Kate Charles books in order
Kate Charles is an American-born British author of mystery, with a particular interest in clerical mysteries.
Raised on Nancy Drew and Agatha Christie detective novels by her mother, who inculcated a reading culture in her from an early age, writing mystery naturally came to her..
The author of the Book of Psalms Mysteries, Callie Anson Mysteries and several standalones, Kate and her husband currently reside on the English side of the Welsh Marches, having lived in Bedford, England for more than two decades.
A former Chairperson of the Crime Writers' Association and the Barbara Pym Society, as well as a member of the distinguished Detection Club, the author is the recipient of the George N. Dove Award for her exceptional contribution to the serious study of mystery and crime fiction.
Whenever she isn't writing, Kate enjoys reading, cooking, singing, and church-crawling.
Genres: Clerical Mysteries, Crime Suspense, Mystery
- Unruly Passions (1998)
- Strange Children (1999)
- Cruel Habitations (2000)
- Through a Glass, Darkly and Other Stories (2013)
Book of Psalms Mystery
- A Drink of Deadly Wine (1991)
- The Snares of Death (1992)
- Appointed to Die (1993)
- A Dead Man Out of Mind (1994)
- Evil Angels Among Them (1995)
- Evil Intent (2005)
- Secret Sins (2007)
- Deep Waters (2009)
- False Tongues (2015)
- Desolate Places (2021)
- Imagine (2012)
Detailed book overview
Margaret Phillips is a powerful woman, one of the first women to become an Archdeacon. Intelligent, confident, and capable, she has reached a stage in her life where both her career and her private life are harmonious. And there's one thing she can be sure of—the love of her husband Hal. Valerie Marler, best-selling author, is in control of her fictional world and her own life as well.
Beautiful, rich, and with as many men as she wants, Valerie calls the shots. Until she meets Hal Phillips, a happily married man with no interest in what she has to offer. Rosemary Finch, the vicar's wife, is neither rich nor beautiful, and her life has not been an easy one. She loves her husband, and they both adore their daughter Daisy. Then something happens that will shatter her equilibrium—she, too, meets Hal Phillips, the man Valerie Marler wants and can't have.
Friendless and virtually an orphan, Tessa craves a husband and a baby; above all, she wants to be loved. When her on-and-off lover Ian leaves her for the last time, Tessa embarks on a whirlwind romance with Rob Nicholls, and at last her dreams seem set to come true. Now married to the perfect man, and with a baby on the way, Tessa looks forward to getting to know her new mother-in-law.
But before that can happen, Linda Nicholls is murdered and Tessa desperately needs to know why. Her quest for answers plunges her into a world of secrets, where nothing is as it seems, and her own life and the life of her unborn child are in mortal danger. A chilling tale of murder, blackmail, and perversion.
When Sophie Lilburn leaves London for the sleepy town of Westmead so that her husband Chris can pursue his dream of singing in a cathedral choir, she knows that it will bring changes to her life.
But she is not prepared for the claustrophobia of Quire Close, or the extent to which her career, her relationships, and even her marriage will be affected. She learns that 11 years earlier, a young girl was murdered in the Close. The girl was never identified, and her killer was never apprehended.
Meanwhile, in the bleak East Anglian fens, Jacquie Darke sets forth on a quest to find her missing sister. It is a journey that will lead her to heartbreak, self-knowledge, and danger. A killer has struck once—will he strike again?
Peopled with quirky clerics and devious parishioners, Through a Glass, Darkly and Other Stories brings together for the first time the published short stories of ecclesiastical crime writer Kate Charles. The title story features the debut of her popular series character Callie Anson, against the lush backdrop of Venice. Other tales reflect Kate's trademark understanding of the inner workings of the Church of England – and the vagaries of human nature – in a few delectable bite-sized stories with a clerical twist.
Book of Psalms Mystery
Father Gabriel Neville has everything going for him as vicar of St Anne’s, Kensington Gardens: intellectual prowess, physical beauty, a happy family life and the prospect of promotion to Archdeacon. But his perfect world is shattered when he receives an anonymous letter that has the power to destroy his career and marriage, by threatening to expose something that no one could possibly know.
The only person Gabriel can turn to is David Middleton-Brown, an old friend and a man with a few secrets of his own. Against his better judgement, David comes to London, where his discreet enquiries bring to light a whole host of suspects. There’s the eccentric church organist, Miles Taylor; the gossip Mavis Conwell; the disapproving Dawson family; the Churchwarden, Cyril Fitzjames, who’s in love with Gabriel’s wife Emily; and the charming and talented artist Lucy Kingsley.
In his efforts to help Gabriel uncover the blackmailer, David hauls numerous skeletons out of cupboards, and enters into a web of relationships that threaten to shatter his own peace of mind.
Everyone agrees that Bob Dexter, the prominent Evangelical clergyman, has a great deal of personal charisma. Those who know him realise that he also has an unshakable faith in his own righteousness, and a real talent for rubbing people up the wrong way.
It is no surprise, therefore, that someone should want to kill him. In fact, when the Reverend Dexter moves to a small Norfolk parish, traditionally Anglo-Catholic, and begins remoulding it in his own image, his distraught parishioners are not the only ones with good reason to want to remove him. And there are secrets in his seemingly tranquil family life that Dexter does not even begin to suspect – until the fateful and eventful day of his death.
Solicitor David Middleton-Brown and his artist-friend Lucy Kingsley step in to investigate. Their search for the truth culminates at the annual National Pilgrimage to Walsingham, where Anglo-Catholic pomp clashes with heated Evangelical protest, and feelings run perilously high. Too late, perhaps, David realizes the danger: will he be in time to prevent a second murder?
Death at the Deanery – sudden and unnatural death. Someone should have seen it coming. For even before Stuart Latimer arrives as the new Dean of Malbury, shock waves are reverberating through the tightly-knit and insular Cathedral Close, with sweeping changes afoot. And the reality is even worse than the expectation.
The Dean’s naked ambition and ruthless behaviour alienate everyone in the Chapter: the gentle John Kingsley, vague Rupert Greenwood, pompous Philip Thetford and, especially, the strongly traditionalist Arthur Brydges-ffrench.
Financial jiggery-pokery, clandestine meetings, malicious gossip, and several people who witness more than they ought to, make for a potent mix. But who could foresee that the mistrust within the Cathedral Close would spill over into violence and death? Canon Kingsley’s daughter Lucy draws in her lover David Middleton-Brown, against his better judgement, and together they probe the surprising secrets of a self-contained world where nothing is as it seems.
A woman priest at St Margaret’s? Over my dead body!
Dolly Topping, head of the national organization ‘Ladies Opposed to Women Priests’ and wife of one of the churchwardens, feels that strongly about it. It is unfortunate, therefore, that Father Julian, the well-loved curate of the Pimlico church, should have been killed in a burglary gone wrong. And doubly unfortunate that the Vicar, upwardly-aspiring William Keble Smythe, should choose to appoint a woman to replace him. From the moment that Rachel Nightingale enters the serene Anglo-Catholic world of St Margaret’s, tempers and emotions run high; Christian charity is not much in evidence, even among those who espouse it loudly.
Then another ‘accidental’ death unites the parishioners in new heights of hypocrisy, and leaves some crying ‘murder’. But David Middleton-Brown is sceptical – until he learns about Father Julian’s death. With the encouragement of the Archdeacon, David and Lucy Kingsley embark on a search for the truth about the ‘dead man out of mind’, and discover more than they ever wanted to know about greed, hypocrisy, ambition – and the cost of love.
‘Peaceful’ is the most common entry in the visitors’ book of fifteenth-century St Michael’s Church, with its glorious angel roof and its medieval Doom painting. But away from the church, and beneath the idyllic veneer, the tiny Norfolk village of Walston is anything but harmonious.
The Rector’s new bride, Becca Thorncroft, is receiving phone calls so unpleasant that her very sanity is at stake; and the newest residents of Walston, Gillian English and Lou Sutherland, are not exactly welcomed with open arms. Then sudden, gruesome death shatters any remaining semblance of serenity.
Fortunately for Father Stephen Thorncroft, he is able to enlist the help of his friends Lucy Kingsley and David Middleton-Brown to unravel the tangled relationships and uncover the dark motivations of the villagers. As the investigation proceeds, they stumble on more than they’d bargained for. But it is not until a little girl goes missing that the final, deadly pieces fall into place in their search for the ‘evil angels among them’.
Life in the clergy is quiet, respectful, peaceful, or so Callie Anson believes when she begins her new job as curate to the Reverend Brian Stanford at All Saints' Church in Paddington. Little does she realize how wrong she could be.
After the traumatic end of her relationship with fiancé Adam, the last thing Callie needs is more emotional turmoil. But it seems she is not destined for a quiet life just yet. Knowing that women in the clergy are still disapproved of in certain quarters, Callie is prepared to face some criticism. But the deep-seated hatred shown by some of her respected male colleagues takes her by surprise, particularly the spiteful attack made by Father Jonah Adimola, a hard-line conservative Nigerian priest. Luckily, her good friend and mentor Frances Cherry is on hand to jump to her defense.
But when Father Adimola is found strangled to death the next day and Frances is suspected of the crime, Callie must call upon her faith to steer her through the troubling and violent times and help prove her friend's innocence. With DI Neville Stewart heading the investigation, it's not long before the ecclesiastical facade is chipped away to reveal the ugly truth of hidden secrets.
Life isn't easy for curate Callie Anson, but it's definitely interesting. Her relationship with policeman Marco Lombardi is growing warmer, although he seems to be keeping her at arms length from his close Italian family. Then her brother Peter―beloved and engaging as he is―gets a bit too close for comfort when he moves into her London flat.
Callie faces professional challenges as well. Morag Hamilton, a new parishioner, is worried about her granddaughter Alex―a lonely and isolated twelve-year-old with a work-obsessed father and a self-absorbed stepmother.
Meanwhile, Detective Inspector Neville Stewart is dealing with Rachel Norton, a pregnant young woman whose husband Trevor went out jogging along the Paddington canal and never returned. Just when Neville thinks he's solved it, someone else goes missing: young Alex Hamilton.
In a culture obsessed with celebrity, baby Muffin's death is big news. Crib death—or something more sinister? Everyone wants to know, including the police. Whatever the truth, the bereaved parents—celebrity couple Jodee and Chazz—live in curate Callie Anson's parish. And despite the disapproval of her vicar and his wife, Callie becomes involved with funeral arrangements.
It's a high-profile case, all right. Detective Inspector Neville Stewart is even recalled from his honeymoon to investigate—with disastrous personal results. And journalist Lilith Noone's professional future is on the line as she is sucked more deeply into her own flirtations with celebrity culture.
But for police family liaison officer Mark Lombardi, the death of baby Muffin is eclipsed by another death much closer to home. He soon finds himself in an impossible position, torn between his loyalty to his family and his growing love for Callie.
The Reverend Callie Anson should have learned her lesson by now: revisiting the past is seldom a good idea. But she succumbs to peer pressure and attends a reunion at her theological college in Cambridge, where she is forced to confront painful memories―and the presence of her clueless ex, Adam.
Margaret Phillips, the Principal of the college, has a chance for happiness but before she can grasp it she has to deal with her own ghosts―as well as corrosive, intrusive gossip. Both Margaret and Callie learn something about themselves, and about forgiveness, from wise retired priest John Kingsley.
Meanwhile, in London, police officers Neville Stewart and Mark Lombardi are involved with the stabbing of a teenager. Was the victim―gifted, popular schoolboy Sebastian Frost―all he seemed to be, or was there something in his life that led inevitably to his death? The police find themselves in the queasy world of cyber-bullying, where nothing may be as it seems.
While they're apart, Callie and Mark's relationship is on hold, and his Italian family continues to be an issue. Will Mark realize, before it's too late, that while his family will always be important to him, he is entitled to something for himself?
With a wedding on the way, and her demanding job as a curate in an affluent London parish, Callie Anson has enough on her plate to keep her busy. But she soon finds herself called to minister to a segment of her parish that she barely knew existed: the virtually invisible people – most of them foreign, some of them illegal – working in difficult conditions, for inadequate pay, in downmarket tourist hotels. How can she square her ordination vows to be a servant to the most vulnerable with her desire to be honest with her fiancé, policeman Mark Lombardi?
Detective Inspector Neville Stewart is torn between the needs of his pregnant wife and the demands of his job when he is made Senior Investigating Officer on the case of a woman found dead in one of the tourist hotels. The death itself is not surprising, but the victim is. What was well-to-do Felicity Chapman doing in the Regent Hotel? Before Neville can get to the bottom of it, another death shakes him to the core.
A new short story from acclaimed crime writer Kate Charles.
Kate Charles is known for her crime novels set against the background of the Church of England. Here is something entirely different!
Inspired by Kate's first visit to Liverpool, this is the story of a misfit . . . and her voyage of self-discovery.