Katherine Hall Page: The Body in the Wardrobe
Sometimes things happen and we have no idea why or what causes them to occur. Sophie Maxwell just married Will Maxwell and is now Sophie Maxwell Maxwell and has not only inherited a new husband who seems to be working full time and in always in overdrive when dealing with his private investigator cases, but an entire family that is quite colorful, outspoken and an ex-girlfriend that won’t let him go. Poor Sophie has just married Will, joined the family and is thrown into a situation that will not only anger him but cause her embarrassment as Will’s stepsister advises her of a custom that is really not a custom and the end result ruins what is supposed to be her coming out party or her welcoming party into his family but instead drove a huge wedge between them. Will goes off to Atlanta leaving Sophie to deal with the fallout, the aftermath and her hurt feelings while taking on cases in his father’s law firm. Dealing with Patty Sue his stepsister was one thing but being forced to look for houses and properties with Miss Laura his ex-girlfriend almost too much for her to bear.
Faith Fairchild is the other primary star of this novel as she is our favorite caterer, sleuth and really smart parent of two teens Ben and Amy. Amy is having trouble adjusting to her new middle school due to the nasty girls or mean girls that are giving her a hard time. With a Principal who understands nothing and shows no empathy for Amy who is a great kid and manages to get into trouble but not really her fault, a superintendent who shows no mercy and says she will you might say have to deal with this situation and go to the school not of her choice but of his, hoping that she will survive. But, things spiral out of control and Amy even pretends to be sick using the famous thermometer trick. But, there is much more as poor Sophie must think she is losing her mind when she goes upstairs to bed in her mother in laws home where they are staying for now and finds a dead body in the wardrobe. Dealing with calling the police, a brother in law that comes to her aid and a whole bunch of family and spectators that wonder if she is just stressed or is seeing things because by the time the police investigate the body is gone and there is no murder so to speak.
Things start to spiral out of control as Amy becomes more upset in school, another girl seems to have the attention of others hoping to torture her and with the holidays approaching and Tom, Faith’s husband looking to move to another Parrish, things start to spin in many different directions as Faith tries to deal with Amy, Tom and now Ben going off to France. Thinking about leaving Ursula, Pix and Nikki and her catering business Faith has a lot to deal with including Amy’s fear about going back to school and dealing with Cassie. Maybe it’s time Faith had it out with Cassie’s mother who seems blinded by her daughter’s façade.
Sophie seems well taken care of by Will’s family and his stepmother Gloria seems nice enough as do all of the family. Christmas is filled with many dinners, parties, soirees and customs as Sophie tries hard to fit in. Befriending the new office manager, Ruth, and having someone to have girl time with eases her tension. But, something happens when she wants to use the powder room and it’s in use causing her to go into a smaller one and getting locked in a closet with no feasible way out. Using the tools that she finds, checking out the contents of many boxes she manages to pry open the door yet no one asks how she got stuck or how she got out. The body that was in the wardrobe seems to have disappeared yet Millicent an older woman has employed Ben to work with her on computer skills and Google searches has not shown up for church or the women’s club. With the two plots not intersecting yet the reader knows that author Katherine Hall Page is waiting for the right time to create that twist, surprise and unexpected ending to the story. As Sophie seems to be adjusting to Savannah and the warm weather the author shares the history , the scenery and the beauty of the city with readers as Faith loves Aleford and really does not want to leave but will she stand by Tom’s choice? The opulence of the Maxwell family, the jewels that Sophie is required to wear to gatherings, the customs that she must follow at times seem to make her uncomfortable but when she gets the house she wants and it bothers Miss Laura, you want to stand up and cheer and say one for her!
As Sophie begins to suspect that Will is on to something dangerous she realizes that he has disappeared and calls Faith to help find him. Clues are all around and a harsh truth and reality come to light as Sophie and Faith race the clock to find Will before another dead body appears in the wardrobe. Trap doors, secret passages, a young girl’s life sacrificed and the truth behind his grandmother’s death as Sophie visits the cemetery, has a strange vision and realizes what someone hiding in plain sight has done. An ending that is startling, a young teen that learns to fight back and a family that was torn apart. Once again author Katherine Hall Page keeps readers in suspense until she reveals what really happened to the Body in the Wardrobe and find out whether Sophie imagined it or not! Faith and Tom have some sorting out to do and Amy has made a decision that surprises everyone while Sophie has to find a way to adjust to her new family and the secrets that unfold. The Body in the Wardrobe is filled with murder, intrigue, deceptions, lies, betrayals, greed, revenge, hate and suspense. What’s next for Sophie and Will? Why did he blow up when he saw her wearing his grandmother’s dress? What does Patty Sue have against her and will Laura continue to try and come between them? Only author Katherine Hall Page knows what secrets will unfold but not until she pens the next Faith Fairchild book, shares more delicious recipes and makes all of us want to come for Thanksgiving Dinner with both Sophie and Faith’s families if not for the delicious desserts alone.
Fran Lewis: Just Reviews/MJ Magazine
Minster’s wife, caterer, and part-time sleuth Faith Fairchild pairs up with Sophie Maxwell, last seen in Body in the Birches and now a newlywed living in historic Savannah, Georgia, where Sophie crosses paths with murder.
Attorney Sophie Maxwell has come to Savannah to be with her new husband, Will. But nothing throws cold water on a hot relationship faster than a dead body. Worse for Sophie, no one believes the body she knows she saw is real, Will is spending an awful lot of time in Atlanta on a case he claims is urgent, and she’s been tasked with house hunting for them with his former sweetheart, who Sophie can’t help but suspect wishes Sophie would return to her Yankee roots!
Fortunately, Sophie has a good friend in Faith Fairchild. With teenage Amy being bullied by mean girls and husband Tom contemplating a major life change that will affect all the Fairchilds, Faith is eager for distraction in the form of some sleuthing. In between discussions of newlywed agita, surprising Savannah customs and, of course, fabulous low country food, Faith and Sophie will pair up to unmask a killer!