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The Body in the Ivy (Faith Fairchild Mysteries) Hardcover – Nov 2006


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Hardcover, Nov 2006
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow & Company (Nov. 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060763655
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060763657
  • Product Dimensions: 23.7 x 16.1 x 2.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 728,748 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By TeensReadToo TOP 500 REVIEWER on 4 Jun. 2007
Format: Hardcover
Nearly forty years ago, Pelham College senior Helene Prince plummeted to her death from the school's tower. A wealthy, popular, beautiful woman, Prin, as she was known, seemed to have everything going for her. Which made her suicide that much more tragic. But Prin's group of friends at Pelham, as well as her twin sister, suspected there was more to the story.

After graduation, the young women all went their separate ways, until decades later when all are summoned to a mysterious island by a famous suspense writer. The former friends would never have agreed to go if they had known the others would be there, and they certainly would not have gone if they had known that the nightmare of Prin's death was about to come back to haunt them. When the island's reluctant guests start getting killed off, it is up to the caterer, Faith Fairchild, to catch the murderer and stop the carnage. This isn't Faith's first experience with homicide, either. It seems that she is often buried in dead bodies while she is trying to serve delicious delicacies to her catering clients.

THE BODY IN THE IVY is an entertaining mystery that kept me guessing. I don't read many mysteries, and I found myself wondering why that is as I turned the pages of this book. It's fun to wonder "Who dunnit?" and to watch the clues and suspects as they are revealed. In this particular book, the setting - an isolated private island - added greatly to the mystery and atmosphere. The prime suspects were eight former college friends who had gladly shaken the dust of their all-women's college off their feet decades earlier. They were all successful in their own ways, and it was fun to see how they each had evolved since college, and how they handled the stress of being trapped on an island with a murderer.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 20 reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Clever Christie parallel 22 Nov. 2006
By Karen Potts - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Faith Fairchild is asked to cater a reunion for reclusive author Barbara Bailey Bishop and her friends from Pelham, an exclusive women's college. The reunion is to take place at a remote island home which is owned by Bishop, whose real name is Elaine Prince. Most of the women who have been invited have a specific expertise, such as finance or gardening, which they have been asked to share with their old college friends. Once they arrive, however, they see that the agenda is quite different. Two of the women are murdered and it becomes apparent that their hostess is out to discover which of them pushed her twin sister to her death just before they all graduated from Pelham. Flashbacks of their college years show that each of the women had reason to want to kill Prin Prince, who act cruelly towards each one of them. This book is a real departure from the others in the series and is a clever tribute to Agatha Christie's classic "10 Little Indians" in which guests to a home are eliminated one by one by a clever murderer in their midst. I found the change refreshing and thoroughly enjoyed the guessing game as to who the murderer was.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
great amateur sleuth 6 Nov. 2006
By Harriet Klausner - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
On a privately owned New England island, bestselling author Barbara Bailey Bishop hires Faith Fairchild to cater a college reunion celebration. Barbara and her classmates including her twin Helene known as Prin attended Ivy school Pelham College in the late 1960s; her name back then was Elaine Prince. In 1970, Prin fell from a campus tower to her death in what the police ruled was a suicide the night before graduation.

Faith has always felt otherwise that one of these eight killed her sibling who was universally desired and loathed. Now she has everyone who could have committed the act stranded on the island where she plans to learn the truth. The first death is considered an accident, but those that follow leave the dwindling survivors panicked as there is no escape until there is none.

In the sixteenth Fairchild amateur sleuth (can Faith still be considered an amateur, pay aside?) Katherine Hall Page pays obvious homage to Agatha Christie by modernizing And Then there Were None. The story line is fast-paced and filled with rising tension as one by one the attendees are dying with no way off the island (a storm adds to their isolation). As Faith, the only outsider, investigates while trying to remain alive, readers will appreciate this superior tale that ends with a Christie style twist.

Harriet Klausner
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Another Hit for Faith Fairchild 27 Nov. 2006
By M. Jeanne Bracken - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
I was lucky enough to pick up an advanced reader copy for THE BODY IN THE IVY at the American Library Association conference in New Orleans, so I didn't have to wait as long as most to read the latest Faith Fairchild novel by Katherine Hall Page. At Malice Domestic this year, Katherine was the guest of honor and also won the Agatha Best Novel of the Year ('05) for THE BODY IN THE SNOWDRIFT. That's a tough act to follow, but she has pulled it off. The atmospheric Maine island and fantastic house she describes are the perfect setting for her "locked-room" type of mystery. The characters are interesting, strong, and ring a bell for this grad (coed, Non-Ivy, alas) of the late 1960s. I enjoyed the flashbacks to tell the backstory. And the Maine weather descriptions were perfect!
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Another great Faith Fairchild book in the series 10 Nov. 2006
By Armchair Interviews - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
The Body in the Ivy is number 16 in the popular Faith Fairchild series; after the Agatha Award-winning Body in the Snowdrift. Page has degrees from Wellesley, Tufts, and Harvard, and taught English and History for years before her first book was published in 1990.

The setting of The Body in the Ivy, the all-girl Pelham College, in 1970--is right out of her background. Just before graduation, the most popular of the students, Helene Prince, is found dead at the foot of the college tower, an apparent suicide. Her twin sister, Elaine, however, has never believed it was suicide.

Faith receives an invitation to cater for a reclusive best-selling author on her remote island in Maine, when she hosts a weeklong college reunion. No one knows the author's true identity, and her guests accept for various reasons--Rachel, the famous classical guitarist; Bobbi, the California massage therapist; Maggie, who has gone on to become the President of Pelham; Chris, the writer and well-known gardener; Gwen, the financial wizard; Phoebe, mother of three, wife of a cranky and self-centered attorney; and Lucy, the mother of two college-age independent girls.

Told through flashbacks to their college years, we get to know the REAL Helene Prince, and learn just why each of the women attending had reason to hate her and want her dead.

Page has included some incredible recipes, as usual. Some of the recurring characters in the series: Tom, Faith's minister husband; her two children; Pix, her best friend and neighbor, are not in this book, but it still is a great read.

Armchair Interviews says: Page manages to capture the life of a career woman, mother and wife to perfection.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Courtesy of Teens Read Too 4 Jun. 2007
By TeensReadToo - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Nearly forty years ago, Pelham College senior Helene Prince plummeted to her death from the school's tower. A wealthy, popular, beautiful woman, Prin, as she was known, seemed to have everything going for her. Which made her suicide that much more tragic. But Prin's group of friends at Pelham, as well as her twin sister, suspected there was more to the story.

After graduation, the young women all went their separate ways, until decades later when all are summoned to a mysterious island by a famous suspense writer. The former friends would never have agreed to go if they had known the others would be there, and they certainly would not have gone if they had known that the nightmare of Prin's death was about to come back to haunt them. When the island's reluctant guests start getting killed off, it is up to the caterer, Faith Fairchild, to catch the murderer and stop the carnage. This isn't Faith's first experience with homicide, either. It seems that she is often buried in dead bodies while she is trying to serve delicious delicacies to her catering clients.

THE BODY IN THE IVY is an entertaining mystery that kept me guessing. I don't read many mysteries, and I found myself wondering why that is as I turned the pages of this book. It's fun to wonder "Who dunnit?" and to watch the clues and suspects as they are revealed. In this particular book, the setting - an isolated private island - added greatly to the mystery and atmosphere. The prime suspects were eight former college friends who had gladly shaken the dust of their all-women's college off their feet decades earlier. They were all successful in their own ways, and it was fun to see how they each had evolved since college, and how they handled the stress of being trapped on an island with a murderer.

About half of this book takes place in present day, largely on the private island where all the women have been gathered. The other half of the book is made up of flashbacks to the women's lives and relationships when they were in college. These flashbacks focus on each woman in turn, and show key turning points in their relationships with each other and, especially, with the dead woman, Prin. The flashbacks in the story where the women are in college will undoubtedly be of most interest to teen readers. Those readers will likely identify with college students in their late teens and early twenties. Although I believe that readers of any age will enjoy meeting the women that those college students became and seeing how their past experiences shaped their lives.

I recommend this book for readers who enjoy a nice, juicy mystery. The story is unique, too, because the sleuth is a caterer. That gives the author an opportunity to offer some recipes for dishes that are served during the story. That was a neat touch. I discovered that THE BODY IN THE IVY is the most recent in a series of more than a dozen mysteries by Katherine Hall Page. All the titles begin with "The Body in the...," so it's clear that Page's catering heroine, Faith Fairchild, has plenty of experience in solving murders. This was good news for me because now I have a long list of intriguing mysteries to add to my "to be read" pile.

Reviewed by: K. Osborn Sullivan
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