Mysteries Solved by Clergy. Really.

shelved under Mystery

Ok, these aren't real mysteries... but fictional mysteries that're solved by nuns, priests and various and sundry members of the clergy. Some of the more famous crime-solving clerics are Father Dowling brought to life by Ralph McInerny and Ellis Peters' fabulous Brother Cadfael. And because I culled these books from a much, much longer list I have, they're really some of the best.


A Cardinal Offense: A Father Dowling Mystery

by Ralph M. McInerny

Father Dowling investigates the murder of a man who was pursuing an annulment from his wife of 30 years. Good overview of the Catholic Church's stance on divorce.


The Eagle Catcher

by Margaret Coel

Banished to the Wind River Indian Reservation in Wyoming to recover from his alcoholism, Father John O'Malley teams up with Arapaho attorney Vicky Woman Alone to solve the murder of a tribal chairman.

This book also appears on In Honor of Darwin, A Menagerie of Species


Friday the Rabbi Slept Late

by Harry Kemelman

This 1964 Edgar Award winner has young Rabbi David Small trying to solve the murder of a nanny. Quick read.


In the Bleak Midwinter

by Julia Spencer-Fleming

This well-written first in the series mystery features unorthodox, liberal Episcopal priest Claire Ferguson and chief of police of Miller's Kill, a small town in upstate New York, Russ Van Alstyne. The two team up to find out who left a baby on the doorstep of Claire's church. This book has it all: intrigue, a budding romance, and a great sense of place.

This book also appears on Cold Weather Mysteries


The Name of the Rose

by William Weaver, Umberto Eco

Natasha Yar-Routh says:

Sherlock Holmes as a medieval monk with his opponent possibly being the anti-Christ. The monk, William of Baskerville, must solve a series murders before they disrupt a debate on the wealth of the church. Puns, inside jokes and literary theory don't get in the way of a gripping mystery, but rather add to it.


The Tentmaker

by Michelle Blake

Lily Connor is back in Boston, working as an interim priest (or tentmaker) at a wealthy church where the priest has just died under unusual circumstances. The reader will find Lily to be a strong, likable character.