5-Star Reviews for Bless Me Father For I Have Sinned by Kelly Marshall

If everybody loved Father Michael Dunne so much, why is he dead?

A charismatic and popular priest, Father Michael Dunne is brutally stabbed to death in the confessional. The Seattle Catholic Community is stunned and in mourning for a cleric who served not only the people in his parish but many in the Northwest’s burgeoning homeless and drug-addicted communities.

Seattle homicide detectives Nick Winston and Pat Strom find Father Mike face down in a pool of blood with multiple stab wounds to his body. Because the attack was so savage, the police surmise the killer knew the pastor.

What in his past could account for the highly personal nature of the crime?

Was he murdered by a penitent scared that the priest would break the seal of the confessional?

Or did an illicit love affair come back to haunt Michael Dunne?

Everyone loved Father Mike…with one grave exception.

Kelly Marshall

Review by Linda Pirtle:

Bless Me Father For I Have Sinned, is the first of Kelly Marshall’s Nick Winston and Pat Strom mysteries I have read. It won’t be the last now that I’m hooked.

Nick Winston and Pat Strom, two Seattle detectives, have been assigned to find the person who brutally murdered Father Michael as he sat in the Confessional at Christ Our Hope Catholic Church. They are confounded and appalled by the viciousness of the attack. Surely, none of his parishioners who sat on the opposite side of the curtain would have taken offense to the priest’s advice for their penitence. After all, Father Michael Dunne was a beloved priest. Nick and Pat must find his killer quickly. Their superiors and the public demand it.

The two detectives begin their interviews, first with the lady who discovered the body. Then they branch out to question his fellow colleagues and parishioners. Nick and Pat learn that “according to the people who knew him, Father Michael Dunne was the second coming of Christ and figuratively walked on water” –  which begs the question – “If everybody loved him so much, why was he dead?”

Nick and Pat doggedly search for Father Michael’s murderer. They have a suspect, but do they? During the course of his investigation, Nick comes face-to-face with a personal dilemma. In addition to solving the case, he also must search his heart and come to terms with his own shortcomings. Like the suspect, could he, too, be guilty of destroying another person, one who has been nothing but loving and kind to him?

Kelly Marshall’s ability to portray the diverse array of flaws within each of her characters and how each deals with internal conflict is masterful.  She skillfully illustrates the fact that “all of us have sinned and fallen short of God’s Glory” (Romans 3:23).

Review by Caleb Pirtle III:

Like all Kelly Marshall novels, the story behind Bless Me Father For I Have Sinned rises from the shadows on the dark side of the street. A priest is murdered. Why? He’s charismatic.

He’s a friend to all mankind. Who would want to kill him? Was it a robbery? Did a druggie need money for his next score? Is a serial killer on the loose? Or did Father Michael Dunne carry a dark secret that only death would expose?

Only Kelly Marshall knows. And she deals out the deadly clues in a slow, methodical, and agonizing fashion. You scream for answers. Be patient. Are you sure you really want to know what only the Father and the killer know?

Kelly Marshall’s writing is clear, crisp, and powerful. Her words build suspense. They invoke fear. They battle fear and frustration with dark humor. Every sentence has the impact of a pistol shot.

Consider the following passage: “She completed the rosary and opened her eyes. What was taking Father Michael so long with the last penitent? She tried not to judge, but surely someone has confessed mortal sins. Otherwise, why would a priest have to counsel him so long? She had been here a half-hour, and the same person had been in the room with Father all this time. Had the priest left through the door on the other side of the confessional? She looked up to see the light glowing red, indicating he was still in the room. She reached down to gather her purse from the floor and gasped at a stream of red seeping from beneath the confessional door.”

Once again, Kelly Marshall hands her dark, secretive, mystery thriller to Seattle homicide detectives Nick Winston and Pat Strom.

They are used to following trails that lead to nowhere. They know that sooner or later, they will find the right one.

They always do.

But the pieces of the puzzle never quite seem to fit together, and those final and surprising answers, they realize, never come as easy as death on the wrong side of Seattle’s streets.

Kelly Marshall’s mysteries are the told the way they should be told, the way Raymond Chandler and Dashiell Hammett once told them.

Please click HERE to find Bless Me Father For I Have Sinned on Amazon.

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