Katherine Hall Page, author of the caterer/sleuth Faith Sibley Fairchild mysteries, has served up a selection of short stories, appropriately entitled "Small Plates." (William Morrow, 216 pages plus recipes)
Page takes her talent for mysteries and lightens them up a bit in this collection of short fiction which is the perfect accompaniment to the summer vacation or a simple afternoon on the porch swing.
Her clever caterer, Faith Fairchild, plies her trade as an amateur detective in such lovely places as Cape Cod, Maine, Manhattan and not quite so merry olde England as murder crashes a wedding in her tale, "Across the Pond."
Faith and her husband, the Reverend Thomas Fairchild, attend a religious conference on heretics at a posh resort on Cape Cod which is also hosting a seminar by sex therapists, or as Faith calls it a couple of days of "sex and sects."
But their retreat is interrupted when a terrified woman crashes their cottage. Murder and mystery wash ashore on Cape Cod in this story called, "Death in the Dunes."
Many of the stories deal with the dark and lethal side of marriage, as in the story of Mr. Carter, "The Would-Be Widower" who plans his wife's murder only to given the surprise of his life!
Ms. Page brings back her Christmas story of Mary Bethany who rescues
the young baby Christopher (which was first told in her book "The Body in the Sleigh") but this was such a charming holiday dish it deserves a second helping.
As to be expected, the author includes her popular "recipe" section at the back of this delicious collection of short mysteries.