The name Kate Burkholder refers to a series of crime fiction novels written by Linda Castillo. The books follow the exploits of a law enforcement agent with Amish roots that must solve murders in a community that does not wholly appreciate her presence.
Order of Kate Burkholder Series
|1||Sworn to Silence||2009||Description / Buy|
|2||Pray for Silence||2010||Description / Buy|
|3||Breaking Silence||2011||Description / Buy|
|4||Gone Missing||2011||Description / Buy|
|5||Her Last Breath||2013||Description / Buy|
|6||The Dead Will Tell||2014||Description / Buy|
|7||After the Storm||2015||Description / Buy|
|8||Among the Wicked||2016||Description / Buy|
|9||Down a Dark Road||2017||Description / Buy|
|10||A Gathering of Secrets||2018||Description / Buy|
|11||Shamed||2019||Description / Buy|
|12||Outsider||2020||Description / Buy|
Kate Burkholder grew up in Painters Mill, a cozy little farming community in Ohio. The town is unique because it is shared equally by the Amish and the English. The Amish live such a restrictive and austere lifestyle and they would rather not mingle with the modern world if they can help it.
As such, Painters Mill as a sleepy rural town should not work. However, the community has known nothing but peace for two centuries, with the Amish and the English living side by side.
Things changed sixteen years ago. A series of brutal murders broke the peace and drew Painters Mill into chaotic waters. Kate Burkholder was a young Amish girl at the time. Through a series of extraordinary circumstances, she survived the machinations of a killer who brutally marked his victims.
But she also realized that she could no longer live the Amish lifestyle. So she left her home and ventured into the English world. When Sworn to Silence, the first of the Kate Burkholder novels, kicks off, Kate has been forced back to Painters Mill.
As the new chief of police, it is her job to not only keep the peace between the English and Amish residents of her town but to also solve any crimes and mysteries that arise. Things take a dangerous turn when a series of murders eerily similar to those Painters Mill experienced 16 years ago manifest.
Everyone is quick to suggest that the Slaughterhouse killer has returned. But Kate knows that the Slaughterhouse Killer is gone. She has a secret, one which assures her that Painters Mill’s current murderer is someone entirely different. But she must prove this to be true and stop the murders before Painters Mill erupts into chaos once again.
The Kate Burkholder series is very dark. Linda Castillo goes to great lengths to describe the brutal murders at the center of each novel, going into such detail as to put a number of readers off. Her heroine has been praised for being smart and intuitive, but also warm and caring.
In fact, more often than not, she struggles and typically fails to keep her emotions out her cases. Kate’s work is always complicated by the fact that the Amish hate her for abandoning their ways.
She keeps working to overcome the bias that meets her every time she ventures into Amish territory. She is joined in her efforts by state agent John Tomasetti with whom she has a volatile relationship.
Kate Burkholder Awards
The Fifth novel in this series was nominated for a Thriller Award in 2014.
Kate Burkholder Books into Movies
The first novel in this series was adapted into a Lifetime Original Film called An Amish Murder. It starred Neve Campbell.
Best Kate Burkholder Books
The Burkholder novels try to walk the line between exploring the ways of the Amish and overwhelming readers with the brutality of their murders, with some of the best books in the series including:
Her Last Breath: An Amish Deacon and two of his children are killed in a tragic accident. His young boy is left fighting for dear life in intensive care. Kate Burkholder isn’t convinced that his best friend’s husband’s death was an accident, though.
She has reason to believe that there is a cold-blooded killer in Painters Mill, one she is determined to hunt down.
A Gathering of Secrets: When Kate Burkholder, the chief of police, is called upon to investigate a historic barn that burned down seemingly by accident, the discovery of a dead 18-year-old raises her suspicions.
The boy was well-liked but everywhere Kate looks, the Amish community stonewalls her. She starts to suspect that the religious community might be harboring a deep secret.
Other Book Series You May Like
The “Renee Ballard” Series by Michael Connolly is another one you might enjoy. Renee Ballard is a young police officer who works the night shift in Hollywood. She has her demons but she works hard to prove herself to her superiors in the LAPD. Every once in a while she will partner with Harry Bosch.
Another great series to check out is the “Detective D.D. Warren” Series by Lisa Gardner. These suspense thrillers chronicle the exploits of D.D. Warren, a police detective who solves crimes and murders in Boston. Though she often takes a back seat to Bobby Dodge, a former sniper turned detective.
What Is The Next Book in The Kate Burkholder Series?
There doesn't seem to be an upcoming book in The Kate Burkholder Series. The newest book is Outsider and was released on July, 7th 2020.