I try to read every book that Katherine Hall Page writes as they are always outstanding. She is the award winning author of The Faith Fairchild Mystery series. Katherine Hall Page won the 1991 Agatha Award for Best First Novel for “The Body in the Belfry.” The fifteenth book in the series, “The Body in the Snowdrift”, won the 2006 Agatha Award for Best Mystery Novel. She is currently working on her twenty-second Faith Fairchild Mystery.
While most know Ms. Page for the full length Faith Fairchild Mystery series, she has also won acclaim for her recipe book, her children’s series and her short stories. Ms. Page was awarded the 2001 Agatha for the Best Short Story, “The Would-Be Widower,” an outstanding short story that is included in this book. In 2004, “The Two Mary’s” was nominated for an Agatha in the short story category. That story is also included here.
I never read short stories until recently. Now I’m a fan. “Small Plates” offers tasty morsels of mysteries. Katherine Hall Page lists her favorite short story writers in the introduction. She states, “I find the short stories more difficult to write than the novels-hard as they are.” She quotes Henry David Thoreau who observed, “Not that the story need be long, but it will take a long while to make it short.”
“Small Plates” is composed of nine short stories, some old, some new. Six include Faith Fairchild. I enjoyed every one of them. If forced to pick my favorite it would be, “The Two Mary’s” the last short story in the book. It is about a woman who finds a baby named, Christopher, in her goat barn on Christmas Eve. For a short story, it packs an emotional punch. The story weaves between the emotions of the woman that finds the baby and the woman who left the baby, both fascinating characters. Faith, of course, helps both women. It is sad, but hopeful at the same time. I would love to see Mary Bethany reappear in another full length Faith Fairchild mystery.
One story has Faith in a cooking contest, which ends up deadly. Five are about marital relationships including one set in England, where Faith and her sister, Hope are both bridesmaids. One is a true puzzle mystery looking for a hidden treasure and one features Faith’s mother-in-law.
I recommend this book and all the books by Katherine Hall Page.
Five stars out of five.
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In accordance with FTC guidelines for reviewers, I would like to clarify that this book was provided to me by the publisher free of charge. I am not compensated by the author or publisher for my review. All they expect is an honest review of the work.