The Advent of Murder
A fun, easy read
This is the second of the Faith Morgan Mystery books. I didnÃ¢ÂÂt realize that at first, but as I read there were several times incidents briefly mentioned that I realized must be from the previous novel, The Reluctant Detective. However, it was not a big deal (even though I would prefer to read a series in order), and I was able to follow the story with no problem.
In The Advent of Murder by Martha Ockley, Faith, who was formerly in law enforcement, is the vicar at a small church and is very busy during this Christmas season. It is her first Christmas at this church and she wants to do it right (or at least please some of her picky parishioners). However, murder is not is anyoneÃ¢ÂÂs plans!
The story was a fun, easy read. I figured out the connections and solved the murder too soon for me! However, I still looked forward to picking up the book as I grabbed small moments here and there to finish!
Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from Kregel Publications in exchange for a fair and honest review.
December 9, 2013
Get her first book & buckle in for good reading
Reading a book which is second in a series, and not having read the first, makes the task of reviewing just that much more difficult. Plot twists can catch the reader unaware. Character traits & development may seem just a tad more shallow because the author may have forgotten that the reader hasnÃ¢ÂÂt read volume one and therefore, not quite as familiar with each continuing character. Some series, if not written intentionally to appear as Ã¢ÂÂstand aloneÃ¢ÂÂ novels, come across this way in spades.
Fortunately, I did not find Ã¢ÂÂThe Advent of MurderÃ¢ÂÂ to be quite in this category. However, even though author Martha Ockley did quite a good job of seeking to have book #2 stand alone, I did find the characters and a few of the relationships from book #1 carrying over and therefore not fully explained. I donÃ¢ÂÂt think this took away from the plot, but it kept me on my toes a bit more than usual when reading a fictional novel.
I think this is also why I found the opening chapters of Ã¢ÂÂThe Advent of MurderÃ¢ÂÂ to move a bit slowly, even though the reader is thrown into the Ã¢ÂÂcaseÃ¢ÂÂ within the first few pages. I didnÃ¢ÂÂt give up on it (and not simply because I had to write a review; trust me, there are books IÃ¢ÂÂve given up on and still written the review). And IÃ¢ÂÂm glad I didnÃ¢ÂÂt. There was plot twist gold to be found well into this work and the wealth mined from that perseverance paid off.
All in all, an enjoyable read; good for a cold, winterÃ¢ÂÂs night (itÃ¢ÂÂs early December here in southern Minnesota and the temps this late fall are dipping below zero on a regular basis) along with a hot cup of tea or chocolate. Sit back, watch Faith Morgan (the key character) struggle to Ã¢ÂÂfitÃ¢ÂÂ into her new role as a vicar (having served as a police officer) and with a variety of relationships, both parishioners and men who come across her path, all the while trying to Ã¢ÂÂpull offÃ¢ÂÂ all the traditional matters for Christmas in a local parish AND seeing what she can do to help the local police solve a murder mystery. Hang on to your hat and enjoy!
If you'd like to start at the beginning, then get a hold of Ockley's first introduction to Faith Moragn in The Reluctant Detective.
December 9, 2013
GOOD IN EVERYTHING
"We've found a boy's body by the river.
Want to come take a peek?
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.
December 9, 2013
A fine British Christmas mystery
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 Ã¢ÂÂJosephÃ¢ÂÂ 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 Ã¢ÂÂ 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.
December 9, 2013