Kate Ellis Books In Order

Publication Order of Wesley Peterson Books

The Merchant's House (1998) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Armada Boy (1999) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
An Unhallowed Grave (1999) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Funeral Boat (2000) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Bone Garden (2001) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
A Painted Doom (2002) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Skeleton Room (2003) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Plague Maiden (2004) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
A Cursed Inheritance (2005) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Marriage Hearse (2006) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Shining Skull (2007) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Blood Pit (2008) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
A Perfect Death (2009) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Flesh Tailor (2010) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Jackal Man (2011) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Cadaver Game (2012) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Shadow Collector (2013) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Shroud Maker (2014) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Death Season (2015) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The House of Eyes (2016) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Joe Plantagenet Books

Seeking the Dead (2008) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Playing with Bones (2009) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Kissing with Demons (2011) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Watching the Ghosts (2012) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Walking by Night (2015) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

The Devil's Priest (2006) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
A High Mortality of Doves (2016) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Short Story Collections

Dark & Merciless Things (2012) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Although Kate Ellis was born and brought up in Liverpool, her passion for creative arts was kindled when she moved to Manchester. In Manchester she studied drama and also worked as a teacher. She taught marketing and accounting, but deep inside she never felt fulfilled until she tried writing. From that time to date, she has been writing and has a number of best reads and awards to her credit.


Most of her books are focused on crime and mystery intertwined with history and archeology. It is notable from her writings that these aspects greatly intrigue her. They feature a lot in her books. Through the lines and pages of her writings, she manages to impressively entwine the past and the present. She has written two series to her credit. One is about an archeologist graduate turned detective Sergeant Wesley Peterson who fights crime in the South Devon Streets. The other one is the spooky Joe Plantagenet series. Other than the novels, she has written a number of short stories. Her brilliance as a writer is brought to the fore by the way she manages to write about the same heroes without sounding monotonous. Each of the stories keeps the reader on the edge of their seat, anxious to get to the bottom of the mystery. Some of the novels from the series that she has written include “The Merchant’s House” and “Seeking the Dead.”

The Merchant’s House

This is Ellis’ first novel and perhaps the one that gave her the spring board she needed to catapult her writing career. It is one of the Wesley Peterson series. The book has received numerous positive reviews. For instance, The Woman’s Weekly magazine rated it as one of the ten best summer reads. The Merchant’s house is set up in Devonshire England. In the novel a two year old boy mysteriously disappears while playing outside their cottage. The boy’s mother nonchalantly goes on with her daily routine work, oblivious of what has transpired. It is not until when she comes out to be with her son, that she realizes he is missing. To her astonishment nothing is amiss and the gate is also intact.

As the plot of the story develops, so does the mystery. A blonde, medium built woman is found murdered and her face brutally disfigured, probably in an attempt to hide her identity. She does not have any identification on her and neither does she match the descriptions available on the missing person’s report.

The main character of the novel, Detective Sergeant Wesley Peterson emerges into the scene as the officer assigned to the case. It is however not an easy task for the detective since he has just been transferred to the new location. At the same time his personal life is under pressure. His wife is on the verge of a breakdown due to infertility related stress. The detective nevertheless keeps his head above the water and tries to unravel the mystery.

The plot deepens as Wesley’s friend an archeologist by the name Neil excavates the skeleton remains of a woman and a baby in the compound of a former merchant. Ellis takes the reader back into history to explain clearly about the merchant. She intelligently introduces the Elizabethan family and relates them to the recent murders. This is a novel definitely worth reading.

Seeking the dead

This is the first of Kate Ellis’ second mystery series; the Joe Plantagenet mystery series. The plot of the story has some occultist overtones. It has some aspects of Satanism and even a ghost showing up. The plot is built in a fictional area dubbed Eborby in Yorkshire. It brilliantly combines a mix of mystery and history. The story revolves around DI Joe Plantagenet who has had more than his fair share of misfortunes. First of all, he loses his wife just a few months after their wedding. Then he loses his fellow cop and partner Kevin, in a shooting. The shooting also leaves him injured.

In the novel there is a serial killer on the loose. The killer murders the victims using strange ways. He abducts the victims, puts them in a coffin and lets them suffocate to death. He then displays the corpses in a rustic graveyard. This proves challenging to Joe and his new boss Emily. They begin to suspect that it might be a case of black magic rituals. The plot becomes personal as Kevin’s daughter; Carmel Hennessy is posted from Leeds to North Yorkshire. She naively decides to carry out her own investigations and soon realizes that she bit more than she could chew. Kevin’s wife calls Joe and asks him to keep an eye on Carmel.

It seems like Joe’s new boss Emily is also hiding something. As the plot unfolds it becomes evident that there is more to her than she is letting on. She has so many skeletons stashed in her closet. Joe has to be on top of his game. He needs to get into the mind of the crafty serial killer, before the killer can claim another victim.


For her contribution and effort Kate Ellis has bagged a number of awards. For instance she went ahead in 1990 to win the North West Playwrights Competition. In 2014 she was elected a member of The Detection Club. She is also a member of the Crime writers Association as well as the Murder Squad. She has also been shortlisted a couple of times for the CWA Short Story Dagger. On one occasion she was nominated for the USA Barry Award.


Kate Ellis is without a doubt a prolific writer with great writing skills. She can capture the attention and imagination of the reader, take them back into time and make the reader feel like they are actually characters in the story. Despite the fact that the novels are written as a series, a reader can actually start reading from whatever title without feeling like they are getting the shorter end of the stick. It therefore does not come as a surprise when her novels are rated as among the most reads.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Kate Ellis