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Karen Maitland Books In Order

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Publication Order of Standalone Novels

The White Room (1996)Description / Buy at Amazon
Company of Liars (2008)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Owl Killers (2009)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Gallows Curse (2011)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Falcons of Fire and Ice (2012)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Vanishing Witch (2014)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Raven's Head (2015)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Plague Charmer (2016)Description / Buy at Amazon
A Gathering of Ghosts (2018)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Non-Fiction Books

Wicked Children: Murderous Tales from History (2016)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Medieval Murderers Books

The Tainted Relic (2005)Description / Buy at Amazon
Sword of Shame (2006)Description / Buy at Amazon
House of Shadows (2007)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Lost Prophecies (2008)Description / Buy at Amazon
King Arthur's Bones (2009)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Sacred Stone (2010)Description / Buy at Amazon
Hill of Bones (2011)Description / Buy at Amazon
The First Murder (2012)Description / Buy at Amazon
The False Virgin (2013)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Deadliest Sin (2014)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Medieval Murderers are a group of historical fiction authors that includes Bernard Knight, Ian Morson, Michael Jecks, Karen Maitland, Susanna Gregory, Philip Gooden and CJ Sansom.

Publication Order of Anthologies

The Sea of Azov(2009)Description / Buy at Amazon

Born in 1956 in England, Karen Maitland is a British author of medieval thriller action. She was born in Malta and spent her childhood in the Mediterranean sea. She holds an honors degree in Human Communication and a doctorate degree in Psycholinguistics. Ever since she was a child, she desired to be a writer. She yearned to go to bed and imagine stories. Her toys were individual characters with traits, behavior, and adventure.

Karen Maitland has spent a number of years in medieval cities where a significant amount of her inspiration is drawn from. In addition to that, she has spent a significant amount of her time traveling in different parts of the UK and beyond the country. Somehow, this traveling experiences coupled with imagination, find their way into her works.

Maitland has also done some collaboration in her writing career. She partnered with medieval crime writers Bernard Knight, Susan Gregory, Ian Morson, and Phillip Gooden, where the wrote The Sacred Stone.

Maitland has been active in a number of cross-cultural books where she has been an editor and a writer. These include “Poems of Cultural Diversity” and “Cinders in the Wind.” She is also a member of a number of professional bodies. These include the crime writer’s association, the Historical Novel Society, the Society of Authors, and the International Thriller Writers.

Her writing career has seen her being nominated or winning writing awards. “The White Room” was nominated for the Author’s Club Best First Novel Award. In addition to that, the Company of Liars was chosen as Waterstone book of the year. In 2009, The Owl Killers was chosen as the 2009 Shirley Jackson Finalist Award. She currently lives in the medieval city of Lincoln.

Writing Style

Karen Maitland conjures up a world of magic, superstition, and mystery. Her tales are overly dark and chilling. She says that a novel is a way of putting two or three pieces together from discrete sources. She describes novel writing as walking down the path and discovering a jigsaw puzzle. You take a piece but you are not sure where it belongs. You save it all the same. Months or years later, you identify another piece. Consequently, you piece the old one and the new one together and get a fitting match.

Maitland is a meticulous researcher who unearths economical, cultural, and historical information about the medieval time. She brings the medieval world alive and shows the deep contrast with the contemporary society. She summaries her research approach by saying, “do all the research, then close the textbooks, and write a cracking story.” She like the endings to have a feeling that the characters will embark on more adventures. She thinks that history is a narrative and part fiction. This is because it is constantly rewritten and is being restructured. Consequently, unrelated incidences form the basis of a narrative. Through her works, she revisits the forgotten medieval words, recipes, and folklore.

It is not uncommon to find authors being directly influenced by their past experience. Karen Maitland is no exception. She had a direct experience with the medieval age when she lived in a remote village in Nigeria devoid of plumbing, sanitation, or electricity. However, her eighteen months stay in Nigeria was interrupted by the civil war.

Maitland was influenced by the book “Power and the Glory” by Graham Greene. It is from reading this book that it dawned on he that you do not have to necessarily write a story that ends with “living happily thereafter.” She is a big fan of magic realism authors such as Toni Morrison and Margaret Atwood. However, she notes that she was careful not to be influenced by the philosophy of other novels in order to avoid using similar words and writing style with that of her literary fans.

Company of Liars (2008)

Company of liars is a historical novel whose setting is the fourteenth century medieval age. The watershed of the novel is the coming of a plague in England in the year 1348. Like any other plague, it sets off a wave of panic across England. It is a novel of history, mystery, and powerful drama.
Nine desperate travelers face the harsh reality of dearth. They decide to outrun the possibility of dying through coming together to face the imminent death. Norigorm- a strange and silent child- makes them to reveal the truth which in turn makes them face a cruel death. the silent and The story is magical, heart-quickening, and raw.

The book was shortlisted in the US for a Sue Federal Memorial Award for the best historical mystery novel of the year 2008 and one of the Macavity Awards.

The Owl Killers (2009)

In 1321, the English town of Ulewic facing a time when the pleasant conditions that had prevailed for years start being eroded. This is brought about by a group of women who opt not to either marry or join the nunneries. They are led by a strong-willed woman by the name Servant Martha. They live in a strict code of prayer and celibacy that is not sanctioned by the all-powerful and traditional church.

Another bone of contention is the dishonesty of the church and its preying on the vulnerable subjects. Father Ulfrid seeks sexual favors from the parishioners. In addition to that, the parishioners must give to the church in order to have some rites such as the burial performed. Even the time when there was poor harvest due to famine, the church demanded to receive its tithe.

The novel shows a strong challenge to the existing order and depicts a strong sensibility to history. It shows the antagonism between two opposing forces and how that changes the status quo.

Movie and Film

Karen Maitland works have not found their way into the world of film or movies. However, such a move would increase the relevance of her works. This is because the setting of her works is not the usual and ordinary setting. Rather, it is a strange, mystical, and medieval setting.


Maitland shows how to effectively weave a historical narrative in an interesting way. Her sense of research enables her to discover the medieval world of mystery and superstition. Her works are full of long-held secrets and shattering lies among the major characters. Most importantly, her books are not only thrilling but also full of suspense.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Karen Maitland

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