Thursday, May 26, 2011

The Reluctant Detective by Martha Ockley

Hi All,

The Reluctant Detective  is different. I liked the English feel of the book, and how daily life and church activities were very well detailed. In this book Faith Morgan goes for a visit to her hometown, Little Worthy.
(Nice name I must add!) Before her eyes and the entire congregation, the priest presiding dies during the service when he takes communion! What a horrible event! To complicated matters for Faith, her ex-boyfriend is the one in charge of the investigation.

These "sheep" are in need of a leader, and Faith winds up in charge of them. She isn't sure she likes them, and she isn't sure who to trust. Faith is a former cop, so she has some rusty instincts to fall back on, but she is only slowly getting to know the people in this church. She isn't totally sure of her relationship with God, and she isn't at all sure she should stay there and take this job that could cause her many complications and/or many blessings.

Over all, I enjoyed the feel of the book. The story was o.k., but I was a bit put off by some of the unresolved issues with Ben. At times I was thrown by Faith's attitude or doubts, yet I know people like her. I think that her doubts and queries of God as well as the unresolved parts of the book was done on purpose to lead us to the next book in the series. I have to add that I do like British and English humor. My own roots are part English.

This is one of those books that you will have to read for yourself and decide if you like Faith, her sister, and Ben, the mystery that they solve, the issues of the heart that are looked into, or if you just don't care for it at all.


This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
The Reluctant Detective
Monarch Books (April 30, 2011)
Martha Ockley

Martha Ockley is the pen-name of Rebecca Jenkins. She read history at Oxford University, and spent several years working alongside her father, the Rt. Revd. David Jenkins (Bishop of Durham 1984-94) during the turbulence of the 1980s. She lives in Teesdale in the North East of England where the landscape and history provide the inspiration for her Regency detective, F R Jarrett. Since September 2009 she has been Royal Literary Fund Fellow and Writer in Residence at York St John University. She is a full-time author, writing both fiction and non-fiction. (She should not be confused with a Canadian actor and singer, also called Rebecca Jenkins.)

The Reluctant Detective sees Faith Morgan arriving back in the region of her birth - Winchester in Hampshire. Recently ordained, she had been working as a curate in an Anglican inner-city church. Within an hour of her arrival at Little Worthy, she witnesses the sudden shocking death of a fellow priest during a communion service at St James's. He had been poisoned with a pesticide mixed with the communion wine. The senior police officer who arrives at the scene turns out to be Detective Inspector Ben Shorter, Faith's ex long-term boyfriend.

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

The book link is: 

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