The Body in the Fjord by Katherine Hall Page
|The Body in the Fjord by Katherine Hall Page|
|Category: General Fiction|
|Reviewer: Louise Laurie|
|Summary: This is another case for amateur sleuth Pix to try and solve. Along with her feisty mother Ursula, they travel to the majestic Norwegian Fjords at the urgent request of a dear friend.|
|Buy? Maybe||Borrow? Maybe|
|Pages: 224||Date: August 2010|
|Publisher: Robert Hale|
|External links: Author's website|
Page gives us another The Body In The... book within a tried and tested format. The book jacket covers are always bright and jazzy and this one is no exception. We're deep in Norway, its picturesque countryside and world-famous fjords. We are in the company of two different but interesting women. Mother and daughter. Pix, the daughter (I think the name sounds as if it belongs to someone young) is a mother in middle-age with teenage children. She has responsibilities, but at times she behaves like a sixteen year old and I suppose that is part of her appeal. She cannot seem to say no to anyone and now finds herself enlisted to solve an unexplained death and a missing person. The latter is the more important as the missing person, Kari, is related to Ursula's best friend. Yes, perhaps a few too many names at the beginning of the book to grapple with but it soon settles down.
Page herself has connections with Norway and she gives the reader a potted history of the country. She gives us the low-down on, for example, the food, the customs, the antiques. All interesting in their own right but within the context of a light and entertaining read, such as this, perhaps less is more.
Pix is extremely enthusiastic in most areas of her busy and bustling life. But she seems to have drawn the golden ticket here. She tells us that Sleuthing in foreign countries held a particularly seductive appeal. So consequently there's lots of laughing, guffawing, giggling and downright high-jinks - in amongst all this sleuthing, of course. I think I did mention that the book is a light and entertaining read, didn't I? Page likes to give her readers the tiniest of details: what Pix packed in her suitcase for the journey, what food her mother likes etc. This is very much Page's style and she's probably thinking - if it ain't broke, don't fix it. And quite right too.
We're given lots of detail about the Norwegian people themselves and their enviable high standard of living and perhaps not quite so enviable high cost of living. One sentence I did like was Like the airport, the very air seemed scrubbed clean. And while I fully appreciate that it is Page's style of writing, at times certain sentences stand out for all the wrong reasons. They're a bit twee, a bit old-fashioned and not really to my own personal taste. Sentences such as The damsel in distress stepped forward, earnestly beginning her tale.
Please do not read this book if you are hungry. Page lovingly describes time and time again the breakfast menu at the various Norwegian venues, the mid-morning cakes and cookies, the evening banquets... The Norwegian Tourist Board should be very happy with Ms Page, I'm thinking.
And back to the story proper. It moves along at a nice, leisurely pace. Oh, and another dead body pops up - and Pix just happens to be in the vicinity. So, lots of explanations required. For me Pix was just too stereotypical but I loved Ursula. I pictured her in my mind's eye as a Joan Rivers - but with better manners.
There is an interesting Norwegian twist and back-story to the novel. All ends are eventually tied up; Pix has bought the whole family local souvenirs - it's time to go home. If you enjoy a light, lively read with lots of domestic detail thrown in, then you'll enjoy this book.
If you enjoyed The Body in the Fjord, you'll also like The Body In The Basement by Katherine Hall Page.
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You can read more book reviews or buy The Body in the Fjord by Katherine Hall Page at Amazon.com.
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