Review of A Saintly Killing by Martha Ockley

Leah Courtney
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Last year I had the opportunity to review two suspense/mystery reads from Martha Ockley surrounding Faith Morgan, a female vicar in a very small English village community. I really enjoyed both, and you can read the reviews here: The Reluctant Detective; The Advent of Murder.

Faith is a compelling and interesting heroine. She was once a police detective and really wanted to get away from that when she trained for the ministry. But homicides just seem to follow her, and in this installment, lo and behold, another acquaintance of Faith is killed- strangled in fact. This time it's an artist who was commissioned for a painting for the church's 900th anniversary. From the book's description:

Faith Morgan is feeling settled and contented in her role as the vicar of Little Worthy. St James's is about to reach its 900th anniversary and to celebrate Faith has commissioned a new painting of the church from distinguished local artist Sal Hinkley. However, Sal, recently returned from Australia, is not a universally popular choice: outspoken and opinionated, she has made her share of enemies.
Before the painting can be completed, Sal is found dead at her easel. Suddenly, several respectable members of the church community are under suspicion and Faith finds herself thrown into the path of her former flame, Detective Inspector Ben Shorter, who, though he has no time for God-botherers, still seems to have time for Faith…

Although it's a little convenient that mystery and death seem to follow Faith, I like the stories. As I said, Faith is a very interesting character. The mystery is well done, keeping the reader guessing until the end about "who done it." There is a thread of a romance that weaves throughout the stories and is present once again in A Saintly Killing. Faith and a detective- Ben- have a long standing relationship and were once romantically involved. Faith's family is also ever present, and we've followed their story throughout the novels.

A Saintly Killing is the third novel in the series, but it can be read alone because of the background knowledge that is inserted casually in the story. I read the first after the second, and it wasn't a problem at all. The mysteries themselves are independent from each other, although the romantic thread and the story of Faith's family flow throughout.

My one disclaimer- Although these are "Christian fiction," keep in mind that the church in England may hold some different doctrinal beliefs and more liberal leanings than the typical evangelical churches we are used to here in the States. It didn't bother me because I just realized the difference and moved on. But if you can't or don't want to that, this may not be the book for you.

I give it five stars and a PG-13 for content (because of murder and violence).

You can purchase A Saintly Killing from Kregel Publications here or from Amazon here:

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book for review purposes. All opinions 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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