Monday, August 11, 2014

The Reluctant Detective by Martha Ockley

I grew up on Agatha Christie so I love a good British mystery. This is a good one.

Faith Morgan used to be a policewoman. The suffering she saw in the loved ones of victims convinced her to enter the church and become a vicar. She is visiting Little Worthy, the possible location for her first position in her new career. She is invited to the Sunday service, meeting those who might be her parishioners. She is stunned when the soon to retire vicar falls to the floor dead after his first sip of the communion wine.

Faith finds it hard to keep her police training from taking over. When she sees and smells the telltale signs of poison, she insists the police be called. When her old flame, Detective Inspector Ben Shorter shows up, her life becomes more complicated on several levels.

I really liked this mystery. Ockley has done a great job of inserting clues here and there. I love it when the bad guy is identified and my reaction is, right – I do remember that clue, and that one! There are a bunch of red herrings too, just to keep us on our toes.

I love the characters. There are some quirky ones, just like in any small village. Faith is a well crafted heroine. She has the compassion of her new career yet the inquisitive nature from her old career. I really like her.

American readers need to remember that one's Christian faith and practice is a little different in England. Don't expect the people in Faith's church to be evangelical Christians as we might expect here in the U.S.

If you like the Miss Marple type of mystery, you'll like this one – as I did.

Martha Ockley lives in the North East of England and grew up the daughter of a minister. She is a full time writer, both fiction and nonfiction.

Lion Hudson, distributed in the U. S. by Kregel, 251 pages.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Kregel for the purpose of an independent and honest review.

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