Book Review: Small Plates by Katherine Hall Page

November 19, 2014 Book Reviews 8

Book Review: Small Plates by Katherine Hall PageSmall Plates by Katherine Hall Page
Series: Faith Fairchild
Genres: Cozy, Mystery
Published by William Morrow on May 27, 2014
Pages: 240
Format: Hardcover
Source: the library

Goodreads

Agatha Award winner Katherine Hall Page presents a book of short stories featuring her famed heroine Faith Fairchild.

For years, Katherine Hall Page has delighted readers with her Faith Fairchild series, each book like a delicious, satisfying meal. Now, Page has whipped up a tasty collection of appetizing bites.

In “The Body in the Dunes,” Faith’s vacation offers more excitement than she and her husband bargained for when a terrified woman knocks on their hotel room door looking to hide from her husband. A case hits close to home in “The Proof is Always in the Pudding,” when Faith investigates a generations-old superstition that has been passed down in her husband’s family. Faith and her sister, Hope, counsel a bride-to-be suffering a number of alarming “accidents” before the big day in “Across the Pond.” In “Sliced,” Faith switches from contestant to detective when a killer reality television cooking competition turns deadly.

Small Plates also includes some irresistible standalone treats, including the Agatha Award–winning “The Would-Be Widower,” about a husband who longs to be rid of his wife, and “Hiding Places” in which a young wife’s new husband may not be all that he appears.

These stories and more will entice Faith Fairchild fans and new readers alike. Filled with the charm, wit, and the appeal of her beloved novels, Small Plates is a feast for every lover of traditional mysteries.

There are nine short stories of mystery in this anthology. Six are with Faith Fairchild and three are not.

My Take
A quirky collection with some stories that are too confusing and others that are intriguing.

The Stories
The Ghost of Winthrop” finds Tom and Faith helping Prudence Winthrop with a quilt-oriented treasure hunt. Cute if a little dorky.

Death in the Dunes” finds Faith and Tom at an oceanside conference on “Heretics: Heroes and Heroines: Conversations about Sects”. The setting is lovely; the food is not. Nor can Faith get excited about the people. Except one. And I do not understand why she would leave the protection of the Fairchilds’ bathroom…? What I don’t get is how Faith made the leap from no tan line to a murdering twin.

The Would-Be Widower” is gruesomely funny as Mr. Carter plots and plans his wife’s death as he basks in his fantasies of being a widower. So imagine his surprise at the end, *chuckling*.

No Faith in this one.

Across the Pond” is too sad as a friend of Faith and Hope’s plans her wedding. It’s fair that Fiona, Polly’s stepsister, is angry at Polly for stealing her man. It’s not fair the lengths to which Fiona and her full sister, Tessa, will go to spoil it.

A Perfect Maine Day” is not so perfect for one family when a beloved daughter washes ashore. It’s a retired fisherman with a good eye for the sea and boats who solves this one. It’s a little too simplistic in how it’s solved, but no less sad for it.

No Faith in this one.

Hiding Places” starts off cute, and I loved the description of how Felicity has decorated her new-to-her house. The small finds she makes are cute as well, but it’s that surprise find that finds me confused. Nor did I like that ending…too vague!

No Faith in this one.

The Proof is Always in the Pudding” lays to rest a Fairchild family secret. It’s always interesting to learn more about one’s family, its past, even if it does mean finding out how ruthless they can be.

Sliced” is both traumatizing and tasty. It’s a charity cook-off between Faith and three of her enemies with the weirdest list of ingredients. It’s even more amazing what they come up with. It’s definitely a story I want to read over and over again if only for the inspiring ideas. Well, and I don’t mind the comeuppance they all receive. I certainly enjoyed the back history on these three.

The Two Marys” finds Mary Bethany an unexpected mother at Christmas, and she asks Faith for help in locating the real mother. This is sweet and dramatic with a somewhat satisfying ending.

The Cover
The cover is a black background that showcases two orderly columns of different plates with a taste of kill on the four plates that show: a bloody knife, a green water pistol, a pair of bullets, and a question mark.

The title is an amuse-bouches, a tapas-like tasting of Small Plates, small stories that offer a chance to savor minute bites of life.

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8 Responses to “Book Review: Small Plates by Katherine Hall Page”

    • ladystorm

      You’re very welcome. It helps me too! I sometimes find that my enthusiasm at the end of a collection is increased (and sometimes decreased) when I go back over my notes to write up my reviews.

    • ladystorm

      I do like reading short stories. It surprises me how often I discover a new author or a series I want to read. Sometimes they’re simply useful for more insight on a character, or that I’m in the mood for a quickie, ahem, *grin*

  1. Sharon

    I’ve just recently got into short stories more and if you can find a good collection of them that’s even better. Sounds like an interesting collection you have here. Thanks for sharing.

    • ladystorm

      You’re welcome, Sharon. I do enjoy the New England-version of cozy mystery in Page’s series. I suspect it’s the cooking!

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