Discussion Forums - Mystery & Thrillers

Topic: 2010 Mystery Challenge - SINNERS, NOT SAINTS #6

Club rule - Please, if you cannot be courteous and respectful, do not post in this forum.
Page:   Unlock Forum posting with Annual Membership.
Alice J. (ASJ) - ,
Subject: 2010 Mystery Challenge - SINNERS, NOT SAINTS #6
Date Posted: 12/4/2009 7:32 AM ET
Member Since: 5/13/2009
Posts: 41,118
Back To Top

 SINNERS, NOT SAINTS Read a historical mystery that does NOT feature a monk, nun or other religious figure as the main character. ("Historical" in this sense meaning anything before WWII)

All discussion of books and authors for this challenge will be conducted in this topic.

 

Date Posted: 12/4/2009 1:04 PM ET
Member Since: 4/18/2009
Posts: 1,376
Back To Top

A quick question: does "historical" mean it had to have been written as a historical novel (as in, in a setting historical to the author) or can it include mysteries written by historical authors, as in dead authors who wrote their mysteries set in contemporary times (for them)?

 

And if that question was phrased too convolutedly, I was wondering if I could read a Dorothy Sayers novel for this category. . . one of the early Peter Wimsey novels, written in 1927.

Date Posted: 12/4/2009 1:29 PM ET
Member Since: 8/27/2005
Posts: 4,134
Back To Top

"does "historical" mean it had to have been written as a historical novel"

This was the same question I asked in the Historical Fiction challenge recently.  I had found a definition online of historical fiction as being written about a time 50 or more years in the past, and written from research rather than personal experience. 

Being kind of a stickler for things like this I kept to the above definition, which made it really hard to find a historical fiction written in my birth year of 1956!  I did eventually find 2, though.

Date Posted: 12/4/2009 6:12 PM ET
Member Since: 8/10/2005
Posts: 4,601
Back To Top

That's what I would say too, Diane....written about a past time, not an older mystery written during the past time.

Cheryl

Date Posted: 12/4/2009 9:12 PM ET
Member Since: 1/30/2009
Posts: 5,696
Back To Top

I agree with Diane and Cheryl.  I think of "historical fiction" as something that would have been considered historical at its time of publication.

Date Posted: 12/10/2009 7:37 PM ET
Member Since: 2/21/2009
Posts: 2,925
Back To Top

Well....I need a couple examples or ideas - I avoid things referencing "historical" like the plague and this will be the most difficult for me, unless an example points out something historical that reads like it's not. :-)

Date Posted: 12/10/2009 8:04 PM ET
Member Since: 12/30/2006
Posts: 929
Back To Top

Jodi,

The Gaslight Mysteries by Victoria Thompson are great.  I've only read the first two but enjoyed both very much.  The first one is Murder on Astor Place and less than 300 pages.  Tasha Alexander has a series which I have read only the first book, And only to Deceive.  It was good enough that I requested the second one.  I'm now on the second book of Laurie King's Mary Russell, Sherlock Holmes series.  I'm having a bit of trouble getting into this book but I think it's more my fault than that of the book.  Precious little time to read lately.  I know there are other's here more expert than I.

ETA:  This is a good starting place, SYKM, but I know I like to hear suggestions from others who have actually read the books.  The Mr. and Mrs. Darcy series by Carrie Bebris is also very good.

Another List



Last Edited on: 3/27/10 5:22 PM ET - Total times edited: 3
Date Posted: 12/10/2009 8:12 PM ET
Member Since: 2/21/2009
Posts: 2,925
Back To Top

I appreciate the ideas, Terri..it gives me some things to check out...and of course, we have some time and it is only ONE book, lol. (Woe is me, I didn't complete this for 2009.)  I thoroughly enjoyed the "real" Sherlock Holmes (so much that I bought this gigantic 2 volume annotated set with all the works!), so I'll check that out too.

Date Posted: 12/10/2009 8:22 PM ET
Member Since: 12/30/2006
Posts: 929
Back To Top

Well, according to the SYKM list, there are any number of people who have written about Sherlock Holmes.  Who knew?  Someone here may be able to tell you if any of those are good.  And I did enjoy the first Mary Russell, Sherlock Holmes book quite a lot.  As I said, I've had so little time to read recently that it's been difficult to really focus on the second one.

Date Posted: 12/10/2009 9:15 PM ET
Member Since: 1/30/2009
Posts: 5,696
Back To Top

Also - Jacqueline Winspear's Maisie Dobb's books are very good. 

Date Posted: 1/6/2010 9:28 PM ET
Member Since: 4/18/2009
Posts: 1,376
Back To Top

Has anybody here read Barbara Hambly's Benjamin January mysteries? They start with A Free Man of Color. They are mysteries that are set in 1833 New Orleans, but I know Hambly as a fantasy author so I have no idea if the mentions of voodoo in the description just mean they will be atmospheric or if there is actually magic involved. I'm planning on reading it for this category either way, but I'm curious. :)

Date Posted: 1/13/2010 10:45 AM ET
Member Since: 5/3/2008
Posts: 10,479
Back To Top

I finished "River of Darkness" by Rennie Airth last night and - wow - I thought it was great. It's not for the faint-hearted, however. It takes place in the shadow of WWl in Britain. The characters developed nicely; the protagonist had his own issues; a little romance; a little humor; a riveting plot. I recommend it highly!

Date Posted: 1/13/2010 6:24 PM ET
Member Since: 4/18/2009
Posts: 1,376
Back To Top

Just finished A Free Man of Color by Barbara Hambly for this category (and, incidentally, also for my first book of the challenge). It was really good, but not at all lighthearted. It was a fairly good mystery, but the book's real strength is in the period detail and its willingness to show the reader the darkness that is American history. What gets it even greater props in my book is that it doesn't only see the darkness -- it also sees all the little bits of stolen happiness that people in even the direst situations can find. Really highly recommended.

And to answer my question above, there aren't any supernatural elements; this is a pure historical mystery.

Alice J. (ASJ) - ,
Date Posted: 1/14/2010 6:41 AM ET
Member Since: 5/13/2009
Posts: 41,118
Back To Top

I love Barabara Hambly's series. I have 4-5 so far and have one on my list for the challenge this year. I think they get better and better. You get a really good feeling of what it was to live in New Orleans as a free person of color at that time. Great historical perspective. One of them goes into the yellow fever out break in that era and you can just feel the terror. Glad you enjoyed it.

Alice

Ellie (EllieW) - ,
Date Posted: 1/20/2010 6:22 PM ET
Member Since: 3/5/2007
Posts: 1,479
Back To Top

I also read "River of Darkness" by Rennie Airth for this category. I finished last night and thoroughly enjoyed it. I am looking forward to the second in the series, but have several other books lined up first.

Date Posted: 1/20/2010 8:59 PM ET
Member Since: 4/2/2009
Posts: 7,620
Back To Top

, :)



Last Edited on: 8/21/12 12:23 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 1/21/2010 7:39 AM ET
Member Since: 8/10/2005
Posts: 4,601
Back To Top

Sure, Adriane...1912 is historical! Hope you enjoy it.

Cheryl

Geri (geejay) -
Date Posted: 1/22/2010 5:17 AM ET
Member Since: 9/2/2008
Posts: 9,094
Back To Top

I'm not sure if Ghost Riders by Sharyn McCrumb would qualify here. 

It opens with some Civil War reenacters more or less present time.  The narrator of the story has "The Sight" and on occasion sees ghosts.  The story then switches to pre-Civil War and involves Zebulon Vance who became a Confederate governor and the Union Blalock family.  I'm not that far into reading it but from a blurb know that Nora Bonesteel another person who has "The Sight" and Spencer Arrowood a sherrif are in the book.  Because they're in it I would guess that it will work up to more or less present time since the book was written in 2003.

Sharyn McCrumb is know for mixing the past and present and it would be nice if this qualified but no worries if it doesn't because my backup is Jill Churchill's "Someone to Watch Over Mr".

Mary (mepom) -
Subject: River of Darkness by Rennie Airth
Date Posted: 2/9/2010 3:36 PM ET
Member Since: 1/23/2009
Posts: 1,192
Back To Top

I also read River of Darkness. It was so great that I read the other 2 in the series as quickly as I could find them.

Mary

COMPLETE



Last Edited on: 5/18/10 7:59 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Alice J. (ASJ) - ,
Date Posted: 2/10/2010 7:57 PM ET
Member Since: 5/13/2009
Posts: 41,118
Back To Top

I finished Lindsey Davis's Posiedon's Gold. It is set in 72 AD Rome. I think it is the 5th in the series. Great Roman mystery seires that does not get old. Characters are always lively and enertaining. She does a great description of the food of the time as well If you pick up this series start with the first one Silver Pigs. Highly recommend the series.

Alice

Date Posted: 2/25/2010 10:54 AM ET
Member Since: 1/8/2007
Posts: 8,139
Back To Top

Finished The Old Buzzard Had it Coming by Donis Casey over my vacation this week. It was very good! Setting was early 1900's in Oklahoma, just after statehood. It had a lot of historical information regarding farm life in the pioneer states. A farmer's wife investigates the death of the father of a young man her daughter has fallen for. An entertaining read!

Date Posted: 3/27/2010 5:26 PM ET
Member Since: 12/30/2006
Posts: 929
Back To Top

Bump

Date Posted: 3/28/2010 11:45 AM ET
Member Since: 11/30/2007
Posts: 4,985
Back To Top

Historical Mysteries recommended on another website:

The Red Velvet Turnshoeby Cassandra Clark --14th Century Europe

Folly du Jour by Barbara Cleverly -- 1923 Paris

A Play of Treachery by Margaret Frazer -- 15th Century Europe

Requiem in Vienna by J. Sydney Jones -- 1899 Vienna

Decked With Folly byKate Kingsbury -- Edwardian England

A Bolt from the Blue byDiane A. S. Stuckart-- 15th Century Italy

Council of the Cursed by Peter Tremayne-- 7th Century France



Last Edited on: 3/28/10 11:49 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 3/29/2010 8:30 AM ET
Member Since: 8/10/2005
Posts: 4,601
Back To Top

Keep in mind though that some of those on your list do feature nuns or monks, Connie....the object of this challenge is read a historical that is NOT about a Brother or Sister or Father or Mother. :)

The Red Velvet Turnshoe features a nun (Sister Hildegard) and is also the second book of a series (after Hangman's Blind.) I've got both of those on my TBR and hope to get to the first one soon.

The Peter Tremayne series features Sister Fidelma, and the one you mentioned (The Council of the Cursed) is one of the latest in the series. Definitely best to start at the beginning with that series!

Margaret Frazer also writes a series about a nun, but I'm guessing the one you mentioned is from her other series featuring a jester.

Cheryl

Date Posted: 3/29/2010 9:40 AM ET
Member Since: 5/3/2008
Posts: 10,479
Back To Top

I would think that any of the books by Bruce Alexander or Charles Todd would be good for this category - don't think they feature religious (nuns or monks) in them. Another would be C.S. Harris' books.

Page: