Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Seeking the Dead (Joe Plantagenet, #1)” as Want to Read:
Seeking the Dead (Joe Plantagenet, #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Seeking the Dead (Joe Plantagenet #1)

3.88  ·  Rating details ·  372 Ratings  ·  43 Reviews
When Carmel Hennessy begins a new job in North Yorkshire, she finds the historic city of Eborby gripped by fear. A killer is on the prowl - a killer who binds and asphyxiates his victims before leaving their naked bodies in isolated country churchyards. The press are calling him the Resurrection Man.

Tragic events from the past link Carmel with new-kid-on-the-block DI Joe P
Hardcover, 330 pages
Published 2008 by Piatkus Books
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Seeking the Dead, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Seeking the Dead

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
Rating details
Sort: Default
Oct 15, 2016 rated it really liked it
Seeking the Dead is the first Joe Plantagenet book I've read. It's also the first in the series. I've read several of her Wesley Peterson series. These mix crime and archaeology in interesting ways. The Plantagenet series is more about history and ghosts mixed with crime and a touch of the supernatural, but it is an interesting mix. I think I'm partial to the first series perhaps because I've read more of them, plus I'm not a particular fan of ghost stories.

This first novel introduces DI Joe Pl
First Sentence: Things that frighten the devil away.

Carmel Hennessy’s small flat in the house owned by her boss at the Archeology Center. She also feels it has a ghost and wonders if it’s connected to the Ghost Tour that always stops and points to her bedroom. She turns to DI Joe Plantagenet, former partner of her father who was killed, when she starts receiving anonymous threats. The naked body of a woman is found in the churchyard. Rather than newly dead, it is realized she had been stunned, s
Dec 31, 2016 rated it really liked it
4.5 Stars. This is the first book in a new series and by a new author for me, but it won't be the last. I found the book to be very enjoyable and very readable with plenty to hold your interest and get you involved in the story. The lead character, Joe Plantagenet, was training to be a priest before he dropped out and became a police man. He makes for a good detective and I look forward to getting to know him better in future books in the series. It is pleasing to see an author that gives you en ...more
Nov 28, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the first in the Joe Plantagenet mystery series. I read the second by mistake previously. It didn't affect my enjoyment of this story at all. The series is set in Yorkshire and DI Plantagenet is an ex-priest (or more correctly, he was in training for priesthood but fell in love and left it) who is involved trying to solve the Resurrection Man murders. A new DCI, Emily Thwait, adds to the story. It's an interesting, very involved mystery, which goes in different directions. Joe also is lo ...more
Theunis Snyman
May 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
A highly enjoyable police procedural. I guessed who the killer was, but the reason why was a real surprise.
Brenda H
Dec 30, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Joe Plantagenet is newly transferred to the police dept of Eborby. He gave up his post in London after the death of his long-time partner and friend and has come to Eborby for a calmer life.

However, life in Eborby is anything but safe at the moment as a serial killer -- the Resurrection Man -- is on the loose. The killer binds and asphyxiates his victims before leaving their naked bodies to be found in isolated church graveyards.

The book was well-written with a fast pace and interesting characte
Dec 31, 2016 rated it really liked it
Seeking The Dead by Kate Ellis
Joe Plantagenet Series Book #1

From The Book:
When Carmel Hennessy begins a new job in North Yorkshire, she finds the historic city of Eborby gripped by fear. A killer is on the prowl - a killer who binds and asphyxiates his victims before leaving their naked bodies in isolated country churchyards. The press are calling him the Resurrection Man.

Tragic events from the past link Carmel with new-kid-on-the-block DI Joe Plantagenet, who, with his new boss, DCI Emily
Carol Kerry-green
Apr 25, 2010 rated it really liked it
Okay, I seem to be on a Crime reading odyssey at the moment:-) Seeking the Dead is set in the fictional city of Ebory which is based on York, it was fun trying to guess the areas of York where the book was set, as having lived there for two years I'm fairly familiar with the area, and you get a real feelling of place in this novel.

Joe Plantagenet is a DI in Ebory working on a murder investigation of a possible serial killer who the local press have dubbed The Resurrection Man, after his habit of
Dec 31, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 500-series, read-2016
This was my first Kate Ellis book but it won't be my last. I found her writing to be very enjoyable and I loved her research about the city of York. Sounds like a very unique place to visit in the future. Her characters were very well-drawn and interesting. The plot was good with unexpected twists that kept the pages flying. I will definitely be reading more from this author in the future and highly recommend her books to those who love historical mysteries.
4.5 stars
Dec 31, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery
This was an entertaining mystery. Joe Plantegenet's a pretty cool guy. Not so fond of his boss, who is not the most honest person in the world and a little unstable, I think. Good characterization, in general. I did figure it out pretty easily, and wonder how intriguing upcoming stories will be. Love the setting, as I've been to Yorkshire once, and I have a bit of a "real" picture in the back of my mind.
I finally got around to starting this series and am so glad I did. I found this a highly engaging police procedural that kept me on the edge of my seat.

Joe Plantagenet is a very appealing lead and I enjoyed he occult overtones to the story.
Aug 13, 2017 rated it it was ok
If it wasn't for the fact that it was about another serial killer who tortures his victims I might've like the story.
Andrea Bowhill
Oct 09, 2009 rated it really liked it
There would always be wrongs and rights, thieves and murderers to apprehend it's the way of the world ever since Cain first lost his temper with his brother Abel. These thoughts plagued DI Joe Plantagenet as he was just another official trying to bring the wrongdoers to justice, a serial killer was on the loose in the historical Yorkshire city of Eborby. The town will always be imprinted with Roman, Viking, medieval and Civil War but death from unnatural causes seemed to be captivating the news ...more
Feb 08, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
#1 Joe Plantagenet police procedural set in the fictional Eborby in Yorkshire, UK. Joe is a DI who has suffered a number of losses in his relatively young life--widowhood only a few months after marrying, his cop partner Kevin's death in a shooting that also injured Joe.

A serial killer seems to be on the loose, one who is particularly cruel--abducting his victim, restraining them, putting them in a coffin and letting them suffocate to death--and then displaying them in a rural churchyard locati
Ant Koplowitz
Jan 14, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2017
Seeking the Dead by Kate Ellis is set in a fictional town in Yorkshire and is billed as a "Joe Plantagenet mystery". But after reading it is didn't feel I really knew Joe or any of the other characters any better than at the start. All I can really recall is that Joe Plantagenet likes Chinese food, red wine and lives in a nice flat in a trendy part of fictional Eborby.

The plot focuses on a serial killer who is dumping dead bodies in local churchyards, and there's some occult or black magic conn
This is the first book in a series that introduces some interesting characters and an intriguing plot. Carmel Hennessey begins a new job in Eborby, North Yorkshire, a town where a killer is on the loose, tying up and asphyxiating victims before leaving their bodies in churchyards. When she begins to receive threats, she contacts DI Joe Plantagenet, former partner of her father and the man in charge of the new case. He and his boss, DCI Emily Thwaite are having problems seeing the connection betw ...more
Aug 21, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the first book in a series featuring Jo
Plantagenet, a detective based in Eborly, a thinly disguised version of York, UK. The Resurrection Man has got the city on edge with a series of seemingly unconnected bodies found around the area. As Jo and his newly arrived DCI Emily Thwait investigate, they are drawn into a Satanic cult that seems to be thriving. Jo is also keeping an eye on the daughter of his former partner who has just moved to Eborly.

I especially enjoyed the descriptions of
May 31, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: crime-modern
c2008: FWFTB: Eborby, asphyxiates, churchyards, malevolent, cunning. Ms Ellis is certainly not a succinct writer. The plotting ambles along and everything does come together at the end. But, sadly, no part of the solution was difficult to work out and I had worked out both the murderer and the reasons etc. well before the end. Somehow, I managed to get to the end. I did like the characters and that was probably the saving grace. If you are looking for a book that neatly combines some historical ...more
Oct 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mysteries
I love Kate Ellis' Wesley Peterson mysteries so when I learned about another series, I had to check it out and I was not disappointed. While DI Joe Plantagenet is neither archaeologist nor historian, he is an excellent detective who pulls together the clues to the newest Yorkshire serial killer who kidnaps, and asphyxiates his victims and dumps them in local graveyards. When the clues intersect the life of Plantagenet's new boss DCI Emily Thwaite, things go awry.

Ellis draws readers into the plo
Sherry Mackay
Jul 31, 2014 rated it liked it
Yes I did enjoy this murder thriller with Satanism and a ghost thrown in. I love a good crime novel and this was not bad. I do have to say the main character joe Plantagenet was a bit lack lustre. I didn't get much of a feel for his character and he didn't seem very interesting or particularly bright. The ending was quite rushed too as suddenly we are swept along into finding out who the murderer is, and who has been manipulating him into it and whammo it's all over. These are minor quibbles tho ...more
Apr 05, 2014 rated it liked it
Galloped through this one, which is the first in a series featuring Joe Plantagenet and set in "Eborby" (nice name for York - ecclesiastical Latin with Scandinavian ending). If you know York at all, even a bit, it is very recognisable. Mixture of history & mystery, a serial killer on the loose with links to victims - or not?, a ghost story and a mystery in the past, and a detective who once started to train as a priest. I did work out who the killer was although not the motive behind the kil ...more
Dec 18, 2010 rated it it was ok
Shelves: read-as-an-adult
Joe Plantagenet must be one of the most incurious detectives in England. I lost count of the times he felt something wasn't right but then made an excuse to himself rather than pursue his thought. The story wasn't as well developed as her Wesley Peterson books. The saying "a mile wide and an inch deep" kept creeping into my mind. I was reading every word but it felt as though I was skimming.
Oct 28, 2010 rated it really liked it
I really liked this book. It is set in York but they name is Eborby and it has all the elements of a good mystery. It involved a schitzophrenic murdering people because he thought they were cursed by the devil. It also involved some ghosts and a little satanic ritual. I give this book 4 out of 5 stars.
Apr 04, 2016 rated it liked it
I think I might have enjoyed this book more had I not listened to it on audio. The narrator was very slow paced and his regional accents were not authentic. I did think of giving up on it but was glad I didn't as the plot was interesting and more exciting towards the end. So...not the author's fault but if I read more in the series it will not be on audio.
Jul 10, 2011 rated it liked it
first book in a new series by one of my favorite British authors. Present day mystery dealing with the past, a bit of black magic, a girl ghost thrown in a couple of times, good characters, mystery unravels about the various deaths that took place to a surprising conclusion. Looking forward to the second book in the series.
Gary Van Cott
3.5 Stars. I have read most of the author's Wesley Peterson series and decided to try this one. While she still includes events of the past she has a avoided the rigid formula of the Wesley Peterson books, for the better I think. I thought the characters were good but the solution to the crimes was too easy to guess.
Dec 30, 2016 rated it really liked it
Joe Plantagenet is investigating the string of murders committed by the Resurrection Man. The deeper his investigation the weirder the details become and the deeper the suspect pool gets. This is a well written start to the series with many great characters and lots of clues that keep you guessing until the very end.
Jan 16, 2016 rated it really liked it
Liked Ellis' Wesley Peterson series so much that I wanted to try this series of her's with a different character, DI Joe Plantagenet. Good catchy start. The author pretty much lets you guess who the crazed killer is very early on, but in the end there is an 'ot-oh' moment which is soon followed by a 'What!' Good read and will also look forward to book #2 in this series.
Angela Shields
Mar 26, 2013 rated it really liked it
An excellent murder mystery with plenty of twists and turns. There are many clues dropped along the way and the picture gradually builds up. It is supposed to be set in Eborby, North Yorkshire but it is obviously York and if you have ever visited York, then it is quite recognisable. It is a perfect setting for the ghostly side of the story. The characters are rounded and believable.
Paula Montgomery
Aug 23, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The story begins with a serial killer and no suspects, so all interviewed are suspects. There are many sub plots and little paths to get to the killer and the author manages to tie them all together. A good read.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • The Cipher Garden (Lake District Mystery #2)
  • Tug of War (Joe Sandilands, #6)
  • The Fabric of Sin (Merrily Watkins, #9)
  • Empire of Bones
  • The Vows of Silence (Simon Serailler, #4)
  • Murder in Midwinter (Libby Sarjeant, #3)
  • The Red Dahlia (Anna Travis #2)
  • The Innocent Spy (DI Ted Stratton, #1)
  • Where Death Delights (Dr Richard Pryor Mystery #1)
  • Death In Disguise (Chief Inspector Barnaby, #3)
  • Making A Killing (The Romney and Marsh Files #2)
  • The Death of an Ardent Bibliophile (Peter McGarr, #11)
  • Die with Me (Mark Tartaglia, #1)
  • A Woman of Consequence (A Dido Kent Mystery #3)
  • Finders Keepers (Exmoor Trilogy, #3)
  • Fearful Symmetry
  • Lucifer's Shadow
Kate Ellis was born and brought up in Liverpool and she studied drama in Manchester. She worked in teaching, marketing and accountancy before first enjoying writing success as a winner of the North West Playwrights competition. Crime and mystery stories have always fascinated her, as have medieval history and archaeology which she likes to incorporate in her books. She is married with two grown up ...more
More about Kate Ellis

Other books in the series

Joe Plantagenet (5 books)
  • Playing With Bones (Joe Plantagenet, #2)
  • Kissing the Demons (Joe Plantagenet, #3)
  • Watching the Ghosts (Joe Plantagent, #4)
  • Walking by Night (A Joe Plantagenet Mystery #5)