Thursday, April 27, 2017

The Actress by Michael Hicks Thompson

This Christian historical mystery takes place in the 1960s in a rural southern town. The heroine is Martha, owner of the town's newspaper. A well known actress comes to town as part of a group making a movie. The actress shoots and kills a local man. She claims he was an intruder but Martha suspects there is something else going on.

This is a somewhat complex mystery with many layers of motives and facts that are uncovered little by little. There are some interesting issues that are dealt with through the plot. One is capital punishment. Martha thinks the crew is making a film of her book as she received payment for it. She finds out the film will actually be about an execution. The film company scripts the execution to appear inhumane. Martha was a witness and knows the script is a lie. She is livid and tries to figure out a way to stop the movie production.

Another issue is a theological one. Martha and the Episcopal priest have a discussion on predestination. The priest has a decidedly conservative Reformed view, something I found surprising, but then, this was the 1960s.

Martha is an interesting heroine. She is relentless in solving the mystery and frequently runs afoul of the local sheriff. The author is male yet did a reasonable job of developing a female lead.

I recommend this novel to readers who would like a small town mystery set in the south several decades ago.

My rating: 4/5 stars.

Michael Hicks Thompson was raised on a small farm in Mississippi. He graduated from Ole Miss, served in the military, then received a master's degree in mass communication from the University of South Carolina. He and his wife have three adult sons and four grandchildren. You can find out more at

Shepherd King Publishing, 288 pages.

I received a complimentary digital copy of this book from the author. My comments are an independent and honest review.

No comments: