The 7 Best Kate Morton Books in Order and Ranked

The Best Kate Morton Books Ranked

I’m not sure how I first found Kate Morton, but I know that after reading Distant Hours she immediately became one of my favorite writers. That’s why I knew I had to rank all the Kate Morton books.

With the exception of one book, all of her stories have been 4 or 5 star reads for me! I’m truly such a fan of the way she weaves the unraveling of family secrets in dual narratives set years apart.

Her gothic stories are full of drama, secrets, and gorgeous historical fiction settings. She paints such a vivid picture of every location that I can imagine myself right into the scene. Read on below to find out about one of my absolute favorite authors!

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Kate Morton Books in Order and Ranked

Who is Kate Morton?

Kate Morton is a best-selling author from Australia. After studying in London, Kate was a theater actress before she settled down to becoming a writer. Her debut novel, The House at Riverton, was one of the bestselling debuts ever in Britain. All six of her published novels have gone on to be New York Times bestsellers.

What is Kate Morton’s New Book?

In April 2023, Kate Morton’s newest book, Homecoming was released. On Christmas Eve in 1959, a horrible murder was discovered. Now 60 years later, Jess, a journalist is home in Sydney and looking for a story. As Jess explores her roots she finds connections between the murdered family and her own.

What are the Kate Morton Books in Order?

  • The House at Riverton (2006) (originally published as The Shifting Fog)
  • The Forgotten Garden (2008)
  • The Distant Hours (2010)
  • The Secret Keeper (2012)
  • The Lake House (2015)
  • The Clockmaker’s Daughter (2018)
  • Homecoming (2023)

Let’s Rank Some Kate Morton Books

So now, Jackie and I decided to turn our love for Riley Sager’s books into a fun blog post and we thought we should rank these books because we have them all! Surely it would be impossible to decide on rankings we could both agree on. It was actually much easier than we thought

The House at Riverton and more Kate Morton books.

Our Favorite Kate Morton Books with reviews


Forgotten Garden

The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton

A young girl is abandoned on a ship headed to Australia. When she arrives, the only thing in her possession is a suitcase with some clothes and a book of fairy tales. The dock master and his wife adopt Nell and tell her the story of her arrival in Australia on her 21st birthday. She goes back to England on a quest to find her lost identity.

Unsuccessful, her granddaughter later takes up the search and tries to assemble the pieces of her grandmother’s mystery and unlock the secrets of her past. I adored this family saga story. This historical mystery book set in Cornwall swept me away. This is a gothic fiction that is a perfect book for fall.


The Distant Hours

The Distant Hours by Kate Morton 

A gothic novel about a woman who returns to the castle to question the inhabitants her mother stayed with as a child ward during WWII, in a quest to discover the mysteries of her mother’s past.

I could not put this novel by Kate Morton down. It was so well-written and utterly fascinating to see what happened to children in England during the Blitz. This is one of the cozy books you will want to curl up and read without stopping. We recommend this book to anyone who loves The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield

Find this book in Kate Morton Books / Books About WWII


kate Morton

Homecoming by Kate Morton

Kate Morton’s newest book marks her triumphant return after 5 years. This story is her first set in her native Australia, but I’m hoping it won’t be her last.

Like many of Morton’s books, this features a dual timeline narrative about Jess and her ailing grandmother, Nora. As Nora is on her deathbed, Jess is trying to uncover a mystery from her grandmother’s past – one that might involve her Great-Aunt Isabel and the tragic murder-homicide at her family home one evening in 1959.

As usual, there is a gothic-style home at the center of the story – though this story features 2 such houses! I found myself utterly immersed in the world of Halycon, particularly in the older parts of the story as I tried to solve the mystery of what happened to the Turner family all those years ago.

I highly recommend the audiobook version of this one because it’s read by Claire Foy! Her narration brings each of the characters to life.


the secret keeper

The Secret Keeper by Kate Morton

I adore Kate Morton. She is one of my absolute favorite authors and The Secret Keeper was Morton at her finest. Her books meld historical fiction, with contemporary fiction and romance with mystery.

This story revolves around a woman trying to uncover why her mother committed a crime almost 50 years prior. Having witnessed her mother, Dorothy, stab a man, Laurel starts to dig around into Dorothy’s past.

Told as a dual narrative, the more we learn about Dorothy’s past, the more questions and secrets arise. Her story is told during WWII and is on our books with unreliable narrators post! I loved it! 


The Lake House

The Lake House by Kate Morton

Kate Morton’s sweeping novel is set a bit later than Downton Abbey, but the large home and noble family depicted could easily be the Crawleys. This story takes place in 1933 on the night of a Midsummer Eve party when a child goes missing. 

Devastated by the loss, the Edevane family pack up their country estate and never returned. 70 years in the future, a local detective stumbles upon the case and figures out exactly what happened that fateful night. 

Why I Loved it: As always, Morton’s descriptions transport you into the story. The Edevanes and their estate come alive in this gripping gothic tale told as only Morton could tell it.

Find this book in Lake Books / Books Like Downton Abbey


The House of Riverton and more Kate Morton Books ranked

The House of Riverton by Kate Morton

Kate Morton’s first book was also the last of hers that I read. Like most of Morton’s work, this gothic story revolves around the secrets of a large manor house and the family within.

This particular story is told by Grace, the former housemaid at Riverton and the confidant of the Hartford sisters. Now in her 90s, she is finally willing to share the secrets of a deadly party thrown by the family.

Why We Love it: It’s clear with this debut why Kate Morton would go on to become a best selling author. She is the master of the gothic mystery.

Find this book in Books set in the 1920s / Kate Morton Books Ranked


The Clockmaker's daughter and more Kate Morton books ranked

The Clockmaker’s Daughter by Kate Morton

This review is painful for me to write. Kate Morton is one of my all-time favorite writers, but I HATED this book. I didn’t even finish it.

The story was too complex – taking place over 3 or maybe 4 different time periods. There were too many characters to keep track of, leading some people in my reading group to keep track by taking notes – no thanks!

I just could not connect with this book. Morton’s writing is still descriptive and strong, but the plot lost me on this one.

Love Historical Fiction? We do too! That’s why we created the Ultimate List of Historical Fiction carefully divided by time period.

So that is our list of Kate Morton books in order and ranked. Do you agree with our list? What are your favorite Kate Morton books?

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  1. Oh man! I’m in the middle of Clockmaker’s Daughter and I can’t put it down! I am LOVING all the different characters and how they fit together. Secret Keeper and Lake House are my 2 favorites, but Clockmaker is going to take the #1 spot for me!