The Body in the Ivy

The Body in the Ivy by Katherine Hall Page Read Free Book Online

Book: The Body in the Ivy by Katherine Hall Page Read Free Book Online
Authors: Katherine Hall Page
bright yellow Provençal pottery pitcher. Or were there elves like the shoemaker’s who did the flowers, fetched the papers, arranging everything before dawn? Then again could it, in fact, be the hand of Bishop herself?
    Brent Justice had said the writer was working and would be “back later.” Did that mean she wasn’t here in the house? He stopped by one of the doors. It had a little brass slot into which a card with “Faith Fairchild,” written in exquisite calligraphy, had been placed. Just like an English country house; but Faith didn’t think there wouldbe any changing cards or tiptoeing in at midnight and out at dawn shenanigans.
    â€œDoesn’t Ms. Bishop write here in the house? You said she’d be back later.”
    â€œShe has a cabin in the woods. Claims she has to be in a place where she can’t be distracted.”
    Faith could understand the logic, although it surely must seem ridiculous to a New Englander like Justice that someone would build an enormous house, then have to escape to a cabin to do whatever it was writing people did. Bishop would certainly be distracted, what with looking out the windows and being tempted by the comforts of home. Which reminded Faith, where were the spa and the pool?
    â€œI understand there’s a pool and a spa. Not that I’ll have time to use them,” she added hastily. She’d be feeding him, too, and didn’t want him to think he was in for a week of microwave macaroni and cheese while she was lounging about.
    â€œHouse is kind of built like steps. Two floors in front, then three in the back. All that stuff and a place to watch movies is on the first floor all the way in the back. Starts under the kitchen.”
    He opened the door to her room, and all of Faith’s thoughts of upstairs/downstairs disappeared. It was spacious with a view of a different beach in the distance. As you faced the house, this room was on the right side overlooking a meadow, a sea of wildflowers and grasses, and finally the sea itself. She should have known better. It was an island after all. They were surrounded by water and none of the rooms would have a bad view.
    â€œI’ll leave you to it.” He set her bags down. She’d beenso muddled by everything that she hadn’t thought to have him leave the one with her culinary equipment in the kitchen. It didn’t matter. She’d bring it down herself.
    â€œThank you so much.” There was an awkward moment. She didn’t know whether he was supposed to help her in the kitchen before dinner or was strictly on cleanup detail. She decided to go with a simple, “See you later.”
    He nodded. “All your stuff is here and put away. There’s a pantry with another fridge and a freezer on the first floor next to where she keeps her wine.”
    Faith nodded back. It was catching. She’d read the note, change, and take a quick tour.
    Justice stopped at the door. “Garden’s out back. Strawberries are coming in—a few kinds—chard, lettuce, peas.”
    And he was gone.
    Faith took the note and sat down on the bed. Not too soft, not too hard. She’d sleep well here. The envelope wasn’t sealed. The writing was the same as that on the room card. Surely the woman didn’t write her books in longhand!
    Dear Mrs. Fairchild,
    Welcome to Bishop’s Island. I trust that you had a pleasant journey and that Brent has shown you where everything is. Actually, I am sure he hasn’t, but he will at least have settled you into your room. Please feel free to acquaint yourself with the house. Your orders arrived and I have added a treat or two myself, as you will discover.My guests will all be here by seven o’clock, and should I be delayed by a fit of inspiration, I would like you to act as hostess and offer cocktails and hors d’oeuvres before dinner at eight.
    I am so glad you were able to take all this on and am looking

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