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The Body in the Bonfire Mass Market Paperback – Jan 28 2003
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From Publishers Weekly
Despite three brutal murders and some ugly racial prejudice in this 12th mystery to feature amateur sleuth Faith Fairchild, Agatha Award-winner Page (The Body in the Belfry, etc.) keeps the tone light as her heroine reflects wittily on the quotidian challenges of being the wife (and daughter) of a clergyman, the mother of two young children and the head of her own catering business. At Mansfield Academy, a not-so-elite boys' boarding school in a small town outside Boston, someone is harassing black student Daryl Martin, a top athlete and scholar. Faith's friend Patsy Avery calls her in to find out who's responsible for the hate-filled e-mail, offensive newspaper clippings and finally a noose left on Daryl's pillow. Under the cover of teaching a cooking class during winter project term, Faith searches for clues. At the same time, students and maintenance crew build a gigantic pyre for the school's annual bonfire. Faith is sure she's identified the harasser, Sloane Buxton, the aristocratic and handsome leader of a campus clique. When Sloane's corpse turns up in the smoldering embers of the bonfire, suspicion falls on Daryl. The harried headmaster, meanwhile, who rescued Mansfield from bankruptcy years before by buying it, has a lot of explaining to do to concerned parents. With recipes of the dishes Faith prepares in her cooking class in an appendix, this whodunit provides fully satisfying fare for a cold winter's night around the fire. Agent, Faith Hamlin.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.--This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
From Library Journal
New England caterer Faith Fairchild (The Body in the Moonlight) takes time to teach a cooking class at a nearby boarding school. There, she hopes to uncover the tormentor of a minority student. Unfortunately, human remains turn up after a school bonfire, so her sleuthing takes a dangerous turn. A deservedly popular series.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.--This text refers to the Hardcover edition. See all Product Description
Top Customer Reviews
In this installment, Faith teaches a cooking class at a second or third tier boarding school in her New England town. She has a secret assignment, which is to find out who is sending racial slur messages to the one black student. The school is filled with a cast of colorful characters: a way too preppy good boy/bad boy student, the Russian wife of the headmaster, an intense guru like professor and so on. The plot thickens when someone shows up dead in the school's annual bonfire.
I always enjoy these books. However, I have found-particularly in this one-Hall throws out a lot of cliches. She does not offer much depth in her characters or in her story. For example, most private schools in New England today (even second and third tier ones) have more than one black student (many whose parents pay) as well as a number of Asian, Hispanic and other ethnic and religious minorities. Her depiction of Aleford,the boarding school, does not ring true in the early 00's. In addition, she loves to poke fun at the down-to-earth, Yankee frugality and sensibilities of her neighbors. Yes, her observations were true about 25 years ago. However, most New England towns are filled with a more diverse and sophisticated population in the early 00's than in her books. Finally, while she seems ever so concerned about political correctness throughout the novel vis a vis ethnic and religious minorities, she is beyond condescending to the blue collar female police officer. At the end of the book, Faith offers to help her with her makeup. Please, talk about noblesse oblige.
Still, this book is an enjoyable read.Read more ›
Unfortunately, the only thing her class cooks up is theft and multiple murders - one being that of her prime suspect in the racist attack who turns up well done in a school rally bonfire. But we know all the incidents have to be connected someway. And Faith will figure it all out in the end with some surprising results.
Faith is a very likable heroine - her adventures make for fun reading and her recipes at the end of the book are quite tasty. The Smothered Pork Chops were first rate, but her Peanut Butter Cookies couldn't compare to the ones my mother used to make.
The editing job on this book is also better than usual, with the exception of a couple of name mistakes. (Thomas Moser cherry furniture is fabulous, but the book unhappily corrupts the name to Thomas Mosher, an entity of whom I have never heard.)
The primary down side to this book is that I bought it in hardback and read it in a couple of hours. I would be happier about spending the money for the hardback if the book had supplied a longer period of absorption.
As I said, not a great book, but a pleasant one.
Most recent customer reviews
I've read every book in the Faith Fairchild series and have been generally pleased that the author has kept up the quality of the plotting and writing over the years. Read morePublished on Jan. 15 2003 by Lisa Bahrami
Faith Fairchild is asked by her friend Patsy, to teach a course called "Cooking for Idiots" at Mansfield, a local private school. Read morePublished on April 8 2002 by Moe811