THE BODY IN THE BASEMENT by Katherine Hall Page


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A nasty surprise awaits Faith Fairchiid's old friend Pix Miller when she goes to check on the construction of Faith's new summer house on Maine's Sanpere Island: There's a body carefully wrapped in a quilt hidden in the basement. Even though the contractor would soon have covered the corpse of itinerant restorer Mitchell Pierce in cement with no one being the wiser, still, as Pix's elderly mother sagely remarks, ""It's not the way one likes to start a new house."" (Faith's own reaction: ""It'll be weeks before they let us continue."") And the trouble on Sanpere has just begun: Pix's daughter Samantha finds three decapitated mice at her summer camp, a display of plastic bats with painted blood, and a gull with its throat slit. Sounds like decorator Valerie Atherton's incorrigible teen Duncan Cowley. But would Duncan really kill Mitch Pierce -- or local celebrity quilter Adelaide Bainbridge, who's found wrapped in another quilt? Or are the crimes connected instead, as Pix suspects, to a ring of antiques forgers that may just include the off-island stranger who'd been so attentive to Addie? Though Pix does duty for barely-there Faith (The Body in the Cast, 1993, etc.), the mixture is otherwise familiar. Unremittingly nice suspects and down-east recipes establish a family-values backdrop for a killer who faces the need to kill Pix by fretting: ""Our parents used to play bridge together.

Pub Date: Oct. 20th, 1994
Page count: 272pp
Publisher: Dunne/St. Martin's