The name Merrily Watkins refers to a series of mystery suspense novels written by Phil Rickman.
Order of Merrily Watkins Series
|1||The Wine of Angels||1998||Description / Buy|
|2||Midwinter of the Spirit||1999||Description / Buy|
|3||The Cure of Souls||2001||Description / Buy|
|4||A Crown of Lights||2001||Description / Buy|
|5||The Lamp of the Wicked||2003||Description / Buy|
|6||The Prayer of the Night Shepherd||2004||Description / Buy|
|7||The Smile of a Ghost||2005||Description / Buy|
|8||The Remains of an Altar||2006||Description / Buy|
|9||The Fabric of Sin||2007||Description / Buy|
|10||To Dream of the Dead||2008||Description / Buy|
|11||The Secrets of Pain||2011||Description / Buy|
|12||The Magus of Hay||2013||Description / Buy|
|13||The House of Susan Lulham||2014||Description / Buy|
|14||Friends of the Dusk||2015||Description / Buy|
|15||All of a Winter's Night||2017||Description / Buy|
|16||For the Hell of It||2019||Description / Buy|
Rickman is a British author from Lancashire who worked for the BBC as a journalist before striking out on his own to produce fiction. With books like Candlelight in his bibliography, Rickman does not appreciate the fact that people categorized him as a writer of horror for so long.
The Merrily Watkins series definitely features an eerie atmosphere. And yet the author’s fans would defend him by arguing that the books do not fit the horror genre.
Merrily Watkins, the heroine of the series, is a widow. Introduced in The Wine of Angels, the first novel, Watkins’ husband was a terrible man; he was unfaithful and crooked.
And when he died in an accident, he left a daughter behind. A single mother, Watkins, who was also a priest, thought she would find solace in Ledwardine. Determined to steer clear of the lights and sounds of life in the big city, Ledwardine promised Watkins a peaceful and quiet existence.
Her daughter, Jane, wasn’t too fond of the notion of having a vicar for a mother. But the heroine was certain that they would find some middle ground along which they could engage one another.
But Watkins’ arrival coincided with the manifestation of a local dispute. A family was hell-bent on reviving an ancient festival, one that had attracted fervent support and opposition.
Then a mysterious crime was thrown into the mix and Merrily Watkins realized that she had no real chance of attaining the peace of mind she sought.
The Merrily Watkins series follows the protagonist as she tries to acclimate to life in a village that isn’t quite what it seems.
Watkins’ gender elicits many a problem. There are those in the community who are not convinced that a female vicar is the right way to go. Their sensibilities are further challenged when Watkins is assigned the role of exorcist.
Even Watkins is hesitant to accept the role. But as she settles into her new home, she quickly finds that the village greatly requires her services.
Jane, Watkins’ daughter, has an obsession with spiritualism. And it doesn’t take her long to find like-minded people at her school, kids that find the idea of spirits, and exorcists, and Satanism alluring.
Jane works alongside an assortment of quirky characters to make Watkins’ life harder than it needs to be.
Each of the mysteries at the heart of the individual novels has a supernatural aspect, one that Watkins must investigate to determine its validity.
Merrily Watkins Books into Movies/TV
The second novel in this series was adapted into a Television drama by ITV. The story was released in three parts in 2015. Anna Maxwell Martin played the role of Merrily Watkins.
Best Merrily Watkins Books
These novels have been commended for perfectly walking that fine line between the mystery suspense and supernatural horror genres, with some of the best books in the series including:
The Wine of Angels: The Cassidy’s want to revive an ancient festival; they are also organizing a play about a clergyman from the past who was accused of witchcraft.
Some people love the idea but other residents are determined to oppose it at all costs. This sort of conflict is exactly what Merrily Watkins hoped to avoid when she came to Ledwardine.
But the village isn’t quite as quaint as she expected, and now she has a mystery on her hands, one with a supernatural twist. And as vicar, it is her job to provide resolution.
Midwinter of the Spirit: Cannon Dobbs, the former Diocesan Exorcist, is retiring and Reverend Merrily Watkins has been asked to step into his shoes.
She will become the new Deliverance Minister, a term that was created to give her position a less frightening air. Jane, her daughter, doesn’t approve of her new job.
She has also made a new friend at school, one that is as drawn to spiritualism as she is.
Other Book Series You May Like
The “Cold Calling” Series by Will Kingdom is another good series. These books follow various men and women whose previous encounters with the supernatural have placed them on a collision course with a nefarious enemy of unnatural origins.
Be sure to check out the Marco series by Thom Madley as well. When he is abandoned in Glastonbury, Marco expects his summer with his weird grandparents to be uneventful. But then he discovers a talent and learns of the role he must play to protect his new home’s mystic roots.
What Is The Next Book in The Merrily Watkins Series?
There doesn't seem to be an upcoming book in The Merrily Watkins Series. The newest book is For the Hell of It and was released on January, 3rd 2019.