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Book Hunting / Recommendations > Historical mystery series recommendations please

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message 1: by Michele (new)

Michele Hi, I really like long series set in historical periods. I've read Anne Perry, Elizabeth Peters, Ellis Peters, Laura Joh Rowland, even Caroline Lawrence's children's series The Roman Mysteries. Any time period or place is fine, as long as the author is good at really transporting you away from Mundania.

(Please no ads for your own works)

Thanks in advance!


message 2: by N (new)

N | 304 comments Phillipa Gregory is a brilliant writer, my favourite was The Other Boleyn girl and The White Princess, all her books are 'based on history' and she really brings the Pre and post Tudor period alive.


message 3: by Miss M (new)

Miss M | 560 comments How about Paul Doherty - he has so many series it makes my head spin. I really like his Brother Athelstan.
And Alys Clare's Hawkenlye series is pretty long.


message 4: by Malina (last edited Apr 27, 2014 04:58PM) (new)

Malina | 2788 comments I just finished The Queen of Bedlam The Queen of Bedlam (Matthew Corbett, #2) by Robert McCammon . You may enjoy it, set in 1700s Manhattan. I felt like he truly transported me to that time and place. He has another book which comes before called Speaks the Nightbird (Matthew Corbett #1) by Robert McCammon Speaks the Nightbird


message 5: by David (new)

David Freas (quillracer) | 2345 comments Will Thomas has a 5 book series starting with Some Danger Involved set in late 19th Century London.

Victoria Thompson's 16 book series starting with Murder On Astor Place is set in early 20th Century NYC.

Rhys Bowen has a 13 book series starting with Murphy's Law set in the same era.


message 6: by Andrea (new)

Andrea Marx | 36 comments This is tough as there are many family sagas that take place in London and the United States from the early 1900's thru ww2 but mysteries are difficult to place


message 7: by Portia (new)

Portia For historical mysteries, I recommend the books of Margaret Frazer. She wrote two series, one with Sister Frevisse and the other with Frevisse's cousin, Joliffe. She also wrote a number of ebooks, such as The Death of Kings.


message 8: by Dave (new)

Dave Goeser | 37 comments For a change, try Lindsey Davis and the Marcus Didius Falco series set in Rome about 70 A.D. Silver Pigs is the first in a long series.


message 9: by Daniel (new)

Daniel (diaze) | 1018 comments I would recommend David Liss' Benjamin Weaver series, starting with The Conspiracy of Paper.


message 10: by Gram (last edited Apr 27, 2014 03:39PM) (new)

Gram | 28 comments C. J. Sansom's series of 5 novels (the 6th is due out this year) featuring Matthew Shardlake - a lawyer, who works on commission initially from Thomas Cromwell, chief minister to King Henry VIII of England. In later novels he works for Archbishop Thomas Cranmer and Queen Catherine Parr.

I'd also recommend the 4 (so far) Inspector McLevy mysteries by David Ashton - police procedurals set in the mid 19th Century Edinburgh. In the latest book, "Nor Will He Sleep" McLevy encounters the writer Robert Louis Stevenson during his investigations.

I should also point out that David Ashton has written 9 series of the McLevy mysteries for BBC Radio - starring the Scots actor Brian Cox as Inspector McLevy (the 1st actor to portray Hannibal Lecter in film). Most of the radio series are available as audio downloads.

James McLevy (1796–1875) was a real person - a prominent detective in Edinburgh during the mid-19th century, and later an author of popular crime mysteries.


message 11: by Daniele (new)

Daniele | 6 comments Charles Finch Victorian series featuring Lenox


message 12: by Daniele (new)

Daniele | 6 comments Also, Frank Tallis, Tasha Alexander, Barbara Cleverly,Kate Ross, and Georgette Heyer.


message 13: by Michele (new)

Michele Thanks everyone so far. I'm going to try Paul Doherty's Egyptian series and maybe the Lindsey Davis Roman one. I'm a little burned out on English/American stuff I guess.

Anything else out of the ordinary? Exotic locales? Distant times?


message 14: by Dordale (new)

Dordale | 4 comments I've got some good ideas from this thread! Thanks!!

Even though you said you're a little burned out on English/American, I'm going to mention a couple that I really enjoy--the Masie Dobbs series by Jacqueline Winspear and the Ian Ruthledge series by Charles Todd. Both are set in post WWI Britain.

And I second Quillracer's mention of the Victoria Thompson's Sarah Brandt series set in turn of the century NYC.


message 15: by David (new)

David Freas (quillracer) | 2345 comments Kathryn Miller Haines has a 4 book series about Rosie Winter, an actress, in WWII New York City.


message 16: by Ian (new)

Ian | 59 comments David Roberts has written the Lord Edward Corinth series. He's an English aristocrat and his side-kick, Verity Browne, is a communist journalist. The books are set in the 1930s and are well-written and well-researched for background material.


message 17: by Donna, Co-Moderator (new)

Donna | 2178 comments Mod
Well, I just recommended David Downing's John Russell series that starts with Zoo Station in another thread. Has a Brit/American protagonist but set in pre-WW II Berlin.

Something more exotic would be Colin Cotterill's Dr Siri series set in 1970s Laos. Begins with The Coroner's Lunch


message 18: by Donna, Co-Moderator (new)

Donna | 2178 comments Mod
I thought of another exotic one. I.J. Parker's Aikatada series set in 11th century Japan and begins with The Dragon Scroll


message 19: by Georgia (new)

Georgia | 537 comments Maybe you should try Eye of the Red Tsar


message 20: by Michele (new)

Michele Ok, I got the first Victoria Thompson Gaslamp book, the Paul Doherty Egyptian one, and put the Japanese one on my wishlist (those look good but kind of expensive).

Nice reccs all, I'll be checking back for more later. Thanks!


message 21: by Gram (new)

Gram | 28 comments 1000% agree with Colin Cotterill's Dr Siri series - great mystery reading.


message 22: by Diana (new)

Diana Gotsch | 64 comments If you like cozies you might try Carola Dunn's Daisy Darlymple series. They are set in the 1920's.

Steven Saylor has a nice Roman series. It moves from the days of the Republic to the reign of Julius Caesar. A lot of real people are mixed into the plots.


message 23: by Maureen (new)

Maureen (maureenbranham) | 6 comments Malina wrote: "I just finished The Queen of BedlamThe Queen of Bedlam (Matthew Corbett, #2) by Robert McCammon. You may enjoy it, set in 1700s Manhattan. I felt like he truly transported me to that time and place. He has..."

I would also recommend these books although I have only read Speaks the Nightbird. Very well written, a bit creepy and somewhat gritty. They are like nothing I've read before - a deft blend of history, mystery and horror.


message 24: by Georgia (new)

Georgia | 537 comments I have just started The Stockholm Octavo by Karen Engelmann . Usually I don't read historical mysteries, but my bookclub at the library is reading this. Its Stockholm, 1791 and Emil Larson is friends
and partner at playing cards (A constant pasttime for
people of this era)with Sofia Sparrow who is a fortune-teller. She lays an Octavo for him and foretells a vision for him. Also there is some French (time of Marie Antoinette) and Swedish history which is right on.


message 25: by Joyce (new)

Joyce Yarrow I recommend Thomas Hardy's 'Desperate Remedies' Desperate Remedies by Thomas Hardy as an excellent work of fiction that can also be classified as an historical mystery. Here is my review:

It's not surprising that Thomas Hardy's books have a reputation for being depressing. He does put his characters through intense trials and tribulations. Which was why, as a relatively new reader of his work, I opened his first published novel Desperate Remedies with some trepidation. To my delight, I found Hardy's portrayal of Cytherea Graye to be packed with realism, empathy and psychological insight--although a bit melodramatic at times.

I especially enjoyed the way Hardy uses dialog to reveal character and add a some suspense, as demonstrated in the following excerpt:
"No wedden this mornen--that's my opinion. In fact, there can't be," he said abruptly, as if the words were the mere torso of a many-membered thought that had existed complete in his head."

Cytherea, who has been forced by poverty to work as a lady's maid, is a sympathetic but by no means perfect character-- her indecisiveness and tendency to jump to the wrong conclusions at crucial junctures in her life made me like her all the more. It's not easy for a first-time novelist to write from the point of view of the opposite sex, so it's "hat's off" to Thomas Hardy!

And for those of you who love a good mystery, you will find one cleverly hidden in this fine book.


message 26: by S.K. (new)

S.K. Rizzolo (skrizzolo) | 63 comments I will add Desperate Remedies to my TBR pile. It sounds intriguing.

Other historical mysteries: Ashley Gardner's Captain Lacey Regency mystery series, Charles Todd's Bess Crawford World War I series, and Priscilla Royal's Prioress Eleanor medieval series. All excellent reads for those who enjoy historical mysteries.

Happy reading!


message 27: by Nancy, Co-Moderator (new)

Nancy Oakes (quinnsmom) | 8958 comments Mod
I have a few "crime light" series/titles from my library to contribute:

Conrad Allen wrote Edwardian-period mysteries featuring George Porter Dillman and Genevieve Masefield as detectives onboard ocean liners; the first in the series is Murder on the Lusitania. I read them all a long time ago.

Daniel Stashower has a series of books about Harry Houdini; the first is The Further Adventures of Sherlock Holmes: The Ectoplasmic Man.

David Holland has a historical mystery series starting with The Devil in Bellminster.

Jane Jakeman has her Malfine series, starting with Let There Be Blood.

Peter Lovesey has his Sgt. Cribb series, which is absolutely delightful -- the first title is Wobble To Death. He also has a series about Bertie, Prince of Wales that starts with Bertie And The Tinman.

Andrew Martin has his Jim Stringer series that begins with The Necropolis Railway.

Sam McCarver wrote a series featuring Professor John Darnell, beginning with The Case of Cabin 13.

James McCreet has a Victorian series starting with The Incendiary's Trail.

David Pierie has an incredibly good series featuring Arthur Conan Doyle and Dr. Joseph Bell. It starts with The Patient's Eyes: The Dark Beginnings of Sherlock Holmes

Gerard Williams has his Dr. Mortimer series that starts with Dr. Mortimer and the Aldgate Mystery.

That should give you a few ideas, anyway!


message 28: by Jan C (last edited Jun 07, 2014 02:31PM) (new)

Jan C (woeisme) | 35958 comments Stefanie Pintoff had a short series about a detective who lost his fiancee on the Edward Slocum - first one was In the Shadow of Gotham. Stefanie Pintoff. There were only three books in the series about Detective Simon Ziele.


message 29: by Steve (new)

Steve Anderson | 87 comments Philip Kerr's Bernie Gunther series, set in WWII Berlin and after is solid in my opinion.

I'm a big fan of the underappreciated John Lawton and his Inspector Troy series set in 1930s-40s Britain.


message 30: by Scott (new)

Scott | 851 comments I don't know if you could classify it as a mystery but I was very intrigued by Devil in the White City


message 31: by OddModicum Rachel (last edited Jul 27, 2014 06:35AM) (new)

OddModicum Rachel (oddmodicumrachel) | 36 comments I adore Robert McCammon from his horror opus Swan Song, so I was pleasantly astounded when I read just how beautifully he pulled off Historical Fiction. His 'atmosphere' is just incredibly vivid, and I remember how impressed I was by the authenticity of the historical period (his 17th Century NYC is amazing), and period language, dress, social mores, geography and medicine . So here's one more enthusiastic suggestion for Robert McCammon's Matthew Corbett series beginning with Speaks the Nightbird and The Queen of Bedlam.
Speaks the Nightbird (Matthew Corbett, #1) by Robert McCammon The Queen of Bedlam (Matthew Corbett, #2) by Robert McCammon Mister Slaughter (Matthew Corbett, #3) by Robert McCammon The Providence Rider (Matthew Corbett, #4) by Robert McCammon The River of Souls by Robert McCammon

I also adored M.J. Rose's The Reincarnationist, and there are a number of books to follow in The Reincarnationist series that look equally fascinating. Because of the subject matter, we're shown snippets of historical 'lives' in the past, from an illicit pairing of a pagan high holy man and one of his vestal virgins during Rome's vicious conversion to Christianity, to amodern day collector of ancient mystical relics and great archaeological details. LOVED this one... hope you do, too.
The Reincarnationist (Reincarnationist, #1) by M.J. Rose Seduction (The Reincarnationist, #5) by M.J. Rose The Memorist (Reincarnationist, #2) by M.J. Rose The Hypnotist (Reincarnationist, #3) by M.J. Rose

And this one is a little more off the beaten path, but its Brandon Sanderson, who is an absolute master, bringing his wildly imaginative alternative history to life in a very clever mystery. Features a gorgeously imagined world of academia and mystical mathmatics among an ivy strewn university setting. If you like Victoriana, London or New York in particular, you can't help but fall in love with the imaginative Steampunk atmosphere and cobblestone mystery of Brandon Sanderson's The Rithmatist.
The Rithmatist (The Rithmatist, #1) by Brandon Sanderson

snd thanks to orig poster for asking, and everyone for their suggestions! Loving these suggestions!


message 32: by Ken (new)

Ken Kuhlken (kenkuhlken) | 6 comments One for Sorrow is part of an entertaining series set in 6th century Constantinople.

Death Comes As Epiphany Sharan Newman's medieval mysteries are fine books by somebody who knows her history.

The Good Know Nothing: A California Century Mystery This one (by me), set in 1936, is the latest in a much acclaimed series that spans most of 20th century California.


message 33: by Nancy, Co-Moderator (new)

Nancy Oakes (quinnsmom) | 8958 comments Mod
Ken wrote: "One for Sorrow is part of an entertaining series set in 6th century Constantinople.

Death Comes As Epiphany Sharan Newman's medieval mysteries are fine books by somebo..."


nice self-promo there. Thanks for not putting in an ad link.


message 34: by Tom (new)

Tom | 141 comments Try The Hangman's Daughter series. They are medeval time period and very entertaining. I believe there are 4 ofthem.


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