"A clever, twisted, and utterly gripping read. Carrie Smith has created a winner of a series, and this new chapter may be the most surprising one yet."

— Alison Gaylin, USA Today bestselling author of WHAT REMAINS OF ME


Winner of the


★★★ Killer Nashville Readers’ Choice Award ★★★


★★★ Silver Falchion Award Finalist, 2018 ★★★

Six months after her cancer treatment, Detective Claire Codella defies the media and her lieutenant to solve her most challenging case to date.


Days before Palm Sunday, the bloody corpse of senior churchwarden Philip Graves is found lying in the herb garden of historic St. Paul’s Episcopal Church on Manhattan’s Upper West Side. On first glance, his murder looks like a random act of big city violence, but it soon becomes clear that his death was the result of a meticulously calculated crime perpetrated by someone who knew him. What did Philip do to warrant such a merciless death?


The church rector, five vestry members, and a choir director are possible suspects. So are the ten men sleeping in the church homeless shelter. Struggling to share the case and maintain their personal relationship, detectives Claire Codella and Brian Haggerty, along with trusted detective Eduardo Muñoz, work around the clock to uncloak the desires, resentments, and secrets of the diverse group of New Yorkers drawn through the iron gate and into the hidden beauty of one little Romanesque church in Unholy City, the haunting third installment in Carrie Smith’s Claire Codella mysteries.

Praise for Unholy City


"Smith's first-rate police procedural provides plenty of likely suspects and a clever detective."

—Kirkus Reviews


"Sharp [and] fast-moving... A sure bet for fans of police procedurals."



"Smith’s deft contrast of emotions and tone is one of the many strengths of this impressive work of crime fiction."

―Lambda Literary


"Smith bolsters her seemingly straightforward procedural with well-developed characters...Readers will want to see more of the capable Codella."

―Publishers Weekly


"Complicated…carefully executed."

―RT Book Reviews


"This police procedural series continues to impress with each new addition to the franchise."

―The BOLO Books Review


"Smith is a top-notch storyteller."

―Aunt Agatha’s Mystery Bookshop


"Unholy City is a must-read."

―Killer Nashville


"Another very strong, well-written, well-plotted and well-paced entry into what has become a favourite new mystery/crime series."

―FAB Book Reviews