While reading The Body in the Boudoir, the twentieth book in Ms. Page’s Faith Fairchild series, I wondered more than once if this was going to be the last readers saw of Faith. In the end, I decided that was not the case, but it well could be. The book starts with Faith and Tom flying to Italy for a second honeymoon. While on the flight, Faith reminisces about how she met Tom, their courtship and wedding and it ends with Faith remembering all of those who have pasted on.
It is quite a departure from previous books, and not particularly in a good way. The tone of the book is a bit melancholy and the plot lines-and there are several, never quite fit together. The main plot is built around the courtship and wedding planning of Faith and Tom, but there are several side plots involved. Faith becomes violently ill at her wedding shower, and that is but the first in a string of unusual things that happen to her. Is someone trying to kill her and if so why? Is it to prevent the wedding? It is apparent from the shower that Tom’s sister and the long time family friend Sydney don’t approve of Faith and that causes some ongoing issues for Faith.
The wedding is to take place at Faith’s Great Uncle Sky’s house on Long Island, and there at least three side plots tied to Sky and his household. Mysterious things keep happening at the house-stonework falling, a middle of the night break-in with little taken but a person (who was dressed as someone else) is murdered and a malfunctioning car. The housekeeper is a strange old bird and may be hiding secrets of her own. Sky’s wife, his third, too may not be quite what she seems or at least their marriage appears to not be.
In the middle of all of this, Faith leaves to go to Virginia to help her friend and former employee Josie, open her new restaurant. While interesting, this really did not tie into the rest of the book at all.
This brings us to Francesca, Faith’s newest employee and recent arrival from Italy. Her family back home thinks she’s in England instead of the United States, Faith sees her meeting with and paying a man a couple of times and eventually Faith gets involved with helping Francesca find a man who was stationed in Italy during the war. Yes, I know what you’re thinking, I did too, but it’s not that simple. This entire plot was quite complicated and could easily have been an entire book in itself. Also, it seemed to serve no purpose to the bigger story at all except to give Faith and Tom a reason to be flying to Italy.
And if this is not enough, Faith is trying to help her sister Hope figure out who is sabotaging her career and why.
The Body in the Boudoir really seems to be parts of what could have been three separate installments in the series. Instead, readers are given a sort of mishmash of plots to think about with an unsatisfactory conclusion to them all.