Below you will find a selection of Catholic novels, some new and some old, but all are enjoyably compelling and enriching. The purpose of the featured novels is not to preach, but to entertain while remaining compatible with traditional Catholic values. You don’t have to wonder if these books fit into a traditional Catholic lifestyle. Enjoy!
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Science Fiction
Women’s Fiction
Young Adult

NOTE: Visit the Reviews & News page to read various reviews of the following books.

Current Novels (published after 1960):

The Samurai and the Tea: A Legacy of Japan’s Early Christians
by Cathy Brueggemann Beil
Published in 2003 by Cereus Publications
The Samurai and the Tea is a historical novel. Michael, a fourteen-year-old Japanese American boy of mixed ancestry, wants to be strong as a Samurai. When a mysterious Tea Ceremony set carries him back in time to the days of the real Samurai, Michael learns there is more to the Samurai than he’d ever imagined.

Under a Changing Moon
by Margot Benary-Isbert
Originally published in 1964
Republished in 1998 by Bethlehem Books
Under a Changing Moon is a charming “coming-of-age” story. Seventeen-year-old Paula has just left behind convent boarding school — to go home. She hasn’t been back home for more than two years, and isn’t quite prepared for her five rambunctious brothers, two eccentric maiden aunts, bibliophile uncle, and 89 year-old Babbett, not to mention the demands laid on her by energetic Mama. . . .

Sons of Cain
by Val Bianco
Published in 2011 by Lepanto Group, LLC
Sons of Cain is a true Catholic thriller, shockingly pertinent to the times we live in. Read our full review here.

The Endless Knot
by William L. Biersach
Published in 2001 by Tumblar House
The Endless Knot is a Catholic mystery. Father Baptist, cop-turned-priest, faces a problem: Who is killing the Catholic bishops of Los Angeles? One by one, they’re dying horribly. . .

The Darkness Did Not
by William L. Biersach
Published in 2004 by Tumblar House
Something is loose in the City of Angels, and the police are not only stumped …. but afraid. With such ominous events transpiring and each day bringing new terrors, there is only person to whom they can turn — ex-cop-turned-priest Fr. John Baptist.

The Search for Saint Valeria
by William L. Biersach
Published in 2005 by Tumblar House
Life is never dull in William Biersach’s mythical city of Los Angeles. In The Search for Saint Valeria, the third entry in the series, cop-turned-priest Fr. John Baptist and his faithful sidekick, gardener and chronicler, Martin Feeney, are once again on the trail of the unusual and strange.

Out of the Depths
by William L. Biersach
Published in 2007 by Tumblar House
It’s happening again! Los Angeles, the City of Angels, is once more besieged by the bizarre and the strange! A fresh but unidentified corpse, dressed as a priest, turns up in a niche in a mausoleum, while a trusted assistant of the Cardinal is kidnapped, and two precious objects disappear with him. . . .

Rachel’s Contrition
by Michelle Buckman
Published in 2010 by Sophia Institute Press
Rachel’s Contrition is about a young woman who had nothing, won it all, and then lost everything. After the death of her daughter, grief-spawned delusions cause Rachel to lose her husband, her home, and custody of her son. Help arrives from two unlikely sources: a young teen, Lilly, battling her own demons, and a tattered holy card depicting Saint Therese of Lisieux. As Rachel grows closer to Lilly and comes to know Saint Therese, unbidden memories from her edgy past reveal fearful mysteries of seduction, madness, and murder . . . and a truth that will haunt her forever.

Saint George: Knight of Lydda
by Anthony Cooney
Published in 2005 by Ihs Press
Saint George: Knight of Lydda is a stirring historical novel based on the life of the brave hero Saint George, a Christian and a Roman cavalry officer during the persecution-filled latter days of the pagan Empire.

Fisher of Men
by Terry Cross
Published in 2010 by Tumblar House
In the mystery Fisher of Men, divers are disappearing without a trace near San Clemente Island in California.

Poor Banished Children
by Fiorella De Maria
Published in 2011 by Ignatius Press
Poor Banished Children is a truly unforgettable historical novel about rejection, survival, despair, and redemption. Read our full review here.

The Shadow of the Bear
by Regina Doman
Originally published in 1997 under the title Snow White and Rose Red
Republished in 2002 by Bethlehem Books
The Shadow of the Bear is the story of two sisters in New York City, timid Blanche and fearless Rose, who meet a mysterious stranger, Bear, who comes to their door one snowy night.

Black as Night
by Regina Doman
Originally published in 2004 by Bethlehem Books
Republished by Chesterton Press
In Black as Night, seven friars working among the homeless in New York City discover a runaway girl on their doorstep.

Waking Rose
by Regina Doman
Published in 2007 by Chesterton Press
Waking Rose is about a vibrant young woman who has a tragic accident and falls into a coma. The only person who can help is a young man who is too afraid to be anyone’s knight in shining armor.

The Midnight Dancers
by Regina Doman
Published in 2008 by Chesterton Press
The Midnight Dancers is a modern retelling of “The Twelve Dancing Princesses.” The clever plot combines summer romance with the deeper question of: why do some find goodness to be boring?

Alex O’Donnell and the 40 CyberThieves
by Regina Doman
Pulished in 2010 by Chesterton Press
Alex O’Donnell and the 40 CyberThieves is a high-tech thriller for ages 13 and up. Alex returns from college to find that his dad, a computer hacker and software programmer, has inadvertently discovered a mysterious website which leads to sudden wealth. But at what cost?
Read our review here (you may need to scroll down to find it.)

Toward the Gleam
by T. M. Doran
Pulished in 2011 by Ignatius Press
Between the two world wars, on a hike in the English countryside, Professor John Hill takes refuge from a violent storm in a cave. There he nearly loses his life, but he also makes an astonishing discovery — an ancient manuscript housed in a cunningly crafted metal box.

In Name Only
by Ellen Gable
Published in 2009 by Full Quiver Publishing
In Name Onlyis a powerful Catholic historical romance set in1876 Philadelphia. Follow nineteen-year-old Caroline Martin through the course of several years during which she faces challenges and heartaches . . . Read the full review here (you may need to scroll down to find it.)

Stealing Jenny
by Ellen Gable
Published in 2011 by Full Quiver Publishing
Stealing Jennyis a smoothly written, chilling tail of gripping suspense. Catholic faith and hope are tested in this contemporary story involving the kidnapping of a young pregnant mother. Read our full review here.

The Blood Red Crescent
by Henry Garnett
Published in 2007 by Sophia Institute Press
The Blood Red Crescent, set in the 1500s, is about a fourteen-year-old boy who becomes involved in the legendary Battle of Lepanto. In this historical tale of Catholic heroism, courage, and holiness, readers of all ages will be reminded that when the Faith is threatened, extraordinary valor may be demanded of any one of us, even the very young.

Crossbows and Crucifixes:
A Novel of the Priest Hunters and the
Brave Young Men Who Fought Them

by Henry Garnett
Published in 2009 by Imagio / Sophia Institute Press
Crossbows and Crucifixes–What a title! In this adventure for all ages, the author brings to life the drama of a nation where unjust laws forced good men and women to choose between their country and their Faith, and young people heed early and well the call to heroism that Christians must be ever ready to heed. Set in 1585 England.

Visionary by Michael Hallford
Published in 2008 by Tumblar House
Slacker reporter, Jim Jacobson, is sent to cover the visit of the mystic-prophet figure, Nigel Fox. Jacobson’s skepticism is exceeded only by his self doubt and remorse about his own life and roots. Before the day is over he will be hurled into an adventure that spans sixty years of history, the events of a world war, a beautiful and ill-fated love affair set in the backdrop of eastern Orthodox spirituality. . . .

North of Hope
by Jon Hassler
Originally published in 1990 by Ballantine
Republished in 2006 by Loyola Press

Frozen Footprints
by Therese Heckenkamp
Published in 2012 by Tumblar House
When a wealthy young man disappears and a ransom note shows up, his twin sister’s world is shattered. Fearing the worst, Charlene determines to find her brother before it’s too late. Her quest hurls her into a twisted, frigid world of icy terror.

Past Suspicion
by Therese Heckenkamp
Originally published in 2003 by Publish America
Republished in 2012 by Ivory Tower Press
Past Suspicion is a modern suspense story about a teen on a quest to unravel the dangerous secrets of her mother’s past. Read reviews here.

Mitre and Crook
by Rev. Bryan Houghton
Published in 1979 by Arlington House
Mitre and Crook is an impressive novel about a Roman Catholic bishop who dares to resist the modernizing changes taking place in the church. An exciting read about a true champion of the Faith!

Murder in the Vatican
by Ann Margaret Lewis
Published in 2010 by Gasogene Books
Murder in the Vatican lets you follow the great Sherlock Holmes as he investigates three baffling cases at the “express desire of his Holiness, the Pope.” Stories include “The Death of Cardinal Tosca,” “The Vatican Cameos,” and “The Second Coptic Patriarch.”

The Bank of Infinite Reserves
by Leo Madigan
Published in 1997 by Summersdale Publishers

The Weka-Feather Cloak: A New Zealand Fantasy
by Leo Madigan
Published in 2002 by Bethlehem Books

Windswept House: A Vatican Novel
by Malachi Martin
Originally published in 1996 by Doubleday
Republished in 1998 by Main Street Books

Death in the Choir
by Lorraine V. Murray
Published in 2009 by Tumblar House
In Death in the Choir, widow Francesca is looking for love, not a murder mystery, when she joins the choir at St. Rita’s Catholic Church. But she may just find both . . .
Read our review here.

The Search for the Madonna
by Donna Alice Patton
Published in 2010 by Behold Publications/Ecce Homo Press
The Search for the Madonna, set during the Great Depression, is an adventure novel for ages 10 and up. Dreaming of a bright future without anymore worries, Maggie is determined to unlock the secrets of the legendary lost Brandenburg treasure.

The Gift of Summer Snow: A Tale from the Garden of Mysteries 
by Donna Alice Patton
Published in 2010 by Philothea Press
In this mystery novel, eleven-year-old Becky discovers that someone has been snipping her prize-winning rose, Summer Snow. She sets out to catch the culprit…
Read our review here.

Roses are Red, Diamonds are Blue
by Donna Alice Patton
Published in 2013 by MuseItUp Publishing
Where’s the Anastasia? It’s been almost a year since Laura Barkley’s husband, a museum curator, was murdered and the fabled Anastasia Diamond stolen. A long year filled with accusations, too many accidents directed toward Laura and her twins, plus plenty of soul searching…
Read our review here.

Finding Grace
by Laura Pearl
Published in 2012 by Bezalel Books
At the age of thirteen, Grace Kelly (who has been saddled with the name of a world-renowned beauty, but is far from one herself ) is inspired by an offhand comment from her father to become a saint.
Read our review here.

Crusader King: Novel of Baldwin IV and the Crusades by Susan Peek
Published in 2009 by TAN Books

Historical novel about the unusual life of King Baldwin IV of Jerusalem, the leper crusader king who–despite ascending to the throne at only 13, his early death at 24 and his debilitating disease–performed great and heroic deeds in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds.

A Soldier Surrenders: The Conversion of Saint Camillus de Lellis by Susan Peek
Published in 2007 by Ignatius Press
The story of St. Camillus is one that is filled with an intriguing combination of drama, military battles, sickness and disease, conversion to God, and great charity for countless suffering people, be they dying soldiers, prisoners or patients in the hospitals that he founded.

Glory of the Olive: A Novel of the Time of Tribulation
by Susan Claire Potts
Published in 2002 by IUniverse

Angels in Iron
by Nicholas C. Prata
Published in 2004 by Arx Publishing

The Spanish Match
by Brennan Pursell
Published in 2011 by Sophia Institute Press
The Spanish Match is a historical novel about the courtship of Prince Charles of England and Princess Maria of Catholic Spain. Murder, mayhem, and religion fustrate the royal courtship that, through love, seeks to make peace between warring enemies England and Spain: A novel based on actual events.

Crown of the World: Knight of the Temple
by Nathan Sadasivan
Published in 2009 by Arx Publishing
Crown of the World is a vivid Crusade story about Godfrey de Montferrat, a young Templar knight who swore an oath to defend the Kingdom of Jerusalem.

The Rose Round
by Meriol Trevor
Originally Published in 1963
Republished by Bethlehem Books

Trianon: A Novel of Royal France
by Elena Maria Vidal
Published in 2000 by Neumann Press
Trianon: A Novel of Royal France is an historical novel, a love story, and so much more. This is the story of the martyred King Louis XVI and his Queen, Antoinette, who can only be fully understood in light of the Catholic beliefs to which they held fast.

Madame Royale
by Elena Maria Vidal
Published in 2000 by Neumann Press
Madame Royale is the captivating sequel to Trianon. This historical Catholic novel focuses on the daughter of Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette as she searches for her little lost brother during the time of the French Revolutionary Age.

by Thomas Ward
Published in 2010 by Tumblar House
Interlander, a Catholic science fiction novel, is set in London 2065, where society has continued its advancement in both philosophy and technology. People no longer suffer the hardships which previous generations faced. However, Sam Moorcroft, a teenager, is drawn to a particular village, primitive in nature. Designed as a sociological experiment, the village has no connection or knowledge of the outside world.

by Gerard D. Webster
Published in 2009 by Outskirts Press
In-Sight has received the Catholic Writers Guild Seal of Approval!
In-Sight is also a Readers Favorite 2009 Award Winner!
Our review of In-Sight can be found here.

The Soul Reader
by Gerard D. Webster
Published in 2011 by WestBow Press
In The Soul Reader, sequel to In-Sight, Ward McNulty’s life is fast flowing downhill after a tragic accident, a painful breakup, and the murder of his father. Ward lost his job, and now he’s losing his home. Just as he is preparing to move back in with his mother, ex-girlfriend Carrie Hope re-enters his life, trying to convince him to collaborate on a high-profile book dealing with the disastrous North Beach Project. Read our review here.

Old Novels (originally published before 1961):

Lord of the World
by Robert Hugh Benson
Originally published in 1908 by Isaac Pitman & Sons
Republished in 2011 by CreateSpace
Lord of the World is science fiction, Catholic style. The story involves a new world order and the Antichrist. Fulton Sheen described this novel as one of the three greatest depictions of the advent of the demonic world.

Come Rack! Come Rope!
by Robert Hugh Benson
Originally published in 1912
Republished in 2010 by Qontro Classic Books
Come Rack! Come Rope! is the most captivating novel ever written about the struggles and sufferings of Catholics during the Reformation and the reign of Queen Elizabeth I of England.

The King’s Achievement
by Robert Hugh Benson
Originally published in 1905
Republished in 2011 by Tredition Classics
The King’s Achievement is an epic story set during the dissolution of the monasteries under Henry VIII. It is Robert Hugh Benson’s second in a series intended to relate the story of the English Reformation in fictional form from the Catholic point of view.
Priest on Horseback
by Eva K. Betz
Originally published in 1958
Republished in 2001 by Neumann Press
Priest on Horseback is an exciting historical novel involving Father Farmer’s experiences in colonial America as he provides Mass and the sacraments to the people. When Father comes to the aid of a man whose fiancee is sold as servant, adventures abound.
The Good Bad Boy
by Father Gerald Brennan
Originally published in 1941
Republished in 2002 by Neumann Press
The Good Bad Boy is a story of an eight-grade boy who attends Catholic grade school. Entertainingly written in diary form.
A Case of Conscience
by Isabel C. Clarke
Published in 1927 by Benziger Brothers
370 pages
Pray love, remember
by Consolata Carroll (Sister Mary Consolata)
Published in 1947 by Farrar, Straus and Company
I hear in my heart
by Consolata Carroll (Sister Mary Consolata)
Published in 1949 by Farrar, Straus and Company
The Man Who was Thursday
by G. K. Chesterton
Originally published in 1908
Republished in 2009 by CreateSpace
The Blue Gonfalon
by Margaret Anne Hubbard
Published in 1960 by Doubleday & Company Inc.
The Blue Gonfalon at the First Crusade is a thrilling story about a young man who wins knighthood in Europe in the year 1099, at the time of the First Crusade.
The Hills were Liars
by Riley Hughes
Published in 1955 by Bruce Publishing Co.
The Hills were Liars is a Catholic science fiction novel of the post-atomic age, when civilization has been almost completely demolished. Those who remain are scattered, living as in the Stone Age. Kevin, a young man, embarks on a quest, finds love, and more.
The Nun’s Story
by Kathryn Hulme
Published in 1956 by Little, Brown and Company

Superstition Corner
by Sheila Kay-Smith
Originally published in 1934
Republished in 2006 by Neumann Press
Superstition Corner is a historical novel about the real persecution of Catholics, about the loyal Catholics who dared to resist the Established Church under Elizabeth I in England.
Convent Boarding School
Life With Nuns of Another Time
by Virginia A. Kenny
Originally published in 1944 by Sheed & Ward, Inc.
Republished by Roman Catholic Books
The Song at the Scaffold
by Gertrud von Le Fort
Originally published in 1931
Republished in 1993 by Neumann Press
The Song at the Scaffold is an intense novelette of 111 pages, set during the French Revolution, and focuses on the Carmelite Convent at Compiegne during this time. The brutal climax involves the martyrdom of sixteen Carmelite nuns.
Forgive and Forget
by Ernst Lingen
Published in 1913 by Benziger Brothers
The Boy Knight of Reims
by Eloise Lownsbery
Published in 1927 by Houghton Mifflin Company
“The Boy Knight of Reims” is an historical novel set during the time of St. Joan of Arc. Visit 14th century Reims and its world of merchants, beggars, nobles, and soldiers.
The Scarlet Lily
by Edward F. Murphy
Published in 1944 by The Bruce Publishing Company
The Song of the Cave: a tale of Ruth and Noemi [Naomi]
by Edward F. Murphy
Published in 1950 by The Bruce Publishing Company
Secret of Pooduck Island
by Alfred Noyes
Published in 1959 by Neumann Press
The Secret of Pooduck Island involves animals, Indians, and white men in colonial times. An odd but priceless adventure mystery for all ages.
For Better For Worse
by Martin J. Scott, S.J.
Published in 1923 by Benziger Brothers
For Better For Worse is the story of Jerry and Felice, who fall in love and have an idealistic beginning. But as the years pass and their marriage takes a turn for the worse, will their sacred vows be enough to keep them together?
The Cottage at Bantry Bay
by Hilda van Stockum
Originally published in 1938
Republished in 1995 by Bethlehem Books
The Cottage at Bantry Bay is said to be for readers 9-12, but all ages will enjoy it. This is a family novel in the truest sense. The whole family will enjoy the adventures of the O’Sullivan family of Glengarriff, County Cork, Ireland.
Burnished Chalices
by Vera Marie Tracy
Published in 1931 by The Bruce Publishing Company
Break Thou My Heart(actually a collection of short stories)
by Vera Marie Tracy
Published in 1936 by The Bruce Publishing Company
Sun Slower, Sun Faster
by Meriol Trevor
Originaly published in 1955 by Sheed & Ward
Republished in2004 by Bethlehem Books

Ida Elisabeth
by Sigrid Undset
Republished in 2011 by Ignatius Press
Outlaws of Ravenhurst
by Sister M. Imelgda Wallace
Originally published in 1923
Republished in 1996 by Neumann Press
Outlaws of Ravenhurst is the exciting story of Catholic “outlaws” fighting for the Faith in seventeenth-century Scotland.

The Woodcarver of Tyrol
by Edmund A. Walsh
Originally published in 1935
Republished in 2011 by Kessinger Publishing, LLC
The Woodcarver of Tyrol is the touching story of a woodcarver’s family in the Tyrol area in the moutains of northern Italy. A novella of 64 pages.
by Evelyn Waugh
Originally published in 1957 by Image, Doubleday & Co.
Republished in 2005 by Loyola Press
A Watch in the Night
by Helen C. White
Originally published in 1947
Republished in 1955
The Gunpowder Plot
by Hugh Ross Williamson
Originally published in the 1950s
Republished in 1996 by Neumann Press
Grisly Grisell
The Laidly Lady of Whitburn: A Tale of the War of the Roses

by Charlotte M. Yonge
Originally published in the 1800s!!!
Republished in 2008 by Book Jungle
Grisly Grisell is a touching story of courage, love, and devotion. The War of the Roses was a time of civil strife in 15th-century England. Caught in the middle were a boy and a girl promised in marriage from early childhood. Little Grisell, however, is involved in a tragic accident that leaves her beauty disfigured. Filled with humiliation, horrors of war, swift battles, and displays of true virtue, this novel of perseverance will ultimately warm your heart soul.

So many books! Not sure where to start? Read an introduction to Catholic literature:

Catholic Literature: An Introduction
by Margaret Robe Summitt
Published in 2007 by Tumblar House
Why should we study literature? To learn truth, answers Margaret Summitt, and in so far as a story, poem, or play is true, it is literature – and the deeper the truth it gets at, the more Catholic it is. In other words, the more deeply the author pursues truth, the more likely he is to find his way to the mysteries and dogmas of the Church. Summitt explores authors like Chesterton, T.S. Eliot, Evelyn Waugh, Flannery O’Connor, J.R.R. Tolkien, and other greater writers. This book will satisfy your curiosity about these writers.

The below 1949 book is also a wonderful guide to Catholic authors and literature:

Catholic literature moves the heart of man, impels the will and exalts us to action. With hundreds of book reviews, illustrations, portraits, essays and histories, these guides are a vital presentation of Catholic literature:

2 thoughts on “Novels

  1. Could you add the year for each book on this list? I want to start with the oldest, perhaps most reliable books first.

    I have the impression that Benziger was reliably Catholic in 1927. Did they publish many novels?

  2. Adding the year of publication for each book is an excellent suggestion. I definitely plan to update the page with this information soon, and will include it with all new novel posts in the future.

    In answer to your second question, yes, Benziger Brothers was well known for publishing quality Catholic books, including nonfiction (prayer books, instrucitional, biography, and more) as well as many novels for adults and kids. I hope to continue reviewing and recommending more Benziger novels as I continue to acquire and read them. (Incidentally, Isabel C. Clarke had over twenty books published by Benziger.)

    Thanks for commenting!

    God bless,

Comments are closed.