Monday, December 9, 2013

The Advent of Murder by Martha Ockley

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. Read an excerpt and then head on over to Kregel to purchase a copy for yourself and a friend or two. Books can also be purchased from one of the following retailers:

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of The Advent of Murder from Kregel Publications for the purpose of review. No other compensation was received.

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