Martha Ockley writes both fiction and non-fiction. When she is not writing, she loves to act, potter about her eighteenth-century cottage, and spend time with her parrot!
The Reluctant Detectiveby Martha Ockley
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Faith Morgan, former policewoman and newly ordained priest in the Church of England, is visiting the village of Little Worthy, Winchester, to look around the parish where she is about to start her ministry. But within an hour of her arrival to the sleepy village she witnesses the sudden shocking death of a fellow priest during a communion service. One of the first police officers at the scene is Detective Inspector Ben Shorter, Faith's former boyfriend. They had been inseparable until Faith's sense of calling led her to question his drive for convictions, seemingly at any cost.
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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.
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.
Martha Ockley 2010 Monarch Books Fiction/Mystery/Suspense Reviewed by Cindy Loven Faith Morgan is a minister, in the Church of England. Before she became a minister however, she was a police detective, and somehow that seems to be trying to edge into her ministerial life. During a visit to a church where she might become the vicar, a tragic death occurs. As the vicar is partaking of communion, after he drinks the wine, he seems to experience a heart attack. Rushing forward to help with CPR, Faith quickly realizes from the smell of the wine, that this is no heart attack, that the vicar has been poisoned. His death turns this seemingly tragic event into a murder investigation. An investigation that Faith keeps finding herself pulled into. I truly enjoyed this book, I do enjoy books set in the English villages, they are reminiscent of the great Agatha Christie books that I have always loved. Martha Ockley is an author that is new to me and I just was enthralled with her writing. The characters and the issues they each faced came alive to me, I could see the English village as if I were viewing it in person. A great book that will keep you reading to the end. I was able to figure out who poisoned the vicar, and it was a great twist to the story! I hope to read this author again soon, and easily give this book a 5 star rating! 224 pages, US $14.99 5 stars. This book was provided for review purposes only by The Suspense Zone, no payment was received for this review.