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Seeking the Dead

(Joe Plantagenet #1)

3.87  ·  Rating details ·  455 ratings  ·  50 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-bl
Hardcover, 330 pages
Published 2008 by Piatkus Books
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Average rating 3.87  · 
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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 P
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 stu
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.
Valerie Campbell Ackroyd
Very good mystery with supernatural overtones

I have enjoyed Kate Ellis’ Wesley Peterson series and this one set in York (although its name has been change to Eborby in the book) is just as enjoyable. There are some differences (almost role reversals) between the two series beyond the locale: the DI, Joe Plantagenet, is single and his DCI is a woman, Emily Thwaite. Whereas in the Wesley Peterson books, Wesley’s marital ups and downs are prominent and his DCI is a rather disheveled man with romanc
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
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 Plantage
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
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
Dec 31, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-2016, 500-series
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
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.
Nicky Warwick
May 17, 2019 rated it did not like it
A disappointing book.
I've enjoyed some of Kate Ellis's "Wesley Peterson" books in the past so thought this would be worth a read.
It wasn't really. Which is a shame as it could have been a good story if it wasn't padded with repetition (saying the same things over & over, just in a slightly different way) & far too much superfluous information about the characters & the environment (it felt like Ms Ellis's philosophy was why use one word when you can use half a dozen). ...more
Susan Atkin
Jan 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Read for a book group. Thoroughly enjoyed it from start to finish. Loved how easy it was to read yet kept be enthralled with its story. Did not confuse or complicate. I don’t like series of books but I may be tempted to read the next one! Couldn’t fault any of it and it was set in Yorkshire. Perfect!
Jul 14, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: not-great
I wanted to like this series, I really liked the premise, but I really struggled to get into this book. I didn't particularly like any of the characters - I didn't particularly dislike them either - I just didn't feel like I got to know any of them. So, at the end of the book, I didn't care about them enough to continue.
Feb 25, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: mystery
I am just not sure about this one, I finished the book but it really seemed a bit slow moving for my taste. The writing was well done and I did enjoy the characters so wasn't that bad . Good mystery story as a hole
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.
Ivana Richards
Jan 08, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A great book.
Oct 15, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I was expecting something more spooky judging by the book blurb and was a bit disappointed. However the story is fine although rather predictable, I worked it out quite early.
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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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

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 (Joe Plantagenet #5)