Kate Burkholder Books

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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

# Read Title Published Details
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
13 Fallen 2021 Description / Buy
14 The Hidden One 2022 Description / Buy
15 An Evil Heart 2023 Description / Buy

Order of Kate Burkholder Short Stories/Novellas

# Read Title Published Details
1 Long Lost (Short Story) 2013 Description / Buy
2 A Hidden Secret (Short Story) 2015 Description / Buy
3 Seeds of Deception (Short Story) 2016 Description / Buy
4 Only the Lucky (Short Story) 2017 Description / Buy
5 In Dark Company (Short Story) 2018 Description / Buy
6 In Plain Sight (Short Story) 2019 Description / Buy
7 The Pact 2020 Description / Buy
8 Disappeared 2021 Description / Buy
9 Blood Moon (Short Story) 2022 Description / Buy

Order of Kate Burkholder Short Story Collections

# Read Title Published Details
1 A Simple Murder 2021 Description / Buy
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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?

The next book in the The Kate Burkholder Series by Linda Castillo is An Evil Heart and will be released on July, 11th 2023.


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