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Kathleen Kent books in order

Kathleen Kent is an American New York Times bestselling author of spy thrillers, crime fiction and historical fiction novels.

Raised in Texas, Kathleen lived and worked in New York for two decades before returning to Dallas with her family.

It was upon her return that she began full-time writing, making her debut as a novelist in 2008 with the award-winning historical fiction title, The Heretic's Daughter.

Kathleen also wrote the contemporary crime fiction novels The Dime (2017) and The Burn (2020), two Detective Betty novels which earned her two Edgar Award Nominations.

An inductee of the Texas Institute of Letters for her contribution to Texas literature, Kathleen has written short stories and essays for D Magazine, Texas Monthly and LitHub.

More about Kathleen Kent

Genres: Crime Suspense, Historical Fiction, Mystery, Thriller

Born: 1953

United States


Non Series

  • The Traitor's Wife (2010)
  • The Outcasts (2013)
  • Black Wolf (2023)


  1. The Heretic's Daughter (2008)

Detective Betty

  1. The Dime (2017)
  2. The Burn (2020)
  3. The Pledge (2021)

Detailed book overview

Non Series

The Traitor's Wife

In the harsh wilderness of colonial Massachusetts, Martha Allen works as a servant in her cousin's household, taking charge and locking wills with everyone. 

Thomas Carrier labors for the family and is known both for his immense strength and size and mysterious past. The two begin a courtship that suits their independent natures, with Thomas slowly revealing the story of his part in the English Civil War. 

But in the rugged new world they inhabit, danger is ever present, whether it be from the assassins sent from London to kill the executioner of Charles I or the wolves -- in many forms -- who hunt for blood.

nB: This book is also known as The Wolves of Andover.

Author: Kathleen Kent
First Release: 2010
ISBN: 978-0316068642
Publisher: Back Bay Books
The Outcasts

Buried treasure, a manhunt, and a woman determined to make a new life for herself in the old west.

It's the 19th century on the Gulf Coast, a time of opportunity and lawlessness. After escaping the Texas brothel where she'd been a virtual prisoner, Lucinda Carter heads for Middle Bayou to meet her lover, who has a plan to make them both rich, chasing rumors of a pirate's buried treasure.

Meanwhile, Nate Cannon, a young Texas policeman with a pure heart and a strong sense of justice, is on the hunt for a ruthless killer named McGill who has claimed the lives of men, women, and even children across the frontier.

Who -- if anyone -- will survive when their paths finally cross? As Lucinda and Nate's stories converge, guns are drawn, debts are paid, and Kathleen Kent delivers an unforgettable portrait of a woman who will stop at nothing to make a new life for herself.

Author: Kathleen Kent
First Release: 2013
ISBN: 978-0316206112
Publisher: Back Bay Books
Black Wolf

She never forgets a face.

He never forgets his prey.

It is 1990 when Melvina Donleavy arrives in Soviet Belarus on her first undercover mission with the CIA, alongside three fellow agents—none of whom know she is playing two roles. To the prying eyes of the KGB, she is merely a secretary; to her CIA minders, she is the only one who can stop the flow of nuclear weapons from the crumbling Soviet Union into the Middle East.

For Mel has a secret; she is a “super recognizer,” someone who never forgets a face. But no training could prepare her for the reality of life undercover, and for the streets of Minsk, where women have been disappearing. Soviet law enforcement is firm: murder is a capitalist disease. But could a serial killer be at work? Especially if he knew no one was watching? 

As Mel searches for answers, she catches the eye of an entirely different kind of threat: the elusive and petrifying “Black Wolf,” head of the KGB.

Author: Kathleen Kent
First Release: 2023
ISBN: 978-1804547892
Publisher: Head of Zeus


The Heretic's Daughter

A courageous woman fights to survive the darkest days of the Salem Witch Trials.

Salem, 1752. Sarah Carrier Chapman, weak with infirmity, writes a letter to her granddaughter that reveals the secret she has closely guarded for six decades: how she survived the Salem Witch Trials when her mother did not.

Sarah's story begins more than a year before the trials, when she and her family arrive in a New England community already gripped by superstition and fear. As they witness neighbor pitted against neighbor, friend against friend, the hysteria escalates -- until more than two hundred men, women, and children have been swept into prison. 

Among them is Sarah's mother, Martha Carrier. In an attempt to protect her children, Martha asks Sarah to commit an act of heresy -- a lie that will most surely condemn Martha even as it will save her daughter.

This is the story of Martha's courageous defiance and ultimate death, as told by the daughter who survived.

Author: Kathleen Kent
First Release: 2008
ISBN: 978-0274992058
Publisher: Back Bay Books

Detective Betty

The Dime

Brooklyn's toughest female detective takes on Dallas.

Dallas, Texas is not for the faint of heart. Good thing for Betty Rhyzyk she's from a family of take-no-prisoners Brooklyn police detectives. But her Big Apple wisdom will only get her so far when she relocates to The Big D, where Mexican drug cartels and cult leaders, deadbeat skells and society wives all battle for sunbaked turf.

Betty is as tough as the best of them, but she's deeply shaken when her first investigation goes sideways. Battling a group of unruly subordinates, a persistent stalker, a formidable criminal organization, and an unsupportive girlfriend, the unbreakable Detective Betty Rhyzyk may be reaching her limit.

Author: Kathleen Kent
First Release: 2017
ISBN: 978-0316311045
Publisher: Mulholland Books
The Burn

Dallas's toughest female detective takes on a string of mysterious assassinations.

Not much can make Detective Betty Rhyzyk flinch. But when forced into therapy, a desk assignment, and domestic bliss following a terrifying run-in with an apocalyptic cult, she's having trouble readjusting to life as it once was. At home, she struggles to connect with her loving wife, Jackie. 

At work, someone has been assassinating confidential informants. To make matters worse, Betty's partner seems to be increasingly dependent on the painkillers he was prescribed for injuries he sustained narrowly rescuing her.

Betty's at the point of breaking when she decides to go rogue, on a chase that will lead her to the dark heart of a drug cartel terrorizing Dallas, and straight to the crooked cops who plan to profit from it all.

Author: Kathleen Kent
First Release: 2020
ISBN: 978-1803284200
Publisher: Head of Zeus
The Pledge

Detective Betty has only two weeks to take down her deadliest rival—this time for good.

Things are looking up for Detective Betty Rhyzyk. She’s settled into a happy marriage and been promoted to Sergeant in the Dallas Police Department. But when a hostage stand-off puts her on the phone with legendary cartel leader The Knife, things take a turn. 

The Knife has heard a rival is making a play for the streets of Dallas—none other than Evangeline Roy. The matriarch of a ruthless cult, Evangeline also happens to hold a personal vendetta against Betty. So who better to draw Evangeline out of hiding? Betty’s got two weeks to catch her. Or else.

With Betty’s young charge Mary Grace already missing—having left her seven-month-old baby behind in Betty’s care—and the drug dealers of Dallas donning strange red wigs and delivering cryptic messages, Betty’s in a race for answers. 

With the clock ticking down, it will take everything she’s got to finally put an end to Evangeline’s reign of terror, and to keep her beloved Dallas—and her own family—safe at last.

Author: Kathleen Kent
First Release: 2021
ISBN: 978-1803284255
Publisher: Head of Zeus