The Story Behind A Darkly Hidden Truth by Donna Fletcher Crow

The Story Behind A Darkly Hidden Truth

By Donna Fletcher Crow

It’s always the story that drives me. I want to tell the story. Especially the stories of valiant men and women of centuries past who still shape our thinking and living today.

So in the year 2001, after publishing more than 35 novels, most of them dealing with British history in one form or another, I decided to try my hand at writing nonfiction.  I thought I could tell the stories more directly, use all the research which I love so much and develop a whole new career line.

With thoughts of the distant past shaping my future I set out on pilgrimage to visit 17 ancient holy sites in England and Scotland. It was a great adventure and I wrote my pilgrimage book about those men and women of long ago and their monasteries and hermitages that I had found so fascinating to visit.

I loved it. My agent loved it. But no publisher loved it.

Then our daughter, who had studied the classics at Oxford and found teaching school in London boring, took herself off to study theology in a theological college in a monastery in Yorkshire.

While visiting her and getting acquainted with the monks in that amazing Harry Potter style parallel universe I realized I had found the vehicle for the stories I wanted to tell: A thoroughly modern American woman who finds herself living a life few people even know exists in today’s world who is then catapulted into even deeper adventure when she finds her church history lecturer standing over the battered body of her favorite monk.

In that first book A VERY PRIVATE GRAVE I told the story of Saint Cuthbert, a story I had wanted to tell since I first “met” Cuthbert at Durham Cathedral some twenty years ago. That story sent Felicity and Antony running across northern England and southern Scotland chasing and being chased by murderers and developing their own often uneasy relationship.

Now, in A DARKLY HIDDEN TRUTH, Felicity is still struggling to find her way forward in her exciting and sometimes surreal world, this time hampered by the discovery of finding a dear friend’s body in a shallow grave, literally under her feet. And in the background I tell the stories of two remarkable medieval women writers I’ve wanted to share with my readers for many, many years: Julian of Norwich, the first woman to write a book in English and still widely read today, and Margery Kempe, author of the first autobiography in English.

And that’s the wonderful thing about stories, whether they began 500 years ago or are still waiting to be born, they are never-ending.

Please go to to see the videos for A VERY PRIVATE GRAVE  and A DARKLY HIDDEN TRUTH, photos from my research albums, and a tour of my rose garden.


Donna Fletcher Crow is the author of 38 books, mostly novels dealing with British history.  The award-winning Glastonbury, an Arthurian grail search epic covering 15 centuries of English history, is her best-known work. Donna and her husband live in Boise, Idaho.  They have 4 adult children and 11 grandchildren. She is an enthusiastic gardener.

Her newest release is A Darkly Hidden Truth, book 2 in her clerical mystery series The Monastery Murders. She also writes the Lord Danvers series of Victorian true-crime novels and the romantic suspense series The Elizabeth & Richard Mysteries. To read more about these books and to see book videos for A Darkly Hidden Truth and for A Very Private Grave, Monastery Murders 1,  as well as pictures from Donna’s garden and research trips go to:


Felicity can’t possibly help Father Antony find the valuable missing icon. She’s off to become a nun. Then her impossible mother turns up unexpectedly. And a good friend turns up murdered…

Breathtaking chase scenes, mystical worship services, dashes through remote waterlogged landscapes keep the pages turning. Felicity learns the wisdom of holy women from today and ages past and Antony explores the arcane rites of the Knights Hospitaller. But what good will any of that do them if Felicity can’t save Antony’s life?

9 thoughts on “The Story Behind A Darkly Hidden Truth by Donna Fletcher Crow

  1. Thank you so much for having me as a guest on your beautiful blog–i love the rainbow! People always ask me, “Where do your stories come from?” This was a great chance to explain a bit of the process. I love meeting your readers!

  2. Great to hear how it all came about. It sounds intriguing. Lovely to hear how your daughter’s experience was just the thing you needed, with some imagination on your part to bring it together.

  3. That’s wonderful, Donna. The tales of human responses to circumstances and conflict down through the ages reveal a thread which unites them all, regardless of the era in which they’re played out. You, as an author, have the gift to capture that thread and weave it into different patterns, but in such a way that your readers can recognise themselves and others in the story.

    I write modern stories about contemporary issues, and in my last book, A Painful Post Mortem, I use that analogy as a way of showing that even in the worst scenario, a young life that’s been destroyed, that thread runs through, giving it value and meaning. What a privilege we have to be writers of truth, and to convey that truth to others in life-changing ways.

    • What a wonderful comment, Mel. And, yes, it’s fascinating how writers can take life experiences and use them in entirely different ways. Being open to seeing the connections is a lot of what it’s all about, I think.

  4. I am in the midst of enjoying A Darkly Hidden Truth right now. I didn’t realize these books come out of your research for a non-fiction project. Maybe the popularity of the fiction will open the door for the non-fiction at some point in the future. The Lord knows the plans he has.

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