let to read it. I do love a nice cozy…

  16. December 4, 2009 2:28 pm

    Good review, Kathy; I might like this one.

  17. December 4, 2009 4:17 pm

    Sounds a bit like the premise of that Anna Quindlen book – at least in the beginning. But I can’t remember the name of it? Blessings, maybe?

    Thanks for the review!

  18. December 4, 2009 4:36 pm

    Other activities can distract me when I’m reading books. There have been quite a few I didn’t think that I would like that I ended up loving when I was able to give them my full attention.

  19. December 4, 2009 5:08 pm

    I’d love to read more mysteries this year and this sounds like a fun one!

  20. December 4, 2009 5:12 pm

    The title caught me on this one. I like that it is a mystery…. I could use a good mystery this time of year. 🙂

  21. December 4, 2009 5:36 pm

    I love a good cozy mystery, especially a well-written one. Thanks for turning me on to a new series.

  22. December 4, 2009 7:04 pm

    You bring up a good point. It really is harder to sit down with a book during this time of the year. But once I do, I often find myself rewarded.

  23. December 4, 2009 8:48 pm

    Another mystery to add to my ever-growing addiction to this genre!!!

  24. December 4, 2009 10:16 pm

    I’ve been on this mystery kick lately and even though you say this could be read any time of year, I’m thinking it would still make a good holiday read that satisfies my mystery cravings this time of year. 🙂

  25. December 5, 2009 8:46 am

    I’m a sucker for series and this one sounds like a lot of fun (you know, the murdering fun). Thanks for spotlighting it because I had not heard of it before you mentioned the book.

  26. December 5, 2009 9:36 am

    I’ve never heard of this author before but it does sound like a good cozy.

  27. December 5, 2009 11:41 am

    Sounds like a fun read and a nice change of pace.

  28. December 5, 2009 7:27 pm

    Series with 18 books but I have never heard of her before. Thanks for the recommendation.
    I hate when I start a book and life gets in the way. Enjoy your weekend!

  29. December 6, 2009 9:32 pm

    The whole concept of a “cozy mystery” eludes me … a dead woman in a sleigh … an abandoned baby. Sounds like horrible stuff!

  30. December 7, 2009 2:09 pm

    I have this on my winter list, but I don’t think I’m going to get around to it this year.

  31. December 7, 2009 3:59 pm

    Great review! It’s been a really long time since I have read a cozy mystery, but I think this one sounds great and I was really interested by the summary you provided for it. This would make a great stocking stuffer for me, so I will be pointing my husband towards this review!

  32. December 8, 2009 1:13 am

    Thanks for the review, Kathy! This one sounds like a fun holiday read.

  33. December 20, 2009 7:24 pm

    It does sound like a fun book for that challenge. I had no idea it was No. 18 in a series!

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