Before she met and married the Reverend Thomas Fairchild and moved to sleepy little Aleford, Massachusetts, Faith Sibley Fairchild had a catering business in the most colorful, frenetic, and exciting city in the world...
Young, ambitious and single in New York City in the late '809s, Faith Sibley is energized by the early success of her Have Faith catering enterprise. But she's cast into an unexpected new role when she runs into old high school friend Emma Stanstead at a swanky uptown party: sleuth! An anonymous blackmmailer is threatening to expose certain secrets of socialite Emma's less than glamorous past thereby destroying her reputation and her conservative husband's fast-rising political career and Faith fearlessly leaps into the fray. Though she lacks experience, Faith's keen instinct, insight, and determination to unmask and extortionist quickly carry her deep into the high and low life of the bustling Big Apple. And when a murder raises the stakes, Faith realizes that it's not just her old friend's good name that's in peril...it's Emma's life itself.
About the Author
Katherine Hall Page is the author of twenty-three previous Faith Fairchild mysteries, the first of which received the Agatha Award for best first mystery. The Body in the Snowdrift was honored with the Agatha Award for best novel of 2006. Page also won an Agatha for her short story “The Would-Be Widower.” The recipient of the Malice Domestic Award for Lifetime Achievement, she has been nominated for the Edgar, the Mary Higgins Clark, the Maine Literary, and the Macavity Awards. She lives in Massachusetts and Maine with her husband.
Read an Excerpt
"Is there a back way out of this apartment?" the young woman asked anxiously. The caterer turned in surprise, it was a line she had heard only in the movies. "There's a service door past the maid's room," she answered, indicating the direction with a wave of her hand, still clutching the pastry tube she was using to pipe florets of dulled mayonnaise onto timbales of smoked salmon mousse.
The woman's next line, although equally surprising, was not from a script.
"Is that you, Faith? Faith Sibley?"
Faith put the tube down and focused on the person in front of her. Startling large deep blue eyes, chin--length burnished red--gold hair, skin like veritable alabaster. It was a measure of the kind of concentration that Faith brought to her work not to have recognized Emma Morris, now Emma Stanstead, immediately. They'd spent most of their school years together, in school and out.
"Emma!" Faith flung her arms around her friend, mindful of Emmas black Ralph Lauren evening suit and the dark mink over one arm. "Emma! It's been ages." Emma hugged her back. No air kisses, just a good, hard hug. Air kisses--on both cheeks if it was a really, really dose friend or celebthe greeting of the eighties.
"But what are you doing in the kitchen?" Emma asked.
Faith would have thought her white jacket, checked trousers, and toque supplied the answer, yet Emma, while not stupid, had tended to approach life at a slower, more gentle pace than that of her fellow classmates.
"I'm a caterer now, with my own company, Have Faith. Surprisingly, I've gotten only a few calls from people looking for an 'escort' service--orGod. Most of the calls are to do parties like this, and things have been going amazingly well." Faith stopped. She was gushing; plus, she was getting absolutely no response at all from her audience. Emma was listening with the air of a woman who is sure the ringing phone is going to be her doctor with news of a fatal diagnosis. Faith surreptitiously rapped her knuckies on the table for the continued prosperity of her fledgling business--and for her friend's well-being.
Her impression was confirmed by Emma's reply. "That sounds like fun. The food was lovely. Some little shrimp things?" Emma's voice trailed off and she looked in the direction of the exit. The earlier note of fear in her voice was back-- full force.
"Are you okay? What's wrong?" Faith asked, putting her hand on Emma's arm and puffing her away from the kitchen bustle and over toward the windows. Outside, the stars were obliterated by the lights of New York City, several million watts, brighter than usual at this holiday time of year. It was bitterly cold and those below on the sidewalk walked quickly, heads bent.
Emma seemed momentarily transfixed by the view--or some other view in her mind's eye. She looked very much the same as she had when they were in high school together six years earlier--extremely beautiful and not much older. So far asFaith could tell, the only changes were that she was a bit more slender, had cut her hair--and was terrified.She released her grasp and faced her friend, repeating the question more forcefully. "Emma, do you need some help? What's wrong?"
"Wrong? What could be wrong?" Emma said. Faith's query dropped a penny in the slot and Emma began to move. She shrugged on her fur and pulled gloves from a pocket, dropping a Christmas card shed been holding in the process. Faith bent down to retrieve it for her, but she swooped--all but knocking Faith over--grabbed the card, and was out the door in an instant. Since she was Emma and had been raised properly, "Thank you so much. Lovely to see you" floated back.
Faith stood staring after her, puzzled. Emma's perfume lingered, at odds with the fragrance wafting from the tray of bite-size wild mushroom quiches one of Faith's assistants was transferring to a serving dish.
"Put some of the crab cakes with those and they'll be ready to go," Faith instructed, focus back; Emma receding.
Except Emma was back, and once more Faith was startled."Could you meet me tomorrow? At the Met. Inside the front entrance at noon?" she whispered in Faith's ear.
"Tomorrow?" Faith found she had lowered her voice in response to Emma's tone. Then noting the desperate look on Emma's face, she said, "I'll be there." Emma nodded and vanished. This time, apparently, for good.
Focus now totally shot to hell, Faith tried to think what could be going on with Emma. They'd lost touch when Emma transferred to boarding school for her senior year, and then they'd ended up at colleges far apart, seeing each other sporadically when home. Faith had been invited to Emma's wedding when she'd married Michael Stanstead, a lawyer--two, or was it three years ago?--but Faith had been in Europe at the time.The Body in the Big Apple. Copyright © by Katherine Page. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
this was recommended to me as really the first book of this series by a person who had read the whole series (from the library). I liked the characters - just not sure I like them enough to purchase the next book and the story line enough to look at library for others. Lead character just isn't Goldie of DM Davidsons' books.