counter create hit The Rector: A Christian Murder Mystery - Download Free eBook
Hot Best Seller

The Rector: A Christian Murder Mystery

Availability: Ready to download

Thompson's engaging, high-energy Christian murder mystery is narrated by Martha McRae, a woman living in a small Mississippi town who seeks to solve the mystery of the sudden death of pastor David Baddour. Throughout the novel, readers are introduced to the cast of characters who inhabit the small Delta town in the 1950s. The book gleefully mixes all the elements of a smal Thompson's engaging, high-energy Christian murder mystery is narrated by Martha McRae, a woman living in a small Mississippi town who seeks to solve the mystery of the sudden death of pastor David Baddour. Throughout the novel, readers are introduced to the cast of characters who inhabit the small Delta town in the 1950s. The book gleefully mixes all the elements of a small-town murder mystery-gossip, foul play, backstabbing-and, as more is revealed about Pastor Baddour and the other townspeople, more mysteries, hypocrisies, and dangers add to the intrigue. Thompson's tale looks intimately at what it means to function in a community-how a population can reveal and obscure the truth. The Rector works as a suspenseful murder mystery, Thompson also incorporates a spiritual and religious undertone to the story. This Christian Murder Mystery successfully intertwines faith in its plot twists with surprising results. This small-town tale, set in the 1950s, delves into religion, spirituality, and murder; and is exceedingly clever and cunning.The small community of Solo, Mississippi, is rocked after the murder of a prominent religious figure. Law officials consider the case closed, much to the dismay of widow Martha McRae. She questions how the young rector could die so unexpectedly. After sharing her suspicion with her bible study leader, Betty Crain, a chain of events is set off in the small southern community. Gossip soon abounds with murmurings of foul play, murder, and loss of faith. In the case of whodunit, Martha soon finds that asking questions has put her own life in peril, as she comes face to face with evil. "Michael Thompson offers a tantalizing murder mystery filled with chilling explorations of hypocrisy, true faith, and small-town secrets. It's about sin and redemption. It's about the search for truth, in both the physical and spiritual realms. And it's all wrapped up in a puzzle that keeps even skeptics on their toes. The writing is compelling with a plot that grows ever thicker and offers even ardent mystery fans delightfully unexpected twists and turns. The intrigue is well developed with well-placed clues and cliffhangers. The characters are multidimensional and fascinating. The faith themes are so masterfully woven in that those who aren't religious should simply find the novel to be top-notch suspense." Diane Gardner, ForeWord's Clarion Review.And this unusual review, from someone unknown to the author: Skeptic to Super Fan November 19, 2016 Joseph Manning"I was skeptical at first (a Christian murder mystery ) but in short, this blew me away. I'm not sure the author would want me saying this, but I got so swept away by the story that I wasn't thinking about the religious aspect of it. It took me thinking through the allegories to know/get the deeper meaning. It's as if I was experiencing two stories at once. I read a lot of murder mysteries, and that's extremely rare, if not unheard of. Anyway, Christian or not, murder mystery fan or just a fiction lover, I highly recommend this one!" The Editor-in-Chief of Southern Writers Magazine even weighed in. "Michael Thompson is an author who takes you by the hand and leads you down unexpected paths. His ability to create believable characters instantly draws you into their world. You will find yourself rooting for goodness to prevail as you follow the twists he so brilliantly weaves in this story." Susan ReichertAt Shepherd King Publishing, we love this reviewer quote: "Quick paced, well written with a wonderful cast of characters, a good plot, a really scary bad guy, and all the trappings of a good murder mystery (even some humor). The Rector will keep you entertained from start to finish and the biblical references aren't in the least "preachy" and only help to enrich the story. Well done Mr. Thompson! Five Stars." Terry Lynn, book reviewer and author of Married to the Military.


Compare

Thompson's engaging, high-energy Christian murder mystery is narrated by Martha McRae, a woman living in a small Mississippi town who seeks to solve the mystery of the sudden death of pastor David Baddour. Throughout the novel, readers are introduced to the cast of characters who inhabit the small Delta town in the 1950s. The book gleefully mixes all the elements of a smal Thompson's engaging, high-energy Christian murder mystery is narrated by Martha McRae, a woman living in a small Mississippi town who seeks to solve the mystery of the sudden death of pastor David Baddour. Throughout the novel, readers are introduced to the cast of characters who inhabit the small Delta town in the 1950s. The book gleefully mixes all the elements of a small-town murder mystery-gossip, foul play, backstabbing-and, as more is revealed about Pastor Baddour and the other townspeople, more mysteries, hypocrisies, and dangers add to the intrigue. Thompson's tale looks intimately at what it means to function in a community-how a population can reveal and obscure the truth. The Rector works as a suspenseful murder mystery, Thompson also incorporates a spiritual and religious undertone to the story. This Christian Murder Mystery successfully intertwines faith in its plot twists with surprising results. This small-town tale, set in the 1950s, delves into religion, spirituality, and murder; and is exceedingly clever and cunning.The small community of Solo, Mississippi, is rocked after the murder of a prominent religious figure. Law officials consider the case closed, much to the dismay of widow Martha McRae. She questions how the young rector could die so unexpectedly. After sharing her suspicion with her bible study leader, Betty Crain, a chain of events is set off in the small southern community. Gossip soon abounds with murmurings of foul play, murder, and loss of faith. In the case of whodunit, Martha soon finds that asking questions has put her own life in peril, as she comes face to face with evil. "Michael Thompson offers a tantalizing murder mystery filled with chilling explorations of hypocrisy, true faith, and small-town secrets. It's about sin and redemption. It's about the search for truth, in both the physical and spiritual realms. And it's all wrapped up in a puzzle that keeps even skeptics on their toes. The writing is compelling with a plot that grows ever thicker and offers even ardent mystery fans delightfully unexpected twists and turns. The intrigue is well developed with well-placed clues and cliffhangers. The characters are multidimensional and fascinating. The faith themes are so masterfully woven in that those who aren't religious should simply find the novel to be top-notch suspense." Diane Gardner, ForeWord's Clarion Review.And this unusual review, from someone unknown to the author: Skeptic to Super Fan November 19, 2016 Joseph Manning"I was skeptical at first (a Christian murder mystery ) but in short, this blew me away. I'm not sure the author would want me saying this, but I got so swept away by the story that I wasn't thinking about the religious aspect of it. It took me thinking through the allegories to know/get the deeper meaning. It's as if I was experiencing two stories at once. I read a lot of murder mysteries, and that's extremely rare, if not unheard of. Anyway, Christian or not, murder mystery fan or just a fiction lover, I highly recommend this one!" The Editor-in-Chief of Southern Writers Magazine even weighed in. "Michael Thompson is an author who takes you by the hand and leads you down unexpected paths. His ability to create believable characters instantly draws you into their world. You will find yourself rooting for goodness to prevail as you follow the twists he so brilliantly weaves in this story." Susan ReichertAt Shepherd King Publishing, we love this reviewer quote: "Quick paced, well written with a wonderful cast of characters, a good plot, a really scary bad guy, and all the trappings of a good murder mystery (even some humor). The Rector will keep you entertained from start to finish and the biblical references aren't in the least "preachy" and only help to enrich the story. Well done Mr. Thompson! Five Stars." Terry Lynn, book reviewer and author of Married to the Military.

30 review for The Rector: A Christian Murder Mystery

  1. 5 out of 5

    Nadishka Aloysius

    Lots of interesting twists and turns. I liked the small town intrigue. I am a Catholic by religion so none of the scripture mentioned was new. However, there was just too many explanations of the Bible! I felt it got in the way of the story at times. Nevertheless, in a world where religion and faith are such contentious topics - this book will shine a light for Christians who enjoy a clean murder mystery!

  2. 4 out of 5

    The Book Girl

    I have to say this is not a book I would have normally requested. Honestly I really didn't enjoy it all that much. I am unsure what even possessed me to request this book for review. I have a bunch of deadlines and commitments. Oh well though I took a chance on this book. I want to also state that this wasn't that bad a of a book. The Rector is a novel which takes place in Mississippi during the 1950's which is an era I enjoy reading about. This book has all the wonderful southern customs I am us I have to say this is not a book I would have normally requested. Honestly I really didn't enjoy it all that much. I am unsure what even possessed me to request this book for review. I have a bunch of deadlines and commitments. Oh well though I took a chance on this book. I want to also state that this wasn't that bad a of a book. The Rector is a novel which takes place in Mississippi during the 1950's which is an era I enjoy reading about. This book has all the wonderful southern customs I am used to. I really enjoyed reading about things I am used to. This is a murder mystery that deals with the christian faith. This was honestly hard for me to understand and wrap my brain around. The main character Martha McRae is a widow living in Mississipi, following the death of her church's young rector, she becomes obsessed with the case. In her mind a murderer will go free, if she doesn't investigate his death. Unfortunately she becomes suspicious of a friend from her bible study. If this is true it will be a life changing, devastating discovery that will rock her church to its core. When a new rector comes to take the place, she is face with unspeakable evil. This novel is jam packed with great and interesting characters, a decent plot, and interesting discussions on various theological topics. Was it overly interesting? No. Was it life changing? Absolutely not. Was it a chore to get through? Yes. The book had a okay plot. But lost me on the theological and faith side. There are a few places in this book where God, is used as a cuss word slightly. One big point for many Christians is not using God's name in vain. Despite a few parts that had me scratching my head on whether the author did enough research or not, I did enjoy the book somewhat. Although if any readers are Southern Baptist, they may not enjoy some parts of the book that deals with the Episcopal denomination. I can't recommend this book. I feel like the author wrote this book, and then thought hey, I will market a MURDER, mystery to Christians. It seemed like an after thought. It was not researched well. There are a big number of Southern Baptists, Fundementalist, and other devout christian religions in the south. It made this book seem not realistic. I received this book for free in exchange for my honest and 100% unbiased review. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Thank you Book Crash for supplying this book to me.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Rita Kroon

    Michael Hicks Thompson's novel "The Rector" is a well-written, Christian murder mystery that takes place in the Mississippi Delta in the 1950's. It is the first book of a series followed by 'The Actress." It is also an allegory of Christ's ministry on earth. It is written in first person - that of widowed Martha McRae, owner of the Gazette, the local, weekly newspaper in Solo, Mississippi. She also owns a boarding house. The story opens with the sudden death of the Episcopal church's young rector Michael Hicks Thompson's novel "The Rector" is a well-written, Christian murder mystery that takes place in the Mississippi Delta in the 1950's. It is the first book of a series followed by 'The Actress." It is also an allegory of Christ's ministry on earth. It is written in first person - that of widowed Martha McRae, owner of the Gazette, the local, weekly newspaper in Solo, Mississippi. She also owns a boarding house. The story opens with the sudden death of the Episcopal church's young rector. The coroner said his death was the result of a heart attack, but Martha instinctively knew it was murder. But why? Who? How? She had her suspicions, but if she pursued the suspect, her Bible study friend's terrible secret could be revealed. When the replacement rector arrives, Martha encounters a new problem to solve - a problem that eventually takes her into Parchman Penitentiary where she comes face to face with evil. Thompson explores faith, hypocrisy, and the shameful, small-town secrets. He masterfully intertwines multi-dimensional characters in a fast-paced, compelling plot that grows deeper with unexpected twists and turns. The intrigue is well developed. The suspense from start to finish makes "The Rector" a real page turner leaving the reader with wanting more at the end. One of the things I appreciated is that Thompson made a list of characters as they appear in the tale. It makes for easy reference to glance back to keep the characters straight - who they are and how they fit into the story. I would highly recommend "The Rector" to all mystery/suspense and fiction-loving fans! I give Michael Hicks Thompson's novel at 5 star+ rating. Review by: Rita Kroon, author of "Kiss Your Mommy Goodbye" and "Letters from the Past"

  4. 4 out of 5

    Buttercupp77

    I`m not sure exactly what I was expecting, but I know that what I read wasn`t it. This, of course, makes it very difficult for me to discuss this novel, but I shall endeavour to approach coherence. My confusion isn`t a reflection on the author`s execution. The book was very well-written. There was, perhaps, a bit more preaching than I thought was strictly necessary to drive the plot forward, but this is billed as a Christian murder mystery about the death of a rector, so I should have anticipated I`m not sure exactly what I was expecting, but I know that what I read wasn`t it. This, of course, makes it very difficult for me to discuss this novel, but I shall endeavour to approach coherence. My confusion isn`t a reflection on the author`s execution. The book was very well-written. There was, perhaps, a bit more preaching than I thought was strictly necessary to drive the plot forward, but this is billed as a Christian murder mystery about the death of a rector, so I should have anticipated this. The story is set in a small town in Mississippi in the 1950s, and the narrator is a widow who is also the town`s reporter. Her personality - especially her tenacity and inherent nosiness - makes her exceptionally well-suited to her work. The story spans a number of years, which allows the pacing to feel more realistic, and for some court proceedings to take place and reach resolution. The characters all came across as mostly realistic to me, aside from Father Cain. I do feel that the author captured many of the archetypes of small towns everywhere. (I speak from my own upbringing in a small town in a different country some decades after this story is set). Where the author really excelled was in capturing the general pettiness that can happen inside a congregation. (Once again, I have borne witness to this in my own experiences). As I reflect on what I`ve read, I believe I expected more mystery, and I am disappointed that there wasn`t more investigation into the whys of some characters' actions. In addition, there was a lot of reference to "evil," and I had anticipated that this would be developed more strongly, so I would say that was misleading. All in all, this was a pretty good read. I received a free copy from Voracious Readers Only.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Nancy Anne Martin

    Riveting read, and very well written! I hope this author writes more. It was wonderful to read a book I could "relax" throughout and not worry about trash unexpectedly showing up somewhere without warning, as often happens in secular novels. I gave it four stars instead of 5 for two reasons: 1. Quotation marks and commas are wrongly placed in several places. I don't know how the editing process missed this, but someone needs to go through and fix it or else other grammar Nazi's are going to down-s Riveting read, and very well written! I hope this author writes more. It was wonderful to read a book I could "relax" throughout and not worry about trash unexpectedly showing up somewhere without warning, as often happens in secular novels. I gave it four stars instead of 5 for two reasons: 1. Quotation marks and commas are wrongly placed in several places. I don't know how the editing process missed this, but someone needs to go through and fix it or else other grammar Nazi's are going to down-star it for the same reason. :-) I had to re-read in several places to understand where the mistake was so that I could understand the sentences the mistakes were in. 2. It kinda bugs me at the end that one of the characters was alluded to, perhaps, as Jesus reincarnate. There was only one Jesus who walked this earth, He ascended to heaven 2000+ years ago and won't be returning until He comes back to reclaim the earth. I may have misunderstood this and if I did, I would like to be corrected. The rest of the book was doctrinally sound, so I was surprised to see this allusion towards the end.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Karen Ingalls

    This is my first book to read by Mr. Thompson. I did enjoy it and appreciated the detail, flow, and plot. The characters were well described and quite believable. My only issue is that there were several stories within one. Right when I thought the story was over, then there was another murder to solve. The main character, Martha was one very clever and brave woman and at times I questioned how realistic her character was. All in all an enjoyable read. I have The Actress to read next and looking This is my first book to read by Mr. Thompson. I did enjoy it and appreciated the detail, flow, and plot. The characters were well described and quite believable. My only issue is that there were several stories within one. Right when I thought the story was over, then there was another murder to solve. The main character, Martha was one very clever and brave woman and at times I questioned how realistic her character was. All in all an enjoyable read. I have The Actress to read next and looking forward to it.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Laura Libricz

    The Rector is a Christian murder mystery set in 1950's Mississippi. I really liked the characters and the setting. The plot is fast-paced and I found myself wanting to get back to reading it, which is a good sign. If you like 'Murder, She Wrote' or 'Midsommer Murders,' you'll love this. You don't need to be religious either! There were lot of twists and turns and the reader needs to stay with the story in order to follow it, which is also a good thing. The Rector is a Christian murder mystery set in 1950's Mississippi. I really liked the characters and the setting. The plot is fast-paced and I found myself wanting to get back to reading it, which is a good sign. If you like 'Murder, She Wrote' or 'Midsommer Murders,' you'll love this. You don't need to be religious either! There were lot of twists and turns and the reader needs to stay with the story in order to follow it, which is also a good thing.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Mary Van Everbroeck

    Just when you think you've solved the mystery, something more intriguing occurs enabling additional possibilities. Great Story. Hope this series continues. Enjoyed the Audio very much. Will also be purchasing paperback format. Just when you think you've solved the mystery, something more intriguing occurs enabling additional possibilities. Great Story. Hope this series continues. Enjoyed the Audio very much. Will also be purchasing paperback format.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Lizenbyl

    I really enjoyed this book--enjoyed the flow and the plot. I thought it was a good but quick read.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Lori Donnester

    I enjoyed the character and plot development.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Cheryl

    I received a copy of this book from Goodreads Giveaways. It was OK. Felt like it just kept on going when I expected it to be done.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Nathan Albright

    [Note: This book was provided free of charge by Bostick Communications in exchange for an honest review. Spoiler alert, obviously, because this is a review of a mystery novel.] As someone who is very fond of genre literature in general and Christian mystery novels in particular [1], this book was a very worthwhile one to get. I was a bit puzzled by the fact that the book came with an apron, because the author said that Martha (the investigator at the heart of this symbolic novel) wore the apron w [Note: This book was provided free of charge by Bostick Communications in exchange for an honest review. Spoiler alert, obviously, because this is a review of a mystery novel.] As someone who is very fond of genre literature in general and Christian mystery novels in particular [1], this book was a very worthwhile one to get. I was a bit puzzled by the fact that the book came with an apron, because the author said that Martha (the investigator at the heart of this symbolic novel) wore the apron while cooking and trying to solve the crimes of the gossipy small town of Solo, which sits at an important crossroads shown in Northern Mississippi. The author considers this to be a work of serious Christian literature, and I am inclined to agree with him. Fortunately, serious in this case does not mean too serious or weighty to be enjoyed, for this is a ripping good story. It is serious in the sense that anyone reading it, if they are not familiar with the Bible, especially the attributes of Satan discussed in the New Testamenet, or C.S. Lewis' Mere Christianity, or the general gist of the Gospel stories and their timing, will find a lot of the reading difficult to understand. Those who are familiar with these things will see this novel as the sort of serious-minded Christian fiction that C.S. Lewis and others are fond of writing, which do not see writing about Christian faith and doctrine as any excuse not to write sparkling prose with strong characters. Without revealing too much, I hope, of the fantastic mystery to be found in this novel, there is complexity at the heart of this novel. Specifically, there are four rectors for the small Episcopalian church in Solo, Mississippi, where the novel's action mostly takes place, aside from some courtroom drama and other action in neighboring small towns in the same general area. Given the shortage of Episcopalian priests, the fact that a single town was looking for its fourth when three of them had come to untimely ends within the short period of a few years would be a subject of considerable alarm. The town of Solo is small, only a few hundred people, which makes the large number of per capita murders and suicides a very painful matter. Of course, mystery novels do tend to amp up the level of death to alarmingly high levels to make for compelling plot action, never mind the implications on demographics. The action blends vivid and colorful characters, sparkling dialogue, and thoughtful reflection on matters of faith, of sin and redemption, of justice and vengeance in a format that makes the reader look forward to reading more about Martha's adventures with her gossipy neighbors, the long-suffering sheriff, and the alarmingly large number of widows and divorcees around town. At slightly more than 300 pages, this is a novel that reads relatively easily but leaves plenty of material to think and reflect upon. If we were presented with a Satanic minister who had mimicked the right liturgy in our denominational book, would we be able to tell? The Satanic false minister here is an adulterer, a murderer, greedy for money, preaching the prosperity gospel and a rapist to boot. But he is far from the only sinner to be found. There are other murderers here, a poisoner, a man who tries to cover his impotence with fierce wrath, a remorseful former prostitute who ends up with an unwanted pregnancy, and is divorced in her grief and shame and guilt, but who seeks to make the best of it, and a witty part-time writer and full-time keeper of a boarding house who is not perfect but is witty and decent, and a lot of other people, vivid characters that show one cannot judge a book by the cover, or judge a town simply for being full of eccentrics. When one reads a book that on any given page can be showing a beloved rector giving a message on C.S. Lewis' argument that a good man knows how bad he is, but a bad man thinks he is pretty good, and on another page read about a lonely woman asking why she can't have a man in her life and having a crush on every single male rector that passes through the town, one knows very quickly if this is the sort of broad and thoughtful fiction that one likes. Fortunately, I do. I suspect many others will as well, and it's no mystery why: this is a well-crafted novel that is worthy of reading, and in spreading the word of this mystery writer to those who are not yet in the know, but soon will be. [1] See, for example: https://edgeinducedcohesion.wordpress... https://edgeinducedcohesion.wordpress... https://edgeinducedcohesion.wordpress... https://edgeinducedcohesion.wordpress... https://edgeinducedcohesion.wordpress...

  13. 5 out of 5

    Lynn Hobbs

    Loved the setting of a by-gone era with party lines, and believable characters…one even pops her Juicy Fruit gum. Mystery and gossip keep growing in the town of Solo, Mississippi. Mr. Thompson delivers an astounding Christian novel that I read in four days. I highly recommend it, and look forward to reading his next book in The Solo Ladies Bible Study series, The Actress.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer

    I wanted to read this book after I saw a review of its sequel, The Actress, in the latest edition of the Ole Miss Alumni Review. The author and I are both Ole Miss graduates. I discovered that this one was first and read excerpts of both. The author's main character is a woman named Martha who narrates in the first person. This series reminds me of the one written by Jan Karon for two reasons. First, both have Christian themes with Southern Episcopal churches. Second, both have narrators who are I wanted to read this book after I saw a review of its sequel, The Actress, in the latest edition of the Ole Miss Alumni Review. The author and I are both Ole Miss graduates. I discovered that this one was first and read excerpts of both. The author's main character is a woman named Martha who narrates in the first person. This series reminds me of the one written by Jan Karon for two reasons. First, both have Christian themes with Southern Episcopal churches. Second, both have narrators who are of the opposite gender from the author. Both authors write very well this way. The book is mostly clever and often humorous. I admire Martha's courage and kindness very much. I disliked the mistakes and typos throughout. I would have given four stars without them. I still look forward to reading The Actress soon. I hope it had better editing.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Shawn Remfrey

    Martha is an incredible heroin and I adore her! She's bright and sassy! She tries to hold strong to her morals and at the same time, she has compassion for others instead of judging them. She tries her best to protect everyone in her town, regardless of what the outcome might be. Some would say that her insatiable curiosity is a bad thing, but it wouldn't stop Martha from searching for answers! She's indomitable, unstoppable and darn sweet! The last time that I fell in love with a town so deeply, Martha is an incredible heroin and I adore her! She's bright and sassy! She tries to hold strong to her morals and at the same time, she has compassion for others instead of judging them. She tries her best to protect everyone in her town, regardless of what the outcome might be. Some would say that her insatiable curiosity is a bad thing, but it wouldn't stop Martha from searching for answers! She's indomitable, unstoppable and darn sweet! The last time that I fell in love with a town so deeply, it was when Jan Karon created Mitford. These characters will completely capture your heart. These are real characters with real struggles. Most of them just want to be the best they can be and help each other. Of course, we do have a few characters that just don't fit in. They have their own agenda. Every character is beautifully flawed. This book captures human essence better than any cozy mystery I've read. The mystery part is a little tricky. The thing is, we have information that our sleuths do not. Instead of wishing that Martha and her cronies would catch up to where I was, though, I found myself too immersed in the story to really care how far along they were in solving it. Normally, a mystery of any kind for me is about the solving of the mystery, but here it was so much about just losing myself in the town and enjoying my stay. There were a few real twists and turns here. Twice (twice!!) I was so astounded that I began flipping back through pages looking for any suggestion that the shocking twist was about to happen. Nothing! You're riding along and picking up honey and hanging out with your friends over coffee cake, and BOOM! What? Where did that come from? Now, it's not the type of shock that pulls you out of the story. It's the type of shock you get in real life. You're happily walking through an amusement park and your favorite singer walks by and says 'hi!'. Well, of course it throws you off, but you're still walking the same path you were and headed in the same direction. Not all of the twists are good in that manner, but you get the idea. I almost used an analogy of a blown tire, but that really does derail you. I was only momentarily stopped from reading because I wanted to go back and look for clues :) That's how I roll :) Don't let the fact that this is a Christian murder mystery keep you from picking this book up. Though there are some valuable Biblical references and a few fascinating thoughts, there is no point in this book where it gets preachy. Thompson doesn't use his writing talent to force you to see things his way. Instead, the characters talk about their beloved God and you can either take what they're saying and think about it, or discard it. For those of you who are Christians, you might find some interesting insight. It's definitely more 'leading' than it is 'forcing' though.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Becky

    I don't understand the glowing reviews some people have for this book. There were some interesting characters and the plot seemed intriguing but, to me, it read like a mystery soap opera. Too much drama, in my opinion. I don't understand the glowing reviews some people have for this book. There were some interesting characters and the plot seemed intriguing but, to me, it read like a mystery soap opera. Too much drama, in my opinion.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Lisa Johnson

    Title: The Rector: A Christian Murder Mystery (The Solo Ladies Bible Study #1) Author: Michael Hicks Thompson Pages: 370 Year: 2016 Publisher: Shepherd King Publishing LLC My rating is 5 stars. The joy of reading a story by a new author at times defies description and here is such a case in point! I love mysteries, especially those that have me thinking about clues and trying to deduce who the culprit or culprits may be. Sometimes I just enjoy the adventure of the mystery along with the tension that b Title: The Rector: A Christian Murder Mystery (The Solo Ladies Bible Study #1) Author: Michael Hicks Thompson Pages: 370 Year: 2016 Publisher: Shepherd King Publishing LLC My rating is 5 stars. The joy of reading a story by a new author at times defies description and here is such a case in point! I love mysteries, especially those that have me thinking about clues and trying to deduce who the culprit or culprits may be. Sometimes I just enjoy the adventure of the mystery along with the tension that builds at times subtly till the conclusion. Michael Thompson has written a wonderful mystery that really engaged my whole being and more so with each page I turned. There were clues that weren’t clues, but were used to throw me off course and other times he would reveal something I never saw coming! The author’s main character is a lady named Martha who writes and publishes her own local newspaper as well as running a local boardinghouse in her home. What seems like a really neat man who cares about his parish, Pastor Cain, boards at Martha’s place for a while. However, events come about where he leaves the community and the bishop sends another pastor to look after the small flock. Now, at first glance, a reader might be fooled into thinking it isn’t very exciting or perhaps just an average mystery novel. Yet, nothing could be further from the truth let me assure you! I became enthralled into the slowly woven web craftily put forth by the author that centers on a church which seems to have a problem. However, the problem it has might surprise you or maybe not. Either way the excitement builds chapter by chapter until the conclusion has you turning pages faster than ever to see what happens next! The novel is filled with various themes, and at the end of the book is a list of books Michael suggests for further reading and some of them are very good, having read them myself. So, if you’re looking for a suspense-filled, cleanly written, engaging novel, look no further! If you know of others who would just love to read, discuss or perhaps a book club looking for its next book, share this one! Then, seat yourself down for a wonderful, exciting time lost in the pages of a thriller! Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255. “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

  18. 4 out of 5

    Pam

    I reluctantly agreed to review “The Rector” because it seemed that others were not requesting it. Afterwards I even questioned my sanity for taking on a novel I was not that interested in reading. I really did not need any more commitments – I have plenty of other books I want to read languishing on my shelves waiting for me to find time to read them. Well, as usually happens, I ended up being glad that I read the book! “The Rector” is a somewhat lengthy but quite clever mystery that takes place I reluctantly agreed to review “The Rector” because it seemed that others were not requesting it. Afterwards I even questioned my sanity for taking on a novel I was not that interested in reading. I really did not need any more commitments – I have plenty of other books I want to read languishing on my shelves waiting for me to find time to read them. Well, as usually happens, I ended up being glad that I read the book! “The Rector” is a somewhat lengthy but quite clever mystery that takes place in Mississippi during the 1950s which is not that far from where I have spent my entire life. Being somewhat familiar with the area and the Southern customs, I found the story of particular interest. “The Rector” actually includes three different rectors within its pages although the reader actually meets the first rector after his death. A lot goes on within the pages of “The Rector” and Martha is right in the middle of all of it. At times I thought Martha was a real busybody and at other times I thought she had a strong gift of discernment and a quest for truth and justice. Whatever it was, Martha was largely responsible for solving the mystery of “The Rector”. I enjoyed reading the story from Martha’s point of view and was constantly entertained by the unique and quirky residents of Solo, Mississippi. I am happy that I took the time to read “The Rector” and would recommend it to any who love a good mystery or a story with a Southern setting. A copy of this book was provided for review by The Book Club Network.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Cyci

    Blurb: Martha McRae is a widow living in a small Mississippi Delta town in the 1950s. She’s obsessed with the sudden death of her Episcopal church’s young rector. A murderer could go free if she doesn’t investigate. But Martha is torn. If she pursues the suspect, her Bible study friend’s awful secret could be revealed. It would be devastating, and life-changing. When the new rector arrives, she encounters a new puzzle--one that takes her into Parchman Penitentiary, where she comes face to face w Blurb: Martha McRae is a widow living in a small Mississippi Delta town in the 1950s. She’s obsessed with the sudden death of her Episcopal church’s young rector. A murderer could go free if she doesn’t investigate. But Martha is torn. If she pursues the suspect, her Bible study friend’s awful secret could be revealed. It would be devastating, and life-changing. When the new rector arrives, she encounters a new puzzle--one that takes her into Parchman Penitentiary, where she comes face to face with evil. Plot: The routine of Solo inhabitants change with the premature death of their rector, Pastor David Baddour; he died of a massive heart attack; it is what everybody believes, except Martha. After hearing a comment about Pastor David Baddour´s life, Martha is convinced that he was murdered, but who killed the Pastor? A sequence of events changes the routine of the city; meanwhile, Martha tries to discover the truth behind all of that. Everybody becomes a potential suspect. Comment: I don´t use to read this genre of book, but when Mr. Michael Thompson asked me if I´d like to read The Rector I thought, why not? Well, it was a very interesting experience. The story is fantastic and intriguing; when you think that it takes a comfortable, predictable, and safe course, everything changes and new events create more suspense. Martha McRae is a curious woman; many characters love her, others not so much. She is a very intrusive woman. I can´t say that I have a connection with her because I don´t like this kind of person; however, I don´t dislike her. She makes some mistakes and don´t relax while she doesn´t discover the truth about the crime. She uses some immoral and illegal to means to obtain the answers to her questions. Reading the book I asked myself if she´d get into trouble because of that. Sometimes you think that you can predict what comes next, but you can´t. Every chapter presents new elements and it´s impossible to discover who killed the Pastor; everybody seems to be involved in his death. The author describes very well the habits of Solo´s inhabitants and how a series of events turns their lives upside down. With a compelling writing and many twists and turns, he keeps you engaged into the story. It´s a captivating book.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Joan

    This novel is packed full of suspense, great characters, a believable plot, and stimulating theological discussions. This may be the most interesting novel I have read in ages. The action takes place in a small town in Mississippi in the 1950s. Our heroine is Martha, owner of the small town newspaper and one who rents out rooms in her home. The action begins when the rector of the Episcopal church in the town dies. It is thought to have been a heart attack, even though the man had been young and This novel is packed full of suspense, great characters, a believable plot, and stimulating theological discussions. This may be the most interesting novel I have read in ages. The action takes place in a small town in Mississippi in the 1950s. Our heroine is Martha, owner of the small town newspaper and one who rents out rooms in her home. The action begins when the rector of the Episcopal church in the town dies. It is thought to have been a heart attack, even though the man had been young and in good health. There are many vacant pulpits in the denomination so the people of the small church prepare themselves for the wait. Martha is surprised when a priest comes to her door and asks about rooms. He is the new rector. He settles into his role but before too long, Martha senses there is something not right. She is determined to find out what it is. I really liked Martha. She is a tenacious woman. She is determined to find out the truth about a number of events in their town. I was amazed at how she “arranges” people and things to uncover the truth. Martha considers herself a delivery person for God's judgment. She is not after revenge as she knows that is God's responsibility. In fact, there is an event in the plot showing that human revenge can go horribly wrong. Martha is more of a path maker, giving the police a clear way to find the guilty person and exact justice. I loved the theological discussions in the book. There is lots of biblical truth shared in the context of good dialog. There is even an exploration of why God allows evil. It is not preachy at all. The theological discussions flow naturally within the plot structure. I highly recommend this mystery novel. It is well crafted with great characters. I was leery of a male writing a female lead character but was happily surprised and pleased with the result. This novel is more than a mystery, however. It is a clever allegory, highlighted by the ending. There is a free six week reader's guide (study guide) available online. This novel would make a great choice for a reading group. There would be much to discuss. I received a complimentary digital copy of this book from the author for the purpose of an independent and honest review.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Susan Barton

    The Rector is the story of one tiny Mississippi town during the late 1950s. The town’s preacher has died of a sudden heart attack, and boarding house owner and newspaperwoman, Martha McRae, isn’t buying it. The preacher was far too young and healthy, so Martha suspects foul play. In the meantime, the church needs a new preacher and one mysteriously shows up at Martha’s door. The town is full of secrets, lies, gossip and deceit and this new preacher soon adds his own form of evil to it all. I’m o The Rector is the story of one tiny Mississippi town during the late 1950s. The town’s preacher has died of a sudden heart attack, and boarding house owner and newspaperwoman, Martha McRae, isn’t buying it. The preacher was far too young and healthy, so Martha suspects foul play. In the meantime, the church needs a new preacher and one mysteriously shows up at Martha’s door. The town is full of secrets, lies, gossip and deceit and this new preacher soon adds his own form of evil to it all. I’m on the fence about this book. As a murder mystery, I’d say it was okay – if not slightly over the top and at times farfetched – a main character somehow managing to abduct three prison visitors, two separate times comes to mind. My issue is more with the main character, Martha McRae, a supposedly God-fearing, church-going woman of faith. Asking the local postmaster to steam open a letter meant for someone else seemed a little too dishonest and devious for my taste (even if it wasn’t sent through the postal service). And, getting someone drunk so that they spill the beans about what they know seems downright wrong. There was a lot of gossiping, backstabbing, infidelity and other very un-Christian-like behavior going on throughout this book. I get it…we’re all sinners and susceptible to temptation no matter how strong our faith in God. Yet, this behavior seemed rampant among the residents of such a small town. I found the story to be a bit slow at times, causing me to lose interest. It’s only 342 pages, yet it took me three days to finish. I really did want to love this book. I certainly didn’t hate it, but it just didn’t impress me as much as I thought it might. 3 of 5 Stars, Review by Susan Barton http://ebookreviewgal.com received a complimentary copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Mary

    "The Rector," by Michael Hicks Thompson, is "A Christian murder mystery." And there is definitely murder! More than one. The Rector is filled with twists and turns, but also with lessons on humanity and values. Our main character, Martha, is a lovable, busy woman who is faithful, and curious. She wants to solve the mystery of Pastor Baddour's death, but doing so may cause problems for a friend. As she struggles with this decision, life keeps moving on around her. When a new rector arrives she "The Rector," by Michael Hicks Thompson, is "A Christian murder mystery." And there is definitely murder! More than one. The Rector is filled with twists and turns, but also with lessons on humanity and values. Our main character, Martha, is a lovable, busy woman who is faithful, and curious. She wants to solve the mystery of Pastor Baddour's death, but doing so may cause problems for a friend. As she struggles with this decision, life keeps moving on around her. When a new rector arrives she rents him a room and gets to know him. How has he arrived so quickly? Is their church ready for this man? The first thing Preacher Cain does after arriving is covers the cross that hangs in the church. That is a strange move! He quickly makes money, wealth, the focus of his ministry. As first people like him and give a lot of money to him for various things. But, is he really preaching the right things? When one man stands up and questions him the man is ridiculed and mistreated. In jumps Martha, as she suspects there is another mystery to solve. Soon there is murder and yet another rector. Which one is the "real" preacher?? How is a congregation to know whom to trust? I don't want to turn my "review" into a book, so I need to stop! This book is full of good lessons, wisdom, spiritual talks and people who care about each other. It is easy reading, clean (there is a bit of alcohol use and a redeemed prostitute), and often quirky. If you enjoy a mystery with lots of characters and many twists, you will really like The Rector! I received this book from The Book Club Network in exchange for my honest opinion.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Deana Dick

    This was such a fun read for me. I love mysteries and when you add a bit of southern charm, well I'm set for the evening. The book is fast paced and oh my the characters are great. I loved Martha McRae and her sweet And friendly southern charm. She lives in a quaint little town in Mississippi where everyone is friendly. The book reminded me of the show "Murder She Wrote." The main character was a sweet woman but she really had a knack for solving mysteries, like Martha does. The town has a great This was such a fun read for me. I love mysteries and when you add a bit of southern charm, well I'm set for the evening. The book is fast paced and oh my the characters are great. I loved Martha McRae and her sweet And friendly southern charm. She lives in a quaint little town in Mississippi where everyone is friendly. The book reminded me of the show "Murder She Wrote." The main character was a sweet woman but she really had a knack for solving mysteries, like Martha does. The town has a great little diner where the locals eat at. I could picture families eating and waitresses bustling around taking orders. The atmosphere was light as everyone was enjoying their meal. Suddenly the rector dies right in front of everyone. That will definitely spoil a meal for the townspeople. As Martha starts to dig into the death, it seems the town has some secrets . What are these secrets? Will it lead to the killer? The plot is well developed and keeps readers on their toes. I wonder why a new rector suddenly shows up in town? Does anyone know him? News travels fast , I guess when a murder happens. Did the newspaper put an ad in the paper, " Local Rector dies, looking for a replacement." I mean the new rector was there before the body was even cold it seems. I loved how the author sprinkled scriptures throughout the story which encouraged the characters. I'm excited to know that there will be more in this well written, funny and exciting mystery series. I received a copy of this book from The BookClub Network for an honest review.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Daphne Self

    It's not often that I find a book that leaves me conflicted on what I think of it. One, it was a book that was captivating in a 50s-noir style of reading. To me it seemed like a narration of a movie that played out before me. I did wish for deeper character developments and at times I forgot it was a woman who was narrating. The author's voice intruded at times that gave the narration a distinctly masculine flair. Two, the story line had many moments of convenience in the discovery of clues. I also It's not often that I find a book that leaves me conflicted on what I think of it. One, it was a book that was captivating in a 50s-noir style of reading. To me it seemed like a narration of a movie that played out before me. I did wish for deeper character developments and at times I forgot it was a woman who was narrating. The author's voice intruded at times that gave the narration a distinctly masculine flair. Two, the story line had many moments of convenience in the discovery of clues. I also didn't like the fact that the main character, Martha, would suddenly realize the answer to a question or discovery of a clue only to leave the reader in the dark. If a story is written first person, I expect to know exactly what that character is thinking and feeling. Three, I had a tough time labeling this as Christian. The faith is there, but then this is 50s Delta Mississippi where faith and Christianity is a mainstay in most all homes. There were couple of instances where God's name was taken in vain and a couple of words that were taken out of context where some reader would consider them "curse/cuss" words. Despite a few parts that had me scratching my head on whether the author did enough research or not, I did enjoy the book somewhat. Although if any readers are Southern Baptist, they may not enjoy some parts of the book that deals with the Episcopal denomination. I can't recommend this book, but I can say it was an okay mainstream book. ***I was provided this book through BookCrash in exchange of an honest and complete review.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Erin Cataldi

    When I picked up and saw that this was a "Christian murder mystery" my first thought was that it was going to be boring as sin, because we all need some salacious details, gossip, and gore to make it a little more interesting. Thankfully, I was quickly proven wrong. Michael Hicks Thompson does a great job of bringing small town southern gossip, church drama, and quirky characters to life. Yes there is a religious slant to it (beyond all the priests getting murdered), but it's honest and not too When I picked up and saw that this was a "Christian murder mystery" my first thought was that it was going to be boring as sin, because we all need some salacious details, gossip, and gore to make it a little more interesting. Thankfully, I was quickly proven wrong. Michael Hicks Thompson does a great job of bringing small town southern gossip, church drama, and quirky characters to life. Yes there is a religious slant to it (beyond all the priests getting murdered), but it's honest and not too preachy. The story isn't 100% squeaky clean, one of the church goers is a former prostitute that gets raped and adultery comes up a few times, but overall this story will appeal to those that prefer clean Christian reads and those that like quirky mysteries. Martha McRae is a widow operating a boarding house in a small Mississippi town in the 1950s. When their priest unexpectedly dies a new rector comes to town to take his place. He takes lodging at Martha, but she quickly suspects that something isn't on the up and up. She puts her sleuthing skills to work to try and uncover whatever it is that's going on. Funny, lighthearted and filled with easy bits of theology, this book will appeal to a wide array of readers. I received this book for free from Book Crash in return for my honest, unbiased review.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Anne Rightler

    The Rector by Michael Hicks Thompson is one humdinger of a murder mystery! Mississippi in the 1950s and a church setting to boot. The characters are marvelously portrayed, with the expected drawl and idioms as well as depictions of a small town of this era...a sheriff who hides on the church floor to hear a confession, a meat cleaver-toting woman, a rector who may not be a rector and the bed and breakfast owner (Sherlock Holmes herself!) with her gaggle of Bible study friends. There's gossip, se The Rector by Michael Hicks Thompson is one humdinger of a murder mystery! Mississippi in the 1950s and a church setting to boot. The characters are marvelously portrayed, with the expected drawl and idioms as well as depictions of a small town of this era...a sheriff who hides on the church floor to hear a confession, a meat cleaver-toting woman, a rector who may not be a rector and the bed and breakfast owner (Sherlock Holmes herself!) with her gaggle of Bible study friends. There's gossip, secrets galore, compassion, and close friendships and with being a murder mystery, evil, greed, and jealousy abound as well. "The Delta was swarming with boll weevils and all sorts of evil." The story line moves quickly and is action packed from the death on page one to the surprising climactic finish. The author tops it off with a little humor ("I needed a plan. But first, I needed some sherry.") and threads throughout the story a strong Christian theme, or as one character puts it, theological interludes. With these 'interludes' Thompson reminds the reader that God is a personal Deity and faith in Christ alone is the key to a relationship with this God of justice and love. A captivating first book in the Solo Ladies Bible Study series. I received a copy of this book through The Book Club Network in exchange for my honest review.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Trinity Rose

    The Rector by Michael Hicks Thompson is a good novel. This is the first book I’ve read by this author and I enjoyed it. I love thrillers that involve murder and mystery and The Rector didn't disappoint. You won’t believe all of the twists and turns this novel takes you on. You will believe you know who was murdered the victim and why, but you will be mistaken. Not just one person is murdered or dies in this novel, but several. The plot really gets you thinking and guessing about what really hap The Rector by Michael Hicks Thompson is a good novel. This is the first book I’ve read by this author and I enjoyed it. I love thrillers that involve murder and mystery and The Rector didn't disappoint. You won’t believe all of the twists and turns this novel takes you on. You will believe you know who was murdered the victim and why, but you will be mistaken. Not just one person is murdered or dies in this novel, but several. The plot really gets you thinking and guessing about what really happened. The characters are well developed and believable. The one who solve the murders is a woman who is in a Bible study group. She never does everything alone, she always involves the sheriff or local police. This book is witty and funny with very serious parts. That will make you think and get involved. I really enjoyed The Rector. It is really a great mystery that has many thrilling suspenseful moments. Highly recommend. Great job to the author. Thank you to the Author/Publicist for providing this book for review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255

  28. 5 out of 5

    Ruth

    Martha McRae is a busybody in a sleepy little town of the Mississippi Delta in the 1950's. At least it used to be a sleepy little town, until the murder of the local rector. Martha takes it upon herself to find out what really happened, even if it means exposing some secrets of many of the town's people. She knows…has a feeling…that there is more at work in the town than meets the eye. Perhaps it's her women's intuition. Perhaps it’s her just being nosy. This book is full of memorable characters, Martha McRae is a busybody in a sleepy little town of the Mississippi Delta in the 1950's. At least it used to be a sleepy little town, until the murder of the local rector. Martha takes it upon herself to find out what really happened, even if it means exposing some secrets of many of the town's people. She knows…has a feeling…that there is more at work in the town than meets the eye. Perhaps it's her women's intuition. Perhaps it’s her just being nosy. This book is full of memorable characters, the plot is fast paced (although it sometimes goes off on tangents), and the one thing I really appreciated about it was the clear Gospel message. All of the above me The Rector an enjoyable read for me. I found it to be a perfect blend of murder, mystery, mayhem, and humor. There were a couple of cons. There were quite a few typos, missing words, and lots of extra commas. Sometimes I had to go back and read a sentence more than one. One last proofread before printing would definitely have been beneficial. One the bonuses of the book is that readers can download a 6-week study guide to go along with the book, which you can find here. If you enjoy reading clean, Christian mystery, then this is a book you might want to check out.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Paula

    The Recotor by Michael Hicks Thompson is an excellent Christian murder mystery that keeps you involved in reading until the very end. All throughout the novel, there was one mystery or twist on top of another keeping my interest and guessing about the next turn of events. The book is set in a small town in Mississippi with all the “closeness” of neighbors and the “secrets” of the members of the town. Martha McRae is a strong-willed widow woman with determination for her time since the story set The Recotor by Michael Hicks Thompson is an excellent Christian murder mystery that keeps you involved in reading until the very end. All throughout the novel, there was one mystery or twist on top of another keeping my interest and guessing about the next turn of events. The book is set in a small town in Mississippi with all the “closeness” of neighbors and the “secrets” of the members of the town. Martha McRae is a strong-willed widow woman with determination for her time since the story set in the 1950s. The pastor, or rector, of her small church suddenly dies while eating in a restaurant. Although his death is seen as accidental or natural, Martha becomes obsessed to find out the real reason which takes her on quite a journey of intrigue and danger. I was only disappointed in the book with what happens to one of the characters towards the end, but hey, everything can’t end happily ever after. That’s not life. This book is filled with mystery, sin, love, forgiveness, and redemption. I recommend it highly for the reader who loves a good mystery. I received a copy from the author and publisher of The Book Club Network in exchange for an honest review.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Cindy

    I had never heard of Michael Thompson until I read this book. I am looking forward to the next book. This book was suspenseful, and it was also full of the gospel. I didn't feel preached at, but I walked away with more knowledge of Christ. There is an allegory between the life of the third rector and Christ, but unless you were just really searching for it and knew it was there (which I did) you might not catch it. And personally, if you didn't catch it wouldn't take anything away from the story I had never heard of Michael Thompson until I read this book. I am looking forward to the next book. This book was suspenseful, and it was also full of the gospel. I didn't feel preached at, but I walked away with more knowledge of Christ. There is an allegory between the life of the third rector and Christ, but unless you were just really searching for it and knew it was there (which I did) you might not catch it. And personally, if you didn't catch it wouldn't take anything away from the story. I almost want to call this book a thriller, because it made me think of old horror movies (in particular Silence of the Lambs) I did enjoy the story and was impressed with the skill the writer wove the story. The imagery was powerful and the story well written. The second rector, all I have to say is "WOW," he was masterfully written and created by this author. 4.5 stars from this reviewer. This book was provided for review purposes only by the author, no payment was received for this review.

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.