Spotlight: Anne Emery

It’s 1989. The Troubles are raging in Ireland, bombs exploding in England. In this prequel to the Collins-Burke series, Father Brennan Burke is home in New York when news of his sister’s arrest in London sends him flying across the ocean. The family troubles deepen when Brennan’s cousin Conn is charged with the murder of a Special Branch detective and suspected in a terrorist plot against Westminster Abbey. The Burkes come under surveillance by the murdered cop’s partner and are caught in a tangle of buried family memories.

From the bullet-riddled bars of Belfast to an elegant English estate, Ruined Abbey combines a whodunit with a war story, love story, and historical novel, while exploring the eternal question: what is fair in love and war? It all starts with a ruined abbey.

“The eighth in the series, this winning mystery stands on its own . . . Readers who want a unique perspective on ‘the Troubles’ will want to grab a pint and pull up a stool next to any of the Burke clan. And fans of Emery’s earlier works will enjoy seeing Father Brennan in the bosom of his feisty Irish family.” — Booklist, starred review

“As the richly developed characters re-examine events from their own past, they discover IRA ties much closer than they knew. True to the Irish tradition of great storytelling, this is a mesmerizing tale full of twists that will keep readers riveted from the first page to the last.” — Publishers Weekly, starred review

“A really tightly plotted historical with solid characters and the elegant style we expect from Emery.” — Globe and Mail

“A terrific read by a Canadian author that is suspenseful to the final page.” — Winnipeg Free Press

About Anne Emery

Anne Emery is a lawyer and the award-winning author of the Collins-Burke Mystery series. Her first book, Sign of the Cross, won the Arthur Ellis Award for Best First Novel. The fifth, Children in the Morning, won a silver medal in the 2011 Independent Publisher Book Awards and the 2011 Dartmouth Book Award for Fiction. She lives in Halifax, Nova Scotia.



Collect the Collins-Burke Series


“Two longtime patrons of the shop wandered in to browse. They raved about Halifax author Anne Emery and picked up a copy of her Blood on a Saint for a friend.” — Toronto Star on Blood on a Saint

Halifax lawyer Anne Emery’s terrific series featuring lawyer Monty Collins and priest Brennan Burke gets better with every book.Globe and Mail on Death at Christy Burke's

“Emery paints a poignant portrait of a girl burdened by information she was never supposed to have, and of a tormented man who, at the most critical juncture, realizes that mounting a proper defence requires fumbling around in some very dark corners.” — Quill & Quire on Children in the Morning

“By having Normie tell the story, Arthur Ellis Award–winning Emery allows readers to walk beside the girl as she deals with her second sight, the abuse of other children, and the anguish she feels when the peace of her home life is threatened. Not since Robert K. Tannenbaum's Lucy Karp, a young woman who talks with saints, have we seen a more poignant rendering of a female child with unusual powers.” — Library Journal on Children in the Morning

“This sixth Monty Collins book by Halifax lawyer Emery is the best of the series. It has a solid plot, good characters and a very strange child who has visions.” — Globe and Mail on Children in the Morning

“An old-style potboiler of intrigue, shadowy characters and murky situations.” — Edmonton Journal on Obit

“Strong characters and a vivid depiction of Irish American family life make Emery's second mystery (in a projected trilogy) as outstanding as her first.” — Library Journal on Obit

“It's good . . . the characters are intriguing and the plot works.” — Globe and Mail on Obit

“Emery, a lawyer and legal affairs reporter by training, knows her procedure but has an equal handle on creating characters that readers will continue to care about.” — Quill & Quire on Obit

“Emery has increased the complexity of her plot this time out, and Monty, as always, is endearingly flawed . . . The strongest reason to read Cecilian Vespers is for its expansive yet playful nature . . . Mystery readers need not cry ‘Miserere’ at Monty and Father Burke's not-so-sacred adventures; ‘Gloria in Excelsis Deo’ is a far more fitting exclamation, sung with full voice.” — Quill & Quire on Cecilian Vespers

“Anne Emery has already won one Arthur Ellis Award for her first Monty Collins mystery, and this one should get her on the short list for another. Cecilian Vespers is slick, smart and populated with lively characters. It's also a nicely crafted mystery.” — Globe and Mail on Cecilian Vespers

“Emery continues to imbue her stories with a strong sense of place, using real Halifax street names and plenty of affectionate descriptions of the weather and countryside. Series readers will be pleased with the new story and character developments, as will those looking for a fresh setting.”— Booklist on Cecilian Vespers

“Emery, winner of Canada's 2006 Arthur Ellis Award for Best First Novel (Sign of the Cross), has written a finely plotted crime novel that incorporates some of the key still-unresolved issues confronting the Catholic Church in 1991, when the story takes place. Readers who enjoy ecclesiastical mysteries by William X. Kienzle and Julia Spencer-Fleming may want to try this one.” — Library Journal on Cecilian Vespers

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