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By the author of the Rook series.
What is the Katie Maguire series about?
Mostly known as a British horror author, Graham Masterton started to write crime novels while living in Cork, Ireland. That’s how the Katie Maguire series began.
The series is about Ireland’s first female detective Katie Maguire who’s following in her father’s footsteps as she leads murder investigations in and around the city of Cork.
How to Read the Katie Maguire Books in Order?
Every book in the Katie Maguire series works as a standalone story, but the lives of the different characters evolve from one novel to the other.
- White Bones – One wet November morning, a field on Meagher’s Farm gives up the dismembered bones of 11 women. In this part of Ireland, unmarked graves are common, but these bones date to 1915, long before the Troubles. What’s more, these bones bear the marks of a meticulous executioner. These women were almost certainly skinned alive. Detective Katie Maguire is used to dead bodies. But this is wholesale butchery.
- Broken Angels – One cold spring morning in County Cork, two fishermen find a bundle of rags floating in the Blackwater River. It is the bloated body of Father Heaney. His hands and feet are bound, and his neck bears the marks of garrotting wire. Worse still, he has been castrated. When a second priest is found murdered, Katie Maguire finds evidence of a sinister cover-up at St. Joseph’s Orphanage. But the Catholic diocese still wields considerable power here, and the Garda are under pressure to close the case.
- Red Light – In a grimy flat in the city of Cork, a man lies dead. His face is unrecognizable: seven gunshots have shattered cartilage and bone. Yet Katie Maguire, of the Irish Garda, knows exactly who he is. Amir Xaaji Maxamed, an evil man who trafficked young girls to be sold for sex. When a second pimp is killed, Katie must decide. Are these vigilante murders justified? And can she stop them spiraling out of control?
- Taken for Dead – The severed head of Micky Crounan, a local baker, is grinning gruesomely up from the bottom tier of his own cake. Katie Maguire of the Irish Garda is baffled–until another local businessman goes missing in horrific circumstances. Soon Katie is on the trail of a debt-collecting gang calling themselves the Kings of Erin. But these are very dangerous men. And they will stop at nothing to throw Katie off the trail…
- Blood Sisters – In a nursing home on the outskirts of Cork, an elderly nun lies dead. She has been suffocated. It looks like a mercy killing – until another sister from the same convent is found viciously murdered, floating in the Glashaboy river. Why would anyone want to kill them? As she investigates, Katie Maguire discovers a 50-year-old secret that just might lead her to the killer…if the killer doesn’t find her first.
- “Eye for an Eye” (short story) – Katie Maguire hunts down a priest-killer in county Cork.
- Buried – In Blarney, Cork, an old millworker’s cottage guards its secrets. In 1921 a mother, a father, and their two young children disappeared from this house. And now, 95 years later, their mummified bodies have been discovered under the floorboards. As Katie Maguire investigates, the flames of old family rivalries flare up once more…and Katie is caught in the crossfire.
- Living Death – Last year, Katie Maguire and her team destroyed the biggest drug trafficker in Cork. So how is the city’s drug trade at an all-time high? Meanwhile, a spate of violent attacks which leave victims severely disabled has brought confidence in the Garda to an all-time low. As Katie investigates, she realizes that the two cases might be connected. Someone is using brain-damaged victims to smuggle drugs into the country. And the only way to find out more is to go in undercover…
- “The Drowned” (short story) – The River Lee has always been a part of life – and death – in Cork. Now the bodies of five young men have been found by divers, locked in their car on the riverbed. As the volunteer divers begin the macabre task of extracting the bodies, Katie Maguire investigates a crime where all is not as it seems…
- Dead Girls Dancing – In the middle of Cork, in the middle of the day, a fire crackles in a local dance studio. Thirteen women, all promising stars of Irish folk, die in the blaze, their young lives cut short by a tragic accident. But where others see tragedy, Katie Maguire sees murder. This is not the first fire to sweep through Cork. And in one previous case, the victims were dead before the fire was started. As Katie Maguire investigates the strange, obsessive world of competitive Irish folk dancing, she must face her most chilling killer yet.
- Dead Men Whistling – Kieran O’Regan was responsible for hunting down killers. Now he’s become one of the dead: his decapitated body has been found in a graveyard, a tin whistle stuffed into his throat. O’Regan was due to give evidence at a trial for police corruption. His gruesome murder sends a clear message to whistleblowers: only silence is safe. Katie Maguire is determined to uncover the truth. But corruption in the Garda stretches back decades. As more officers are horrifically silenced, Katie must decide whom she can trust…
- Begging to Die – A young girl has been found in a deserted cemetery. She speaks a foreign language, and she cries for her mother. But nobody claims her. Nobody knows who she is. On the streets of Cork, beggars are being horrifically murdered. But why would anyone want to kill the city’s homeless? It’s up to Katie Maguire to find out.
- The Last Drop of Blood – It started with the judge. He was about to sentence five of Cork’s most notorious criminals. But his body has just turned up, beaten and broken, on an isolated road in his burned-out car. Now four members of a rival gang have been shot, and in retaliation, three civilians have been blown up. To Katie Maguire’s horror, Cork is becoming a gang battleground like Dublin. Can Katie save the city? Can she save herself?
If you like Katie Maguire, you may also want to see our Peter James reading order, or our guide to the Karen Pirie series. Don’t hesitate to follow us on Twitter or Facebook to discover more book series.