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The three priests in recent series have two things in common: they're all women, and they're all in love with their collaborators--who happen to be policemen. (And these priests, like the authors, are also all Episcopalians.)
Crooked Heart. By Cristina
A Clare Fergusson/Russ Van Alstyne Mystery
by Julia Spencer-Fleming - Hardcover - June 2008
"A suspected serial killer in the town of Millers Kill in Upstate New York takes a backseat to the simmering relationship between Police Chief Russ Van Alstyne and Episcopal priest Clare Fergusson in the sixth entry in this tantalizing series...Action rachets up in a deadly shoot-out...and just when resolution seems within reach, there’s a final twist. Keenly moving and occasionally laugh-out-loud funny, this is a tour de force in a series that seems to have jumped several levels in quality."--Booklist
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A Clare Fergusson and Russ Van
by Julia Spencer-Fleming / Hardcover / Oct 2006
Clare Fergusson, a helicopter pilot turned Episcopal priest, and Russ Van Alstyne, police chief of Millers Kills, N.Y., are suffering in the wake of their affair in Anthony-winner Spencer-Fleming's fifth mystery, her most captivating yet (after 2005's To Darkness and to Death). After Russ separates from his wife and Clare's Albany superiors chastise her, the "problem priest" vows never to see Russ again. But when Russ's wife is found murdered in the Van Alstynes' home and the New York State police deem him the prime suspect, Clare risks everything to clear his name. The high-stakes plot evolves seamlessly with totally unexpected twists and turns, culminating in a climax that surpasses the drama of previous outings. - Publishers Weekly
Another suspenseful tale of faith and murder featuring the Episcopal Priest Clare Fergusson and Police Chief Russ van Alstyne Julia Spencer-Fleming raises the stakes in the fourth entry in her best-selling series set in the quiet town of Millers Kill, New York. Taking a cue from the smash hit television series, 24 Hours, the thrilling plot of her latest plays out over a single day. An early morning missing persons report sends Chief van Alstyne scrambling to one of the last great Adirondack summer estates. One of the heirs to a fortune is missing amidst evidence of foul play. As Clare and Russ race against time to solve the mystery, an unseen hand seeks to foil the search, destroy key evidence, and destroy the searchers as well.?
In Agatha winner Spencer-Fleming's triumphant third novel (after 2003's A Fountain Filled with Blood), Clare Fergusson, Anglican priest and ex-army helicopter pilot, and Sheriff Russ Van Alstyne investigate the hidden secrets, past and present, of a prominent Millers Kill, N.Y., family and must also face the hidden secrets of their own hearts.. ... Since her first outing, In the Bleak Midwinter (2002), Clare has grown in complexity, as shown in a number of exquisitely described scenes between her and Russ in the church. The season of Lent serves as a most fitting backdrop, starting with Ash Wednesday and culminating in the Great Easter Vigil. The author expertly portrays the power of grief, guilt, greed and love and their effect on good people in a story as chilling as the month of March in Millers Kill. A subtle sense of humor further enhances this poignant and provocative mystery. - Publishers Weekly
Spencer-Fleming's second cozy-cum-thriller to feature the Reverend Clare Fergusson, an ex-army helicopter pilot turned Anglican priest, is every bit as riveting as her first, In the Bleak Midwinter (2002). .... Clare, rector of St. Alban's Episcopal Church, and the very much married police chief Russ Van Alstyne, who have spent the last six months avoiding each other in hopes of dispelling their mutual attraction, find themselves working together on a perilous murder investigation. With eloquent exposition and natural dialogue, the precisely constructed plot moves effortlessly to its dramatic conclusion. - Publishers Weekly
In the Bleak Midwinter **
by Julia Spencer-Fleming Hardcover / March 2002
In this debut novel, a riveting page-turner from start to finish, born-and-bred Virginian Clare Ferguson, newly ordained priest of St. Alban's Episcopal Church in the small upstate New York town of Millers Kill, is faced with not only an early December snowstorm and the bitter cold of her first Northern winter but also a conservative vestry, who apparently expended all their daring on hiring her, a female priest. When a baby is left on the church doorstep with a note designating that he be given to two of her parishioners, Clare calls in police chief Russ Van Alstyne. The foundling case quickly becomes an investigation into murder that will shatter the lives of members of her congregation, challenge her own feelings and faith and threaten her life. - Publishers Weekly
The Book of Light *
by Michelle Blake Hardcover / May 2003
Lily Connor, the slightly unorthodox Episcopalian priest, now a temporary chaplain at Tate University near Boston, gets involved with an old friend from divinity school in mystery and adventure involving an ancient scroll, The Book of Light, which predates the New Testament gospels and includes the words of Jesus himself. In spite of the personal dangers the priest and her friends face, the document provides a stepping stone for Lily to clarify her own personal doubts and solidify her spiritual beliefs. Eloquent prose, astute scholarship, convincing characters and vivid settings, from the streets of Harvard Square to a monastic community on the Greek island of Athos, make this a remarkable work, raising the genre of the parish mystery to new heights. - Publishers Weekly
Earth Has No Sorrow *
by Michelle Blake / Hardcover / June 2001
The much anticipated second novel featuring Lily James Connor, an Episcopalian priest whose passion for the truth forces her to confront evil-even when it dwells within her own church.
Also available in paperback
by Michelle Blake / Hardcover / August 1999
To that extremely short list of crime-solving clerics who manage to be convincing as both priests and detectives (such as G.K. Chesterton's Father Brown and Ellis Peters's Brother Cadfael) , we can now add Lily Connor..Blake, a poet who has a master's degree from Harvard Divinity School, writes cool and sparkling prose that gives her first mystery an unusual depth. As the church struggles with issues of sexuality, her clerics and parishioners mirror that struggle. Did the late Father Barnes kill himself with an overdose of insulin because of his feelings toward the 16-year-old son of one of the congregation's richest members? That's one possibility; even worse is the chance that Father Barnes was murdered because of someone else's sins.
Also available in paperback
Familiar Friend **
by Cristina Sumners / Paperback / July 2006
Everyone agrees that Mason Blaine had a lot of enemies. But one of them hated the chairman of the university's Spanish Department enough to kill him&endash;and then stick a knife in his back. The Reverend Kathryn Koerney is no stranger to the sins of man, but this shocking example of overkill in small-town New Jersey has even her puzzled. Now, with Harton police chief Tom Holder, she finds herself hunting a killer through the cloistered world of academia&endash;an unexpected hotbed of adultery, betrayal, ambition, and revenge. For Blaine's murder is only the bait in a carefully disguised trap set for the real victim. And with their personal and professional lives on the line, Kathryn and Tom can only pray they aren't looking the other way when death strikes again.
Cristina Sumners holds a M.Div from the General Seminary of the Episcopal Church and an M.Phil. in Medieval English Studies from Oxford University. She has worked in two churches in Texas and as the Education Officer at a large urban church in England. Married to a scientist, she lives in Taos, New Mexico
The Reverend Kathryn Koerney is looking forward to guiding a group of her New Jersey parishioners through historical Oxford, England. She's also eager to visit her cousin, Richard, who works for a baronet at Datchworth Castle. But just before she departs, Kathryn gets word that Richard has fallen to his death from a castle tower. The police are calling it murder--yet they don't have a single lead. Fortunately, her friend, Chief of Police Tom Holder, is anxious to accompany her to the scene and lend his expertise. .. And when Kathryn stumbles upon what could be the most sensational find of the century, Tom and Kathryn are caught in a web of greed and madness that will require all their courage and faith--not just to save their friendship, but their lives.
When housewife Grace Kimbrough goes missing in the affluent university town of Harton, N.J., Tom Holder, overweight 40-something police chief, seizes the opportunity to recruit The Rev. Dr. Kathryn Koerney, a professor at Harton's renowned seminary and associate of St. Margaret's Episcopal Church -- anything to have contact with the pretty, witty priest and a respite from his worse-than-bad marriage, if only in his fantasies.
The Mezzo Wore Mink
by Mark Schweizer / Paperback / Feb 2008
Autumn in St. Germaine, North Carolina, is an enchanting time of year. But throw in two murders, an election, a Christian nudist camp, and St. Barnabas' answer to the local Baptist church's annual Singing Christmas Tree -- the first-ever performance of The Living Gobbler -- and things are bound to become complicated.
The Bass Wore Scales
A Liturgical Mystery
by Mark Schweizer Paperback / February 2007
For Detective Hayden Konig, things are going well. He enjoys his two jobs, he's independently wealthy, his girlfriend has agreed not to marry him, and no one has been killed in St. Germaine since Palm Sunday. Summers in North Carolina are usually peaceful, but when Kokomo, the world-famous "talking" gorilla, comes to town, suddenly there's a dead body in the church and all the evidence points to the great ape. Can Hayden figure out the mystery in time to save Kokomo? (Well...of course he can...)
The Soprano Wore Falsettos
by Mark Schweizer / Paperback / March 2006
St. Barnabas has come into a great deal of money. Sixteen million dollars, to be exact, and the members of the congregation all have ideas on how to spend it. Suddenly, a shot rang out! A woman screamed, and Detective Konig (part-time Episcopal Choirmaster) has another dead body in the choir loft. It's business as usual in St. Germaine. With Easter right around the corner and suspects galore, Hayden must find the murderer. Can things get any worse? Hayden Konig's 4th mystery --The Soprano Wore Falsettos
The Tenor Wore Tapshoes
by Mark Schweizer / Paperback / May 2005
St. Germaine is usually a quiet little town in the mountains of North Carolina and the inhabitants like it that way. But, as All Saints' Day approaches, Hayden Konig (fulltime Chief of Police, part-time Episcopal Choirmaster, and aspiring whodunit novelist) once again finds himself with a bad manuscript, a dead body, and a parish full of characters that only Raymond Chandler could love.
The Baritone Wore Chiffon
by Mark Schweizer /Paperback / 204 pages / February 2004
Hayden Konig, a part-time Episcopal choirmaster, a full-time police detective and an aspiring whodunit novelist, returns in the hilarious sequel to The Alto Wore Tweed. This uproarious adventure takes him from his home in the mountains of North Carolina to the city of York in the north of England. As the season of Lent approaches, Chief Konig not only has a murder to solve, but also has to deal with a new priest, The Feng Shui Altar Guild, a performance of The Edible Last Supper and a Clown Eucharist. St. Barnabas Church will never be the same.
St. Germaine is a quiet little town in the mountains of North Carolina. Quiet until full-time police detective, part-time Episcopal choirmaster and aspiring whodunit novelist Hayden Konig begins his opus amidst murder and hilarious mayhem at St. Barnabas Church.
The Fabric of Sin
Merrily Watkins Mysteries
by Phil Rickman / Hardcover / Nov 2007
Called in secretly to investigate an allegedly haunted house with royal connections, Merrily Watkins, deliverance consultant for the Diocese of Hereford, is exposed to a real and tangible evil. A hidden valley on the border of England and Wales preserves a longtime feud between two old border families as well as an ancient Templar church with a secret that may be linked to a famous ghost story.
Other books in The Rev Merrily Watkins Mystery series: The Wine of Angels / Midwinter of the Spirit / A Crown Of Lights / The Cure of Souls / The Lamp of The Wicked / The Prayer of The Night Shepard / The Smile Of A Ghost / The Remains of an Altar
The Remains of an Altar
(A Merrily Watkins Mystery)
by Phil Rickman / Hardcover / April 2007
The proposed takeover of a local pub by a nightclub owner with a criminal reputation has become the battleground between the defenders of Olde Englande and the hard men of the drug world&emdash;with extreme and sinister elements on both sides. And as the choral society prepares to stage an open-air performance of Elgar's Caractacus at a prehistoric hill fort, the deaths beginÉAnother spellbinding thriller in Phil Rickman's lauded Merrily Watkins mystery series.
The Smile Of A Ghost *
A Rev Merrily Watkins Mystery
by Phil Rickman / Hardcover /November 2005
Merrily Watkins faces her most challenging case yet in British author Rickman's unsettling seventh mystery to feature the Anglican priest and deliverance consultant to the diocese of Hereford (after 2004's The Prayer of the Night Shepherd). When the 14-year-old nephew of newly retired Det. Sgt. Andy Mumford falls from the ruined castle in the medieval town of Ludlow, the official inquest rules the boy's death a suicide. Suspecting foul play, Mumford seeks Merrily's aid.
Prayer Of The Night Shepard *
A Rev Merrily Watkins Mystery
by Phil Rickman / Hardcover / December 2004
Merrily Watkins, single mom, Anglican priest and exorcist gets involved in sinister doings rooted in legend that Sir Arthur Conan Doyle had in mind a tale from the Welsh border region, not Devon, for the background to The Hound of the Baskervilles.
by Charles Meyer / Hardcover / May, 1999
An Episcopal priest hears a private confession in a foreign tongue from a mysterious supplicant who then tries to kill him. After his escape, the priest learns that the words he has heard are unique to the Deathangel murderer imprisoned ten years earlier.
The Rev. Charles Meyer, an Episcopal priest, was the author of three previous mysteries: The Saints of God Murders, Beside the Still Waters, and Blessed are the Merciless. He aslo wrote nine non-fiction books, the last: Dying Church Living God. He died in 2000 in a traffic accident.
A new mystery featuring
cello-playing, crime-solving New Jersey Episcopal priest
Lavinia Grey. When a man finds his father's remains
inexplicably missing from the local cemetery, he enlists
Mother Vinnie's help.
Kate Gallison lives in Lambertville, New Jersey, with her husband and son. She is the author of four previous Mother Lavinia Grey mysteries, Bury the Bishop / Devil's Workshop / Unholy Angels / Hasty Retreat.
The Devil's Game *
An Unlikely Mystery
by David Holland / Hardcover / November 2005
Holland continues his finely honed Victorian mystery series featuring the introspective Reverend Tuckworth. This time around, politics rears its ugly head in the generally sleepy village, and the respected dean of Bellminster becomes involved in unraveling a partisan conspiracy that results in murder.
The Madonna Murders
by Pamela Cranston / Paperback / November 2003
Here's a mystery with an Episcopal edge to it. When Andrea West, a theology professor in an Episcopal seminary in Berkeley, California, agrees to examine a rare and valuable Russian icon for signs of forgery, she plunges headlong into a tangled plot of blackmail, murder, and pure Evil. Besides all that, it is an engrossing page-turner of a story.
True Believers *
by Jane Haddam / Hardcover / May 2001
A small Philadelphia neighborhood, a melting pot of fervent religious beliefs, erupts in violence that calls for all the skills of Gregor Demarkian, the formidable retired head of the FBI's Behavioral Science Unit, as he tackles his 16th case following last year's Skeleton Key. A Roman Catholic parish still suffering from the aftereffects of a pedophilia scandal that rocked the archdiocese; an Episcopalian church with a mostly gay male congregation; an independent, fundamentalist Baptist church; and atheist Edith Lawton all occupy the same Philadelphia block.
The Reaper *
by Peter Lovesey / Hardcover / April 2001
Otis Joy, rector of Foxford, is a gifted preacher, an able parish politician, and a deft fund-raiser. So deft is he that he manages, with the help of carefully picked, somewhat dense parish treasurers, to embezzle funds from every post he holds. When the bishop confronts him with the evidence, Rector Joy dispatches him with a blow to the head from a St. Paul's Cathedral snow globe. The reader watches in horrified, sometimes admiring fascination, as the rector continues to wow them in the pews, soothe suspicions, seduce his next pick for treasurer, while pursuing, on days off and at odd moments when parishioners thwart his plans, his avocation as serial killer.
Cruel Habitations *
By Kate Charles / Paperback / May, 2001
Jacquie Darke's sister, Alison, had been banished from her home 11 years ago, never to be heard from again. Her parents' deaths enable Jacquie to search for her, leading her to the somnolent cathedral town of Westmead, where she discovers her sister was murdered the day after she left home.
Death in Holy Orders **
by P. D. James / Hardcover / April 2001
When the body of a young ordinand, Ronald Treeves, turns up buried in a sandy bank on the Suffolk coast near isolated St. Anselm's, a High Anglican theological college, it's unclear whether his death was an accident, suicide or murder.
Murder in a Cathedral *
by Ruth Dudley Edwards / Paperback / Nov 2004
For many years Westonbury Cathedral has been dominated by a clique of High Church gays, so when Norman Cooper, an austere, intolerant, happy-clappy evangelist, is appointed dean, there is shock, outrage and fear. David Elworthy, the gentle and politically innocent new bishop, is distraught at the prospect of warfare between the factions. Desperate for help, Elworthy cries on the shoulder of his old friend, the redoubtable Baroness Troutbeck, who forces her unofficial troubleshooter, Robert Amiss, to move into the bishop's palace. Amiss, Troutbeck and the cat Plutarch address themselves in their various ways to the bishop's problems, which very soon include a clerical corpse in the cathedral. Is it suicide? Or is it murder? And who is likely to be next?
Beware False Profits
Ministry is Murder Mystery
by Emilie Richards / Paperback / Nov 2007
There's no rest for the weary Aggie Sloan-Wilcox and her minister husband, who were praying for a relaxing weekend until a member of their flock went missing. Joe Wagner, president of Emerald Springs's food bank, disappears, and Aggie discovers his secret life-as a female impersonator. Meanwhile, the murder of the mayor's wife at the annual food bank fundraiser puts Joe on top of the suspect list. If Aggie doesn't get to the bottom of things fast, she'll be leading a choir singing the blues.
Let There Be Suspects *
by Emilie Richards / Paperback / Dec 2006
With the chalk outline gone from their front porch, Aggie Sloan-Wilcox and her minister husband think they can resume their lives. But when Ginger, Aggie's despised former foster sister, comes for Christmas, and turns up dead as a drumstick, Aggie's sister is suspected. Now it's up to Aggie to find the real murderer-who's decided there's a loophole in thou shalt not kill. Second in the Ministry is Murder series.
Previous books in this
Blessed is the busybody
by Christy Kenneally / Paperback / March 2007
When Gabriel Flaherty plunges from a cliff to his death, it is left to his brother Michael, a priest from New York, to return home to The Island and uncover what has happened. While confronting his past--his estranged father, his first love, and the old priest who changed his life--Michael discovers an intricate, far-reaching web of evil that touches everyone he knows.
Night Watch: *
A Long Lost Adventure in which Sherlock Holmes Meets Father Brown
by Stephen Kendrick / Mass Market Paperback / November 2006
In Night Watch, the great Holmes meets G.K. Chesterton's Father Brown. Kendrick (Holy Clues) stays safely on Holmes's home turf of London, and the tone of the book is closer to the original, with an appropriately sinister atmosphere. Holmes (and his brother Mycroft) and Watson are called to a convention of clerics of the world's major religions, where someone has murdered the host. Throughout the night, more deaths are discovered, but in the space of 24 hours, Holmes apparently solves the case. But then, two weeks later, Father Brown, in his quiet, self-effacing way, provides the real solution.
Sister Pelagia and the White Bulldog *
by Boris Akunin, Andrew Bromfield (Translator)
In a remote Russian province in the late nineteenth century, Bishop Mitrofanii must deal with a family crisis. After learning that one of his great aunt's beloved and rare white bulldogs has been poisoned, the Orthodox bishop knows there is only one detective clever enough to investigate the murder: Sister Pelagia.
Garden of Hell
by Nick Wilgus / Paperback / August 2006
In this second episode of the Father Ananda mystery series, all is not as it seems when Father Ananda is summoned by the Buddhist authorities in Bangkok to investigate an odd case of suspected suicide in a rural temple. A young nun's gruesome death in a crocodile pit at the temple's Buddhist theme park sets off a chain of events that places Ananda and his novice Jak in grave danger. Determined to expose the secrets hidden in this famous monastic community, Ananda fights powerful vested interests.
Mindfulness And Murder
by Nick Wilgus / Paperback / July 2005
When a homeless boy living at the youth shelter run by a Buddhist monastery turns up dead, the abbot recruits Father Ananda, a monk and former police officer, to find out why. He discovers that all is not well at this urban monastery in the heart of Bangkok. Together with his dogged assistant, an orphaned boy named Jak, Father Ananda uncovers a startling series of clues that eventually expose the motivation behind the crime and lead him to the murderers.
'Medieval Religious Mysteries'
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