Friday, December 13, 2013

The Advent of Murder by Martha Ockley - REVIEWED

About the Book:
Faith Morgan, former policewoman and vicar of the small English village of Little Worthy, goes to visit one of her parishioners at his farm, only to discover the house surrounded by police cars. A body has been found in the local river and farmer Markham is charged with murder.
Though busy with preparations for Christmas, Faith is called on to investigate when it's found out that the victim is also a member of her congregation--Lucas Kemp, a member of the choir.

Faith's informal inquiries lead her to uncover a hotbed of tensions and romantic rivalries in the choir, questions about drugs, and a run-in with an unsavory uncle--which leads to a dramatic rescue by Ben, Faith's former detective partner and ex-boyfriend. 
In the tradition of Father Brown and Miss Marple, The Advent of Murder brings readers an authentic picture of English rural and church life combined with a satisfying mystery that will keep readers guessing until the end.
My Thoughts:
Murder isn’t scheduled for a particular season, so Advent isn’t enough to stave off the murder of a young teen boy. Faith Morgan, vicar of a parish of a very eclectic congregation in Little Worthy, is on her way to meet with the congregant playing Joseph in her Christmas pageant when she practically runs headlong into a murder investigation.  The murder is particularly tragic as it has happened to one of the choir members.  Faith must walk a delicate balance between her role as vicar and the curiosity left over from her former role a police investigator.  She gets into some pretty sticky situation at times, but in the end she is successful in navigating a very traditional case of intrigue and all-to-familiar human frailties that drove one parishioner over the edge.
This is my second Faith Morgan mystery, and I must say that it was one I really enjoyed!  It really is a cozy mystery and includes a great balance between Faith’s role as vicar of the parish and her “accidental” role of investigator!  There is a pretty cleverly devised connection at the end that ushers in the big reveal of the murderer, and there were moments I suspected…but never figured out who-done-it!  It was a great read for a cold winter afternoon.
As stated in my first review, the faith element is marginal at best, so I can’t recommend it as containing anything to encourage and challenge a believer’s faith.  But as for an entertaining, charming and cozy mystery read, The Advent of Murder is great!

About the Author:
Martha Ockley lives in the North-East of England and has close links with the church, having grown up as the daughter of a minister. She is a full-time author, writing both fiction and non-fiction.

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