A Lethal Spectre
New release in the Lord Danvers Investigates series
Antonia and Charles are swept up in the glittering swirl of a London season as they present Aunt Aelfrida's ward to society. In India Antonia's closest girlhood friend is caught in the most brutal massacre 'in the book of time'. What could these disparate events have to do with murders in London and Brighton? This engrossing story comes to life with all the vivid historical detail readers expect from Donna Fletcher Crow.
"A stunning contrast between the dramas and machinations of fashionable London life and the unfurling of an unthinkable tragedy. A story of lights and shadows, all impeccably well researched and realised."
~Linda Stratmann, author of The Frances Doughty Mysteries
"As somewhat of an expert on Colonial British India, A Lethal Spectre swept me away with mystery set in beautifully detailed Victorian England and in India, showcasing an integral piece of history that greatly affected Great Britain. A must read for all Anglophiles and cozy mystery lovers."
~ Christine Lindsay, author of the multi-award-winning trilogy Twilight of the British Raj
The Flame Ignites
An Elizabeth and Richard Literary Suspense, Book 1
October 1984, the New England hillsides are ablaze with redgold autumn. Elizabeth is beginning her academic career and recently widowed Richard is stuck in the family business. They should be able to help each other but their meeting strikes sparks and raises old ghosts, possibly even the ghost of Richard's dead wife. When Elizabeth finds an academic coup within her grasp for her thesis on the beloved American novelist Elswyth Thane, Richard stubbornly throws up barriers, but why? Rudyard Kipling, William Beebe, Charles Lindberg, Edna Ferber and a host of celebrities from an age past fill the pages of Elswyth Thane's letters, but where is Elizabeth to find clues to the mystery haunting Richard?
A nostalgic return to an earlier, now-vanished time, The Flame Ignites charmingly evokes a long-distance relationship between a young woman just testing her wings and a celebrated American novelist. But what about the smoldering relationship between Elizabeth and Richard?
The Monastery Murders
The complete series is now completely reedited, refreshed and republished, available in both ebook and paperback.
Where There Is Love
Where There is Love is an all-new presentation of Donna Fletcher Crow's beloved Cambridge Chronicles, a series chronicling the history, faith and loves of the Evangelical Anglicans of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Earlier print editions of these books are offered at the bottom of this page. Please note that Where Love Begins, the first book in the Where There is Love series, corresponds to the story told in A Gentle Calling. It is not the same as Where Love Begins in the print books.
Daughters of Courage
Through every generation, America's women have exhibited courage, spirit and faith. This sweeping family saga will help today's women find inspiration to triumph in the challenges we all face.
For the Daughters of Courage series, an Idaho pioneer family saga, I turned to stories of my own family.
"It's rare to find novels that combine a strong Christian ethic with such compelling storytelling. Because these are real people and real events, the experiences of faith challenged and faith triumphant are all the more meaningful. I hope that Donna Fletcher Crow's loving testament to her grandmother and mother and to the brave men and women who shaped our country will touch you as much as it did me."
--Lenore Person, Guideposts Books
Glastonbury: The Novel of Christian England
The Holy Grail lies somewhere in Glastonbury!
When Joseph of Arimathea and his little band of pilgrims sought asylum from Roman persecution they fled to Glastonbury—and carried with them the most sacred relic in all of Christendom.
This tiny, sheltered corner of Britannia—this holy "Isle of Avalon"—was also a place of refuge when King Arthur and his knights fought off the invading barbarian hoard. And it became Arthur's final resting place.
Centuries later, the discovery of Arthur's bones in Glastonbury sparked a great flowering of the faith and magnificent building—after a devastating fire nearly obliterated the work and worship of centuries.
Then, after the last abbot of Glastonbury was dragged to his death atop the Tor, the Abbey's splendid arches were left to crumble. Yet they stand today—as beacons of hope for the future.
Two millennia of history and legend intertwine around Glastonbury's broken arches. And through it all—through ages ancient and modern—the faithful have sought to answer the same question that Arthur asked: Where is the Holy Grail?
My epic Glastonbury: A Novel of Christian England, grew out of my lifelong fascination with the Arthurian legends. It begins with the birth of Christ and takes the reader through the lives of families in Celtic, Roman, Arthurian, Anglo-Saxon, Norman and Tudor Britain. The centerpiece is the Holy Grail as Austin Ringwode, last of the Glastonbury monks, seeks to understand the upheaval of his time. --Donna
Glastonbury Ebook Edition:
Personalized Autographed Copies Now Available!
Just in time for the holidays, personalized autographs are now available for print and ebooks. Visit the Authorgraph website to order. Free! If you want an autograph for an edition not shown, contact Donna and she will happily add it.
On Air Now
"The Crime Cafe" An in-depth interview about the whys and hows of writing Clerical Mysteries, specifically The Monastery Murders.
"The Donna Seebo Show" A super interview--it was such a delight to talk to an interviewer who had actually read my book (and loved it)! Click the above link, then scroll down to #317 June 25 2015 Donna Fletcher Crow. Click the box on the right (don't just highlight the show), then scroll on down to play selected files. It's a bit fiddly, but I hope it's worth it!
September 5, 2017 Terry Odell interviews one of my favorite characters--the outspoken Aelfrida, Dowager Duchess of Athelstan: https://terryodell.com/character-interview-donna-fletcher-crows-aelfrida/
August 23, 2016, My writing process, my inspirations as a writer, my favorite books and more. A fun interview.
March 16, 2016, "Listen to Your Mother" The story behind the series launch
Reviews to Make my Day
A super review that really captures the concepts of A Tincture of Murder from the wonderful Mystery People group!
Author Spotlight and a rave for A Very Private Grave Butterfly's Booknerdia. "This is definitely a novel that you want to read without distractions, so that you don't miss any of the subtle nuances or meticulous details that Crow so lovingly bestows upon this captivating story. I can't wait to read the sequel, A Darkly Hidden Truth."
Oh, No! The second I clicked the “email as newsletter” button I realized I had failed to give you the link for the Swept Away Romance promotion that offers my Where There is Love boxed set along with other clean romance books for free/.99 plus the chance to win a $50 gift card. The embedded link above will be live at midnight tonight. Sorry about that!
Where There is Love Special Offer
I am thrilled to be able to offer the complete six book boxed set of Where There is Love for only .99 this month. I have offered individual books from the set before, but this is the entire series, so you can get the whole sweep of events.
This offer is part of the Swept Away Romance promotion which includes 42 other free/99 clean romances as well as a chance to win a $50 gift card. But you will have to act fast. This promotion ends January 16, although my above offer run all month.
Where There is Love: Six novels of the enduring legacy of love and faith. These are stories of real people and stirring historic events in England through the 18th and 19th centuries. Society leaders, university dons, famous preachers, celebrated sportsmen, powerful politicians, highwaymen and rogues… Stories told often in their own words as they direct—and are changed by—events of the day.
“Exhaustively researched…Crow’s series is done with great dignity and feeling.” John Mort, Booklist
“A fine novel…Of course, you must have this book!” Librarian’s World
“Engrossing reading.” Library Journal
Special bonus: The boxed set includes Where Love Triumphs my very first novel. This is the story of the brilliant, but lame Brandley Hilliard whose encounters with the charming Elinor Silbert and the eminent theologian Charles Simeon show him a life beyond any his academic pursuits have taught him. Where Love Triumphs is available only in the boxed set.
#MysteryExchange - The Murder That Inspired a Romantic #Mystery Novel, with @Kris_Bock
Day 3 in my Mystery Blog Exchange. Today meet Kris Bock with her novel What we Found. Then go over to Kris's blog and read about my Victorian true-crime A Lethal Spectre, Lord Danvers investigates, 5. If you like mysteries based on true events, you'll enjoy both books.
Welcome, Kris. Tell us about writing What We Found.
Many writers are inspired by real events or people in their lives. This makes difficult situations a form of research. “This stinks, but maybe I can use it in a book!” I write romantic suspense for adults as Kris Bock and middle grade novels (for ages 9 to 12) as Chris Eboch. In most of these books, the connection to real-life experiences isn’t obvious. In my romantic suspense Whispers in the Dark, my heroine is an archaeology Masters student working at the fictional “Lost Valley” monument, which is closely based on Hovenweep National Monument, where I once spent a week camping. In Counterfeits, the heroine inherits a children’s art camp, which I based on a camp near Jemez Springs, New Mexico, where I’ve attended many writing retreats. Using real locations helps me bring the settings to life even if I did not, for example, fall into a ravine while fleeing from a bad guy.
But What We Found was inspired by helping to uncover a true case of murder.
Lest you think that makes me some kind of amateur detective, my involvement was purely accidental. Two friends and I were exploring the mountains, looking for some suitable gravel to try gold panning (because, why not?). We found a likely spot and were about to take a sample when the guys smelled something horrible. A glance in the right direction showed them a dead body hidden just out of sight of the path.
The next hour passed in a surreal blur. We'd left our phones in another vehicle, at the base of the mountain. Once we retrieved them, we still had to find a place with cell reception. We called 911, waited for the police, and led them to the body. Later that night we were interviewed by detectives.
By the following day, they had identified the body as a woman who had been missing. Her estranged ex-boyfriend was already a suspect in her disappearance, but without her body they'd have trouble prosecuting him. Seeing her picture on TV and learning about her family made the situation real in a new way. We wanted justice for someone we’d never met.
It’s All Research
As a writer, I knew I was getting rare first-hand experience into something powerful. I took pages of notes during that first week, even though I didn’t know how or when I might use them. I was fortunate to be with two men who talked openly about their experiences: the nightmares, the guilt over violence against women, the anxiety that came from now wondering what you might see in the bushes.
Three things struck me most strongly.
First, we all felt deeply invested in the case, even though we’d never met the woman in life and didn’t know anyone else involved. We followed the news stories, even though they made us anxious. When the murderer was finally sentenced … well, we weren't happy (the sentence of less than 20 years of less than 20 years was not, in our opinion, nearly long enough), but we were relieved that it was over.
Second, it affected every aspect of our lives for weeks. Even though the likelihood of finding another body, or even witnessing a different crime, was extremely slim, we were on high alert at all times. It was a struggle to put it behind us while still honoring the memory of the victim and holding on to what we had learned.
And finally, someone in law enforcement said that often people don’t report crime scenes like these. How could someone walk away from that? I started thinking about all the reasons someone might want to cover up their discovery, even if they had nothing to do with the crime. And that inspired What We Found.
Turning Truth into Fiction
Several years passed before I felt distant enough from the experience to fictionalize it, but I still had all those notes and memories to draw on. Some elements of What We Found, mainly the emotional ones, are taken directly from that experience. Most character and plot elements are fictional, although some are loosely inspired by the real events.
This isn’t an experience I would wish on anyone, but we’re glad we helped bring a crime to light and a murderer to justice. And it led to what I consider my most powerful and personal novel to date. After all, one benefit to being a writer is that the worst experiences are still valuable as research.
That’s the truth behind What We Found.
When Audra goes back to her small hometown after college, she simply wants to fit in, work hard, and protect her 12-year-old brother from their overbearing mother. Finding a dead body in the woods changes everything.
Her former crush, Jay, insists they don’t report the body. But the dead woman was murdered, and someone starts targeting Audra. She has to stand up for herself in order to stand up for the murder victim. It’s a risk, and so is reaching out to the mysterious young man who works with deadly birds of prey. But with danger all around, some risks are worth taking.
“Another action-packed suspense novel by Kris Bock, perhaps her best to-date. The author weaves an intriguing tale with appealing characters. Watching Audra, the main character, evolve into an emotionally-mature and independent young woman is gratifying.” Reader Ellen Rippel
This title stands alone and is not part of a series.
An engine started. The battered old truck stood out like a janitor at the prom. It was dark blue, splattered with mud and probably decades old, with a cap on the bed. The evening sun glared off the side window, but as I walked slowly past the front I saw a figure inside – the one-handed man. He had his hand on the wheel but his head back, eyes closed.
I paused, studying his face. I guessed he was in his twenties, with short, light brown hair and pleasant features in a mask as still as death.
He opened his eyes and looked straight into mine.
I couldn’t move as he held my gaze. My heart thumped against my ribs. He studied me without expression, no smile, no frown, nothing in his face but weariness.
Finally I had to blink, and once the eye contact was broken, I jerked my gaze away and kept moving. I quickly turned between the next two cars, to get out of his view. I’d have to cross behind his truck to reach my car, which might look odd if he was still watching, but I didn’t care so long as I got out of there, fast.
I noticed the rusty screeching again. It was coming from his truck. I stumbled to a stop, staring at the back of the truck. What could be making that sound? The tailgate and back window on the cap were closed, hiding the sight inside, but the screech came again and again like someone – something – screaming.
The screams seemed to echo in my head. I couldn’t take any more. I turned away with a hand over my mouth to hold back my own scream and hurried to my car.
About the Author
Kris Bock writes novels of suspense and romance with outdoor adventures and Southwestern landscapes. All ebooks are .99c to $3.99 or free with Kindle Unliminted.
The Mad Monk’s Treasure follows the hunt for a long-lost treasure in the New Mexico desert. In The Dead Man’s Treasure, estranged relatives compete to reach a buried treasure by following a series of complex clues. In The Skeleton Canyon Treasure, sparks fly when reader favorites Camie and Tiger help a mysterious man track down his missing uncle. Whispers in the Dark features archaeology and intrigue among ancient Southwest ruins. In Counterfeits, stolen Rembrandt paintings bring danger to a small New Mexico town.