I am preparing a three part discussion on Clergy or others who have a religious vocation that also solve crimes. As a part of this discussion I have an 8 page index of the characters, authors and titles that meet my criteria. I would be interested in hearing from anyone has written a story that includes a crime solved or at least explored by a minister, priest, rabbi or other ordained / authorized person; non-ordained religious professional (monk, nun, deacon, other); lay people involved in church work (clergy spouses, church group members, choir directors, etc.. I am also looking for crime solving characters that are religious professionals in other-than Christian / Jewish communities.

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Regarding religious sleuths from traditions other than Christian and Jewish, Nick Wilgus has written some mysteries about a Buddhist monk, Father Ananda, in Bangkok. There's "Mindfulness and Murder" and "Garden of Hell". Mind you, I haven't read these yet, though I've asked for "holds" at the library.

Best regards,
Leni Pearce



Thanks for the tip. I will indeed look for these. They would make an excellent addition to the index.

Peace for the New year

Phil White

I expect you have Harry Kemelman's Rabbi Small series  on your list? (1960s)

Of course you will have G.K. Chesterton's Father Brown stories. (1920s-30s)

And there's the monk Cadfael. Famous from the PBS series for those who haven't read the books. But you probably have him on your list too.


I have these three and many more. My index is up to and about to burst beyond 8 pages of authors, characters, and titles. I added some today, based on suggestions from folks on this site and a friendly dealer in used books. Thank you for sending your suggestions, and if you thnk of any more, I'd be glad to check them against my index.

Have a great New Year's Eve & day

Phil White

What about Kate Charles book of Psalms series featuring David Middleton-Brown and Lucy Kingsley?

I looked at those but the characters do not fit my criteria. However, Charles has another character who does fit, Rev Callie Anson, and she is the center of three books so far.


Thanks for the suggestion.

There's one by Terri Persons called Blind Spot not sure if it meets your criteria, though - the person who solves the crime is pretty religious and the murderer turns out to be a priest.
Thanks for the suggestion. I have chosen to keep the entire paranormal set of characters out of this category. There is indeed some interesting overlap, but I am particularly interested in the church and ministry aspect of the discussion. The blending of the institutional with the personal. spiritual with the religious makes more particular. I do appreciate the thought and comment.
Do you have Charles Merrill Smith's Reverend Randollph series?


Thanks for your suggestion. Rev Randollph was one of the inspirations for starting this project. I got a complete collection of the books in a used book store and thought there must be more characters like his. Indeed there are - dozens and dozens more. I try to keep my list current with what is actually available. The Randollph books are not too hard to find in libraries and used book racks, so they are still in the index even though they are out of print. I appreciate your contribution.

My Reverend Willa Hinshaw series features a female assistant Methodist minister who gets involved in crimes. She doesn't always solve the crime, but does have a definite interest in helping find the criminal. The books are Jilted by Death and Echoes of Mercy. The third will be out in early 2012. The two published books were re-printed by Harlequin's Worldwide Mysteries in 2010 as one of their August and December selections. If you're interested, you can check them out on my page on on my website.

Ms Hampton

One of your books, Jilted By Death, was given to me by a local bookstore owner who knows my index and set it aside for me. Your Rev. Hinshaw was the latest addition to my Index. So thank you for your message, and for your character. It is a very fuzzy line between having an interest in and actually catching a perpetrator. Often the clergy are more of the  former persuasion. Not many detective or police officers want a clergy person tagging along - we tend to talk too much and get in the way too easily.


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