A Faith Clarke Mystery: Book 1
Publication Date: June 8, 2021
April 1774 – Within the colonial capital of Virginia, Faith Clarke awakes in the middle of the night to discover a man savagely murdered in her tavern. Phineas Bullard was no stranger. Faith’s late husband had borrowed heavily from the man and left Faith to struggle to pay the debt.
With unrest growing in the American Colonies, the British are eager for a quick resolution at the end of a noose, regardless of guilt. Under suspicion for the crime, she must use every resource at her disposal to prove her innocence and protect those she loves. Her allies are Olivia and Titus, slaves left to her by her late husband’s family, individuals she must find a way to free, even as she finds they also have motives for murder.
Faith seeks to uncover the dead man’s secrets even as they draw close to home. Determined to find the truth, she continues headlong into a web of secrets that hides Tories, Patriots, and killers, not stopping even though she fears no one will hear the cry of the innocent.
On the cusp of the Revolutionary War, Williamsburg serves as a hive of activity, with the British Army on high alert against rebel activity. When tavern owner Faith Clarke discovers a well-known resident murdered in her tavern’s private room, she’s determined to discover the culprit.
In Cry of the Innocent, author Julie Bates uses the resident’s murder as a foundation to highlight the events of the time period, particularly the depiction of slavery. While Faith rebels against the concept of slavery and considers Titus and Olivia to be family, that attitude is not the norm.
Faith, who is aptly named, relies heavily on her faith in God to lead her through the aftermath of the murder and ensuing investigation. Her interactions with the young slave named Stella are particularly poignant.
Everyone seems to have a motive to want the man dead. The author provides plenty of possibilities, leading the reader to uncover a variety of secrets before the final resolution.
Cry of the Innocent focuses attention on a time period when skin color alone is reason enough for a person to be accused of murder, but a determined woman ensures the true culprit is identified.
Julie Bates grew up reading little bit of everything, but when she discovered Agatha Christie, she knew she what she wanted to write. Along the way, she has written a weekly column for the Asheboro Courier Tribune (her local newspaper) for two years and published a few articles in magazines such as Spin Off and Carolina Country. She has blogged for Killer Nashville and the educational website Read.Learn.Write. She currently works as a public school teacher for special needs students. She is a member of Mystery Writers of America, Southeastern Writers of America (SEMWA) and her local writing group, Piedmont Authors Network (PAN). When not busy plotting her next story, she enjoy doing crafts and spending time with her husband and son, as well as a number of dogs and cats who have shown up on her doorstep and never left.
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Thanks for the review. I am in the middle of this one right now and enjoying it very much!
I’m glad you enjoyed the book. I hope you will enjoy the second, “A Taste of Betrayal,” due out in late May.