Even the Amish community has a crime problem!
Who is Kate Burkholder?
Written by Linda Castillo who was previously known for her romantic novels, the Kate Burkholder series is about a young Amish girl from Painters Mill, a small town in Ohio, who survived being attacked by a serial killer but realized that she no longer belonged to her community.
Years later, Kate has been asked to return to Painters Mill as Chief of Police. Now, she has to face some secrets of her past and find the truth in a society of silence when the serial killer who attacked her resurfaced.
Kate Burkholder Books in Order:
- Sworn to Silence – In Painters Mill, Ohio, the Amish and “English” residents have lived side by side for two centuries. But sixteen years ago, a series of brutal murders shattered the peaceful farming community. A young Amish girl named Kate Burkholder survived the terror of the Slaughterhouse Killer… A wealth of experience later, Kate has been asked to return to Painters Mill as chief of police. She’s certain she’s come to terms with her past―until the first body is discovered in a snowy field.
- Pray for Silence – The Planks moved from Lancaster County Pennsylvania to the small Amish community of Painters Mill, hoping to resume the comforts of the Plain Life in Ohio. Less than one year later, the family of seven is found dead―slaughtered on their own farm. Police Chief Kate Burkholder and her small force have few clues, no motive, and no suspect.
- Breaking Silence – The Slabaugh family are model Amish farmers. When the parents and an uncle are found dead in their barn, it appears to be a gruesome accident: methane gas asphyxiation caused by a poorly ventilated cesspit. But in the course of a routine autopsy, the coroner discovers that one of the victims suffered a head wound before death.
- Gone Missing – Rumspringa is the time when Amish teens are allowed to experience life without the rules. It’s an exciting time of personal discovery and growth before committing to the church. But when a young teen disappears without a trace, the carefree fun comes to an abrupt and sinister end, and fear spreads through the community like a contagion.
- Long Lost (short story) – It’s autumn in Painters Mill, and Chief of Police Kate Burkholder and John Tomasetti are taking a vacation at a small bed and breakfast. They’re looking forward to some down time, but their relaxation is cut short by rumors that the old house where they’re staying is haunted by a girl who disappeared twenty years earlier.
- Her Last Breath – It’s a rainy night in Painter’s Mill when, from out of nowhere, a speeding car comes hurtling toward an Amish man and his three children. What at first seems like a tragic but routine car accident becomes personal for Chief of Police Kate Burkholder when she discovers that the victims are the family of her childhood friend, Mattie.
- The Dead Will Tell – On a late-night shift, Chief of Police Kate Burkholder is called to the scene of an apparent suicide―an old man found hanging from the rafters in his dilapidated barn. But evidence quickly points to murder and Kate finds herself chasing a singularly difficult and elusive trail of evidence that somehow points back to the tragedy of a long ago incident.
- A Hidden Secret (short story) – When a baby-only hours old-is discovered on the Amish bishop’s front porch in Painter’s Mill, Ohio, Chief of Police Kate Burkholder is called in to investigate. The newborn is swaddled in an Amish crib quilt, and the only other item found with the child is a hand-carved wood rattle, which Kate also recognizes as Amish.
- After the Storm – When a tornado tears through Painters Mill and unearths human remains, Chief of Police Kate Burkholder is tasked with the responsibility of identifying the bones and notifying the family. When evidence emerges that the death was no accident, Kate soon finds herself plunged into a thirty-year-old case that takes her deep into the Amish community to which she once belonged.
- Seeds of Deception (short story) – It’s autumn in Painter’s Mill, and 14-year old Kate Burkholder has been tasked with picking apples in Zimmerman’s Orchard with her brother. It’s just another day filled with chores—until her best friend Mattie arrives to help. The innocent fun comes to an end when Billy Marquardt and his gang of friends interrupts.
- Among the Wicked – Chief of Police Kate Burkholder is called upon by the sheriff’s department in rural upstate New York to investigate the death of a young girl in a reclusive Amish settlement. Unable to penetrate the wall of silence between the Amish and the “English” communities, the sheriff asks Kate to pose as an Amish woman and find out what really happened.
- Only the Lucky (short story) – It’s Friday the 13th in Painters Mill and rumors of an Amish “rager”—a huge outdoor party rife with underage drinking—puts Chief of Police Kate Burkholder and her small department on edge. At the height of the rager, a teenage Amish girl is attacked with a hammer and left for dead.
- Down a Dark Road – Two years ago, “fallen” Amish man Joseph King was convicted of murdering his wife and sentenced to life in prison. Now King has escaped from prison… and is headed for Painters Mill. For Chief of Police Kate Burkholder, this case is personal.
- In Dark Company (short story) – It’s the middle of the night in Painters Mill, and Chief of Police Kate Burkholder is called to a scene where a mysterious young woman, battered and terrified, has sought shelter at an Amish farmhouse. She can’t remember her name or where she’s from, but she knows one thing: someone was trying to kill her.
- A Gathering of Secrets – When a historic barn burns to the ground in the middle of the night, Chief of Police Kate Burkholder is called in to investigate. At first, it looks like an accident, but when the body of eighteen-year-old Daniel Gingerich is found inside―burned alive―Kate suspects murder.