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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Courtesy of Teens Read Too, 4 Jun 2007
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TeensReadToo "Eat. Drink. Read. Be Merrier." (All Over the US & Canada) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Body in the Ivy (Faith Fairchild Mysteries) (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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The Body in the Ivy (Faith Fairchild Mysteries)
The Body in the Ivy (Faith Fairchild Mysteries) by Katherine Hall Page (Hardcover - Nov 2006)
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