William X. Kienzle

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William X. Kienzle (September 11, 1928 - December 28, 2001), born in Detroit, Michigan, was a priest turned crime novelist.

Kienzle was ordained to the priesthood in 1954 and spent twenty years as a Roman Catholic parish priest. Kienzle left the priesthood in 1974 because of his disagreement with its refusal to remarry divorcees[citation needed]. He became an editor of MPLS Magazine in Minneapolis, later moving to Texas, where he was director of the Center for Contemplative Studies at the University of Dallas.

He was married to Javan Herman Andrews, a journalist from the Detroit Free Press, from 1974 until his sudden death from a heart attack on December 28, 2001.[1]

Kienzle was the author of 24 crime fiction/mystery novels featuring Father Robert Koesler, a Catholic priest who doubles as a detective. One of his best-known novels is his first, The Rosary Murders (1978), which was made into a 1987 movie starring Donald Sutherland as Father Koesler, with a screenplay co-written by Elmore Leonard. Kienzle's books are set mostly in Detroit, Michigan.


  • The Rosary Murders (1978)
  • Death Wears a Red Hat (1980)
  • Mind Over Murder (1981)
  • Assault with Intent (1982)
  • Shadow of Death (1983)
  • Kill and Tell (1984)
  • Sudden Death (1985)
  • Deathbed (1986)
  • Deadline for a Critic (1987)
  • Marked for Murder (1988)
  • Eminence (1989)
  • Masquerade (1990)
  • Chameleon (1991)
  • Body Count (1992)
  • Dead Wrong (1993)
  • Bishop As Pawn (1994)
  • Call No Man Father (1995)
  • Requiem for Moses (1996)
  • The Man Who Loved God (1997)
  • The Greatest Evil (1998)
  • No Greater Love (1999)
  • Till Death (2000)
  • The Sacrifice (1999)
  • The Gathering (2002)

His biography, Judged by Love, by Javan Kienzle, was published in 2003.