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The Reluctant Detective: A Novel (Faith Morgan Mysteries) Paperback – March 1, 2011


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Product Details

  • Series: Faith Morgan Mysteries
  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Monarch Books (March 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1854249851
  • ISBN-13: 978-1854249852
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.6 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.1 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,639,439 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

This promising first in a new faith-based cozy series from Ockley (the pen name for Rebecca Jenkins, creator of the Regency detective series featuring Raif Jarrett) introduces Faith Morgan, a former policewoman and newly ordained Anglican priest. Faith is visiting St. James parish in Little Worthy when the incumbent clergy person falls dead before her eyes while celebrating the service, a victim of poisoning. One of the first police officers on the scene is her former longtime boyfriend, Ben Shorter. Faith can't help being drawn into the ensuing investigation as she stays on at the request of the local bishop to assist the parish. Ockley draws Faith and Ben well, with credible and engaging tension, though Faith pales in comparison to Julia Spencer-Fleming's mystery-solving Episcopal priest, Rev. Clare Fergusson. Other characters are more or less successful; Faith's mother is pleasantly quirky, while the guilty party is well motivated but underdeveloped. (Apr.)
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Review

'I thoroughly enjoyed the Reluctant Detective, and I am looking forward to reading the next book in the series.' -- Grace Hill The NEWSpaper

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Customer Reviews

Well written, good character development, easy read.
Wyn
It filled in all the questions I had from the second book, and fleshed out the characters quite nicely.
Amazon Customer
I hope to read this author again soon, and easily give this book a 5 star rating!
Cindy Loven

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Christina Lockstein on May 27, 2011
Format: Paperback
The Reluctant Detective by Martha Ockley is the first book in the Faith Morgan series about a newly ordained priest who left behind not just her career as a policewoman, but also her former lover Detective Inspector Ben Shorter. Faith has been called to the village of Little Worthy to check it out as a possible home parish. Instead she witnesses the current priest's shocking death from drinking poisoned communion wine. The bishop quickly asks Faith to fill in as Little Worthy's priest, and she can't seem to leave behind her old police instincts to investigate the crime while she gets to know her new community. Complicating affairs is the investigating officer: Ben Shorter, bringing up feelings they both thought deeply buried. Ockley neatly connects the jobs of detective and priest as both seekers of the truth, and Faith struggles with her new position and old habits. Faith is in an intriguing character who must juggle the delicate job of entering a new parish, dealing with the politics of religious bureaucracy, and a difficult relationship with her elder sister, Ruth, with whom she must room until finding a permanent parish home. The mystery is shocking, as is the tragedy that follows, but Ockley avoids sensationalizing them, keeping the focus on the characters rather than the gore. This is a quiet mystery, it builds slowly over the course of the story as Faith puts the pieces carefully together. Faith is a multi-layered character who is very empathetic. The Reluctant Detective is a cerebral mystery with plenty of twists and turns and deep character development. I hope that Faith Morgan will be back very soon.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Wyn on April 24, 2011
Format: Paperback
Excellent suspense story, a policewoman just turned Anglican vicar has trouble separating the two careers at her first ministerial posting. The author wrote Faith's character in a very believable manner. Her differences with her sister underline their "place of birth" characteristics and their views about the world at large. The murderer was a surprise for me and I like that kind of an ending. Well written, good character development, easy read. I was left wondering if there would be a sequel in which the Faith would realize what her nephew's life really involved.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By D.A. Wetherell on July 25, 2014
Format: Paperback
(This was first posted at http://brofessionalwriter.wordpress.com/2014/07/25/the-reluctant-detective-by-martha-ockley/)

Faith Morgan, an ex-policewoman who left the force to get ordained, is trying to find the next step of her life. She attends a church in Little Worthy and during the service the vicar dies after he drinks poisoned wine doing the Eucharist. This homicide forces her to deal with the police force and her ex-boyfriend, Ben, as she tries to decide whether she would be in police work or church work. The subtitle "A Faith Morgan Mystery" speaks truthfully in two ways, as Faith must assist the police force in solving the mystery of the murder, but also because Faith must solve the mystery within herself: to be a priest, or to be a cop?

I have three main issues with this novel. First, the narrator tells more often than shows. It is a rare circumstance when the reader is able to feel the emotion within a scene for themselves, and often the narrator has to assist the reader by telling them what they should feel. Often the reader is told how people are feeling, and I suppose we just have to take the narrators word for it. The narrator has all the right in the world to decide how these characters are feeling, but the impact is lost as I do not feel it for myself. Most of the novel feels like a "You had to be there" kind of a story. Second, when the narrator attempts to provide figurative language for a feeling or an action, it is often weak in effectiveness and crude in craft. Similies and metaphors are few and far between, and due to this they bring heightened attention to themselves when they appear. Third, the novel is wearisome because the syntax is repetitive. Many times pages will look like a bullet-point list as a great number of paragraphs are single-sentences.
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By Ann E. Nichols on August 27, 2014
Format: Paperback
When I requested The Reluctant Detective from LibraryThing Early Reviewers, I thought it might be a pleasant read. The book was more than that. I like Faith Morgan, the cop turned priest. Yes, fellow readers who are also religious, it is so nice to see a 21st century mystery in which the clergy aren't secretly evil.

Our murder scene is a small English parish. The current vicar of St. James is retiring. Faith, who has been a curate in Birmingham, is staying with her older sister while she checks her possible next job out. Ruth is an atheist. She was dumped by her husband when her son, Sean, was just a baby. Ruth cannot understand why Faith broke up with Detective Inspector Ben Shorter, whom Ruth considers prime husband material. I can.

Ben isn't just not religious, he's offensively disrespectful about religion within Faith's hearing and to her face. It doesn't matter how handsome or sexy he is, her faith is important to Faith, and his lack of respect for it makes him Mr. Wrong for our heroine. He's determined that Faith see religion as he sees it: a delusion. Ben reminds me of the way Agent Mulder was so dismissive of things important to Agent Scully (her dog, her religion), and I don't like that one bit.

I like Faith's nephew, Sean, now a university student, much better. He has nice friends, too. Marianne Morgan, Faith and Ruth's mother, is also more likeable.

We're introduced to some members of St. James' parish. One of the churchwardens, a widow named Pat Montesque, has the opening line. As to be expected when someone states that s/he doesn't like to complain, Pat does. The other churchwarden, Fred Partridge, is more easy going.

I enjoyed learning more about the background of the main characters and the victim.
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