Linda Castillo is an incredibly well-known American novelist, and she is well known for the romance and suspense novels she started her career writing.
However, since the start of her career, she has shifted her focus to the Kate Burkholder series which is now what has led to most of her success.
These are crime thrillers that take place in the Amish country and follow a younger girl who lives in Painters Mill which is a town in Ohio.
She survived being attacked by a serial killer, however, she realized that she did not belong in her community, and now years later is asked to return to be the Chief of Police in the town.
One passion that is easy to recognize in a lot of Linda Castillo’s work is the passion that she has for horses.
They are mentioned relatively often in her work, and she lives on a Ranch with her husband in Texas where they own two Blue Heelers and three Appaloosas.
In this guide we will be going over all of Linda Castillo’s published books going as early as 2000, however, we will be mostly focusing on Kate Burkholder since this is her longest series to date and the one which you should know how to read in order.
So, if you are interested in Castillo’s work, then keep reading to get the information you are after!
More About Linda Castillo Books
As mentioned in the introduction, Linda Castillo’s most popular series is her Kate Burkholder series, however, we can see what influenced this writing when we look at her other earlier series.
If you are interested in her Kate Burkholder series, this is where we recommend you start. However, since this is such a long series it can be easy to get burnt out.
Because of this, we recommend trying some of her earlier series if you want to give Burkholder a break!
Linda Castillo Books In Order
As we mentioned in the introduction, we will primarily be focusing on the Kate Burkholder series since this is where most of Linda Castillo’s work is contained, and this is the series that is recommended you know the order in which to read the most.
This series is long and can be difficult to work through, so we do not recommend trying to read it all in one go.
Because of this, try breaking up this series by checking out some of her earlier work, which we will mention after the Kate Burkholder series.
The Kate Burkholder Series Order
The Kate Burkholder series is incredibly long but it is rewarding to read and the character of Kate is an interesting one to follow.
Since the series is so long, people often do not know how to approach it, so read this guide to get all the information you need on how to read this series!
The first story in the Kate Burkholder series takes place in Painters Mill Ohio and we are introduced to Kate who in her youth survived the series of murders that took place in her hometown, and now 16 years later she is back working as the chief of police investigating a new murder.
- Great at setting up the rest of the Kate Burkholder series
- Will let you know if you will enjoy the series.
The follow up to the original Kate Burkholder follows the Planks who want to continue their peaceful life after moving to Painters Mill, however, when all seven of them are found dead, Kate Burkholder needs to work out what happened.
- The story of the Planks is interesting to learn.
- Pales in comparison to the first story.
We follow the model farmer Slabaugh family whose parents and the uncle die from a gruesome methane poisoning due to a poorly ventilated cesspit, however, when one of them is found to have a head injury, it is likely there is more to it.
- The Slabaught family death is interesting to uncover
- Kate’s role is more minor
We return to Painters Mill during Rumspringa when the teens can live without rules, however, when one of these teens goes missing with no trace, the fun quickly comes to an end.
- Following the teens is a nice change of pace
- Less engaging mystery
This is a short story in the Kate Burkholder series taking place in autumn following Kate and John on a vacation that gets cut short following rumors of a haunting.
- The first short story is refreshing
- A lot less intense
We follow Kate Burkholder investigating a hit and run which claimed the lives of family friends.
- The personal attachment adds more tension
- A hit-and-run is a little less interesting
We follow Kate uncovering the truth of an apparent suicide with more to it than she initially assumed.
- Complex narrative
- Some of the characters are hard to follow
Another short story follows a baby who was left on the front porch of the bishop.
- Another good short story to break the rhythm
- Less interesting than later short stories
A tornado going through Painters Mill uncovered human remains, so Kate has to uncover the truth about a 30 year old case.
- The old case is interesting to uncover
- A little less engaging
This short story takes place in autumn following Kate when she was 14.
- Seeing young Kate is refreshing
- Fewer stakes
Kate is called up to New York to investigate a case taking place in a reclusive settlement for the Amish.
- The change of setting is nice
- The setting is a little less believable
This short story follows a teen party that turns deadly.
- Another teen story is refreshing
- A bit redundant compared with a similar story
A murderer in the community has escaped prison and is now returning for revenge.
- Interesting antagonist
- More oppressive tone
A short story following an amnesiac woman who knows someone is after her.
- One of the better short stories
- Wish it was longer
A body of an 18 year old is found in a historic burnt-down barn.
- Unique premise
- Slower pacing
A short story investigating the victim of what seemed to be a simple hit and run.
- Great pacing
- Second hit-and-run story
A grandmother is found dead and her 7 year old granddaughter is missing.
- Unique setup
- Narrative a little slow
A thanksgiving themed short story.
- Relief from the tension
- Feels a little too seasonal
A car is found stuck in a snowdrift with an unconscious woman inside.
- Mystery is fun to solve
- Kate feels a little more detached
This short story follows missing kids on a stormy night.
- Good pacing
- One of the weaker short stories
A former resident of Painters Mill is found dead.
- The victim is interesting to learn about
- Some chapter lag
An aggressive animal is on the loose in Painters Mill.
- Unique setup
- Feels a little too campy sometimes
A bishop who went missing a decade ago has his remains show up.
- Bishop and his story is interesting to learn about
- Familiar setup
A beloved figure in the community is discovered to have been killed by a crossbow.
- Characters at their best
- Poor pacing
Linda Castillo’s Other Series
On top of the Kate Burkholder series, Linda Castillo has also penned 2 other shorter series before this series started.
This is the High County Heroes Series and the Operation: Midnight series, we will mention both here so you can see if they are the types of books that will interest you!
High County Heroes Series Order
This series starts with us following an amnesiac pregnant woman who is being targeted by someone who wants her dead. We then follow her romance with her savior.
Each entry in this series follows a similar formula with the series being mostly self-contained but carrying over certain themes and elements. If you are interested you can read them in this order;
Operation: Midnight Series Order
In a similar style to her previous series, the Operation: Midnight Tango series follows different couples and romantic situations usually revolving around secret agents and the CIA.
This theme is slightly different from the previous trilogy. This is her last series before Kate Burkholder, so if you want to see how her writing style developed before this series, this is the best place to look!
- Operation: Midnight Tango (2005)
- Operation: Midnight Escape (2005)
- Operation: Midnight Guardian (2006)
- Operation: Midnight Rendezvous (2006)
- Operation: Midnight Cowboy (2005)
Other Linda Castillo Books
On top of her series Linda Castillo also has some standalone stories which we recommend checking out, here they are in order of publication, there is no recommended order since they are all individual stories!
- Remember the Night (Men in Blue) (2000)
- Cops and … Lovers? (2001)
- The Perfect Victim (2002)
- Midnight Run (2003)
- The Phoenix Encounter (2003)
- The Shadow Side (2003)
- Uncharted Waters (2003)
- Fade to Red (2004)
- Dead Reckoning (2005)
- Depth Perception (2005)
- A Whisper In the Dark (2006)
- A Baby Before Dawn (2007)
- In the Dead of the Night (2007)
- Overkill (2007)
Hopefully this guide will help you with getting more familiar with Linda Castillo’s work and will help you approach reading her various series.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Is Linda Castillo Known For?
Linda Castillo is most well known for her Kate Burkholder series of novels that have been published since 2009.
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