Martha Ockley has taken this genre by storm (or at least a good English rainfall).
Faith, a former policewoman, now a priest in the Church of England, becomes involved in the investigation of the murder of a fellow priest- the same priest who was about to retire from his parish in the village of Little Worthy and whose place Faith is being considered as the replacement vicar. Complications arise when her ex boyfriend, Ben Shorter is the chief inspector on the case.
Faith's epiphany of, well, faith was a factor in her break up with Ben, whose style of police work values convictions (guilty ones) over, perhaps, convictions of a more heavenly kind.
I really liked Faith's character. Whereas Ben focuses on being right, Faith is challenged to seek the truth. She wears a clerical "dog collar" as part of her new found vocation. Ben carries a badge. Both are symbolic of stands taken and sacrifices made. Faith is not above being tempted by Ben's magnetism (and who wouldn't be?). Her new found purpose as shepherd of this winsome flock of regular people and the comfort of the unwavering doctrine of the cross is strong; but she wonders: is it strong enough to handle all this?
This book was a delightful discovery and I look forward to more Faith Morgan Mysteries.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
ABOUT THE BOOK
She is urged by the Bishop to stay on to look after the parish of Little Worthy. As she meets her parishioners she learns some surprising facts about her apparently well loved predecessor, and starts to suspect a motive for his death. And it is she who finally identifies the murderer.
The story gets off to a dramatic start with the previous vicar collapsing as soon as he drank the communion cup, and it holds the interest throughout. There is some romantic interest too. Inspector Ben Shorter starts by sneeringly telling his sergeant, "Ms Morgan is a vicar. One of the ordained," Ben emphasized the word. “She's a card-carrying professional at the touchy-feely stuff.” But he soon starts to feel differently about her again, although she is well aware that he "didn't understand the reality she experienced through her faith. He didn't even recognize its existence. That was the gulf between them." Her own beliefs and doubts are convincingly described, for even she can't help wondering, "What if there is no truth to it?" But for her, as for Pascal before her, it was a gamble worth taking.
If you would like to read the first chapter of The Reluctant Detective, go HERE