Historical Mystery Lovers discussion

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Books & Reading > Historical mystery reads of 2015

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message 1: by Lauren (new)

Lauren (laurenjberman) | 1678 comments Mod
Tell us about your latest read - did you love, like or hate it?


message 2: by Sandy (new)

Sandy | 1137 comments Slaves of Obsession goes back to the library today. It is one of Anne Perry's William Monk series that I am reading (in sequence). I love the series, the development of the three leading character and the atmosphere of Victorian London. Hester's experience in the Crimean war is fascinating. This entry was different as they went off to the states for a quick stop at the battle of Bull Run.

As a change of pace I am now reading The Curse of the House of Foskett, second in a new series. Still Victorian but a humorous take off on Holmes and Watson.


message 3: by Barry (new)

Barry (barryleon) | 14 comments About every fourth or fifth book I read is an historical mystery. The last was Speaks the Nightbird by Robert McCammon which was an extremely well-researched and well-written novel set in the Carolinas of about 1700. It is the first of a trilogy and I will definitely read the other two. I also like Oliver Poetsch and his tales of the hangman's daughter as well as the writings of David Liss such as A Conspiracy of Paper and The Coffee Trader. His books are also superbly researched and written. I am now reading Black Light by Stephen Hunter but to call it an historical mystery is a bit of a stretch even though it goes back a few years.

I also like espionage, whodunits, police procedurals if they are well written. My favorite authors include Daniel Silva, Jo Nesbo, Paul Cleave, Michael Gruber and Lawrence Goldstone who has written a couple of wonderful historical mysteries, The Anatomy of Deception and The Astronomer.


message 4: by Lauren (new)

Lauren (laurenjberman) | 1678 comments Mod
Sandy wrote: "Slaves of Obsession goes back to the library today. It is one of Anne Perry's William Monk series that I am reading (in sequence). I love the series, the development of the three lead..."

The Cater Street Hangman by Anne Perry is the only Anne Perry books I've read. I read it after seeing the movie. It was pretty good and I'd love to read more of her work.


message 5: by Chris (new)

Chris (cdavies1951) | 144 comments I'm a big fan of Daniel Silva and Jo Nesbo, too. I haven't read the others, but I'm glad to have some new recommendations!

Love Anne Perry!


message 6: by Lauren (new)

Lauren (laurenjberman) | 1678 comments Mod
Barry wrote: "About every fourth or fifth book I read is an historical mystery. The last was Speaks the Nightbird by Robert McCammon which was an extremely well-researched and well-written novel set in the Carol..."

Speaks the Nightbird (Matthew Corbett, #1) by Robert McCammon looks really good. I haven't read much from this locale. I see I'm going to be increasing by TBR.

I also enjoy police procedurals and who-dun-its. I'll open a thread for non-historical reads too.


message 7: by Barry (new)

Barry (barryleon) | 14 comments Take a look at David Liss' work. He really is an excellent author.


message 8: by Lauren (new)

Lauren (laurenjberman) | 1678 comments Mod
Barry wrote: "Take a look at David Liss' work. He really is an excellent author."

Thanks Barry. Will do.


message 9: by Chris (new)

Chris (cdavies1951) | 144 comments Ditto that David Liss recommendation! I am just about to start his second book - I really liked A Conspiracy of Paper (Benjamin Weaver, #1) by David Liss .


message 10: by Veronica (new)

Veronica  (readingonthefly) | 694 comments Lauren wrote: "The Cater Street Hangman is the only Anne Perry books I've read. I read it after seeing the movie. It was pretty good and I'd love to read more of her work.
"


I didn't know there was a movie! I'm going to have to look that one up.

I've only read the first two books in the William Monk series. I definitely need to get back to them.


message 11: by Lauren (last edited Jan 30, 2015 09:23AM) (new)

Lauren (laurenjberman) | 1678 comments Mod
Here's a write up on the movie from the New York Times NYT Cater Street Hangman


message 12: by Rlsalvati (new)

Rlsalvati | 11 comments I recently finished Maisie Dobbs and Birds of a Feather. I'll continue with the series, between other things, but it isn't a "must read" for me.

I remember seeing the Cater Street Hangman movie on A&E years back, I did enjoy it.


message 13: by Chris (new)

Chris (cdavies1951) | 144 comments Just finished Ratcatcher or "Hawkwood" by James McGee and I loved it. It's a Regency/Napoleonic mystery and first in the Matthew Hawkwood series. A Bow Street Runner extraordinaire.

Just as a note, I had a hard time finding this book, and think there might have been a title change. It was originally title "Ratcatcher" but I found it on Amazon as "Hawkwood".


message 14: by Lauren (new)

Lauren (laurenjberman) | 1678 comments Mod
Thanks for the info on Ratchatcher, Chris :0)


message 15: by D.G. (new)

D.G. Lauren wrote: "Thanks for the info on Ratchatcher, Chris :0)"

I have this book on my TBR and I had the same problem. When I went to look for it on my Kindle, I couldn't find it! The problem was the title change, of course. :)


message 16: by D.G. (new)

D.G. I finished Crocodile on the Sandbank and ended up loving it! (4 stars) What a romp! There wasn't too much of a mystery but the shenanigans of these characters were so funny. I loved Amelia and Emerson, they are such a great couple...and what a "courtship". This is one of those books where the couple bicker a lot but they were so funny together. He couldn't have been more perfect for her.


message 17: by Sandy (new)

Sandy | 1137 comments D.G. wrote: "I finished Crocodile on the Sandbank and ended up loving it! (4 stars) What a romp! There wasn't too much of a mystery but the shenanigans of these characters were so funny. I loved A..."

Love, love that series! Read them in order; the family develops and their son is wonderful. I have not yet read the very last one because I'm going to hate saying good bye. I read them in "story" sequence instead of published sequence. If you do them on audio, I liked the older Barbara Rosenblat narration.


Susanna - Censored by GoodReads (susannag) | 463 comments Oh, what a fun read that book is.


message 19: by D.G. (last edited Feb 05, 2015 02:37PM) (new)

D.G. Sandy wrote: "If you do them on audio, I liked the older Barbara Rosenblat narration. "

Oh yeah, I'm listening to the Barbara Rosenblat narration. (I'm not too crazy with her voice for Emerson but her voice for Amelia is perfect.) I don't even know why there's an American narration for those books...who thinks it's appropriate to have an American narrator when except for the Egyptians, almost everybody else is British? Sadly though, the American narration is the only one available at my library so I'm having to spend a credit per audio. Sigh...


message 20: by Sandy (last edited Feb 05, 2015 04:49PM) (new)

Sandy | 1137 comments D.G. wrote: "Sandy wrote: "If you do them on audio, I liked the older Barbara Rosenblat narration. "

Oh yeah, I'm listening to the Barbara Rosenblat narration. (I'm not too crazy with her voice for Emerson but..."


I was able to get most of the older audios thru the library's CD's. Pain loading them onto my ipod of course. And I like her Emerson!


message 21: by Veronica (last edited Feb 06, 2015 06:28AM) (new)

Veronica  (readingonthefly) | 694 comments I just started The Anatomist's Wife (Lady Darby, #1) by Anna Lee Huber The Anatomist's Wife before work this morning so I was only able to get the first chapter done.


message 22: by Audrey Jane (new)

Audrey Jane | 3 comments I recently finished Mistress Of Mellyn by Victoria Holt by Victoria Holt which is a gothic romance/mystery. I enjoyed it a lot but wasn't that convinced by the romance, the development was too fast and it felt so sudden. The story was a bit reminiscent of Jane Eyre.
Victoria Holt also wrote under the name of Jean Plaidy (focus on Medieval/Renaissance novels), I found a couple of her books at a second hand book fair so I'm planning to try them out soon.


message 23: by Veronica (new)

Veronica  (readingonthefly) | 694 comments Starting the second Lady Darby mystery, Mortal Arts (Lady Darby, #2) by Anna Lee Huber .


message 24: by Chris (new)

Chris (cdavies1951) | 144 comments I'm enjoying A Spectacle of Corruption (Benjamin Weaver, #2) by David Liss . What a fascinating book!


message 25: by Meghan (new)

Meghan | 266 comments Veronica wrote: "Starting the second Lady Darby mystery, Mortal Arts (Lady Darby, #2) by Anna Lee Huber."

I take it you enjoyed the first one?

I just started Naughty in Nice. It's a light-hearted series I've been turning to when I get in a reading slump.


message 26: by Veronica (new)

Veronica  (readingonthefly) | 694 comments Meghan wrote: "Veronica wrote: "Starting the second Lady Darby mystery, Mortal Arts (Lady Darby, #2) by Anna Lee Huber."

I take it you enjoyed the first one?"


I did. It doesn't have quite the historical feel that some other series I've read have, but I liked the characters. I'm finding the second one a bit more slow going, probably because (view spoiler)


message 27: by Chris (new)

Chris (cdavies1951) | 144 comments Finished: A Spectacle of Corruption (Benjamin Weaver, #2) by David Liss

The continuing story of Benjamin Weaver, a thief-taker. This is a story of his condemnation for murder and his determination to clear his name. The story of his love for Marion and her refusal to be with him. The plot is great, but the history of political process in the early 18th century is outstanding.

This is a wonderful read!


message 28: by Meghan (new)

Meghan | 266 comments Veronica wrote: "Meghan wrote: "Veronica wrote: "Starting the second Lady Darby mystery, Mortal Arts (Lady Darby, #2) by Anna Lee Huber."

I take it you enjoyed the first one?"

I did. It doesn't have quite the historical feel..."


One of the things I've enjoyed about all three books is that each has a completely different storyline.


message 29: by Barry (new)

Barry (barryleon) | 14 comments Chris wrote: "Finished: A Spectacle of Corruption (Benjamin Weaver, #2) by David Liss

The continuing story of Benjamin Weaver, a thief-taker. This is a story of his condemnation for murder and his determination to clear his na..."


Chris, Glad that you enjoyed A Spectacle of Corruption. I have never understood why his books aren't wildly popular. I have read and thoroughly enjoyed each of them, including The Ethical Assassin, which is quite different from Liss' other novels. I encourage you to consider reading his other works, except for the comic books/graphic novels (yes, he has written them too!). Some take place in Europe while others occur in the early US but I found all to be quite wonderful.

Barry


message 30: by Chris (new)

Chris (cdavies1951) | 144 comments Barry wrote: "Chris wrote: "Finished: A Spectacle of Corruption (Benjamin Weaver, #2) by David Liss

The continuing story of Benjamin Weaver, a thief-taker. This is a story of his condemnation for murder and his determination t..."


Thanks Barry! I'm definitely continuing with his books. I'm currently reading: The Devil's Company (Benjamin Weaver, #3) by David Liss


message 31: by Chris (last edited Feb 15, 2015 11:16AM) (new)

Chris (cdavies1951) | 144 comments Finished Resurrectionist (Matthew Hawkwood, #2) by James McGee by James McGee (Matthew Hawkwood #2)

Grim and grisly look at the 19th Century practice of grave-robbing and interesting story about the science of surgery during the same period. A horrific look at how mental illness was treated. I can't say that this was my favorite book, but it is one of the most interesting I've read.


message 32: by Michelle (new)

Michelle Cox | 221 comments Anyone out there read Dorothy Sayer's "Whose Body?"
Just started it and finding it a bit slow...Also purchased Crocodile on the Sandbank. Can't wait to start that based on all of your recommendations. Also might look into the Lady Darby series...

Thanks to all!


message 33: by Meghan (new)

Meghan | 266 comments Michelle wrote: "Anyone out there read Dorothy Sayer's "Whose Body?"
Just started it and finding it a bit slow...Also purchased Crocodile on the Sandbank. Can't wait to start that based on all of your recommendati..."


I first read Dorothy Sayers because she was a contemporary of Agatha Christie and I LOVE Christie. I wasn't a fan of "Whose Body?" but did enjoy "The Clouds of Witness". I'm a stickler for reading series in order, so I've been slowly working my way through.


message 34: by Michelle (new)

Michelle Cox | 221 comments Oh! Thanks for that! I'll keep plodding away,then, to try to get to The Clouds of Witness. I think it's a bit difficult because of all the 1920's aristocratic British slang as well as a bit of an outdated writing style.


message 35: by Susanna - Censored by GoodReads (last edited Feb 15, 2015 09:01PM) (new)

Susanna - Censored by GoodReads (susannag) | 463 comments I love Dorothy L. Sayers. Wonderful series, the Lord Peter Wimseys.

Clouds of Witness is the second novel in the series, actually.


message 36: by Sandy (new)

Sandy | 1137 comments Michelle wrote: "Oh! Thanks for that! I'll keep plodding away,then, to try to get to The Clouds of Witness. I think it's a bit difficult because of all the 1920's aristocratic British slang as well as a bit of a..."

I like Whimsey and my favorites are the ones after he meets Harriet Vane.


message 37: by D.G. (new)

D.G. The audiobooks for the Lord Peter series are hilarious! The mysteries are OK but they are just too funny.

I've read 3 or 4 of the books but haven't found the audios with the narrator I like, that's why I haven't continued.


message 38: by [deleted user] (new)

Ages ago someone handed me a cooy of The Five Red Herrings. I really enjoyed, then read whatever I could find. Like others, Whose Body? isn't the best of the lot, but I reckOn you get a sense of who Wimsey is.


message 39: by Shomeret (last edited Feb 18, 2015 08:59AM) (new)

Shomeret | 147 comments Since 2015 started, I've read the following historical mysteries.

I read the last Sano novel by Laura Joh Rowland, The Iris Fan: A Novel of Feudal Japanand was pleasantly surprised by how well she ended the series.

Then I read Murder in Montparnasseby Kerry Greenwood, one of the best Phryne Fishers because of her Paris flashbacks.

Then I read the standalone, The Anatomy of Deceptionby Lawrence Goldstone which was also quite good.

I read The Harlot's Taleby Sam Thomas and liked the development of the protagonist, midwife Bridget Hodgson.

I read Raisins and Almonds, another Phryne Fisher and was sadly underwhelmed. One of the pivotal characters belonged in the TSTL (Too Stupid To Live) category.

I read The Witch Hunter's Taleby Sam Thomas,the most recent Bridget Hodgson and continued to be impressed with her character development. I also really liked Bridget's unpredictable future.

Most recently, I read a YA Victorian mystery in which a circus freak and an acrobat investigate. It's called Wild Boyby Rob Lloyd Jones and I loved it.


message 40: by Veronica (new)

Veronica  (readingonthefly) | 694 comments I'm about half-way through Murphy's Law (Molly Murphy Mysteries #1) by Rhys Bowen and I know it leans more towards a historical cozy but, even so, I'm finding it just a tad too silly for me. It seems as though a high school student wrote it.


message 41: by Sandy (new)

Sandy | 1137 comments Shomeret wrote: "Since 2015 started, I've read the following historical mysteries.

I read the last Sano novel by Laura Joh Rowland, The Iris Fan: A Novel of Feudal Japanand pleasantly surprised by..."


I just listened to Murder in Montparnasse and agree it is one of the best - more plot than many. I overdosed on Phyrnne a while back and am glad I enjoyed this one - I'll pick her back up.

And thanks for mentioning the Midwife series. I had not heard of them and they sound really interesting. Just what I need - one more series!


message 42: by Antoinette (new)

Antoinette | 23 comments Just finished Garment of Shadows, 13th in the Mary Russell series by Laurie King. Fascinating account of Moroccan history alternation with terrifying plot twists.


Susanna - Censored by GoodReads (susannag) | 463 comments Started The William Detective Agency The Dark Lady last night. So-so on it so far.


message 44: by [deleted user] (new)

The postman just dropped off The Dead in Their Vaulted Arches and Robert B. Parker's The Bridge. I'm envisioning a week end cozied up on the sofa with tea/wine.


Susanna - Censored by GoodReads (susannag) | 463 comments Sounds like a great weekend.


message 46: by Vicki (new)

Vicki Cline | 65 comments Paisley wrote: "The postman just dropped off The Dead in Their Vaulted Arches and Robert B. Parker's The Bridge. I'm envisioning a week end cozied up on the sofa with tea/wine."

Have you read the other Flavia de Luce books? I just love them.


message 47: by [deleted user] (last edited Feb 19, 2015 03:40PM) (new)

All except the newest one. I got the first 3 before I knew they was a hard cover version, so I wait until the paperback comes out before reading them. As you might imagine, trying to avoid spoilers is very difficult, but I do my best to avoid them.

I have all the Everett Hitch and Virgil Cole ones too.


message 48: by Michelle (new)

Michelle Cox | 221 comments Paisley wrote: "Ages ago someone handed me a cooy of The Five Red Herrings. I really enjoyed, then read whatever I could find. Like others, Whose Body? isn't the best of the lot, but ..."

Thanks! I can see these making a good tv series. Has anyone seen them? Thinking about trying one or two...


message 49: by Michelle (new)

Michelle Cox | 221 comments Susanna - Censored by GoodReads wrote: "Sounds like a great weekend."

I agree!


message 50: by [deleted user] (new)

Michelle wrote: "Paisley wrote: "Ages ago someone handed me a cooy of The Five Red Herrings. I really enjoyed, then read whatever I could find. Like others, Whose Body? isn't the best ..."

There was a series in the 80s. Not sure if it's available anywhere now.


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