THE BODY IN THE BELFRY by Katherine Hall Page


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Sassy first novel featuring new mother Faith Fairchild, ""a specialist in snap judgments,"" who moved to the quaint New England town of Aleford when she married its sexy, young minister. Faith discovers the dead body of parish member Cindy Shepherd on a park bench and, horrified, scampers up the belfry and alerts the town by ringing the bell. The town is as scandalized by the murder as it is by Faith's unsanctioned ringing of its chief historical artifact. Soon Cindy's penchant for blackmailing gentlemen with pictures of themselves in lewd positions is revealed, and soon after that there's another murder--of Faith's friend Patricia--a warm and gracious community matron. Wisecracking as she goes, Faith is determined to get to the bottom of the two deaths, and her casual reading of an old town-history book heads her in the right direction--but not before the demented scourge of Aleford locks her and her 15-month-old son up in a jelly cupboard, where she's already hidden away young Jenny, Patricia's daughter. Before long, though, the plucky Faith is reunited with her minister, and ready to open a catering business (""Have Faith""), while the murderer is off to the loony bin. Bright repartee, and snappy juxtaposition of an ex-New Yorker with crusty New Englanders. The meandering plot's a bit far-fetched, but the characters and locale are charming. An engaging debut.

Pub Date: March 23rd, 1990
Publisher: St. Martin's