Books by Donna Fletcher Crow:
The Monastery Murders Clerical Mysteries
Book 5: An All-Consuming Fire
A Christmas wedding in a monastery--what could be more idyllic? And Felicity has never been happier, in spite of her over-bearing mother who wants to turn the whole event into a royal affair and Antony's worries over the television series he is narrating on the English Mystics. Then Felicity takes on responsibility for directing an Epiphany pageant for Kirkthorpe's wayward youth.
At least most of the vexing disruptions occurring on the filming locations are miles away from the Community of the Transfiguration. Until the threats move closer. Close enough to threaten Felicity's life.
Will the murderer stalking the Yorkshire Moors shatter the joy of Felicity and Antony's Christmas wedding?
Book 4: A Newly Crimsoned Reliquary
Murder Stalks the Shadows of Oxford's Hallowed Shrines.
In spite of Antony's warning her not to get into trouble when she sets off to do a spot of translating in an Oxford convent, Felicity just can't seem to avoid danger. But it's hardly Felicity's fault that severed body parts start showing up in ancient holy reliquaries. Or that Felicity and one of the nuns is assaulted. Could the Medieval Latin document Felicity is translating for the sisters have anything to do with the repeated attacks?
When Antony arrives in Oxford with a group of students he is cool to the news that Felicity has forged an uneasy friendship with his sister Gwen, whom he hasn't seen for years. And any family reconciliation is further complicated by Antony's obligation to rush to the bedside of his dying uncle in Blackpool.
The exultation of All Saints' Day plunges to the anguish of grief on All Souls' when Felicity encounters yet another body. Who will be the next victim of the murderer stalking the shadows of Oxford's hallowed shrines?
Book 3: An Unholy Communion
First light, Ascension morning. From the top of the tower at the College of Transfiguration, voices rise in song. But Felicity's delight turns to horror when a black-robed body hurtles over the precipice and lands at her feet.
Her fiance Father Antony recognizes the corpse as Hwyl Pendry, a former student, who has been serving as Deliverance Minister in a Welsh diocese. The police ignore the strange emblem of a double-headed snake clutched in the dead man's hand, labeling the death a suicide. But Hwyl's widow is convinced otherwise, and pleads for Felicity and Antony to help her uncover the truth.
Matters grow murkier as Felicity and Antony, leading a youth pilgrimage through rural Wales, encounter the same sinister symbol as they travel. Lurking figures follow them. Then a body is found face-down in a well...
"Donna Fletcher Crow has created her own niche within the genre of clerical mysteries."
--Kate Charles, author of Deep Waters
"Donna Fletcher Crow gives us, in three extremely persuasive dimensions, the world that Dan Brown merely sketches."
--Timothy Hallinan, The Queen of Patpong, Edgar-nominated Best Novel, 2011
View the trailer for An Unholy Communion:
Book 2: A Darkly Hidden Truth
Felicity can't possibly help Father Antony find the valuable missing icon. She's off to become a nun. And then her impossible mother turns up unexpectedly. And a good friend turns up murdered...
Breathtaking chase scenes, mystical worship services, dashes through remote water-logged landscapes, the wisdom of ancient holy women, and the arcane rites of The Knights Hospitaller keep the pages turning. Will Felicity choose the veil - or Antony?
"With this book, Crow establishes herself as the leading practitioner of modern mystery entwined with historical fiction. An updated and edgy version
of Barbara Pym. Weaves ancient puzzles and modern murder with a savvy but sometimes unwary protagonist into a seamless story. You won't need a
bookmark - you'll read it in a single sitting."
--Mike Orenduff, 2011 Lefty Award Winner, The Pot Thief Who Studied Einstein
"In A Darkly Hidden Truth, Donna Fletcher Crow creates a world in which the events of past centuries echo down present-day hallways-a world in which
saintliness and devotion compete with the noise of traffic, a world in which a thoroughly 21st-century young woman can be drawn to the timeless and
luminous peace of the convent - and then, on the surface of this world, she engraves murder, violence, and theft. I came away from the book feeling as
though I'd been someplace both ancient and new, and had learned a great deal there. Donna Fletcher Crow gives us, in three extremely persuasive
dimensions, the world that Dan Brown merely sketches."
--Timothy Hallinan, The Queen of Patpong, Edgar-nominated Best Novel, 2011
View the trailer for A Darkly Hidden Truth:
Book 1: A Very Private Grave
Felicity Howard, a young American studying in a remote monastery in England is devastated when she finds her beloved Fr. Dominic bludgeoned to death and Fr. Antony, her church history lecturer, soaked in his blood.
A Very Private Grave is a contemporary novel with a thoroughly modern heroine who must learn some age-old truths in order to solve the mystery and save her own life as she and Fr. Antony flee a murderer and follow clues across a sacred landscape. The narrative deftly mixes intellectual puzzles, spiritual aspiration, romance and the solving of riddles ancient and modern.
Ancient buried treasure, a brutal murder and lurking danger--an itinerary of terror across a holy terrain.
"With a bludgeoned body in Chapter 1, and a pair of intrepid amateur sleuths, A Very Private Grave qualifies as a traditional mystery. But this is no mere formulaic whodunit: it is a Knickerbocker Glory of a thriller. At its centre is a sweeping, page-turning quest -- in the steps of St. Cuthbert -- through the atmospherically-depicted North of England, served up with dollops of Church history and lashings of romance. In this novel, Donna Fletcher Crow has created her own niche within the genre of clerical mysteries."
--Kate Charles, author of Deep Waters
"A compelling thriller, as well as a masterful mystery, the mental gymnastics will have you breathlessly soaking in British and church history as you
puzzle through a satisfying spiritual adventure with romantic, quirky characters. Anglophiles and history buffs will love it."
--Church Libraries Journal
"If I could give this book 6 stars ****** I would. I just couldn't put it down, it was fast paced, I learned lots of church and English history, and I
liked the characters. I can't wait for the next Monastery Murder to be published."
--Linda from Brisbane, Australia on GoodReads
View the trailer for A Very Private Grave:
The Lord Danvers Series Victorian True Crime
A Tincture of Murder
Charles and Antonia are off to York leaving the smoking ruins of Danvers' ancestral home behind them. They need peace and quiet to recuperate from the near-tragedy. Instead they are thrown into nursing destitute fallen women in one of York's worst slums. Women who keep dying inexplicably. Is a mad poisoner stalking the streets of York?
A Victorian true-crime mystery with two historical crimes, one which set legal principles still followed in courts of law today and one more bizarre than anything dreamed up by Charles Dickens.
A Most Inconvenient Death
Brutal murders shatter a quiet community and pull Danvers from a deep personal grief into a dangerous investigation.
Lord Charles Danvers, still mourning his lost love Charlotte, hopes to escape from his ghosts at the gala coming-of-age celebrations for the son of an old family friend. All is jubilation and proper respectability until the evening is shattered by a brutal murder. The police are quick to point to a quarrelsome farmer, but Danvers has his doubts. Is the real culprit much closer to home? And does Danvers owe the greater loyalty to an old friend or to the truth? Then, Danvers is even more unsettled by the entrance of the alluring Lady Antonia Hoover.
The first in the Lord Danvers Investigates series, A Most Inconvenient Death is a Victorian true-crime novel The Stanfield Hall Murders were the sensation they are portrayed to be and the elaborate coming of age celebrations and the ensuing dramatic trial are all recorded history.
Antonia discovers a body at the opening of the Great Exhibition, in the presence of Queen Victoria, no less. The newly married Lord and Lady Danvers put all such unpleasantness behind them, though, as they sail off in his aerostat for a secluded honeymoon in Scotland. Until the shades of grave robbers a generation earlier come back to haunt them.
"A compelling story peopled with interesting characters and vivid details drawn from impeccable research. Victorian Britain comes to life, thanks to period dialogue that rings all the right notes and a mystery that keeps you guessing until the very last page. Delightful!"
-Liz Curtis Higgs, New York Times best-selling author of Mine Is the Night
"The historical setting is authentic and allows the reader a glimpse, without overwhelming. An enjoyable book which entertains and delights."
-Wendy Jones, The DI Shona McKenzie Mysteries
"Donna Fletcher Crow's settings are impeccable, every detail accurate, so the reader can enjoy and be enthralled by the deliciously tangled tale she weaves...a spider-web of interlocking crimes and family secrets, all satisfactorily resolved at the end. A thoroughly delightful excursion by an accomplished storyteller."
-Dorothy Stewart, When The Boats Come Home
To Dust You Shall Return
Lady Antonia has a secret. Three years have passed since her marriage to Charles, Lord Danvers, and Tonia's secret is haunting her. She fears Charles will soon be asking a lot of questions-questions she's afraid to answer. Was she right to keep the truth from Charles?
With her own guilt weighing heavily on her mind, Antonia and Charles stumble upon the murder of the frail, elderly Catherine Bacon. Though the slaying is blamed on a traveling "dustman," Danvers begins to track clues to the mysterious death through the streets of Victorian Canterbury.
Antonia, trying to shake her own despair, absorbs herself with a favorite hobby--antique shopping. What she discovers in one of the shops leads to a shocking revelation and a breathtaking chase across the rooftop of Canterbury Cathedral.
Elizabeth and Richard Mysteries Literary Suspense
Spine-tingling contemporary crime against the backdrop of the genteel world of literature's greatest figures: Jane Austen, Shakespeare, Dorothy L. Sayers, Rudyard Kipling, Elswyth Thane and many more.
Book 5: A Most Singular Venture
Richard is teaching Jane Austen as a Queen of Crime at the University of London while Elizabeth researches all the London sites Jane knew. A lovely interlude to their summer until Richard's brother Andrew shows up to bid on a set of Jane Austen first editions, a pushy student intrudes on their agenda and they become responsible for a young boy. And then one of Andrew's business associates is murdered and he is accused of the deed.
Elizabeth and Richard are exploring Jane Austen's London, but their murderous opponent is all-too contemporary.
The Flame Ignites
The Elizabeth & Richard Mysteries, the Prequel
How did it all begin? Before Elizabeth and Richard's terror-filled mystery week in the Rocky Mountains... before murder accompanied their honeymoon... before the life-changing English summer when death stalked the Jane Austen Trail...
October 1984, the New England hillsides are ablaze with red-gold autumn. Elizabeth is beginning her academic career, and Richard is stuck in the family business. They should be able to help each other with their work, but their meeting strikes sparks and raises old ghosts.
Elizabeth has an academic coup for her dissertation on the cherished American novelist Elswyth Thane within her grasp. Until Richard Spencer blocks her way. Is it possible that the death of Richard's beloved Mary Ilona really resulted from the fact that she was researching the same subject? Rudyard Kipling, William Beebe, Charles Lindberg, Edna Ferber and a host of celebrities from an age past fill the pages of Elswyth Thane's letters, but where is Elizabeth to find clues to the mystery haunting Richard?
A nostalgic return to an earlier, now-vanished time, The Flame Ignites charmingly evokes a long-distance relationship between a young woman just testing her wings and a celebrated American novelist. But what about the smoldering relationship between Elizabeth and Richard?
A Jane Austen Encounter
English professors Elizabeth and Richard celebrate twenty years of marriage with their dream vacation: visiting Jane Austen's homes. But not even the overpowering personality of their Oxford guide nor the careful attentions of their new friends can ward off lurking alarms. When a box of old documents is donated to the Jane Austen Centre in Bath Richard helps sort through it. Later that night he finds the Centre's director bleeding on her office floor. Could the letter that has gone missing lead to new revelations about Jane's unfinished manuscript The Watsons?
Join Elizabeth and Richard on their tour: Visit all the sites so redolent of Jane Austen and her characters in the beautiful city of Bath; stay in the Chawton House Library to visit the charming cottage where Jane's writing flowered and the nearby Steventon church where her father was rector; stand by her grave in Winchester Cathedral; and enjoy your time at the lovely country estate of Godmersham. But don't let your guard down. Evil lurks even in the genteel world of Jane Austen.
The Shadow of Reality
The Shadow of Reality is based on a murder weekend my husband and I attended in the Hudson River Valley in New York and uses my love of the work of Dorothy L. Sayers as a background:
The setting was all her fantasies come true: an elegant English manor house in the 1930's. The man was even more than she had dreamed: Sir Gavin Kendall- sophisticated, brilliant, rich and captivated by her.
Will Elizabeth's lifelong dreams become reality or will she fall prey to the vicious murderer lurking in the shadows at an exotic mystery weekend high in the Rockies? Will Elizabeth discover the narrow line between fantasy and reality in time to achieve her dreams?
"In The Shadow of Reality, Donna Fletcher Crow engages the reader with a lively dialogue between the two protagonists, Elizabeth and Richard, as they participate in a murder mystery vacation week at a resort in the Rockies. When reality blurs with fiction, the reader is taken behind the scenes into a
darker drama that Elizabeth is drawn into and compelled to solve at her own peril. The characters are well developed and the action flows at a rapid
pace that makes it impossible to put the book down. It is a thoroughly satisfying read and an intriguing idea to mix the roles of actor and audience,
a complex dance of relationships that keeps the reader wondering what is true and who is real."
--Bestselling author Gwyneth Bledsoe, Death Before Breakfast
A Midsummer Eve's Nightmare
Elizabeth and Richard want nothing more than a quiet, romantic honeymoon-with a touch of literary charm. So they have chosen the Shakespeare Festival in Ashland, Oregon. Perfection. Until they find that Desdemona's brilliantly acted death scene wasn't acted and Elizabeth's costume designer sister and her actress roommate are terrified that they are slated to be the next victims.
"In Midsummer Eve's Nightmare, Donna Fletcher Crow delivers many entrancing moments and plenty of suspense. Newly-weds Elizabeth and Richard Spencer take a second honeymoon in Ashland, Oregon. Why? Like the author, they're experts on Shakespeare and his plays, and the Ashland Shakespeare Festival, featuring a replica of an Elizabethan theater, is located there. As an added bonus, Elizabeth's younger sister, Victoria, designs the costumes for the plays. But soon after their arrival, the couple encounters a series of sinister events. And a murder.
Crow provides plenty of suspects in her twisty murder plot, and the killer's identity remains a mystery until the very end. Crow's descriptions of
the Elizabethan theater, the period music, and, especially, Shakespeare's plays, are delightful. If you love Shakespeare and want an insider's look at
the theater world, this book is for you.
--Susan Fleet, author of Absolution, 2009 Best Suspense-Thriller, Premier Book Awards