Combine a suspenseful murder mystery with theology (the study and explanation of religious faith, practice, and experience) and you have The Rector).
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 will go scot-free if she doesn't investigate. But Martha is torn. If she pursues the guilty, her Bible study friend's awful secret will be exposed, and devastating. When the new rector arrives, she encounters a different sort of problem. One that takes her into Parchman Penitentiary where 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.