Review of The Reluctant Detective by Martha Ockley

Leah Courtney
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Around Christmas time I had the opportunity to review The Advent of Murder, a murder mystery surrounding a woman priest- Faith Morgan- in a small English town in the countryside. I really enjoyed the characters and the story, but I knew there was a book that came before that introduced Faith Morgan and told the story of how she came to be the priest at the small country church of St. James in Little Worthy. So I was very happy to read for review the first book in the series- The Reluctant Detective. 


The book's description:

Former cop Faith Morgan may have quit the world of crime, but crime has not let her go. Now a priest in the Church of England, she is assigned to the improbably named village of Little Worthy, and within an hour of her arrival she witnesses the sudden, shocking death of a fellow priest. To her distress, the detective assigned to the case is Ben, her former partner and former boyfriend.
As she meets her parishioners she learns some surprising details about her apparently well-loved predecessor, and starts to suspect a motive for his death. The cop may have donned a clerical collar, but the questions keep coming. How will she reconcile her present calling with her past instincts? Is she in danger herself? What should she do about Ben?

I thoroughly enjoyed this read, as I did The Advent of Murder. Although I had read the second book first, it didn't take away from enjoying this one, so if you picked up the second one after reading that review, make sure to go back and read The Reluctant Detective.

Faith Morgan is a very likable character. She isn't perfect, although she's a priest. So she seems realistic and not too good to be true.

I think old English towns in the countryside are charming, and, at times, I think I would love to live that life. So the setting and surroundings of the story are particularly appealing to me. The characters who live in Little Worthy are quite the collection- sometimes charming, sometimes crotchety, sometimes touching.

The story was very interesting and kept me reading. I loved that it wasn't predictable, and I was kept guessing "Who Dun It?"

There is a romantic thread that runs through the story. Faith has left her long time romantic interest- Ben Shorter- from the police department, and she wrestles with that as she struggles to adapt to her new life as a parish priest.

I could relate to Faith's personal thoughts and struggles to understand the people of her parish and the evil around them in light of her faith. The story doesn't paint an always rosy picture of faith and Christian beliefs. But, through Faith's struggles, we are brought to think about our own personal faith in Christ and what that means in our lives.

I can definitely recommend this one- along with it's successor Advent of Murder. I give it 5 stars and a PG-13 (because of the murder and circumstances surrounding). You can find it here on Kregel Books, and you can find it here-The Reluctant Detective -on Amazon.

Disclosure: I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.. All opinions expressed are entirely my own, and I was not compensated in any other way.


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Leah Courtney / Author & Editor

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