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Wednesday, 18 May 2016

ℚ♫ The Body in the Wardrobe: Faith Fairchild Mysteries [23] - Katherine Hall Page

Today we have the pleasure of meeting up with author to talk about The Body in the Wardrobe (, William Morrow, 256 pages), a Culinary Cozy Mystery, book twenty-three of Faith Fairchild Mysteries series.
"A charming tale filled with lively characters and mouthwatering descriptions of local food." --Kirkus Reviews

"Rich in details of the city of Savannah, its cuisine, and the particulars of southern living, this satisfying mystery nicely weaves in the backstories of series characters lives that cozy readers relish--and it includes recipes of southern delicacies." --Booklist

"Page is a master plotter in the Christie tradition, but she makes her characters so vivid and so complicated that the day to day stuff of their lives is as interesting as the solutions to the crimes." --Connecticut Post


Author Q&A | Synopsis | Teaser | The Series | About the Author | Giveaway & Tour Stops


A very warm welcome to Katherine Hall Page; thank you for joining us on BooksChatter!

Here at BooksChatter we love music; do you have a playlist that you used in The Body in the Wardrobe, or which inspired you whilst you were writing it?

"The one below is a very Partial Playlist (in no particular order). For classical music, I listen live to my local station so have not included any pieces here."
Unfortunately I could not find Alberto Faya De Cuba, su música on Youtube.
What was the inspiration for The Body in the Wardrobe?
"There are two, and no doubt more, inspirations for The Body in the Wardrobe. The first is the character Sophie Maxwell, introduced in the last book—The Body in the Birches. In her late twenties, lawyer Sophie has given up a prestigious job, and her Manhattan rent-controlled apartment! —to follow her heart to London where things did not quite work out. Returning to the U.S., she teamed up with my series character, Faith Fairchild, to solve a crime on Sanpere Island in Maine. Along the way she also finds a beau more suited, and definitely more honest. I liked writing about the two women who are at different points in life; but have very similar personalities and outlooks. The new book finds Sophie wedded and living in Savannah, Georgia, husband’s Will’s hometown. Eventually Faith finds her way there too when Sophie calls for help. Once more they track down a killer. Savannah was the second, equally motivating, inspiration for the book. An initial visit has led to more and I have been captivated by its beauty, history, incredible food, and yes all the ghosts!"
How much of yourself is reflected in this book, and how?
"I often say that my characters are not myself, which creates both the fun and challenge. Inevitably, though, my books reflect my values—murder is the most heinous crime one human being inflicts upon another—as well as things I think are funny, odd, and just plain a mystery. I have only written one book, The Body in the Bookcase, that drew on my actual life experience. It concerned a daytime home invasion. We were wiped out and yes, the first patrolman on the scene looked at the kitchen door smashed to smithereens and asked, “Was this like this when you left?”"
The first thing that draws me to a book is its cover. Can you tell us about your cover for The Body in the Wardrobe - why you chose that concept and who the artist is.
"I have been very lucky to have such wonderful covers over the years and this one is particularly striking. Emin Mancheril designed it and the photographer was Johanna Rees/Arcangel Images. We wanted something suggestive of the Gothic feel of parts of the South—the first page of the inside chapters have a tracery of Spanish moss as the background. When Sophie Maxwell goes to hang something up in the wardrobe, an old armoire, a very dead body falls out. So of course we had to have the suggestion of that piece of furniture. Alas for poor Sophie, no Narnia inside!"
Why should we read The Body in the Wardrobe and the Faith Fairchild Mysteries? What sets them apart from the rest? What makes your series unique?
"I set out to write the kind of mystery I liked to read. A traditional mystery with plenty of suspense, a good puzzle, and interesting, well developed characters. I also like mysteries with some humour—a break from sitting on the edge of one’s chair—and ones with food! Rex Stout, Dorothy Sayers, Virginia Rich, Janet Laurence, and many more. That book was The Body in the Belfry and here we are over 25 years later!"
Can you tell us something quirky about The Body in the Wardrobe, its story and characters?
"The only character named after anyone is a lovely dog named Charlie. The real Charlie lives in Savannah with my friend Meg. Meg’s move to Savannah was the reason I first went there and immediately fell in love with the place. A particularly quirky element in this book is that after Sophie discovers the very dead man in the wardrobe, she runs from the house to call the police never taking her eyes from the front door, and after they arrive they search the house from top to bottom before informing her there’s no one in it dead or alive. Even Sophie’s husband thinks she imagined the whole thing!!"
Who would you recommend The Body in the Wardrobe to and what should readers be aware of (any warnings or disclaimers)?
"The only warning or disclaimer is that readers will not find explicit violence, no gruesome serial killings and definitely no children harmed. That said I think the books appeal to many different kinds of mystery lovers. The books each work as stand alones, or one offs, although many people like to start with the first in the series and follow the characters as they change over time."
If you could / wished to turn The Body in the Wardrobe and the Faith Fairchild Mysteries series into a movie, who would be your dream team?
"I would definitely have wished for the late Nora Ephron as producer/director. As for a cast, I haven’t got a clue. Would like it to be filled with unknowns getting a start. Although Colin Firth would be ideal as Faith’s husband, the Reverend Thomas Fairchild!! Possibly in a wet clerical robe?"
What do you like to write and read about? Do you stick to a particular genre or do you like to explore different ones?
"The main body of my work has been the Faith Fairchild series, but I also wrote four mysteries for juveniles—the Christie & Company series as well as a YA novel, Club Meds that is written in the first person—a teenaged learning disabled boy who is bullied and shaken down for the medication he takes. I also have a series cookbook, Have Faith in Your Kitchen with short essays and the original recipes that have appeared at the end of my books. I put them there so the narrative would not be interrupted, i.e. Faith finds a bludgeoned body followed by a brownie recipe. Finally, I had great fun writing a collection of short fiction, Small Plates."
What is your writing process?
"Since I write a series, early on I alternated the books from the small town west of Boston where Faith Fairchild lives to what I call the “someplace else books”. These have been set in France, Norway, the coast of Maine, Manhattan, Vermont, and now Savannah. So I start the process with place and then move on to a synopsis, which becomes the skeleton (sometimes literally) for the book. I’ll go over this with my editor and then begin! I begin each workday by rewriting what I have written the day before as a way to “jump start”. I print out each chapter and do another rewrite, but by hand before transferring it to the computer."
What is in store next?
"I am currently working on the 24th book in the series, The Body in the Casket. I’m at that lovely beginning stage where I write down thoughts, lists of characters aside from the ones that appear in all the books, timelines, and so forth. And I’m revelling in research! The plot concerns a Broadway musical and in particular the producer. I’m reading biographies, autobiographies, books on stagecraft—all of which will inform, but not necessarily appear in the book."
And as a final quirky thing, to get to know you a little bit better... do you have a pet or something that is special to you that you could share with us?
"I do have a special pet and while I adore my wonderful son, I often say my cat Samantha is the daughter I never had. Now that is definitely quirky! She’s a pretty tabby who is intelligent and affectionate with a loud purr. "
Aww, little cutie :-)  Hello Samantha!  Lots of cuddles and head scratches to you from all of us at BooksChatter - including our little posse!
Thank you so much for sharing Samantha with us :-)

The Body in the Wardrobe
Available NOW!

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