Old-School Thrills: The Top Historical Mysteries of the Past Five Years

Posted by Cybil on October 13, 2021


The historical mystery genre gives readers that magical and page-turning combination of thick historical atmosphere along with the twists and turns of a propulsive plot—it just hits different.

Here are the most popular historical mysteries since 2017, which we put together based on Goodreads members' additions to their Want to Read shelves and the amount of buzz around each release. Readers have been consuming everything from 1970s Mexican neo-noir to Puritan witch hunt thrillers and fictional dramatizations of mysteries featuring Agatha Christie herself.

Scroll over the book covers that pique your interest to learn more, and be sure to add the most fascinating ones to your Want to Read shelf!  

 
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Which historical mysteries have you been engrossed in lately? Let's talk books in the comments below!

Check out more recent articles:
Readers' Most Anticipated Books of October
Biggest Horror Novels of the Past Five Years
September's Twisty New Mysteries and Thrillers

Comments Showing 1-14 of 14 (14 new)

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message 1: by Sarah (new)

Sarah Great list! I love historical mysteries.


message 2: by Shannon (last edited Oct 13, 2021 09:47AM) (new)

Shannon The synopsis of The Glass House reminds me of The Light Between Oceans, which I loved. I will have to read it!
The Broken Girls was very good, as was Big Lies in a Small Town, and Opium and Absinthe. I struggled with The Mystery of Mrs Christie though. It never held my interest.
There are a lot of good books on this list! :)


message 3: by Gladys (new)

Gladys Hi Everyone!

Check out Camilla Bruce's In the Garden of Spite -- you'll find it fascinating. Looking forward to reading 'Edinburgh Twilight' and 'Opium and Absinthe',

Good day to everyone.


message 4: by Carmen (new)

Carmen Radtke I just finished Magda Alexander’s Murder on the Golden Arrow, and Karen Baugh Menuhin’s Murder at Melrose Court, between plotting my next historical cozy.


message 5: by Fiona (new)

Fiona Leitch I love Carmen Radtke's 1930s Jack and Frances cosy mystery series. Just read the latest one, Death Under Palm Trees, so much fun! And I love the little historical details she includes.


message 6: by Leonie (new)

Leonie Barnett I love anything written by C.J. Sansom especially Sovereign and Dark Fire.


message 7: by Patricia (new)

Patricia I would prefer a list based on ratings after one reads a book, not on "want to read" clicks which are often not followed-up on.


message 8: by Linda D Heisel (new)

Linda D Heisel CS Harris's series of Sebastian St Cyr includes, along with a yellow-eyed hero and his strong, smart love interests, a lot of fascinating historical detail about the 1810s Britain.


message 9: by Gene (new)

Gene Borowski "Edinburgh Twilight" & "The Darwin Affair" look good and both went directly to my TBR list.


message 10: by Ann (new)

Ann Every time there’s a newsletter, my TBR stack grows! ❤️ It!


message 11: by Carlos (new)

Carlos Renato Ann wrote: "Every time there’s a newsletter, my TBR stack grows! ❤️ It!"

same here. I'm retaking my reading habit and I've involved in some misteries and many new material for my TBR


message 12: by zsuzsanna22 (new)

zsuzsanna22 I recently discovered Ovidia Vu's Crown Colony series and have read the first two. Set in Singapore in the 1930's, it's a really charming historical detective series. I also loved Laura R Rowland's Sancho Ichiro series, set in 17th century Japan.


message 13: by Justine (new)

Justine Jones zsuzsanna22 wrote: "I recently discovered Ovidia Vu's Crown Colony series and have read the first two. Set in Singapore in the 1930's, it's a really charming historical detective series. I also loved Laura R Rowland's..."
You, I think. Read ALlL of hers! Several series, all great!


message 14: by Carolyn G. (new)

Carolyn G. Linda D Heisel wrote: "CS Harris's series of Sebastian St Cyr includes, along with a yellow-eyed hero and his strong, smart love interests, a lot of fascinating historical detail about the 1810s Britain."

Agreed... wonderful series... great reads!


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