Caterer Faith Fairchild has a bad feeling about her father-in-law's decision to celebrate his seventieth birthday with a family reunion ski week at the Pine Slopes resort in Vermont -- the Fairchilds' favorite getaway since Faith's husband, the Reverend Thomas Fairchild, was a toddler. At first her unease seems unfounded -- until Faith comes across a corpse on one of the cross-country trails, the apparent victim of a heart attack.
Then one catastrophe follows another: the mysterious disappearance of the Pine Slopes' master chef, a malicious prank at the sports center, a break-in at the Fairchild condo, the sabotage of a chairlift. And when a fatal "accident" with the snow-making machines stains the slopes blood red, Faith realizes she'll have to work fast to solve a murderous puzzle -- because suddenly not only are the reunion and the beloved resort's future in jeopardy . . . but Faith's life is as well.
Agatha-winner Page's 15th Faith Fairchild mystery (after 2004's The Body in the Attic) offers the usual tantalizing mix an attractive setting, great characters, good food and murder most foul. Faith, an upscale caterer, and Tom, her minister husband, join the extended Fairchild clan to celebrate the birthday of Tom's father, Dick, at the struggling Vermont ski resort of Pine Slopes. The death of an old friend of Dick's, local lawyer Boyd Harrison, from an apparent heart attack while skiing throws a pall over the reunion. The plot thickens as the family gathers. Craig, Dick's athletic youngest son, has a new wife, gorgeous gold digger Glenda; Betsey, Dick's sister, is a micromanaging dictator; Betsey's three children long for a little space to grow and her husband just longs to bow out. Throw in a missing chef, whom Faith is talked into replacing until another can be found, and the granddaughter of the resort's owners, who's going through a goth stage. Heat things up with a body discovered in the water supply of the snow-making machine, and there you have it: a perfect Faith concoction, with recipes.