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A Saintly Killing: A Faith Morgan Mystery by…
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A Saintly Killing: A Faith Morgan Mystery

by Martha Ockley

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This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I was a little doubtful about A Saintly Killing when I started reading it. Even though I knew from the start its main character was a vicar, I have to admit being a little put off by the church setting at first. A little too much religion, and not enough whodunnit I thought. But after the first couple of chapters, things picked up a bit and I ended up enjoying it quite a lot. In fact, I wouldn't mind spending more time with Faith Morgan and her parishioners. And I can definitely see myself recommending this one to friends who like cozies. ( )
  jlshall | May 12, 2015 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
This is a delightful mystery set in the English town of Little Worthy. Faith Morgan, who has traded her carreer in police work to that that of parish vicar, still has murder creeping into her life. Past and present lives of her parishoners intertwine leading her down several paths until the death of the artist doing a painting of the church is solved. All this in the middle of preparing for the church 900th anniversary and family concerns with her mom!
I thoroughly enjoyed the story and am looking forward to the next Faith Morgan mystery. ( )
  CatsandCherryPie | Jan 25, 2015 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I received "A Saintly Killing" by Martha Ockley in in order to review it for the LibraryThing's Early Reviewers. This is the 3rd book in the Faith Morgan Mystery series. Vicar, Faith Morgan, is busy preparing for her church's 900th anniversary celebration in the small English village of Little Worthy, when the artist contracted to paint a picture of St. James for the anniversary booklet, is murdered. Faith is a former police detective, therefore it is difficult for her to "turn off" her analytical police training. Her former partner, (and former beau) Ben Shorter, is the detective investigating the murder. Faith can't help but be involved when several members of her congregation are suspects in the murder. The investigation is very emotional for Faith, as she seeks to support and comfort her parishioners while attempting to sort out the truth. Adding to her stress are the concerns over her mother's worsening alzheimers and the return of her sister's shady ex-husband. The characters and relationships in this 3rd book are more developed and the plot takes some unexpected twists and turns, keeping the reader engaged. I enjoyed it and look forward to book #4! ( )
  mpensack | Jan 21, 2015 |
A Saintly Killing is the 3rd book in Martha Ockley’s Faith Morgan Mystery series. You can read my reviews of the previous 2 books by clicking on the following titles — The Reluctant Detective and The Advent of Murder. The series protagonist, Faith Morgan, is a vicar who serves the church of St. James in the small English village of Little Worthy. She left her former life as a policewoman to serve God, however, murders keep turning up and she is soon swept into the investigations.

The third book finds Faith preparing for the 900th anniversary celebration of the historic church. In the midst of the preparations a murder occurs that has Faith struggling with her role as comforter and spiritual leader and her inclinations to find out whodunit. Adding to her troubles are her former romantic interest, DI Shorter, and her family’s struggle with her mother who has been newly diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. But Faith is a capable woman who can juggle all aspects of her life, including murder investigations.

A Saintly Killing is an interesting murder mystery with lots of likely suspects with myriad motives. The victim is widely disliked for her temperamental attitude and her disregard for others. And while the mystery is the catalyst for the story, it is Faith’s struggles that kept me engaged. She is a realistic and complex character that a reader can easily identify with. A central theme to this book is forgiveness and repentance. I found it interesting that Faith is sometimes reluctant to forgive, going as far as suggesting that forgiveness can be withheld if the other party isn’t sorry. Although not very Biblical, this is an idea that can lead to bitterness and unresolved grief — an insidious evil in Little Worthy.

A Saintly Killing is a very British novel in setting, style and language. It kept me guessing until almost the end, which I really like. I want to be challenged by a mystery. The author leaves a few loose ends, so I am hoping there are more Faith Morgan stories in the future.

Recommended.

Audience: adults.

(Thanks to Kregel and Lion Hudson for a review copy. The opinions expressed are mine alone.) ( )
  vintagebeckie | Jan 21, 2015 |
If there were a church in my community named St. James, I would be tempted to visit it regularly. Unfortunately, I do not live in St. Worthy. Also, there is the vicar named Faith Morgan. Faith lives up to her name. She is faithful to her parish and parishioners. In A Saintly Killing by Martha Ockley, Sal Hinkley is murdered at a very busy time during the season. It is the 900th Anniversary celebration of St. James. Unfortunately, Sal is found murdered, strangled to death during this period. Sal had been a wonderful artist. However, there is a water colorist who is her competition.

The solution to the mystery is fascinating. I never would have guessed it in a million years. Martha Ockley has the wonderful ability to put all the elements of a novel together in a remarkable way. Each time I read the mystery, I felt as though St. Worthy had become my community. When Faith picks the ropes for the church bells, I picked those ropes too. When the parish booklets for the anniversary are provided, I felt just as upset to see the wrong painting on the back of the booklet as Faith.

I really got lost in the intense debate Faith has with some of parishioners who go behind her back to choose the painting for the booklet. It seemed so underhanded and wrong especially for a church group. After a Democratic vote is taken, some of the parishioners choose to go against the vote and do things their way. They don't even consult with Faith. Of course, Faith becomes deeply hurt and lets her feelings be known. For a while, there is a tense situation between Faith and those involved in going against the vote.

This is one thing so good about the mystery. It's not a preachy Christian Fiction mystery. Each person seems very real down to the vicar herself, Faith. It is an emotional mystery. I became very involved with the people who were closely involved with the murder. The feelings of those closely involved in the murder are very raw. The novel is more intricate because no one likes Sal Hinkley. I wondered would it be possible to ever like her. I wondered how the author wrote this part of the novel so well. I am anxious to read other novels in the series by Martha Ockley.tumblr.com/search/Martha+Ockley Thanks to Lion Fiction. ( )
  Tea58 | Jan 19, 2015 |
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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.… (more)

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