Margaret Phillips is a powerful woman, one of the first of her sex to achieve the office of Archdeacon. She is intelligent, confident and capable, and though things have not always gone smoothly for her, she has reached a stage in her life where both her career and private life are harmonious. If there is one thing she can be sure of, it is the love and support of her husband Hal. Valerie Marler, best-selling author, is in control of her fictional world, a world where her privileged heroines always end up with the men of their dreams. She's in control of her own life as well: talented, beautiful, rich, and with as many men as she wants, Valerie calls the shots. Until she meets Hal Phillips, who revels in his status as a happily married man and who is not interested in what she has to offer. Rosemary Finch, the vicar's wife, hasn't been blessed with the same gifts as Valerie Marler; she is neither rich nor beautiful, and her life has not been an easy one. But she loves her husband, Gervase, and they both adore their Down's Syndrome daughter, Daisy. Then something happens which will shatter her equilibrium - she too meets Hal Phillips ... the man Valerie Marler wants and can't have.
Kate Charles, who was described by the Oxford Times as "a most English writer", is in fact an expatriate American, though an unashamedly Anglophilic one. She has a special interest and expertise in clerical mysteries, and lectures on crime novels with church backgrounds. After more than twenty years in Bedford, Kate and her husband now live in Ludlow with their Border Terrier, Rosie.
Kate is a former Chairman of the Crime Writers' Association and the Barbara Pym Society. She is a member of the prestigious Detection Club. In 2012 she was the recipient of the George N. Dove Award for Contributions to the Field of Crime Fiction, recognising her work as co-organiser of the St Hilda's Crime and Mystery Conference since 1994.
Her favourite hobby is visiting churches, and this interest is reflected in her various church society memberships, particularly WATCH (Women and the Church) and her enthusiastic support of Music in Country Churches. Kate also enjoys cooking, reading, music, and singing in the church choir.