KATHERINE HALL PAGE – The Body in the Vestibule. Faith Fairchild #4. St. Martin’s, hardcover, 1992. Avon, paperback, 1993.

   Faith Fairchild, her husband Tom and their three-year-old son are in Lyon, France, while Tom researches his dissertation on the Albigensian heresy. A friend of his has secured them lodging across from the St. Nizier’s Church, where a clochard (homeless man) begs. Two weeks into their stay, Faith discovers the clochard’s body in a dustbin at the foot of the stairs (they live five flights up), but when she gets her husband and returns with the Police, the body is gone.

   The next day, the clochard has apparently returned to his spot, but Faith realizes he is not the same man. Then a young prostitute whom Faith has befriended “commits suicide.” After being warned not to meddle in the clochard’s disappearance, naturally Faith does meddle and ends up getting abducted herself.

   Early on, mention is made of a burglary ring , and one expects this will tie in with the killings. Some surprises at the end and a few likeable characters make this a tolerable effort.

— Reprinted from A Shropshire Sleuth #71, May 1995.