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Kate Charles was born in Cincinnati. Described by the Oxford Times as 'a most English writer', she has gained her insights whilst working as a parish administrator in her local Church of England. She now lives in Bedford with her husband and her favourite hobby is visiting churches. She has a special interest and expertise in clerical mysteries, and frequently lectures on ecclesiastical crime novels. A former Chairman of the Crime Writers' Association, she is currently Chairman of the Barbara Pym Society. She is a member of the Ecclesiological Society, the Historic Churches Preservation Trust, and the Kempe Society.
Itâ€™s fair to say that Iâ€™m not remotely interested in the Church of England and was nervous that might be a barrier to enjoying this book, as one of the key strands is the opposition to women in the clergy. So I was delighted to find that it isnâ€™t â€“ if anything, it adds an intellectual notch to the story. Evil Intent is a gripping book which I would wholeheartedly recommend to anyone who relishes a great read and a great crime story in particular. I would also defy you to guess the ending â€“ it is rare that I donâ€™t work out whodunit but I didnâ€™t in this case!
An original short story taken from the anthology Motives for Murder, by members of The Detection ClubFrom acclaimed crime writer Kate Charles comes a tale of opportunity during London's Blitz.The protaganist of this tale is working for her horrible aunt in London, just to be out of the way of her father and to gain some independence, but it's the time of the second world war and bombs are falling on London every day. When she is presented with an opportunity after a tragedy, she takes it. But all actions have consequences...
'A woman priest at St Margaret's? Over my dead body!' Dolly Topping, head of the national organisation 'Ladies Opposed to Women Priests' and wife of one of the churchwardens, feels that strongly about it. It is unfortunate, therefore, that Father Julian, the well-loved curate of the Pimlico church, should have been killed in a burglary gone wrong. And doubly unfortunate that the Vicar, upwardly-aspiring William Keble Smythe, should choose to appoint a woman to replace him. From the moment that Rachel Nightingale enters the serene Anglo-Catholic world of St Margaret's, tempers and emotions run high; Christian charity is not much in evidence, even among those who espouse it loudly. Then another 'accidental' death unites the parishioners in new heights of hypocrisy, and leaves some crying 'murder'. But David Middleton-Brown is sceptical - until he learns about Father Julian's death. With the encouragement of the Archdeacon, David and Lucy Kingsley embark on a search for the truth about the 'dead man out of mind', and discover more than they ever wanted to know about greed, hypocrisy, ambition - and the cost of love.
'Peaceful' is the most common entry in the visitors' book of fifteenth-century St Michael's Church, with its glorious angel roof and its medieval Doom painting. But away from the church, and beneath the idyllic veneer, the tiny Norfolk village of Walston is anything but harmonious. The Rector's new bride, Becca Thorncroft, is receiving phone calls so unpleasant that her very sanity is at stake; and the newest residents of Walston, Gillian English and Lou Sutherland, are not exactly welcomed with open arms. Then sudden, gruesome death shatters any remaining semblance of serenity.Fortunately for Father Stephen Thorncroft, he is able to enlist the help of his friends Lucy Kingsley and David Middleton-Brown to unravel the tangled relationships and uncover the dark motivations of the villagers. As the investigation proceeds, they stumble on more than they'd bargained for. But it is not until a little girl goes missing that the final, deadly pieces fall into place in their search for the 'evil angels among them'.
Death at the Deanery - sudden and unnatural death. Someone should have seen it coming. For even before Stuart Latimer arrives as the new Dean of Malbury, shock waves are reverberating through the tightly-knit and insular Cathedral Close, with sweeping changes afoot. And the reality is even worse than the expectation. The Dean's naked ambition and ruthless behaviour alienate everyone in the Chapter: the gentle John Kingsley, vague Rupert Greenwood, pompous Philip Thetford and, especially, the strongly traditionalist Arthur Brydges-ffrench. Financial jiggery-pokery, clandestine meetings, malicious gossip, and several people who witness more than they ought to, make for a potent mix. But who could foresee that the mistrust within the Cathedral Close would spill over into violence and death? Canon Kingsley's daughter Lucy draws in her lover David Middleton-Brown, against his better judgement, and together they probe the surprising secrets of a self-contained world where nothing is as it seems.
Callie Anson should have learned her lesson by now: revisiting the past is seldom a good idea. But she succumbs to peer pressure and attends a reunion at her theological college in Cambridge, where she is forced to confront painful memories - and the presence of her clueless ex, Adam. Margaret Phillips, the Principal of the college, has a chance for happiness but before she can grasp it she has to deal with her own ghosts - as well as corrosive, intrusive gossip. Both women learn something about themselves, and about forgiveness, from the wise John Kingsley. Meanwhile, in London, police officers Neville Stewart and Mark Lombardi are involved with the latest fatal stabbing of a teenager. Was gifted, popular Sebastian Frost all he seemed to be, or was there something in his life that led inevitably to his death? They're plunged into the queasy world of cyber-bullying, where nothing may be as it seems. While they're apart, Callie and Mark's relationship is on hold, and his Italian family continues to be an issue. Will Marco realise, before it's too late, that while his family will always be important to him, he is entitled to something for himself?
Father Gabriel Neville has everything going for him as vicar of St Anne's, Kensington Gardens: intellectual prowess, physical beauty, a happy family life and the prospect of promotion to Archdeacon. But his perfect world is shattered when he receives an anonymous letter that has the power to destroy his career and marriage, by threatening to expose something that no one could possibly know. The only person Gabriel can turn to is David Middleton-Brown, an old friend and a man with a few secrets of his own. Against his better judgement, David comes to London, where his discreet enquiries bring to light a whole host of suspects. There's the eccentric church organist, Miles Taylor; the gossip Mavis Conwell; the disapproving Dawson family; the Churchwarden, Cyril Fitzjames, who's in love with Gabriel's wife Emily; and the charming and talented artist Lucy Kingsley. In his efforts to help Gabriel uncover the blackmailer, David hauls numerous skeletons out of cupboards, and enters into a web of relationships that threaten to shatter his own peace of mind.
Everyone agrees that Bob Dexter, the prominent Evangelical clergyman, has a great deal of personal charisma. Those who know him realise that he also has an unshakable faith in his own righteousness, and a real talent for rubbing people up the wrong way. It is no surprise, therefore, that someone should want to kill him. In fact, when the Reverend Dexter moves to a small Norfolk parish, traditionally Anglo-Catholic, and begins remoulding it in his own image, his distraught parishioners are not the only ones with good reason to want to remove him. And there are secrets in his seemingly tranquil family life that Dexter does not even begin to suspect - until the fateful and eventful day of his death. Solicitor David Middleton-Brown and his artist-friend Lucy Kingsley step in to investigate. Their search for the truth culminates at the annual National Pilgrimage to Walsingham, where Anglo-Catholic pomp clashes with heated Evangelical protest, and feelings run perilously high. Too late, perhaps, David realises the danger: will he be in time to prevent a second murder?