cover image The Body in the Fjord

The Body in the Fjord

Katherine Hall Page. William Morrow & Company, $22 (272pp) ISBN 978-0-688-14574-3

Page's Massachusetts caterer and sleuth Faith Fairchild (Body in the Bog, 1996) steps aside in this leisurely paced eighth tale to let her friend Pix Miller take center stage. Pix agrees to join a tour group in Norway with her mother after learning that the granddaughter of an old family friend disappeared right after her fiance died in a freak accident. The young couple, working as tour guides, had been seen arguing right before the disappearance and death were discovered. Mother and daughter pick up the tour in the town of Voss, are welcomed by other tour members and meet the guides replacing the ill-fated couple. Soon, a fellow traveler surprises a man trying to break into her room from the balcony. Two days later, Pix wakes up to see a blood-red swastika painted on the hotel's lawn. Hearing that Germans used the hotel during the war for eugenics experiments, she wonders if that dark history is connected with the vandalism, the attempted break-in and the missing granddaughter. The urgency of these unanswered questions intensifies when one of the tourists apparently falls to his death from a cruise ship in a fjord. Pix's probing brings her own life into danger before the sinister doings, rooted in history, are resolved. Lengthy descriptions of travel sights and Norwegian history slow the pace of the credible plot and may leave readers feeling jet-lagged. Faith contributes Norwegian recipes in the epilogue to perk up those hardy souls who complete the trip. Author tour. (Nov.)