Monday, June 2, 2014

Review: The Body in the Piazza by Katherine Hall Page

Last month, I had the fun of reading and reviewing Katherine Hall Page's short story collection SMALL PLATES.   Just as I finished that one, I was lucky enough to catch an e-copy of her newest Faith Fairchild story on sale.  

Faith and her husband, clergyman Tom,  after years of sermons for him, salads and sauces for her, and sporting events for their children, are finally able to get away by themselves for a relaxing and romantic second honeymoon in Italy.  Faith's former catering helper Francesca has opened an Italian cooking school in the hills of  Tuscany, and has asked Tom and Faith to be among her first guests.

Naturally, the Fairchilds become embroiled in a murder mystery before they even get out of Rome to head for the hills.  As all of you who have read the series know, Faith can't leave this one alone, but unlike previous stories, the mystery really takes a back seat to the food and Italian scenery.  The recipes while not over-whelming in number are, as always, mouth-watering.  The characters are a rather eclectic assortment of odd-balls who don't always meld as a group. Faith has always known when NOT to try to solve something on her own, but during this story, I often wondered if she had forgotten all about the poor dead Freddie. It took her awhile, but Page finally managed to wrap everything up like a big fat well sauced canneloni.

Overall, it's another delightful episode in the peripatetic career of Faith Fairchild, girl snoop.  The setting is one that makes the reader want to book a flight to Italy immediately.  If only Francesca's hostel were real and affordable.  In the meantime, we can drift away in a wonderful dream of what might be.

Title: The Body in The Piazza
Author: Katherine Hall Page
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers, (2013)  ebook format, 346 pages
Genre: murder mystery, amateur sleuth
Subject: solving murder, Italian cooking
Setting: Rome, Florence, Tuscany, Italy
Series: Faith Fairchild Mysteries #21
Source: Barnes & Noble Nook
Why did I read this book now? I'm a fan of the series, and it was on sale.


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