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This review is from: The Body in the Bouillon: A Faith Fairchild Mystery (Mass Market Paperback)
I started with the Faith Fairchild series part-way through. Looking for some not-so-serious reading material after a lot of non-fiction, I decided to go back and try a couple of earlier books in this series. I couldn't get into one of them much at all (Vestibule), but figured that was ok, as it was somewhat atypical.
Bouillon was more standard (being set in Aleford helped). I would have just let this one go without a review as "Not great, not bad, worked as intended to fill miscellaneous time (bus rides, etc.)." What's the problem? I'm not politically correct by any stretch of the imagination, but the depiction of Chief Coffin of Byford struck me hard. He is no longer up to the job, yet the townspeople cannot bring themselves to let him go. The author explains this away as a "Yankee" thing - I'd say, perhaps, a small town thing instead. I found myself cheering for him when he is outright nasty to Faith. I was left wondering if the editor challenged this character at all. I would have done so.
Bottom line: Ms. Page's writing matures as the series progresses. The books are not really dependent on each other ("Fjord" restricts Faith's roles to a couple of cameo appearances). Consider skipping the first few books if you're new to the series, and don't go back if you missed those.