Guest book (continued from previous page)

"I have greatly enjoyed all the Phil Rickman (Merrily Watkins) books. Mr Rickman conjures-up atmospheres extremely well and, living on the Welsh / English border is well-acquainted with the area and is therefore, able to write with great conviction. Please keep 'em coming." (Chris Griffiths)

My publishing company, Dark Passage, has just started reissuing the mysteries written by June Wright in the 1940s, 50s and 60s. We won't get to the three Mother Paul novels for a year or two yet, but thought you'd like to know they will be available again before too long! Thanks for doing your site! -- regards." (Steve Connell, April 2014)

"Thanks for this site, has put it in my favoritlist and will have good use for it in the future." (Ulf Kleander)

"Thanks for your informative and well organized site. It was very useful to me. I had never heard of this author or protagonist until a couple of days ago and was able to find all the information i needed on your site. Keep up the good work." (Polly Crandall)
Thanks for the message but I'm left wondering which author it is! (Philip Grosset)

"Is there any way to purchase Charles Meyer's last 2 books?" (Sharon Berry)
Yes, you'll find them (and nearly all of the books mentioned on this site) on the site.

"Just read A Nun in the Closet by Dorothy Gilman, great book, and, characters. Was trying to find if Dorothy Gilman wrote any more books about these nuns?? Your site informed that there was only the one. (My loss). Thx for info." (T. King)

"Love your books. Cannot put them down after I start reading. Just finished Cradle and All. Is there a follow up to this story? Do you have a newsletter? Thanks again for the stories you have brought into my dull and boring life....what a uplift." (Betty Peck)
I'm not James Patterson, but if you go to my web page about him, you'll find a link to his website where there is a list of his books, including coming ones, and infomation on how to contact him.(Philip Grosset)

"I have so enjoyed your work in Decoding Christianty. I'd welcome any other means of dialogue. In lieu of anything of this sort I will continue to research your works. Thank you for your gifts." (Kelly O'Sullivan)
I'm not Umberto Eco - just the webmaster of the Clerical Detectives site! (Philip Grosset)

"Your fair comments on my mystery books are very useful. Currently Amazon have listed them in their top bracket of British crime writing and certainly they are selling well on Kindle - around 2,000 a month at present." (John Waddington-Feather)

"I discover your site by accident. I was looking for audio for priests beyond Father Brown & your site was in the list. I find the site interesting & informative. Some of the books mentioned I have read, others are new to me. My request, if I may be so bold as to make a request, I would like to see audio sites listed for those authors whose books have been recorded, or even dramatized Since it is obvious that you have put a lot of work into this site i hope you can add an audio section." (Harris Freedman)
Sorry, this would be quite beyond me! But thanks for the suggestion. (Philip Grosset)

I was trying to find the author of a book I read years ago set in Beverley Yorks and this site came up with the goods. Very impressed with the outlines of the books mentioned. Had quite a browse through and found other authors to look out for." (Oldbird)

"Hi, I stumbled across your site as I googled my first book (Pastor June and the Righteous) to see how far it had gone with expanded distribution. I was pleasantly surprised to find it on your site. I wanted to aprise you that I took your critique to heart and have recently published the sequel and am currently working on the third book. Now I am marketing the series as the Pastor June Mysteries. I'm including the Amazon Uk page (it appears at this point only to be available in Kindle) I would love the opportunity for you to review book two. I would also be happy to mail you a reviewers copy of the paperback if you'd like. Thanks again for your review of the first book." (Rev Lee M Sapp)
I am always please to receive books for review. (Philip Grosset)

"I just read Pitchfork Hollow. Excellent work. By the way, Rev. Mr. Feldmeyer, Walter Rauchenbusch, would be proud of you." (Timothy Crawford)

"Googled for info on Phil Rickman. Fantastic site - an amazing amount of work has gone into producing such an invaluable resource!" (Ann Roberts)

"Thanks for introducing me to Sister Ursula and her author. I was also happy to know the meaning of the Anthony award. Your reviews are thorough and interesting, making me want to read so many of your listings. Thanks so much." (Mary Ann Sadler)

"Great web site! Lists authors of clerical detectives to look out for in the library." (Mark)

"Gale Pedrick I believe retired to Bigbury on Sea in Devon in the 1940's. He lived at a house in the village. Barry Edwards, who now lives in France, told me. All best." (Gary Macbar of Burgh Island.)

"Really impressive site! Thanks God for Google bringing me to your site (and of course, thanks God for your site). I came here looking for Bonfiglioli books, but while browsing around, I was really impressed by your coverage of Guareschi (the author of the Don Camillo books). As an Italian growing up in the Sixties, I have read quite a few Guareschi books, but would not be able to add much to your thorough coverage of them. Have you intentionally ruled out Brothers Keepers, by Donald Westlake? Part of the plot is about the monks trying to find out who stole a valuable document, thus doing some clerical detection." (Alessandro)
Many thanks for the suggestion. I've now added 'Brothers Keepers'. (Philip Grosset)

"Can you please let me know when Mark's next book will be out. I just love this series and know several people who do too and we would love to know when we can expect the next installment. Thank you." (Sue Solin)
'The Cantor Wore Crinolines' was published in 2013 and is reviewed here. (Philip Grosset)

"A nicely put together site - great work, much appreciated. I came via a search for Edmund Crispin, whose 'Buried for Pleasure' I found by chance and am being greatly entertained by its querky humour. It occurs to me a similar clerically themed site might be produced for ghost stories? (Nigel)

"A clerical friend posted a link on Facebook. Glad to find this site. As an Episcopal priest, clerical mysteries are one of my favorites." (Blake)

"I am 54 and had some dim memories of Don Camillo cartoons and books in the school library when I was a child. Were there books for children, primarily with the drawings?
Recently I have been reading the collection of
Don Camillo stories I discovered at a garage sale. They are charming little stories and I like the rivalry of the two characters but with the grudging affection for each other that lies underneath. This is shown when Camillo defends his rival in the boxing ring and when the mayor bemoans that Camillo has ben sent away to another village to be replaced with a less arrogant and less forceful young priest.
I am neither Catholic nor communist but wonder how individuals steeped in these ideologies react to the stories." (James O'Connell)
Does anyone know anything about a children's version? (Philip Grosset)

"Your comments on William Brodrick's books much appreciated. I'm sure we shall enjoy at least 3 of them" (Adele Grounds)

"Great site! Most interesting discoveries await me, obviously. I agree about Lament for a Maker - like walking through treacle, but worth it in the end, as I recall. Have enjoyed Harry Kemelman in the past - must read him again!" (Creeda Fitzgibbon)

"Have you heard about Randall Arthur's newest book, Forgotten Road? If you enjoyed Jordan's Crossing, you're in for a treat. You can view the Forgotten Road trailer here:
Yes, I mention it on the Jason Faircloth page but explain that I won't be reviewing it as no clerical detection is involved. (Philip Grosset)

"I love the only Septimus book I have read and was researching whether 'Stephen Chance' had written anythiing else. Happily, he did and I am now searching for copies to add to my library. THANK YOU for providing the means to do this." (Retha Tinker)

"Love seeing D M Greenwood fully appreciated - I have read and re-read her books many times. I look forward to trying many more of the recommendations on this excellent site. One correction - on your Margery Allingham (my favourite author) page, you refer to Canon Hubert's amateur detective nephew as Edmund Campion - should of course be Albert Campion. Many thanks for the site - it will be well-used." (Esther Mileham)
Many thanks for the correction. (Philip Grosset)

"You have a link to an article on Henry Charlton Beck, but unfortunately the link seems dead. Can you help me get the pdf article?" (Dr Brian Regal)
Sorry, but the article has disappeared from the web and I can't now find any trace of it. Can anyone help? (Philip Grosset)

"I began reading Bill Kienzle's works while a seminarian at Catholic University. During the course of my priesthood and beyond I had the sense that I knew Bill personally. Our beliefs meshed in such a way that I have wondered how much influence his writing had to do with my personal decision to move on from the priesthood. I have the 24 books and his biography on my shelf to reread from time to time. He feels like a good and safe friend. I am grateful." (Mark Fleming)

"Thank you for your insightful reviews. I am working on the third Grit and Grace Mystery and look forward to your opinion." (Becky Wooley)

"Love Ash Rashid. Read the Abbey and the Outsider, looking for the next novel." (Audrey Carruthers)

"Read several of
Father Koesler books in the 80s and wanted to see if there were any more. To my pleasant surprise, there are." (John Henry)

"You ask for more details on
Pauline King ("Snares of the Enemy"), particularly her dates. I do know her family and will pass on this request, however, I can tell you that she died last Wednesday 28 August 2013." (Andrew Norton)

"So sad at your (Cristina Sumners') passing. As I travel to your memorial service today, I think back on our wonderful conversations. You will be sorely missed by your friends. I want to reread all the novels because Kathryn reminds me of you." (Barbara Paul)

"Good to come across comments on writers with high entertainment and humour content: Innes ,Crispin, Greenwood, Heyer, Lathen, Dibdin. Who is writing now in this vein? Don't find Camilleri really amusing." (M Towner)
Try Mark Schweitzwer, Suzette A Hill and Peter Lovesey. Or look up
humour on my search engine and you'll find several pages of references. (Philip Grosset)

"Sad to report Cristina Sumners passed away last week after four months in the hospital." (Chris, 22nd August 2013)

"TY for the excellent review of the character Arn Magnusson. I watched the movie's 6 parts on Netflix. I wanted to know a bit more. Again TY." (Barbara Houk)

"A reader referred me to a review of my book Force of Habit that appeared on your site recently. I'm grateful for the inclusion, but must say, while my books and other stuff have been reviewed countless times down the years; yours is by far the weirdest ever. Probably in a nice way, but I'm not sure. Nobody has ever thought to focus mainly on a minor footnote before, or call my work nasty or offensive. That's a new one for me. Usually, it's the opposite.
But thanks anyway. I could become quite hooked on your site if your reviews are all like this." (Cash Peters)

"You quoted passages as "only in the book", however the dialogue is California talk for better or worse. Thanks for including my book in your unique Clerical Detectives." (William G Hutson)

"Force of Habit: Sister Madeleine Investigates is my favourite book to date, mainly for its humour, originality and sheer entertainment value, so I was pleased to see the inclusion of a page about Sistet Madeleine. Pleased too that you share my enjoyment of the author's wit.
I was, however, rather surprised that you found parts of it to be offensive and even nasty. The part you refer to where the man is consumed in a pillar of fire I see as belonging to the realms of fantasy, bordering on sci-fi. He was the victim of his own sonar wand, a futuristic device like the futuristic transporter that runs on ionised plasma! To me it no more caused offense than would a similar gruesome death in one of the Harry Potter series. I think you'll find that the silliness to which Madeleine refers, without giving away too much of the plot, is the fact that someone is trying to persuade her to take part in a new offensive .
My favourite part of the book is that referring to Mother Winifred, and the religious satire, which I see directed not at a set of beliefs, nor at their followers, but at the bigotry which can exist in institutionalised religion. All part of the general fun and not to be taken too seriously. Hopefully we might see more of Sister Madeleine in future." (Sylvia Hunter)

"I just read Cristina Sumners 3 Divine Mystery books and am wondering if you know of any follow up books in this series. I'm left hanging and wondering the future outcome of main characters. Thanks." (Maria Bailey)
I'm afraid I have no information about this. (Philip Grosset)

"How about Sister Madeleine of Force Of Habit by Cash Peters." (Sylvia Hunter)
Many thanks for the suggestion. I've now included a page about Sister Madeleine. (Philip Grosset)

"I live the south side of Bradford near the M62 been a fellow Yorkshire man I find your detective stories around Bradford intriguing.I have read all 6 of your books on Kindle after coming upon the by accident. They are so true to life living where I do in between 2 Muslim communities I can identify with all your characters and the places you have written about. I thought it only right to let you know how I liked your books." (Robert Green)
I'm NOT the author, but I would guess you might be referring to John Waddington Feather! (Philip Grosset)

"Outstanding! I had remembered a series featuring a priest and a Jewish sidekick -- I run a book group that seems to like things religious. Not usually my thing, but I realized one of my favorites was Bishop Regan and Davey Goldman -- only I confused them with the Jack Webb series. Thanks for getting me straightened out. And giving our members a website in which to wallow. What a towering job!" (Kathy Phillips)

"Please note that the three Nick Wilgus Father Ananda novels have been republished by Crime Wave Press ( A fourth Father Ananda title is due out later this year. Thank you, Tom Vater."

"James L. Johnson was my professor, mentor, and friend when I was a student at the Wheaton College Graduate School (Billy Graham Communications Program) from 1974-1976. He challenged us to "write about the subject that scares you the most." That's what he did in both his writing and his life (as a sailor in World War II, he was knifed by a Japanese soldier off of Iwo Jima). His challenging words still run true for me four decades later. He was that rare combination of a writer who could teach, and a teacher who could write. He made me believe I could be a writer, too. I miss him." (Brad L Smith)

"I just purchased The Tentmaker, thinking as it was about church, priest, would not have an issue with swear words. Page 7, the f word, which I detest. Really!" (Sharon)

"Would like to suggest that you add to the list Rev. Oxford Christie from "The Hidden Congregation: a Reverend Christie Mystery" by William T. Delamar. Publisher is Solstice. Book available on Amazon in both paperback and ebook. Rev. Oxford Christie's church is non-denominational. (Note: author William T. Delamar is my husband.) Thank you." (Gloria T. Delamar)
I have now added Rev Oxford Christie. (Philip Grosset)

"I have been a reader of Don Camillo since the sixties, love the stories, and in 2003 was made a Roman Catholic I can't blame this on G G's stories but they certainly had a big influence. Now in my 60s, and disabled after a car cash, I have great memories of Don Camillo. I would love to own all the books, but doubt whether I could find them all. My favourite story is the "stalks of corn" from Don Camillo in Russia. I wish there were more like these!!!" (Barry Oliff)
When searching for books, a good source of information is (Philip Grosset)

"Hello. As someone who has just embarked on writing their first novel (5000 words and counting...!) that has a Catholic priest in New York as the chief protagonist--I was curious and googled 'priests in crime fiction' and the name William X Kienzle leapt out. I was fascinated to discover this author and whilst at first (momentarily) deflated to see a city priest in fiction of this sort, I soon realised that my book, although inevitably having some common factors with the work of Mr Kienzle, will be different enough, and hopefully can be seen as more in the line of carrying on in the same generic tradition. I found your site very interesting and informative and I will certainly read the work of this author (but might wait till I actually finish my own book!) Again, many thanks for a great site. Very best wishes." (Mike Birmingham, UK)

"Re Alys Clare: loved her books but the forest people turned me off. They got more and more weird. I stopped with the next to last book when Hellwise left the abbey and went to live with Josse. That was the way I wanted it to end and was disappointed to read your review of the next book in which they had never slept together. How dumb is that. I wont read it." (R Smith)

"While I enjoyed Gun Games, as I have all of Faye Kellermans books and Jonathan Kellerman's as well, I was a bit confused and upset that I had spent money on what I thought was a 'new book', entitled Blood Games, only to find it was exactly the same book.
Can someone explain why
Gun Games and Blood Games are exactly the same book with just an ever so slightly different description on the back of each cover." (Sandra)
I believe Blood Games is the English title, and Gun Games the American one. (Philip Grosset)

"I recently discovered your Blake Hartley series on Amazon, and must tell you how very much I am enjoying the books. The characters are well crafted, the plots are interesting with plenty of twists and turns, and I love the Yorkshire setting and ecclesiastical tones. I look forward to more of your work. Thank you." (Alexandra Adams San Jose, CA, USA )
Yes, but I'm afraid I'm not the author! (Philip Grosset)

"Hi. Nice website. I have a short story called "The Lord Is My Shamus," in which God sends Job to right some wrongs for him. Job isn't a cleric, but I think the story falls in the range of what you like to read. If so, it's available on my website for now, It's also available in my short-story collection Don'tGet Mad, Get Even, published in April by Wildside Press (published originally last year in Chesapeake Crimes: This Job is Murder). The story has been nominated for a 2012 Agatha Award and a 2013 Anthony Award. I hope this story will be the beginning of a series involving Job." (Barb Goffman)
I've now added a page about Job. I'm always glad to hear of new detectives. (Philip Grosset)

"Thank you for including a review of Faithful Unto Death on your extraordinarily comprehensive site. Thank you for the site! I saw so many of my favorite books and characters reviewed, and discovered even more. It is such an honor to be included among such a roster. The second in the Sugar Land Mystery series, Safe From Harm, was published in March 2013, and I'm working on the third. Again, what a great resource you have created. You will be bookmarked on my desktop." (Stephanie Jaye Evans)

"I first came across Rabbi David Small many years ago in the public library and fell in love with Kemelman's creation. I found the books both entertaining and educational." (Daniel Muir)

"Trying to work out which books featured Cadfael's son. I loved the site - just what i was looking for, so thank you!" (Sue Evans)

"I am so glad you included (to a few raised eyebrows, no doubt) my late friend and former colleague, Kyril Bonfiglioli, on this excellent website.
May I strengthen his claim? Not only were his novels strewn with religious references; his wife Margaret writes, 'Bon was a constant reader of, and quoter from, the Bible. He owned several, including a handsome leather-bound folio.'
He was well-connected, too: Uncle Giuseppe B. became Archbishop (no less) of Cagliari. Allow me my favourite quote from his novels, then I'll take up no more of your space.
(In prison) I asked for something to read. He was back in ten minutes with a tattered Bible. 'I think I've read this,' I said.
'It's all we've got,' he retorted,'Enid Blyton is only for trusties.'

For more stuff on Bonfig, see my blog
Bonfiglioli remembered." (Don Wells)

'"Please note that the Father Ananda Mysteries you cover on your site are currently being republished in brand new re-edited Kindle and paperback editions by Crime Wave Press." (Tom Vater, Crime Wave Press co-owner)

"Thanks for all the information.Is it possible to obtain any of the Rabbi Small books? I have Friday the Rabbi slept late." (Pat Whittle)
Yes, all the books are available. Look them up on for a complete list or try Amazon. (Philip Grosset)

"I came across your site while researching James Hiram Watson (a GGG uncle). You noted that you would appreciate more detail on his life. He resigned the ministry in 1883, so he did not commence work as an author until after his resignation." (Christine)

"Thank you for this brilliant site. When I came across it I thought all my birthdays had come at once. I was looking for information about Sr.Fidelma. I have read books featuring about 50 of the detectives and am looking forward to introducing myself to so many more. I expect that many will be out of print but I will enjoy the search. Thanks again for such a wondrous resource." (Sandra)

"Wow Nice section on Father Dowling" (Sean)

"I am currently reading ' Sovereign ' C J Sanson. I was curious to see if Mathew Shardlake was an historical figure, or mere fiction." (Stan Oakley)
He's fictitious. (Philip Grosset)

"I love to read historical mysteries and discovered Alexander Seaton in Waterstones. An amazing character and an exceptional plot. I have already downloaded the next two books on to my Kindle and will leave these to savour while I am away in Grand Canaria in two weeks time. Thank you so much for the enjoyment that you have given to me already." (David Cox)

"Thanks for the speedy response Philip (see below). Unfortunately I don't think this is the one. My recollection is that the book/ series was set in the 60s/ 70s and I can still picture the cover, if only I could come across an image ..." (Bradley McLaren)

Trying to find a book (part of a series ?) which I got at a fete bookstall probably early to mid eighties, but book probably published late 70s. Story was of a UK detective clergyman, and the cover seemed to be a still from I suspect an ITV show (or regional derivative from the 70s). Cover photo was of the main character within the church. Any thoughts ? Thanks. Bradley." (Bradley McLaren)

Are you thinking of "Meet the Rev" by Gale Pedrick? This came from a radio series. (Philip Grosset)

"I am very much addicted to historical mystery fiction and find your site so very helpful. I tried to read Tyrant of the Mind by Priscilla Royal and find it tedious in the extreme. When an author takes 4 pages of description to get the narrator from one side of a courtyard to the other, they lose me. I am sure she does deep research but I do not have to know every minute detail." (Donna)

"Great reading stumbled across your book of
peter decker by accident, now reading the whole series like mad." (Monika Morgan)

"So glad to know of this site. I have also enjoyed the Notre Dame series by Ralph McInerny." (Joanne)

"Thank you so much for introducing me to Mark Schweizer and his character Hayden Konig. My sister in CA sent me the sheet music to "Poli Woli Doodle" and I'd never heard anything about Schweizer's comic whodunits, even tho he's been publishing for 10+ years." (Roberta Mouheb)

"Just wanted to say it's a great website. Not a huge murder mystery fan, but I've read a little bit. I just absolutely love the idea and execution of the site. I will definitely look up some of these authors, hail from Virginia, United States. Keep doing the good work!" (Hunter)

"I was fascinated to learn that I had a third child by my second partner. Where is he, my other two children ask. I would love to know. Perhaps you could enlighten me on this. A second point, I think your summation of my characterisation is absolute rubbish. Have you ever lived in village?" (Deryn Lake)
I'm sorry to have given you an extra child, but thank you for putting me right. I've now corrected the text. Yes, I have lived in a village but would still agree with your character Nick Lawrence that the village you describe is "a truly strange place". (Philip Grosset)

"Most useful site, thanks. I needed to find the correct order to read the Merrily Watkins series and your summaries are most helpful." (Paul Fulbrook)

"Any idea, or can you find out, if all of the Sister Joan titles will be made available for Kindle? I have just read the first novel, and I loved it. I can get the next 4, and am hoping the rest will be available at some point in the near future." (Elizabeth Mackman)
I'm afraid I have no information about this. (Philip Grosset)

"Fabulous- discovered the books on my kindle & love them- so nice to have a Christian mystery- thank you!" (Coralie Duckworth)

"Hello again. I hope I'm not being a pest. I just discovered another United Methodist mystery in another of our publications. Wednesday Night Services by Rev. William Boyer. Detective is Rev. Hugh Derrick. There is at least one other. Available only on Kindle and Nook as best I can tell. I just ordered for my Nook." (Marsha Priesmeyer)
I'm always delighted to get new suggestions! I've now added a page about The Rev Hugh Derrick. (Philip Grosset)

"Marilyn Brown Oden is the wife of a United Methodist bishop who has written at least one mystery (Dead Saint) about a bishop and his wife. As far as I know, she has only written the one mystery and I don't know if others are plannned. Her non-mystery novel provides the family history of characters in the mystery. I do hope she does more of the mysteries. She has a good set up and it is a shame to waste it. Actually, it is the bishop's wife who was the "detective"; she tried to keep him from knowing what was going on. I read about it a year or so ago in a denominational publication and read both books.
Debbie Viguie has written a series based on the phrases in the 23rd Psalm with a protestant church secretary and a rabbi who solve mysteries. I did not find them in your author list.
I am sooooo glad I stumbled across your website. I am from a clergy family and I especially enjoy clergy-related books. Thanks for all the hard work you have done in compiling so much information." (Marsha Priesmeyer)
Many thanks for your suggestions. I've now added Marilyn Brown Oden. Debbie Viguie is already on my site. (Philip Grosset)

"Just wanted to say that I love your summary of Dom Camillo, I think you have done great justice both to the book and its author. Thank you." (Teresa)

"Just discovered the Gervase Fen mysteries. I love his eccentricities, brilliance, and the way everyone smoked back then. Never been to Oxford, would love to go there, it is described so well. I wish they had made movies of the books, I'm not aware of any. Don't think they would go over so well now, but, I can picture a young Jeremy Irons playing Gervase Fen. I normally stay away from current fiction, these books are a delight. Any good recommendations?" (Tom)
For my book recommendations, see my introduction and also the contents page where recommendations are marked by a *. (Philip Grosset)

"Didn't Ralph McInerny write a book called "Death of a Donor"? I've been trying to track the book down for years, with no success. Have you ever heard of it? Thanks!" (Anne Wolfe)
Sorry, I too can find no trace of this book. Could it be the title of one of his numerous short stories? (Philip Grosset)

"looking for information on old book. I have a Penguin book By H.H.Holmes-Nine Times Nine-1945." (Linda)
So do I! For more information see my H H Holmes page. (Philip Grosset)

"In Ellis Peters, I have found an author of crime books that one can read without having to dodge or ignore the "F Word" and other curses. And enjoy doing so! Your synopsis of each book is very helpful in reminding me what I have or have not read. Thank you." (Bill Baab)

"read god's spy and the moses expedition. real good story line leave out the F-words and it would be so much better. my wife listens to books on disk and i would hate to have her listen to the F word for an hour!" (Dennis)
I have now included The Moses Expedition on my Father Fowler page. (Philip Grosset)

"I am hoping this is shona's guestbook. I have recently traced my ancestry to alexander seaton and was intrigued to find these novels. My hubby and I are planning a trip to Scotland this november. I would love to read your first novel before coming. How do I order it? Thank you so much." (Susan Bragg, usa)
Are you muddling two Alexander Seatons? The one that Shona MacLean wrote about is a fictitious character. You can buy inexpensive copies on Amazon. (Philip Grosset)
Yes, I know the book is fiction. In a review I read however, the person said it gives a vivid feel for 1620 Aberdeen, Scotland. That is the time and place I have traced my ancestor, alexander seaton. Hope this makes my objective clearer. Thank you. I will check amazon for the book." (Susan Bragg)

"I loved your books and swift mind. I happened to open "The chatter of Maids" and fell in love. It saddens me that you have retired the good nun, but all good things must come to an end. Thank you for giving me a fresh breath of cool air and a chance to laugh at good clean humor. Kudos." (Rose Patterson)
I'm not Alys Clare so did not write 'Chatter of the Maidens'! Unfortunately (I think) she subsequently decided to bring back Sister Helewise after she had left the monastery. It was the earlier books that were by far the best. (Philip Grosset)

"Thanks for your intelligent and non-partisan review of Jan Guillou's Crusades Trilogy. So often online I find only shallow plot summaries or hard-sell promotion masquerading as reviews (these feel as if they're written with the publisher and author looking over the reviewer's shoulder). Thanks too for your similarly honest and eye-opening bio of Jan Guillou, also not standard fare.
I've just started his
Crusades Trilogy and am already finding it dry and slow, so I think I'll end up agreeing with your comments in that respect (I smiled in understanding, even at this early stage). Investigative journalism and fiction writing are not necessarily interchangeable skills." (Noa)

"I really enjoy reading the mystery and crime. I find them very entertaining to read." (Irene Woodruff)

"Liked the Simon Quinn books very much. Wish he would write more. Also read Polar Star and enjoyed it. Could not get into other books." (Robert Hopkins)

"Just thank you for such penetrating reviews. I am an Aberdeen exile pleased to have found by chance a book set in Aberdeen (Crucible) I shall try it & then, assuming I enjoy it, follow your advice and buy the 1st book, perhaps giving the 2nd a miss!" (Mike Lawrie)

"Was looking for some info about D M Greenwood having just chanced on one of her books in audiobook format.Chasing through your list of clerical sleuths I wondered whether Phil Rickman's Merrily Watkins qualifies ? Not a detective in the orthodox sense but there's often some kind of crime lurking amidst the paranormal manifestations." (Mike Vawdry)
Thanks for the suggestion, but she is already included. (Philip Grosset)

Philip, Thanks for the review of my novel The First Stone. One of the delights of publishing in the e-book format is that corrections and edits can be adapted. You are the second vote for eliminating the extended preview, which is now only the first three paragraphs. Spelling errors (at least 5 were caught) and the comment by the boyfriend near the end has been clarified. As for whether contemporary clergy actually deal with the kinds of things raised here, the answer is: Yes, they really do. Thanks for a quick and very helpful review. Your voice counts. You are added to my thanks list. (Robert Reid)

"Enjoyed reading your site but what happened to the sixteenth book in the (Susan Gregory) series, The Killer of Pilgrims? It follows Vein of Deceit and in it Matthew states that he has every intention of returning to Clare in the spring to see the village as he missed it when they visited Suffolk the previous year - falling off a horse and breaking his leg before they reached Clare which was taken as a sign that he wasn't meant to travel to Clare at that time. Haven't found the book set in York yet, will look in my local bookshop for it at once. Have you tried reading the books by Candace Robb set in York at the same period in history about an Owen Archer who is an agent to the Archbishop of York. The difference between the two series is immense and I can't wait to compare the different impressions of York from the 2 different writers." (Karen Blackburn)
Thanks for the suggestion. I've now added The Killer of Pilgrims. As for Owen Archer, I don't think even I could count him as a clerical detective! (Philip Grosset)

"You write re. Father Dowling: He is told, "About all you can get is someplace no one else wants", but, aged almost 50, is happy to accept the downtown and neglected parish of St Hilary's in Fox River, where the pastor had died several months before. It was "a parish that had fallen on evil days, the interstates having isolated the parish plant in a triangle bordered by incessant noise. Can you possibly confirm the late pastor's name? Sounds like Hanicker on the TV, but I have no reference and need it for subtitling. Thanks for any soonest assistance".
Sorry, I no longer have a copy of "Her Death of Cold" where the answer will be found. (Philip Grosset)

"Good reading. Became engrossed in the history and geography of Vault of Bones. Later I found out that there a previous book, Relics, and also one after V of B. I will definitely get those books as well." (Andy Beltrame)

"Cool! The Website is very well done." (Terry Chesney)"

I just uploaded an e-novel, The First Stone, with the newly created American religious protagonist, Rev. Jonah Newman, at I hope he will be added to the list. It should be up at B&N, Amazon, etc. circa April 2012. It is already up on I am the author of a number of non-fiction books in print with mainstream publishers, but elected to try my hand with the e-world for my first novel. While researching for my novel, I found your website to be very useful in sorting out the various literary clergy sleuths. So it was natural to return when I had a character of my own to add to the list. Concerning my protagonist, Jonah Newman, I am aware of how few low-church clerical detectives exist. Of all things, mine is Baptist. But with the demographic shift of dominant Protestant religious groups (mainstream vs. mainline) in the United States, it seems only fitting that we see a character emerge that provides a window into the world of the low-church congregations. The standard complaint is that such characters should be avoided because authors creating them would typically be too preachy. Though I actually publish about preaching in my other life, I suspect few people will complain that this is the issue with Jonah Newman novels. The challenge with writing a good clergy sleuth novel is to create a context that provides readers with a window into a world they would otherwise know little about. Along the way of a good yarn, the reader should also be able to learn something about the internal workings of a world they would otherwise not know. The other challenge is to let the lead character be sufficiently believable while keeping the plot twists interesting enough to keep readers turning the page (or tapping for the next frame). I hope folks like Jonah Newman and look for him in the next book I am working on: The Second Death." (Robert Reid)
Many thanks for telling me. I have now included a review of
The First Stone. (Philip Grosset)

"Was just browsing through a book when i came across a article by kyril bonfiglioli i remember reading his books about 20 yrs ago really enjoyed them im just about to order some of his novels again . A trip down memory lane." (Ken Jones)"

"i just learned that the Wisdom Hunter author is releasing a new novel. i saw it on his website, The reviews look impressive. i see he's also releasing a children's book." (Wendell Parker)
Many thanks for the information. I'll look out for Forgotten Road. (Philip Grosset)

"Your guestbook on Clerical Detectives doesn't seem to be sending so I'm using the direct method. Edmund Crispin should have been an early post-modernist but had too many personal foibles to make a real go of it. I'm grateful to your synopses which save me the trouble of reading the books. I did read Holy Disorders twice, at different stages of my life.
I thought the idea of Literary Critic as Detective should be fruitful. Latterly there have been professional forensic style analysts, one of whom is called Don Foster whose claim to fame is that he proved that letters received from the Unabomber showed the same linguistic tics as writings found in the hut of the man eventually convicted.
Mme Sesosteris is a 'clairvoyant e' in The Waste Land.
Your quote "lost he the other eye?" He lost both in the first attack on him in King Lear while his bastard son (guess who) Edmund, stands indifferently by.
"... The fitchew nor the gilded fly goes to't with a more riotous appetite" Leontes, A Winter's Tale, a remarkable study in extreme male possessiveness. Remarkable because we've all met men a bit like him in the real world.
I found Don Foster's memoir discarded on a chair at Bath City Library. The previous reader probably took it off the shelf thinking it was by Bath's LibDem MP, also called Don Foster, and finding it was not did not trouble to put it back. There is an interesting chapter on his investigation of the funeral eulogy, allegedly written by Shakespeare, for a man who was killed by a trio of aristocratic roughs after leaving a pub in Exeter. I wonder if Exeter County Library, which also houses the Devon Archive, would have a copy of it, or maybe even the original.
It's on my list of things to do before I die, to find this poem. Another on the list was Find out More about Edmund Crispin, with which you have been extremely helpful. Thank you." (Robert Palmer)

"Would you know where I could get a copy of a prayer book called 'Days of Praise' by William Brodrick? Thank you." (Maryan Lisle, Australia)
Used copies are available from or (Philip Grosset)

"Thank you for the info and review of Irene Allen's Quaker mystery series. I read them a number of years ago and really enjoyed them. I had hopes she would continue writing the series, yet there have been no more. Do you know why she stopped writing them? Thank you." (Carol Ketler)
I have no information about this, but you could always email the author, Dr Kirsten Peters. Her email address is on her Rock Doc page. I too would be interested to hear the explanation, so would be grateful if you would let me know what she says! I'd guess she'd just been too busy. (Philip Grosset)
"I had a reply from Dr. Peters. She does not plan to write any more mystery books. Her focus is on geology textbooks. Thanks again." (Carol Ketler)

"I liked Father Crumlish's stories very much. It is a pity that Alice Scanlon Reach is underestimated." (Ruy Furst)

"I am very happy to find this site. Clergy myself, just retired, I am now working on my own mysteries and will find your handy collection invaluable. Since we clergy live with mystery-- that is of people's lives shared with us in confidence--maybe that's why so many of us enjoy good mystery/crime stories, and turn up in them as well.
I only recently discovered the
Crispin mysteries, and love them for their quirkiness and erudition. Yours was the most complete information I found doing a Google search for Edmund Crispin. Thank you!" (Digbyde)

"Currently the only existing, I believe, on-line version of Charles Smith's very funny book "How to become a bishop without being religious" is on a Christian Identity website. I can only assume that God has quite a sense of humor. This is at:
Are you in contact with anyone from the Smith family who could have the authority to post the book on a website that is not odious?" (Ross Hyman)
I'm afraid I have no contact with the Smith family but thank you very much for the very useful link. Despite his criticisms, Charles Merrill Smith remained a practising Christian throughout his life, so a Christian website may not really be so inappropriate! (Philip Grosset)
My point is that Charles Merrill Smith's book is on a racist website.
Christian Identity is a white supremacist ideology:
I think it is safe to assume that if Charles Merrill Smith were alive he would be appalled." (Ross Hyman)

"I love the Merrily Watkins books of Phil Rickman, and agree that apart from the main characters, a lot of the players are not well characterised. But they are still a cracking read. On number 6 next." (Gary Robinson)

i've used the list off and on for a year, and have found lots of good books to read. Thanks very much." (Larry Lawrence)

"Thank you for your summaries of each of the Brother Cadfael mysteries by Ellis Peters. You have a gift for describing the book without giving away the plot. And for choosing some of the good text for quotes. I read one or two books before realizing there is a series of 20. I listen to the audiobooks. I appreciate the historical setting of these books, as well as life in an abbey.
Mainly I have appreciated a sort of conversation, where I gained the benefit of your views, to compare with my own reactions. Plus, I have the name of some new books to seek, once I find all 20 of this series, and perhaps the short stories." (Sarah)

"I have just started reading your book, how simple and fantastic a story so far. I like the idea that the Rev can be a naughty boy considering we think of them as being angelic. What gave you the idea of the Reverand being this way? Do you manage to keep a strict timetable when working if so how?
Thank you.' (Allison Houston)
I think you must be referring to books by Suzette Hill - but I am not her! (Philip Grosset)

"Thank you for writing your mysteries. I am presently using them to introduce a friend to Quakerism. She now is expressing an interest in coming to Meeting with me. Thank thee." (Peggyan Noel)
I think you must be referring to books by Irene Allen - but I'm not her either! (Philip Grosset)

"Enjoyed Venice Conspiracy so much!" (Sandra)

"i would like to do a Merrily tour, i wondered if you had an itinary to all the relevant sites i also have Merrily's Borders and the straight track i live in Istanbul Turkey so i am not really good at the border geography regards." (Emine Selbes)
Perhaps Google maps would help you find the places you want. (Philip Grosset)

"I have just settled down to re read Which Doctor...I don't remember it much except that it was one of the most enjoyable mysteries I have ever found...witty and articulate writing." (Linda Whitehead)

"I've just finished the 24th of Wm Kienzle Fr. Koesler books - I've loved them, and am so sorry to hear there will be no more." (Lucille)

"Love to read about Cape Cod and picked one up out of curiosity. Just finished all 4 and am waiting impatiently for the next. When can we expect it?" (Bill)
No idea, I'm afraid! (Philip Grosset)

"In which of the books did Helewise leave the Abbey? I am now reading 'The Rose of the World', and am totally lost." (Bonnie Connel)
The series was meant to have ended with "The Joys of My Life" and I'm sorry the author changed her mind! Its last chapter looked forward ten years to a time when she had given up her vocation. (Philip Grosset)

"Thanks for putting together some information on the elusive Edward Candy. Wish someone would re-issue the detectve novels as I still find them very good." (Margaret McDermott)

"I hope some one will make a movie of This Present Darkness. I read this book over 20 years ago and it is one the best books ever written on Spiritual warfare." (Connie Antwine)

"I loved Sixth Lamentation and now I am a Brodrick fan. Will immediately look for your next two novels. The name Fr. Anselm is very dear to me because my college voice teacher/choir director was Fr. Anselm. I am also a history nut so I loved stories that are based on facts and times in history. Sixth was so wonderful, and I was so moved by the rich writing. Thank you!!!" (Faye Miller)

"I'm enjoying Cyril Hare's 'An English Murder' more than almost any English mystery I've read. It's delightfully witty and interesting, especially when read after 'The Remains of the Day' by KIshiguro, which it resembles." (Conor)

"Thanks for the information. It was useful. I didn't run in to much information on Post, as he seems to be sinking into obscurity." (Joel Mielke)

"A total mystery buff, I discovered The Rosary Murders in '79 and read every new book since. I love mystery books that teach things as well a present puzzles. I had long given up on organized religion but Father Koesler's version of God brought me back from atheist to at least agnostic. Kienzle had a wonderful way with parables and an incredible insight into human motivation and behavior. How sad that he will write no more." (Debra Davies)

"Great site. Thanks! I had no idea there were so many clergy detectives in literature." (Andy McClung)

"While doing family tree research I discovered an ancestor named Ebenezer Buckle, then found that in fact he had several relatives with the same name all living in Buckinghamshire over the years. I wonder whether the author borrowed the name from a real family?" (Angela Woodgates)

"I am just beginning to read The Chorister at the Abbey and love the setting and the exciting gifted writing, and I appreciate the music theme:) I am saddened to hear in Suzy's review you may not yet be a believer in Christ though. I am a writer, of course, finding it difficult to break through to have a first book published .... would love your help or reference." (Susan Harrison)
I think you may be confusing my religious beliefs with Suzy's. I'm afraid I can't help with getting books published! You could publish it yourself as an eBook - but it would be much better to find an agent. (Philip Grosset)

"Will In Charms Way be published? If so, when can I expect it at my local book store? I am really in love with Maggie and Marcus and Liss and all the other characters in these books.I have and have read and reread all of them.Thank you." (Gail Henry)
It is listed on Amazon as a forthcoming title, but to get in touch with Madelyn Alt directly, email her at the address given in the press section of her website (her website address is given at the foot of my Madelyn Alt page). (Philip Grosset)

"I like your site very much -- thank you." (Chris)

"I love the Michael Jecks Templar Series and was recommended to read Maureen Ash. I finished Alehouse Murders and started Squire. 12/13th century mysteries fascinate me. Love the historical fiction genre." (Bea Strong)

"I had decided to reread the Reverend Randollph series and was trying to find some more information on Charles Merrill Smith, and your site came up. I hope to do a blog post on the initial book for the "Forgotten Books Friday" seires. It's an interesting trip back into the 1970s, when mainline Protestant churches had so much more prominence, and were struggling with changing attitudes towards sexuality.
I'll make it a goal to see the Rev. Helena McKechnie, the Angel of Philadelphia, on this site sometime, though she's more in the fantasy genre than the detective. Just got to get the book polished and published." (Steve Wylder)

"You seem not to like the historical intrusions (in the
Dame Frevisse books) but to me they are what makes these books - and the Brother Cadfeal books - so interesting, that they are placed in a historical context and that we readers get to see how the characters react and interact with their times and the larger events. Would it be more interesting to you to read about a character on 9/11/01 where there was no mention of the terrorist attack? Where the characters couldn't react to it? I guess it's because I came to these books as a history lover tired of dry history books and not as a mystery lover." (Leonard Marks)
Yes, but the historical background is handled so much better in the Cadfael books than in the Frevisse ones. (Philip Grosset)

"Hi Philip! I am a crime writer and I mentioned your wonderful site in my latest interview. Brian Drake interviewed me about spirituality and morality in crime fiction. Here's the link:
Please drop by and leave a comment if you wish. Also, if you care to tell your readers about the interview, we would love to see some God-loving, crime reading folks drop by. Best wishes. (Anonymous-9)

"Liked your page on
Rabbi Small." (Carol)

"Naturally I disagree with your ranking of Innes' books--how could I not? While I totally agree that the much admired "Lament for a Maker" is virtually unreadable (though the brief part set in Australia is good---Innes lived there from 1935-1940), "Appleby on Aarat" is one of my favorites. Yes, the story is absurd, but there is much in it to savor, for instance, the relationship between Appleby and the Australian woman, who is described as being "like a good linoleum, which wears the same all through." Remember how she drags the various unconscious ship survivors into the shifting shade of the sail?" (E Babcock)

"It's interesting to find someone who likes the Sister Fidelma series and yet can be critical when needed. I, too, find the layers of Irish heritage for one character distracting." (M E Kemp)

"Thank you, thank you, thank you!! I was too stupid to take down the name of the delightful detective Catherine Levendeur or the author, Sharan Newman, the first time I read one of the books. Finally I can read some more of these wonderful stories thanks to your website." (Kris)

"As a man of mathematics, I have always enjoyed books about detection during my 87 years. Today, there is a wealth of detective fiction that is founded on historical fact, and that is where my current reading lies. I've been wading through books by the members of the Medieval Murderers, over the past few years, and I have three books, and an ebook by Susanna Gregory on my desk as I write. Tonight, I am building up my information about this excellent author from the internet. Best wishes frm Tropical North Queensland." (Arthur)

"Thanks for the summaries of Brodrick's novels. I'm reading A Whispered Name. Just loving it. It combines several of my pet interests: the Great War, legal matters/court martials and problems of religious convictions and spirituality. Great writer too!" (Bernadette Trotter)

"Looking to see if there was a new Sister Agatha: Love sister Agatha. Please write more."(mary rogge)

"Possibly I did not see all your stuff--I saw a lot about nuns. As far as I could see, You didn't evven mention G. K. Chesterton's Father Brown." (Rima Segal)
Try looking under B for Brown on the contents list. All the best. (Philip Grosset)

"I read there was a Jesuit program in Seattle that trains lay people in the art of spiritual direction. Is that true?" (Timothy G Verkist)
I'm afraid I have no idea! My site is about clerical detectives in crime fiction. But look up Jesuit retreat centers Seattle in Google and you'll find there are several. (Philip Grosset)

"Hi, I've just discovered your site. Do you know of any Reformed/Presbyterian detectives? Thanks." (David A)
Yes, there are a number of Presbyterian detectives.The easiest way to find them is to put in the word Presbyterian in the search engine at the foot of my contents page. (Philip Grosset)

"So much information ... a real delight to browse through it!! My compliments." (Alex)

"Loved it. Did you include the series where a lawyer investigated dark doings at monasteries etc in the reformation for his boss Cromwell? (I cant remember but I did like it and think it counts)." (Robyn Campbell)
You're thinking of the Matthew Shardlake series, including "Dissolution" by C J Sansom. (Philip Grosset)

"I have another author and character to commend to you. The author is Judith Rock and that character is Maitre Charles duLuc, a Jesuit master in 17th century Paris, He is a former musketeer (English spelling) as well as a ballet instructor. DuLuc appears in The Rhetoric of Death and The Eloquence of Blood (Berkley Press). They are well written and historically fascinating. Rhetoric of Death deals with the Huguenots and consequences of the Edict of Nantes." (Rev Phil White)
Many thanks. I've now added a page on
Charles du Luc. (Philip Grosset)

"Hello. Re Montague Egg: 'Plummet[sic] and Rose (signifying death and resurrection)...' BUT "Plummer" later! I don't have the book to hand, but surmise that a light scrambling may have occurred. Kind regards, Barry McAleenan".
PS. I've forgotten your name but daren't revert to the HOME page, for fear of losing my details input.
Many thanks for the correction. It should be Plummet and Rose. (Philip Grosset)

Goodness, no Bishop Blackie? Greeley writes a lot & seems to be somewhat obssessed with sex; the earlier novels are more intense and complicated; the more recent are frankly light-hearted pot-boilers and I like them better. I loved the site but was very startled to realise that my collection - and a recent move had every single removalist muttering "I've never SEEN so many bookcases" - has barely skimmed this rich subgenre." (Diane Campbell, Australia)

You'll find that Bishop Blackie is listed under his original full name: Father Blackie Ryan. (Philip Grosset)

"Forthcoming clerical detectives include the Reverend Tom Christmas in C.C. Benison's Twelve Drummers Drumming and the Reverend Max Tudor in G.M. Malliet's Wicked Autumn." (David Blackwater)
Many thanks for the info. I've now added The Rev Max Tudor and The Rev Tom Christmas. (Philip Grosset)

"Many thanks for your review of my book Pain Wears No Mask. Your coverage of this sub-genre is remarkable. While I understand that all reading is subjective, I'm a little surprised that the violence - admittedly of which there is plenty - dominated the comments. At the various rewrite stages two literary agents (one being Lugi Bonomi, no less) wanted me to provide more violence for the modern reader and make the nun more violent. Ho hum.
Other reviews tended to focus on the tender moments, the budding romance between Adam, the detective, and Rose, which you seem to have ignored. I've been asked if I was in the police and some, unsure of the author's gender, wondered if I'd been a nun! One reader, an ex-nun, has read the book three times and wants a sequel. Ah, well. Thanks again." (Nik Morton)


Return to