The Body in the Belfry: A Faith Fairchild Mystery
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The Body in the Belfry: A Faith Fairchild Mystery (Faith Fairchild #1)

3.69 of 5 stars 3.69  ·  rating details  ·  970 ratings  ·  63 reviews
During her years spent in New York City. Faith Fairchild was convinced she had seen pretty much everything. But the transplanted caterer/minister's wife was unprepared for the surprises awaiting her in the sleepy Massachusetts village of Aleford. And she is especially taken aback by the dead body of a pretty young thing she discovers stashed in the church's belfry. The vic...more
Paperback, 314 pages
Published April 3rd 2001 by Avon (first published 1990)
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Richard Reviles Censorship Always in All Ways
Rating: 2.5* of five

The Book Description: During her years spent in New York City. Faith Fairchild was convinced she had seen pretty much everything. But the transplanted caterer/minister's wife was unprepared for the surprises awaiting her in the sleepy Massachusetts village of Aleford. And she is especially taken aback by the dead body of a pretty young thing she discovers stashed in the church's belfry. The victim, Cindy Shepherd. was well-known locally for her acid tongue and her jilted bea...more
Larraine
This is a fun series. I have read the more recent books, but it's always interesting to read the first book in a mystery series. What I like about this series is that, while it's light reading, it's not stupid reading. There has been a lot of stupid writing in the mystery genre lately. I can tell pretty quickly after reading a few pages. When I have the urge to throw the book in the trash, it's time to return it to the library! In this case, I got this copy from Paperback Book Swap, a site I rec...more
Lisa (Harmonybites)
Jan 19, 2011 Lisa (Harmonybites) rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition Recommends it for: Those Who Love Cozy Mysteries
Recommended to Lisa (Harmonybites) by: The Complete Idiot's Guide to the Ultimate Reading List
This is a "cozy mystery," the first in a series. This book didn't exactly suck me in and point of view issues didn't help. Most of the first chapter was skimmable backstory told in narrative summary, and Faith Sibley, our sleuth, didn't come alive to me as a person.

Faith is a caterer and minister's wife in the small Massachusetts town of Aleford. She's heaving "Victorian sighs" because she's homesick for New York City and bewailing nothing has happened in Aleford since 1775. (I found Faith rath...more
Cheryl Landmark
A pleasant, cozy mystery read that wasn't spectacular but enjoyable nonetheless.

Faith was a likeable character with tons of curiousity and feistiness, who was trying hard to fit into the quiet, sleepy small town of Aleford and assume the role of a minister's wife after spending years in New York City. It was a bit of a culture shock for her, to say the least, but her love for her husband, Tom, and his mission in life made the transition a little easier. I liked the easygoing, loving relationship...more
Suzanne Young
I thought there was too much "life in a small town" and not enough action around the mystery itself. Nice if you like small-town gossip.
Debbie
This book is the beginning of a growing list of “Body in the _____” series. Its heroine is Faith Sibley, a native New Yorker who has started a gourmet catering service. She meets and falls in love with Tom Fairchild, a young minister who whisks her away from her beloved home town to a much different life in rural Massachusetts. Faith is trying her best to fit into the role of pastor’s wife in a small town where everyone’s family goes back several generations and where everyone knows everyone el...more
Spotsalots
This cozy-style mystery is readable enough in its way, but I really don't understand how it managed to win an Agatha Award for Best First Mystery. As other readers have pointed out, it's set in a ridiculously cliche New England village full of ancestor-worshippers (please, why couldn't they have been PAGAN ancestor-worshippers just for variety?) and in general the characters are unusually one-dimensional even by genre fiction standards. The heroine is a New York City gourmet caterer whose love f...more
Nikki
The Body in the Belfry is the first in a series whose protagonist is Faith Fairchild, a New York-bred caterer who falls in love with a minister and ends up in a small suburban Boston town. In this book, although she has been married long enough to produce a baby, she is still learning her way around the New England mores, as well as how to be a mother and a pastor's wife. When she discovers a dead body in a historic landmark (this belfry is free-standing, not atop a church) it leads to undreamed...more
Oswego Public Library District
Faith is a New Yorker transplanted into a small New England town. She is still a bit of an outsider in a town with closely held secrets. With her young baby in tow, Faith moves about town listening for clues that will solve a murder. Good depiction of small town life in New England complete with quirky characters, and of a young woman trying to stay true to her own culinary interests as she adapts to a slightly different way of life. This is a good cozy "whodunnit" with only suggested violence....more
Pam
Katherine Hall Page -- The Body in the Belfry 11/09/11 -- 4/B
Mystery/1990/St. Martin's Press/258 LP
#1 in Faith Fairchild series
Late 1980's/Aleford, MA
Faith Fairchild -- minister's wife, mother, caterer, amateur sleuth
1st Lines: Fairth Fairchild, recently of NYC, paused to catch her breath.
Comments: Another series I've been meaning to try for years. Was able to find the 1st in the series at the library. Faith is a very likeable character, a born & bred New Yorker, independent -- started her o...more
Lauren Fidler
this is the first in the faith fairchild series - and one i sort of wish i'd read first (instead of starting with like the 14th book in the series).

it's interesting to see where certain characters started...and what they've become, though.

of all the faiths, this was my favorite. there was no actual cookbook in the back, so that gimmick must have happened later. hall page also tried this thing where she got in the heads of many characters, not just faith. i'm glad she dropped that as well.

the ki...more
Cynthia
Another pick for my little mystery lunch group and another enjoyable read. This is the first in this particular series for Page and it's a fine start. The writing is both eloquent and down to earth, sometimes quite tongue in cheek. Page throws in a few asides that are absolutely hilarious.

Faith Fairchild, formerly a successful caterer in NYC and now wife to a small town minister and new mother to son Benjamin, discovers the body of a young woman in a church belfry. Faith soon discovers that the...more
Jennifer Bagby
Nov 25, 2013 Jennifer Bagby marked it as to-read
Shelves: mystery
Faith Fairchild
1. The Body in the Belfry (1990)
2. The Body in the Kelp (1990)
3. The Body in the Bouillon (1991)
4. The Body in the Vestibule (1992)
5. The Body in the Cast (1993)
6. The Body in the Basement (1994)
7. The Body in the Bog (1996)
aka The Body in the Marsh
8. The Body in the Fjord (1997)
9. The Body in the Bookcase (1998)
10. The Body in the Big Apple (1999)
11. The Body in the Moonlight (2001)
12. The Body In The Bonfire (2002)
13. The Body in the Lighthouse (2003)
14. The Body in the Attic (...more
Dennis Fischman
I saw some later books in the series in a bric-a-brac shop in Wellfleet and decided it was worth a try. I'm glad I did. While there's nothing exceptional about this first Faith Fairchild mystery, there's a lot of promise. I will read more of them and see how the characters develop.

Jan. 2013: Re-read the book for the Somerville Public Library Mystery Book Club and I'm feeling a little more critical of it. The author had not yet learned her craft: there's a lot of telling instead of showing, and t...more
Carrie
This book was disappointing. I had high hopes for it, since I'm always excited to start a mystery series I hadn't tried before. This one is about a minister's wife, Faith, who moves with her husband from NYC to a small New England town. And there, surprise, surprise, she discovers a body in the belfry.

I found that I didn't care about Faith, her husband, or any of the other characters. The writing was very slow, and I had to force myself to keep reading it. Supposedly the people in the town were...more
Sfdreams
Oct 02, 2008 Sfdreams rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Sfdreams by: Lisa Vegan
Shelves: reviewed
This is the debut book in a series. I enjoyed this book, but it wasn't the most well-written book I've read. However, since it was a first book, I am willing to suspend criticism for now. There are many books in the series (this book was written in 1990!) so I plan to read at least the next few books to see how I enjoy the rest of the series.

I found the protagonist likeable, but I didn't feel as involved as I get with my other series favorites. This is probably due to the skill level of the auth...more
Linda
First of this series and my first reading of this author. Interesting, well drawn characters and a fast moving mystery. I will definitely read more of Katherine Hall Page's books. The only drawback was I kept gasping each time the seemingly intelligent main character, Faith, would have an alcoholic drink and then breastfeed her 5 month old baby.
Judy Goodnight
I read this book and about five more in the series back when they were first published but then lost track of where I was with them. I was happy to have it selected for our summer mystery group so I could go back & read the entire series.

Like many first mysteries, this isn't the most polished book, but I very much enjoyed the characters of Faith and Tom Fairchild. I can totally appreciate Faith's fish out of water experience of small town New England coming from Manhattan. I'm looking forwar...more
Rebecca
Dec 03, 2009 Rebecca rated it 2 of 5 stars Recommends it for: mystery lovers
Recommended to Rebecca by: my mother
Shelves: rmr-project
The Body in the Belfry is, according to the back flap, Katherine Hall Page's first book and it earned her the Agatha Award for best first mystery novel. From a reader perspective, it captivated me easily and carried me happily along on its tale. No problems with suspension of disbelief or characterization. A pleasant read.

Copyright 1990. Published by Avon Books.

Aspects of POV annoyed me--it felt broken. See http://balancingboard.blogspot.com/20... for my full eval.
Arlene
Another New England mystery series that I have really enjoyed. Faith Fairchild comes to the small village of Aleford as a pastor's wife. After living all her life in NYC, this is quite the transition for Faith. I have read this series for years and enjoyed seeing Faith open a catering business, Have Faith, while raising Ben and Amy and dealing with all the people of her husband's parish. And of course, murders abound in this small town, so Faith uses her sleuthing abilities to solve the crimes.
Gloria
Faith is a New Yorker transplanted into a small New England town. She is still a bit of an outsider in a town with closely held secrets. With her young baby in tow, Faith moves about town listening for clues that will solve a murder. Good depiction of small town life in New England complete with quirky characters, and of a young woman trying to stay true to her own interests as she adapts to a slightly different way of life. This is a good cozy "whodunnit" with suggested violence and no sex.
Ann
This is the first in the Faith Fairchild series and it was OK. Faith takes a walk and finds the body of a young woman in the belfry at a local park. The young woman was disliked by everyone and it seems that she was a scheming blackmailer to several people. When her fiancee is arrested for the murder, Faith knows he is innocent and begins to look into the crime. The book introduces Faith and the characters are beginning to build that will run throughout the series.
Kathy Davie
I so enjoyed reading this. Such a perfect partnership between Faith and her minister husband--love, patience, enthusiasm, consideration. Page has drawn a lovely range of characters. I look forward to getting to know them all better.

The Have Faith part reminds me of Diane Mott Davidson's Goldy Bear series while the New England village setting bears a vague feeling of Agatha Christie's Miss Marple. And the whole creates a very homey feeling.
Jennifer Hall
I especially enjoyed reading that the main characters are fans of Garrison Keillor and his radio show. I'm a big fan of Mr. Keillor myself. I listen to the show every week.

I also enjoyed that the ending prepares the reader for a sequel. I have read all the sequels except for two of them. I had to read the books out of order because I borrowed them from the library. I hope she writes more beyond the two I haven't read.
Catherine
I enjoyed the relationship between amateur sleuth Faith Fairchild and her minister husband. I agree with another reviewer that this is a light read, but not a stupid read. The plot is sufficiently complex, the setting (small town New England) is rich and relevant to the story, and the characters have depth. The depiction of life as a minister's wife is realistic, not syrupy. I will definitely read more of the series.
Kiran
Enjoyable fun read about a small town wife, mother and foodie who finds herself solving murders in her east coast town. First in the series, Body in the Belfry follows the life of lead character, Faith Fairchild, who grew up in NYC and enjoys cooking gourmet meals for her friends and family. Nothing to taxing on the brain but it is a great cozy mystery. If you enjoy cooking then this series is for you.
k a t m a e
I read a later book in this series and decided to go back and read the first - hoping that maybe i found a new series to complete.... unfortunately, the sweetsie mysteries just get to me. I don't believe a story that has a couple that's been married who only call eachother by their first names - and no nickname (like, hun, hubs, dear or whatever) - so I was glad to just finish the book and move on.
Booklogged
Faith Fairchild is an unlikely heroine, but very likeable. She is married to a young minister and has a young baby, but neither stop her from searching for clues to the murder in her small Northeastern town. Here's a quote: "Tom would draw Robert out, unraveling the thread of his discontent, then help him knit it all back up into a more wearable garment."
Tracy Cobb
I am a murder mystery fan. I love PBS's Masterpiece Mysteries series. Reading Katherine Hall Page's series is like watching Murder, She Wrote. They are not heavy, gory reads and Faith Fairchild, the heroine, is a caterer so there is a lot of talk about food with recipes at the back of most of her books. So its informative reading also.
Micki
Faith Fairchild, ministers wife, found a body in the village's belfry. Her friend is accused and Faith is sure he didn't do it. Thinking the police are looking in the wrong places, Faith decides to do her best to solve the murder. Good mystery. Suspenseful but not as gory as other murder mysteries.
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Katherine Hall Page is the author of fifteen previous Faith Fairchild mysteries, the first of which received the Agatha Award for best first mystery and the most recent of which, The Body in the Snowdrift, was honored with the Agatha Award for best novel. Page also won an Agatha for her short story "The Would-Be Widower." She lives in Massachusetts with her husband and son. (from the publisher's w...more
More about Katherine Hall Page...
The Body in the Bouillon (Faith Fairchild, #3) The Body in the Kelp (Faith Fairchild, #2) The Body in the Vestibule (Faith Fairchild, #4) The Body in the Ivy (Faith Fairchild, #16) The Body in the Bookcase (Faith Fairchild, #9)

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