by Katherine Hall Page
William Morrow, ISBN 978-0062065483
May 1, 2012, 272 pages.
I had heard about this series, but my recent experience with jumping into a well established series had not been too successful. And with 19 previous books with Faith Fairchild, well, I was concerned.
If you have read this whole series, I assume you will need little encouragement in picking up this latest one, but if you are new to these books, this is the perfect place to start, because the story told goes back to the beginning in 1990, when Faith, then a successful caterer in NYC, met her future husband Thomas Fairchild and started a very new chapter in her life.
From the publisher description...
It's 1990, and Faith Sibley is a single young woman leading a glamorous life in New York City. She has good friends, a cozy apartment, and her own flourishing catering business, Have Faith. Then, at a catering event, she meets the handsome, charming Reverend Thomas Fairchild. A daughter and granddaughter of clergymen, Faith has sworn to avoid a parish's fishbowl existence. But it's love at first sight, and before she knows it her life is changing drastically.Yes, not one but several interesting little mysteries for the readers..and Faith..to figure out. As if a whirlwind romance, the decision to give up her business and take on the life of a minister's wife in a small New England and all the wedding plans are not stressful enough, it appears that someone is trying to kill the bride. Now that is stress!
To begin with, she's beckoned north to chilly New England to visit her future residence and prospective in-laws, not all of whom welcome her with open arms. Thankfully, back home she has her adoring great-uncle Sky to rely on, even if his much younger wife has always struck Faith as slightly odd. For the ceremony Uncle Sky has offered up the use of his mansion on Long Island, which would be the perfect location if only the brickwork wasn't suspiciously falling off the roof.
Her path to the altar is made even rockier when Faith faces two other baffling mysteries. Her new assistant, Francesca, appears to be hiding a family secret with roots in Italy. Then Faith's sister, Hope, becomes a target. Who could be plotting to derail her high-stakes financial career?
In spite of being overwhelmed by her decision to leave her home in the Big Apple and the multitude of tasks involved in getting married, Faith has no doubts about being married to her beloved Tom. But someone out there is dead set on making sure that she doesn't reach the altar. Before it's too late, she needs to figure out who is trying to sabotage the wedding—by eliminating the bride!
Much of this book is set in Manhattan, the upper class NY of Faith's family, the Silbys, and I must say I found that aspect delightful. The wedding shower, the celebratory parties, a carriage ride in Central Park, private clubs and lovely food all around was all great fun between the more sinister happenings.When she and her mother and sister go shopping for a wedding dress, it is at Bergdorf’s bridal salon and when they stop for tea, it is at the Palm Court in the Plaza Hotel. What fun!
Did I mention the food? Well, since Faith is a caterer, it only makes sense that food will play a significant part of the story and the book will not disappoint, going so far as to share a few recipes that arise in the story in the back of the book. I will admit parts of this book made me quite hungry.
Good characters, interesting settings, including Thomas' parish in Massachusetts, upper class Manhattan and the old family estate in the coast of Long Island where the exciting conclusion takes place, add a great deal to an entertaining story. All in all, a good introduction to Faith and her cast of characters. I think fan of the series will want to grab this one up and those, like myself, new to it, will find much to enjoy.