Faith struggled with her demon curiosity a moment.
Ben watched her lose the fight,"Of course you do."
THE ADVENT OF MURDER starts with the cold, tingling days before Christmas. It is also following Faith, a perceptive police woman who is now vicar and her odd parishioners. I would suggest that you read Book One first. I was a little lost to begin with with the English terms and the ways of the church. That has no bearing on the author or the book. I just think it would make Book Two easier to read. Faith's personal life loved and lost the man she was in a relationship with. He was a tough cop just like Faith. Their conflict arose when he didn't want to accept Faith's new life as vicar to souls. When Ben saw something bad, there was no changing his mind. It was bad and he had no intention on looking for anything else. It was just bad. When a young boy's body was found in the River Ichen, Faith was still a copy in her heart and soul. The boy was a member of the choir, he took care of his Uncle who was nothing but a drunk. His mother had died. She finds herself investigating the murder. People got the idea she was still a cop and were quite surprised when they found out she was a member of the clergy. Faith and Ben still compare notes on the murder case. There were some things that didn't look good, as the murder wasn't called in.
The author wrote a book that had Faith digging into spirituality in it and she gets into some big topics.
Faith has a combination of street smarts from being a cop and her belief in God. She has seen some of the worst in human behavior and yet she has fallen at times and she believes that redemption is for all who ask for it and are truly sincere. There are two sides to her; one is the sad and dark world and the other is God and his pure love . Faith doesn't see the perpetrator as just a bad person but a person who needs God's love and help to get back on the right track. Each character had their own personality, very well described. Some had evil in them and didn't want help while others were crying out for redemption. Of course the parishioners of Little Worthy had a lot of opinions. Guess what, most were wrong. This author, Martha Ockley wrote a wonderful murder mystery with the addition of people who need love and spirituality back in their lives. Can Faith do this? Will Faith and Ben get back together again? Will Ben realize there are two sides to everything?. All isn't bad. This was a good murder mystery, not too heavy and not too light. It didn't bog you down with too much detail and yet there was just enough to keep the plot alive. I would say, grab a copy and help Faith unravel the murder.
I would give this book 4 Candles.
I was given a complimentary copy of THE ADVENT OF MURDER by Martha Ockley from Kregel Publications for my uncompensated opinion.
If you like British mysteries, you'll like this one.
Faith Morgan is a former policewoman, now the vicar at Little Worthy. It's the Advent season and Faith is busy managing the last details for the church's many activities. When she goes out to Oliver's farm to make final arrangements for "Joseph" in the church play, she is confronted with police cars. The body of a teen has been found. He's been murdered.
Despite Faith's duties during this busy time of the church year, she can't help but covertly investigate the case.
This is a fine British mystery. It was fun to follow Faith around as she makes inquiries while she sees to the church's activities. I loved the quirky characters. Faith is not the strongest British heroine I've seen. She is a little weak in the relationship area - to quick to latch on to a potential boyfriend, I felt. But she makes a good vicar. She is supportive and comforting, showing God's love to her parishioners.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher for the purpose of this review.
Former policewoman turned vicar? Might explain her morbid curiosity for murder cases. Faith happens upon a crime scene while on her way to visit a parishioner--who turns out to be the primary suspect in the death involving a teenage boy.
As Faith is frantically trying to get all her church duties carried out during her first Christmas at St. James, she is drawn into the circumstances of the tragedy. Faith's sleuthing abilities uncover leads and clues that keep her in close (and awkward) proximity to a former colleague on the police force.
I really enjoyed the character Faith Morgan. I appreciated getting a glimpse at the inner workings of her thoughts as she interacted with other characters in the book. Having witnessed the seedier side of life as a policewoman, she was well equipped to handle the weaknesses of people who crossed her path: a former drug addict trying to make a new start, a lonely teen struggling with a family secret, an alcoholic grieving the loss of a sister and nephew.
And Faith has some struggles of her own. Her sister wants her to host this year's Christmas gathering (evidently the Aga stove at the vicarage is part of the draw). Plus Faith's sister is worried about their mother--wondering whether her forgetfulness might be something serious.
On top of that, add in the usual measure of church politics, bossy parishioners and trying to meet the expectations of how the former vicar did things and you have one stressful Advent! Certainly makes for a challenging job, but Faith seems to take things in stride and not get too ruffled.
The book is a not too serious look at crime and the culprit is safely discovered by the end of the book. And Faith even learns to appreciate the uniqueness of some cantankerous congregants. All in all, a great book to pull out for a snowbound (or any other) weekend. This would make a great gift for anyone who enjoys a bit of British mystery and detection.
[I received a free copy of the book for the purpose of review.]
If you like a good, clean, fun mystery, this book is a delightful read! It is just the right mystery to read right now, because it is set in a quaint and charming town in the English countryside during the Advent Christmas season.
This book is a sequel, the second in a series of Faith Morgan Mysteries. But fear not, this book stands on its own. There were no gaps in the story-line from the first book in the series, "The Reluctant Detective," to this book. Martha Ockley bridged the information from the first book so smoothly that I didn't feel I was missing anything.
Here's the gist of the story: Faith Morgan is a former detective-turned-newly appointed vicar of St. James' Little Worthy parish. While Faith is busy preparing her parish for its Christmas programs and services, a troubled, young choir member is found dead on the Markham family property. The Markham's are newcomers to St. James' and Mr. Markham was committed to play the part of Joseph in the Christmas pageant. So, it's only natural that Faith becomes involved in solving the mystery, right? Faith has difficulty detaching from her former career, and Little Worthy is all the better for it. But some folks around Little Worthy don't think so.
The investigation begins with an agreeable tension between Faith and her former partner, Detective Ben Shorter. Ben has always been attracted to Faith, but her position as a Christian vicar has cooled his jets. Honestly, there are so many interesting and quirky characters in this story, it isn't obvious who the culprit is. I like that about a mystery. Usually, I can spot the bad-guy by chapter two, even in the most famous mystery writer's work. No so here.
If my review has sparked your interest, I encourage you to read this book for yourself, because I will not give the ending away here. I will tell you, though, that this was very refreshing mystery reading. I like the way British writers string their words together to tell a story. I liked the writing and the story so much, that I will go back and read the first book in the series, "The Reluctant Detective."
I hope there's a third "Faith Morgan" book in the offing!
This story finds Vicar Faith Morgan readying herself and her parish for Christmas during the Advent season. She barely has time to sleep she is so busy arranging carol services, the annual Christmas pageant, and a toy collection drive to mention only a few of the myriad of things on her "to do" list. She sets out one day to visit her choice to play Joseph for the Christmas pageant. Upon arrival, she finds the police and the forensics team in the midst of recovering a body found on "Joseph's" property. He is then taken in for questioning. Of course, the inspector in charge is her ex-boyfriend, Ben Shorter.
As in the first book of the series, The Reluctant Detective, Faith is in almost constant contact with Ben and forced to deal with her remaining feelings for him. Ben, however, is not a Christian and spears Faith occasionally with well-placed barbs about her faith, making things more difficult for them both as they try to solve the case. The victim is a teenage boy who was found after being washed downstream. He has only two close friends, one male and one female. Could he have been murdered in a fit of jealousy? There have also been a few robberies in the area over the last few months, and Faith wonders if there is a connection between them and the murder. On top of all this, she must deal with her mother's new signs of failing mental health.
After reading the first book in the series, there were a few things I didn't think needed to be portrayed by a vicar. Now, after reading this second book, I'm happy to report those dark marks did not make an appearance in this book. There was one questionable view of the meaning of Advent on page 81 that readers should notice, but other than that, I thoroughly enjoyed this second mystery. The character interactions were more in depth to help develop more of their personalities. I really enjoyed getting to know the parish family better. Faith's incurable curiosity serves her well to help the investigation, but sometimes causes others pain. That is a part of how we live life this side of heaven though isn't it? We sometimes think we're helping and we have the best of intentions, but we forget to talk to God about what we're doing first and make a mess of things. That is one thing I would like to see more of_Faith reading Scripture and believing that only God is worthy of our faith, not God and love as is uttered by Faith at one point in the story. I'm looking forward to the next book in the series. I hope the next book will be even better.