The Body in the Gallery: A Faith Fairchild Mystery, by Katherine Hall Page, is the latest installment for Faith, balancing a catering career with being a fulltime mom. To add more pressure, her husband, Tom, is a clergyman. While never having gone through law enforcement training, Faith has a knack for getting involved in mysteries. As much as she tries, trouble seems to find her, in spades!
An art gallery in town has a restaurant needing attention. Who better to try and revive things than someone with a food career? It will always draw people in, bringing money to a non-profit. Faith finds herself preparing for a large fundraiser with an unexpected 'flavor'.
After the guests leave, Faith returns to the gallery. Much to her surprise and dismay, a corpse has been placed in a primary exhibit. Yikes! The police are well aware Faith has an almost uncanny knack for discovering bodies, but a bigger question lies in how the gallery ties in with the mystery. Considering the dead woman was not at the function the previous evening, staff members are scrutinized carefully.
Readers will put pieces together long before the finale. However, the killer's identity is a surprise! The motive is reasonable (to the killer anyway) but oh so twisted.
Any fan of Page knows she could not write without bringing up family. Ben, Faith's youngest child, is going through adolescence at far too fast a rate for his parents. The moodiness is understandable, but why is he spending more time in his room rather than with his best friend? Faith gets a small hint when she notices Ben with Travis Beale, recently moved to Aleford. What she doesn't see is the foreboding shadow spelling serious trouble.
I have to admit, I had problems with this book. The main storyline was unpleasant. However, it was nothing compared to Ben, Travis, and Josh. Growing up in modern society is not easy with regards to both children and teenagers. Page has wisely shown how someone who goes down the straight and narrow path can be used for worse purposes. Was what Travis and Ben did wrong? Absolutely. Beyond that, though, I believe readers will have to take a careful look inside themselves to see if the punishment fit the crime.