Katherine Hall Page: The Body in the Web

Faith Fairchild #26

Katherine Hall Page has written the first mystery – that I have read – that has fully fleshed out the pandemic. How it hit, how weird it was, how it affected schools, including colleges, jobs, and all the ways people congregate.

Faith Fairchild is a minister’s wife, a parent of a college student and a high school senior, and the owner of a catering company. Her sister is a financial lawyer on Wall Street, and she receives early information about the forthcoming pandemic. She contacts Faith and tells her all the things she needs to stock up on, as well as telling her that Faith’s son would be sent home from college soon.

As everything shuts down, covid hits Faith’s small town. It’s not so much the illness that devastates, but how easily older people living alone could be overwhelmed by everything.  They are also in danger of being overlooked as everyone else scrambles to take care of themselves. One of the Fairchild’s neighbors is found without heat or food, as it’s difficult to get out for groceries and to the post office to pay bills. Friends in the community take her in. Faith and her children start a meal delivery service to help people, especially seniors.

The way people coped with the unprecedented event of covid is so well written by Page that many readers will have flashbacks.

As this book is one of a series (book 26), there is, of course, a murder, though it occurs later in the book. The victim, a friend of Faith’s, is Claudia, an art teacher. She had recently been harassed in a viral online display of nude photos during a town Zoom meeting. Some were legit as Claudia had posed for art classes years ago, but some were photo-shopped. It’s public humiliation taken to new heights.

Faith is the person who finds Claudia, who has died horrifically, and is the first to think that it wasn’t suicide. Page excels at illustrating how people really deal with seeing a truly awful death, especially if you are close to the victim. Faith does not bounce back within a few chapters, as so many fictional heroes do. She has flashbacks and nightmares. But she also has much support from her friends and family. Faith does solve the mystery, and stays safe while doing so.

This is an excellent entry into a solid series. I feel like you get two books with this story, a pandemic one and a mystery. Go forth and enjoy this book! — Patti Cheney


Patti Cheney is a reader, librarian, coloring aficionado, both nerd & geek, friend, daughter, sister, aunt, feminist, and transplanted Michigander.