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Posted May 27, 2011
1st in Faith Morgan series is smart mystery
The Reluctant Detective by Martha Ockley is the first book in the Faith Morgan series about a newly ordained priest who left behind not just her career as a policewoman, but also her former lover Detective Inspector Ben Shorter. Faith has been called to the village of Little Worthy to check it out as a possible home parish. Instead she witnesses the current priest's shocking death from drinking poisoned communion wine. The bishop quickly asks Faith to fill in as Little Worthy's priest, and she can't seem to leave behind her old police instincts to investigate the crime while she gets to know her new community. Complicating affairs is the investigating officer: Ben Shorter, bringing up feelings they both thought deeply buried. Ockley neatly connects the jobs of detective and priest as both seekers of the truth, and Faith struggles with her new position and old habits. Faith is in an intriguing character who must juggle the delicate job of entering a new parish, dealing with the politics of religious bureaucracy, and a difficult relationship with her elder sister, Ruth, with whom she must room until finding a permanent parish home. The mystery is shocking, as is the tragedy that follows, but Ockley avoids sensationalizing them, keeping the focus on the characters rather than the gore. This is a quiet mystery, it builds slowly over the course of the story as Faith puts the pieces carefully together. Faith is a multi-layered character who is very empathetic. The Reluctant Detective is a cerebral mystery with plenty of twists and turns and deep character development. I hope that Faith Morgan will be back very soon.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted April 24, 2011
Excellent suspense story, a policewoman just turned Anglican vicar has trouble separating the two careers at her first ministerial posting. The author wrote Faith's character in a very believable manner. Her differences with her sister underline their "place of birth" characteristics and their views about the world at large. The murderer was a surprise for me and I like that kind of an ending. Well written, good character development, easy read. I was left wondering if there would be a sequel in which the Faith would realize what her nephew's life really involved.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.