Kate Ellis - Author

About the Author

Kate Ellis was born and brought up in Liverpool and studied drama in Manchester. She has worked in teaching, marketing and accountancy and first enjoyed literary success as a winner of the North West Playwrights competition. Keenly interested in medieval history and ‘armchair’ archaeology, Kate lives in north Cheshire with her engineer husband, Roger, and their two sons. A Cursed Inheritance is her ninth Wesley Peterson novel. The Merchant’s House, The Armada Boy, An Unhallowed Grave, The Funeral Boat, The Bone Garden, A Painted Doom, The Plague Maiden and The Skeleton Room are also published by Piatkus. 

Featured books by Kate Ellis

The Blood Pit

The Blood Pit

Author: Kate Ellis Format: Paperback Release Date: 07/08/2008

This is the twelfth West Country crime novel featuring the black detective Wesley Peterson. Personally I cannot understand why he, or indeed the author, are not household names. They all have an historical sub-plot, are intriguing, full of twists, and just what good crime writing should be. She probably needs a TV series to make her better known but in the absence of that, please spread the word – I think she’s great. Comparison: Colin Dexter, Ian Rankin, R D Wingfield.  

eBooks of the Month
The Shining Skull

The Shining Skull

Author: Kate Ellis Format: Paperback Release Date: 06/09/2007

A good convoluted West Country tale starring the black detective Wesley Peterson of her previous titles and mixing ancient and modern crimes together as is her norm.  There is lots going on, lots of strands, lots of intrigue, lots to keep you hooked.  I love her.Comparison: W J Burley, Peter James, Ann Granger.

eBooks of the Month
A Cursed Inheritance

A Cursed Inheritance

Author: Kate Ellis Format: Paperback Release Date: 08/09/2005

I am an enormous fan of these West Country detective yarns that intriguingly always weave a past mystery with the present, often through some archaeological dig or other and star the lovely black DI Wesley Peterson.  Sadly, in this tale, he develops a roving eye and his subsequent guilt and angst made him a less likeable character, but the plot is as fascinating as ever, and I do highly recommend the whole series.  This is the eighth.Comparison: Hilary Bonner, Stephen Booth, Robert Goddard. Similar this month: Christopher Fowler.

eBooks of the Month

Other books by Kate Ellis

The Stone Chamber

The Stone Chamber

Author: Kate Ellis Format: Paperback Release Date: 31/03/2022

'A beguiling author who interweaves past and present' The Times On a summer evening, Robert and Greta Gerdner are shot dead at their home in the Devon countryside. DI Wesley Peterson suspects the execution-style murders might be linked to Robert's past police career - until Robert's name is found on a list of people who've been sent tickets anonymously for a tour of Darkhole Grange, a former asylum on Dartmoor. Wesley discovers that other names on the list have also died in mysterious circumstances and, as he is drawn into the chilling history of the asylum, he becomes convinced that it holds the key to the case. When his friend, archaeologist Neil Watson, finds the skeleton of a woman buried in a sealed chamber dating back to the fifteenth century at his nearby dig, Wesley wonders whether there might be a connection between the ancient cell and the tragic events at Darkhole Grange. With the clock ticking, Wesley must solve the puzzle, before the next person on the list meets a terrible end . . .

The Skeleton Room

The Skeleton Room

Author: Kate Ellis Format: Paperback Release Date: 09/12/2021

When workmen converting former girls' boarding school, Chadleigh Hall, into a luxury hotel discover a skeleton in a sealed room, DI Wesley Peterson and his boss, Gerry Heffernan are called in to investigate. But within minutes they have a second suspicious death on their hands: a team of marine archaeologists working on a nearby shipwreck have dragged a woman's body from the sea. And it becomes clear that her death was no accident. The dead woman's husband may be linked with a brutal robbery of computer equipment but Wesley soon discovers that the victim had secrets of her own. As he investigates Chadleigh Hall's past and the woman's violent death, both trails lead in surprising directions and matters are further complicated when a man wanted for a murder in London appears on the scene, a man who may know more about Wesley's cases than he admits...

A Perfect Death

A Perfect Death

Author: Kate Ellis Format: Paperback Release Date: 04/11/2021

'A beguiling author who interweaves past and present' The Times When a woman is burned to death in Grandal Field in Devon, it looks like it could be a case of mistaken identity. Until DI Wesley Peterson learns of a legend involving a woman who died in similar circumstances in the thirteenth century. It seems clear that there is a link between the mysterious legend and the recent murder when Wesley discovers that records of a previous site excavation have vanished, and two archaeologists involved in the dig died tragically. The case echoes a story of twisted love and obsession from many centuries ago, and Wesley realises that edging closer to the truth brings unexpected danger . . . Whether you've read the whole series, or are discovering Kate Ellis's DI Wesley Peterson novels for the first time, this is the perfect page-turner if you love reading Elly Griffiths and Ann Cleeves. PRAISE FOR KATE ELLIS: 'I loved this novel . . . a powerful story of loss, malice and deception' Ann Cleeves 'Haunting' Independent 'Unputdownable' Bookseller 'The chilling plot will keep you spooked and thrilled to the end' Closer 'A gripping read' Best 'A fine storyteller, weaving the past and present in a way that makes you want to read on' Peterborough Evening Telegraph

Brick Lane Bookshop Short Story Prize Longlist 2021

Brick Lane Bookshop Short Story Prize Longlist 2021

Author: Kate Ellis Format: Paperback Release Date: 04/11/2021

Brick Lane Bookshop Short Story Prize Longlist 2021 by Kate Ellis

Sex, Lies and Question Time

Sex, Lies and Question Time

Author: Kate Ellis Format: Paperback Release Date: 29/03/2021

In Sex, Lies and Question Time, former MP Kate Ellis looks at what it is really like to be a woman in Australian politics today. In 2017, a survey showed zero per cent of young Australian women would consider entering politics. Zero. In a time when we critically need women in our parliament, and in a country that was an early leader in women's political participation, there is a perception that women and politics don't mix. Shocking incidents have exposed the sexism that women in politics face from opposition, the media, the public, even their own colleagues. And those headlines only tell half the story. In Sex, Lies and Question Time, Kate Ellis tells the sometimes enraging, often funny and incredibly honest full story of women in Australian politics today. As well as sharing the experiences of her own fifteen years in parliament, Kate has spoken to politicians from across Australia's political spectrum, including former Prime Minister Julia Gillard, Julia Bishop, Penny Wong, Linda Burney, Sarah Hanson Young and Pauline Hanson. Kate explores issues like sexism, bullying, motherhood, appearances, social media, racism, the sisterhood and, of course, sex. But she also celebrates everything Australian female politicians have achieved. Because most of all this book is a powerful call for Australian women to inspire to political leadership, to shape a fairer Australia - where 'women's issues' are everyone's issues.

The House of the Hanged Woman

The House of the Hanged Woman

Author: Kate Ellis Format: Hardback Release Date: 26/11/2020

'A beguiling author who interweaves past and present' The Times 'A powerful story of loss, malice and deception' Ann Cleeves 1921. When a Member of Parliament goes missing in a small Derbyshire village, Scotland Yard detective Albert Lincoln is sent up North to investigate. This isn't Albert's first visit to Wenfield. He once solved a traumatic case there at great personal cost and now, two years later, it seems that darkness still lurks in the village. The naked body of a man has been discovered, mutilated beyond recognition, by an ancient stone circle called the Devil's Dancers. The local police assume the body is that of the missing politician, but when that identification proves false and more strange deaths occur, Albert realises his case is far more complex than a simple disappearance. But, as he reawakens ghosts from the past, will he be able to solve the mystery surrounding Wenfield once and for all? The third and final historical thriller in the Albert Lincoln series by award-winning crime writer Kate Ellis. An atmospheric, spellbinding mystery set in the aftermath of the Great War. Praise for Kate Ellis: 'Haunting' Independent 'Fascinating, with a characteristically clever twist' Martin Edwards 'The chilling plot will keep you spooked and thrilled to the end' Closer 'A splendidly macabre thriller' Andrew Taylor 'Extraordinarily powerful' Peter Lovesey 'This could be an instant classic' L. C. Tyler

The Burial Circle

The Burial Circle

Author: Kate Ellis Format: Paperback Release Date: 15/10/2020

A skeleton discovered. A murder to be solved . . . On a stormy night in December, a tree is blown down on an isolated Devon farm. When the fallen tree is dragged away, a rucksack is found caught amongst the roots - and next to it is a human skeleton. The discovery of the body and the rucksack revives memories for DI Wesley Peterson. A young hitchhiker who went missing twelve years ago was last seen carrying a similar backpack. Suddenly a half-forgotten cold case has turned into a murder investigation. Meanwhile, in the nearby village of Petherham, a man is found dead in suspicious circumstances whilst staying at a local guesthouse. Wesley's friend, archaeologist Neil Watson, is studying Petherham's ancient mill and uncovering the village's sinister history. Could the string of mysterious deaths in Petherham over a hundred years ago be connected to the recent killings? As Wesley digs deeper into the case, it seems that the dark whisperings of a Burial Circle in the village might not be merely legend after all . . . Whether you've read the whole series, or are discovering Kate Ellis's DI Wesley Peterson novels for the first time, this is the perfect, gripping mystery if you love reading Elly Griffiths and Ann Cleeves. PRAISE FOR KATE ELLIS: 'A beguiling author who interweaves past and present' The Times 'I loved this novel' Ann Cleeves 'Haunting' Independent 'Unputdownable' Bookseller 'The chilling plot will keep you spooked and thrilled to the end' Closer 'A fine storyteller, weaving the past and present in a way that makes you want to read on' Peterborough Evening Telegraph

The Armada Boy

The Armada Boy

Author: Kate Ellis Format: Paperback Release Date: 20/08/2020

'A powerful story of loss, malice and deception' Ann Cleeves When archaeologist Neil Watson finds the body of an American veteran of the D-Day landings in the ruins of an old chapel, he turns to his old friend DS Wesley Peterson for help. Both men are researching an invading force: Wesley, a group of American veterans on a sentimental journey to their wartime base; and Neil, a group of Spaniards killed by outraged locals as they limped from the wreckage of the Armada. Four hundred years apart, two strangers in a strange land have died violently. Could the same motives of hatred, jealousy and revenge be at work? Wesley is running out of time to find out . . . The second gripping installment in the DI Wesley Peterson series by awad-winning crime writer Kate Ellis. Whether you've read the whole series, or are discovering the Wesley Peterson novels for the first time, this is the perfect mystery if you love reading Elly Griffiths and Ann Cleeves. Why readers love Kate Ellis: 'I hardly put this novel down from the moment I picked it up. Oh yes, and as with all great crime novels, I would never have guessed 'whodunnit'!' Reader review, 5 stars 'A beguiling author who interweaves past and present' The Times 'Kate Ellis and Wesley Peterson have done it again. Strong characters, strong plotting, no detail escapes Kate Ellis' Reader Review, 5 stars 'Haunting' Independent 'Enjoyed the first in the series but through this was even better!' Reader Review, 5 stars 'The chilling plot will keep you spooked and thrilled to the end' Closer 'Unputdownable' Bookseller 'It's fast paced with twists and turns guaranteed to keep you hooked right until the final page' York Evening Press 'A cracking multi-layered mystery with red-herrings a-plenty...an outstanding read. Highly recommended!' In Search of the Classic Mystery Novel

The Merchant's House

The Merchant's House

Author: Kate Ellis Format: Paperback Release Date: 20/08/2020

The first mystery in the bestselling Wesley Peterson crime series by award-winning author Kate Ellis. 'A beguiling author who interweaves past and present' The Times 'Clever plotting hides a powerful story of loss, malice and deception' Ann Cleeves 'Haunting' Independent __________________ DS Wesley Peterson, newly arrived in the West Country town of Tradmouth, has his hands full when a child goes missing and a young woman is brutally murdered on a lonely cliff path. Then his old friend, archaeologist Neil Watson, unearths the skeletons of a woman and a newborn baby in the cellar of an ancient merchant's house nearby. As they begin to investigate the murders, Wesley starts to suspect that these deaths, centuries apart, may be linked by age-old motives of jealousy and sexual obsession. And the pressure is on if he is going to prevent a further tragedy . . . Discover your new favourite crime series. This is the perfect mystery for fans of Ann Cleeves and Elly Griffiths, which will have you gripped until the final page. __________________ What readers are saying about The Merchant's House . . . 'I couldn't stop turning the pages . . . Something about this book just hooked me!' Goodreads Review, 5 stars 'Superb . . . Five stars' Reader review, 5 stars 'If you like Ian Rankin, LJ Ross, Elly Griffiths and James Oswald, you will enjoy Kate Ellis' Reader review, 5 stars 'Gripping . . . Love how the past and present bring the story together' Reader review, 5 stars 'You'll fall in love with coastal England and find yourself walking the cobbled lanes in your imagination . . . Do not miss this series!' Reader review, 5 stars 'The first in an outstanding series of contemporary crime fiction' Reader review, 5 stars 'Fantastic read' Reader review, 5 stars 'Compelling . . Kept you guessing from start to finish. I would highly recommend it' Reader review, 5 stars 'Loved it!!' Reader review, 5 stars 'Kate Ellis has certainly got a talent for story telling which can grab the imagination from the start' Reader review, 5 stars 'Really unputdownable' Reader review, 5 stars 'Gripping. Kate Ellis is my new favourite author' Reader review, 5 stars 'A page-turner' Reader review, 5 stars

Dead Man's Lane

Dead Man's Lane

Author: Kate Ellis Format: Paperback Release Date: 01/08/2019

Some paths lead only to the grave . . . Strangefields Farm is notorious for its sinister history ever since artist Jackson Temples lured young women there to model for disturbing works of art. Some of those girls never left the house alive. Now, decades later, Strangefields is to be transformed into a holiday village, but the developer's hopes of its dark history being forgotten are dashed when a skull is found on the site. And when a local florist is found murdered in an echo of Temples' crimes, DI Wesley Peterson fears that a copy-cat killer is at large. Especially when another brutal murder in a nearby village appears to be linked. As Wesley's friend, archaeologist Dr Neil Watson, uncovers the secrets of Strangefields' grisly past, it seems that an ancient tale of the dead returning to torment the living might not be as fantastical as it seems. And Wesley must work fast to discover who's behind the recent murders . . . before someone close to him is put in danger. The latest gripping mystery in the DI Wesley Peterson crime series from Kate Ellis, the award-winning author of the 2019 CWA Dagger in the Library. What readers are saying about Kate Ellis: 'A beguiling author who interweaves past and present' The Times 'Kate Ellis has got to be one of my favourite authors' Reader review, 5 stars 'I loved this novel . . . a powerful story of loss, malice and deception' Ann Cleeves 'The chilling plot will keep you spooked and thrilled to the end' Closer 'Another brilliant book that keeps you gripped' Reader review, 5 stars 'Haunting' Independent 'Kate has you spellbound' Reader review, 5 stars 'A fine storyteller, weaving the past and present in a way that makes you want to read on' Peterborough Evening Telegraph 'Unputdownable' Bookseller

The Boy Who Lived with the Dead

The Boy Who Lived with the Dead

Author: Kate Ellis Format: Paperback Release Date: 02/05/2019

'Haunting' Independent 'A powerful story of loss, malice and deception' Ann Cleeves 'A splendidly macabre thriller' Andrew Taylor 1920. Scotland Yard detective DI Albert Lincoln is still reeling from the disturbing events of the previous year when he's called away from London to a new case in the North West of England. Before the War he led the unsuccessful investigation into the murder of little Jimmy Rudyard in the village of Mabley Ridge. Now a woman has been murdered there and another child is missing, the sole witness being a traumatised boy who lives in a cemetery lodge. Albert is determined that this time him he will find the truth . . . and the missing child. When Albert delves into the lives of the village residents he uncovers shocking secrets and obsessions. Then, as more bodies are discovered, he realises that his young witness from the cemetery lodge is in grave danger, from somebody he calls 'the Shadow Man'. As Albert discovers more about the victims he finds information that might bring him a step closer not only to Jimmy's killer but to solving a mystery of his own: the whereabouts of his lost son. The second historical thriller in the Albert Lincoln series by award-winning crime writer Kate Ellis. An atmospheric, spellbinding mystery set in the aftermath of the Great War. What readers are saying about The Boy Who Lived with the Dead: 'Outstanding' Goodreads reviewer, 5 stars 'A fantastic read which kept me guessing right until the last few pages' Goodreads reviewer, 5 stars 'Superb!' Goodreads reviewer, 5 stars 'Compulsive reading . . . very cleverly constructed with plenty of twists' Goodreads reviewer, 5 stars 'Hard to put the book down' Goodreads reviewer, 5 stars '[Kate Ellis] must be a genius' Goodreads reviewer, 5 stars 'Excellent' Goodreads reviewer, 5 stars

The Mechanical Devil

The Mechanical Devil

Author: Kate Ellis Format: Paperback Release Date: 02/08/2018

Secrets never stay buried for long . . . When archaeologist Neil Watson unearths a long-buried mechanical figure in a Dartmoor field, he is determined to discover the truth behind the bizarre find. Soon, however, the sleepy village becomes the focus of press attention for another reason when two people with no apparent connection to each other are found shot dead in nearby Manor Field, seemingly victims of an execution-style double murder. DI Wesley Peterson is called in to investigate, but the two murders aren't his only problem. The daughter of a local MP has gone missing and the pressure is on to find her, especially when it's revealed that she has a connection to one of the murder victims. And Wesley's own life is thrown into turmoil when a woman he helped on a previous investigation finds herself subjected to a campaign of terror . . . Is there a link between the double murder and the accidental death of a young history student in Manor Field twenty years ago? And just what is the true identity of the Mechanical Devil? The compelling twenty-second mystery in the bestselling Wesley Peterson series, by acclaimed crime writer Kate Ellis: 'A beguiling author who interweaves past and present' The Times What readers are saying about The Mechanical Devil: 'An excellent read with lots of interesting twists and turns and a historic mystery woven through it' Amazon reviewer, 5 stars 'Another superb story from Kate Ellis . . . One of my favourite writers' Amazon reviewer, 5 stars 'This series is my all time favourite - superb . . . Intelligent and exciting stories' Amazon reviewer, 5 stars 'Kate Ellis never disappoints' Amazon reviewer, 5 stars 'Brilliant book, thoroughly enjoyed it' Amazon reviewer, 5 stars 'I really enjoy the Wesley Peterson books . . . they keep you guessing right to the end . . . a fantastic series' Amazon reviewer, 5 stars 'One of my favourites . . . Incredibly skilled plotting . . . fans of Elly Griffiths and traditional murder mysteries will love this one' Amazon reviewer, 5 stars 'Fascinating historical plot line and twists and turns all the way through' Amazon reviewer, 5 stars 'Very entertaining . . . Another great book from my favourite author' Amazon reviewer, 5 stars

The Blood Pit

The Blood Pit

Author: Kate Ellis Format: Paperback Release Date: 01/03/2018

Never has DI Wesley Peterson witnessed such a bizarre crime scene. The victim, Charles Marrick, has been murdered, his body drained of blood. Described by those who knew him as 'evil', it seems that Wesley isn't going to have any shortage of suspects - until a popular local vet is murdered in an identical fashion...and a third body is discovered many miles away. And when Wesley's archaeologist friend, Neil Watson, starts getting disturbing anonymous letters written in gory detail about macabre events at a medieval abbey - which Neil fears are being sent by the killer Wesley is looking for - Wesley wonders whether there could be a connection between all these deaths and Neil's letters. And could Neil himself be in danger? As the sinister truth unfolds, both Wesley and Neil are forced to face tragedy and shocking revelations...and a killer who bears the scars of past sins.

The Shining Skull

The Shining Skull

Author: Kate Ellis Format: Paperback Release Date: 01/03/2018

Little Marcus Fallbrook was kidnapped in 1976 and when he never returned home, his grieving family assumed the worst. Then, thirty years later, teenage singing star Leah Wakefield disappears and DI Wesley Peterson has reason to suspect that the same kidnapper is responsible. And another abductor is at work in the area - a man who tricks blonde women into a bogus taxi and cuts off their hair. Has Leah fallen prey to the man the newspapers call 'The Barber' or has she suffered a more sinister fate? But then Marcus Fallbrook returns from the dead. And when DNA evidence confirms his identity, the investigation takes a new twist. Meanwhile, archaeologist, Neil Watson's gruesome task of exhuming the dead from a local churchyard yields a mystery of its own when a coffin is found to contain one corpse too many - a corpse that may be linked to a strange religious sect dating back to Regency times. Wesley has his hands full elsewhere - slowly, Marcus Fallbrook begins to recover memories that Wesley hopes will lead him to cunning and dangerous murderer. But he is about to discover that the past can be a very dangerous place indeed.

A Cursed Inheritance

A Cursed Inheritance

Author: Kate Ellis Format: Paperback Release Date: 07/12/2017

The brutal massacre of the Harford family at Potwoolstan Hall in Devon in 1985 shocked the country and passed into local folklore. And when a journalist researching the case is murdered twenty years later, the horror is reawakened. Sixteenth century Potwoolstan Hall, now a New Age healing centre, is reputed to be cursed because of the crimes of its builder, and it seems that inheritance of evil lives on as DI Wesley Peterson is faced with his most disturbing case yet. As more people die violently, Wesley needs to discover why a young woman has transformed a dolls house into a miniature reconstruction of the massacre scene. And could the solution to his case lie across the Atlantic Ocean, in the ruined remains of an early English settlement in Virginia USA? When the truth is finally revealed, it turns out to be as horrifying as it is dangerous...

The Marriage Hearse

The Marriage Hearse

Author: Kate Ellis Format: Paperback Release Date: 07/12/2017

When Kirsten Harbourn is found strangled and naked on her wedding day, DI Wesley Peterson makes some alarming discoveries. Kirsten was being pursued by an obsessed stalker and she had dark secrets her doting fianc, Peter, knew nothing about. But Kirsten's wasn't the only wedding planned to take place that July day in South Devon. At Morbay register office a terrified young girl makes her wedding vows. And a few days later her bridegroom is found dead in a seedy seaside hotel. As Wesley investigates he suspects that his death and his bride's subsequent disappearance might be linked to Kirsten's murder. Meanwhile the skeleton of a young female is found buried in a farmer's field - a field that once belonged to the family of Ralph Strong, an Elizabethan playwright whose play, 'The Fair Wife of Padua' is to be performed for the first time in four hundred years. Is this bloodthirsty play a confession to a murder committed in the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1? Or does it tell another story, one that might cast light on recent mysteries?

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https://www.kateellis.co.uk/

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