Priests are not detectives, surely?

Priests in fiction, have been amateur detectives as well as suspects in murder mysteries, more often than you might expect. My novel, The Key to a Murder, is about a student of theology trying to solve his father’s murder. I have been serialising the audio version on this blog and Chapter Three is at the end of this post.

The cover of The Key to a Murder. A potential priest has to solve a murder.

A potential priest has to solve a murder.

When have priests been involved in murder mysteries?

I have written before about the apparently strange bedfellows, religion and crimefighting. In fiction, at least, they seem to pair up nicely. Here are nine more examples of murder-solving clerics or murders in religious settings.

  1. The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco. Set in a 14th-century Italian monastery, this novel follows a Franciscan friar investigating a series of mysterious deaths.
  2. A Death in the Family by Michael Stanley. A detective in Botswana investigates a murder that appears to be connected to a local Pentecostal church.
  3. The Fifth Gospel by Ian Caldwell. Two brothers, both priests, investigate a mysterious fifth gospel that may have implications for the Catholic Church.
  4. The Sano Ichiro series by Laura Joh Rowland.- Set in feudal Japan, this series features a samurai detective who often investigates crimes involving Buddhist temples and Shinto shrines.
  5. The Grantchester Mysteries series by James Runcie. A Church of England priest solves crimes in his parish, set in the 1950s.
  6. Death in Holy Orders by P.D. James. Commander Adam Dalgliesh investigates a murder at a Church of England theological college.
  7. The Brother Cadfael series by Ellis Peters. Set in 12th-century England, this series features a Benedictine monk who solves mysteries, including, A Morbid Taste for Bones, involving the theft of a saint’s bones.
  8. The Last Templar by Raymond Khoury. An archaeologist and an FBI agent investigate a mystery related to the legendary Knights Templar.
  9. The Sister Fidelma series by Peter Tremayne. Set in 7th-century Ireland, this series features a nun who acts as a legal advocate and solves mysteries.

Now here’s Chapter Three

Hope you enjoy it but any feedback is welcome.