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Topic: Historical Mysteries

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Subject: Historical Mysteries
Date Posted: 10/1/2009 5:57 PM ET
Member Since: 3/11/2008
Posts: 924
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I'm on a historical mystery kick right now, so I'd love to hear what your favorite historical mysteries and series are. :)

Date Posted: 10/1/2009 7:03 PM ET
Member Since: 1/9/2006
Posts: 760
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Check out Will Thomas.  I read his first and it was great.

Rhys Bowen has been well recommended to me as well, but I haven't read them yet.

Victoria Thompson's Gaslight mysteries are excellent

Date Posted: 10/1/2009 7:47 PM ET
Member Since: 9/22/2009
Posts: 174
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I totally love the Maizie Dobbs series by Jacqueline Winspear. It's set in England during and after WWI.

Cathy A. (Cathy) - ,
Date Posted: 10/2/2009 1:06 AM ET
Member Since: 12/27/2005
Posts: 4,135
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I second the recommendation for Jacqueline Winspear's series about Maisie Dobbs. I also like these series (author's names are first):

Carola Dunn -- 1920s England. These are cozies. Daisy Dalrymple is a reporter who's married to a policeman.

Deanna Raybourn -- England, 19th c? - Lady Julia Grey is a member of the aristocracy. Romantic suspense.

Elizabeth Peters -- late 19th, early 20th century. Amelia Peabody is an English woman who wants to travel. The books take place in Egypt during the height of archeological exploration. Humorous, some might call them cozies.

Laurie R. King -- early 20th c. - Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes

Sharan Newman -- set in France during the middle ages. The main character is Catherine LeVendeur.

Susanne Alleyn -- France just after the revolution, police consultant helps solve murders

Kathryn Miller Haines -- USA, during WW II. Rosie Winter is an actress in NY.

Date Posted: 10/4/2009 12:02 AM ET
Member Since: 8/10/2005
Posts: 4,600
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I thought I had answered this before but I guess my post didn't go through. This is my favorite sub-genre! I am partial to medieval time period, so that's where most of these favorites of mine fall.

(Author---->Main Character(s) listed)

Medieval

Ellis Peters----->Brother Cadfael (my very favorite and the series that spawned my addiction to historical mysteries!)

Alys Clare---->Abbess Helewise and Sir Josse D'Acquin "Hawkenlye Abbey" series

Bernard Knight----->Crowner John

Kate Sedley------>Roger the Chapman

Susanna Gregory---->Matthew Bartholomew

Sharan Newman----->Catherine LeVendeur

Sharon Kay Penman----->Justin de Quincy

Alan Gordon----->Feste the Fool "Fools Guild" series

Candace Robb----->Owen Archer

 

A few outside the medieval times but still great historicals:

Steve Hockensmith------>"Holmes on the Range" series (1890's western USA)

Jacqueline Winspear----->Maisie Dobbs (post-WWI)

Bruce Alexander----->Sir John Fielding "Bow Street" series (1770's UK)

Victoria Thompson----->Sarah Brandt/Frank Malloy "Gaslight" series (early 1900's New York)

Rhys Bowen----->Molly Murphy (also early 1900's New York)

Peter Tremayne------>Sister Fidelma (7th century Ireland)

Robin Paige---->Lady Kathryn Ardleigh (Victorian England)

C.J. Sansom---->Matthew Shardlake (during the time of Henry VIII)

David Liss----->Benjamin Weaver (18th c. England)

 

Honorable mention: These are authors/series I've just read one or two books of, can't really call "favorite" yet but was impressed "so far":

Maureen Ash----->Bascot de Marins "Templar Knight" series

Jane Finnis----->Aurelia Marcella (set in Roman Britain, 91 A.D.

Ariana Franklin----->Adelia Aguilar (12th C. England)

Edward Marston---->"Domesday" series, (1080's England)

Jason Goodwin------>Yashim the Eunuch, (1860's Istanbul)

C.S. Harris----->Sebastian St. Cyr, (Regency England)

I know I forgot someone....I'll probably edit this 50 times.

Cheryl

Date Posted: 10/4/2009 1:08 AM ET
Member Since: 1/30/2009
Posts: 5,696
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Cheryl - if Mr. Caviglia comes home from work one day, and finds my lifeless form buried under a gigantic pile of mystery novels, I think you will be at least partially responsible.   You have the best recommendations.

I definitely second the Victoria Thompson and Jacqueline Winspear books - they're wonderful.  The Maisie Dobbs books in particular just get better and better as they go along (so far!).

Date Posted: 10/4/2009 10:17 AM ET
Member Since: 8/10/2009
Posts: 12
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Here are a few more historical mystery authors: Ann Perry, Michael Jecks, Ariana Franklin, C. J. Sansom, Margaret Frazer, Ann McMillan, Michael Kilian

Date Posted: 10/4/2009 7:08 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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I love the Sebastian St Cyr series by CS Harris.

I really liked the WWI Revely family series by Anne Perry (No Graves As Yet, At Some Disputed Barricade etc..,) THey are murder mysteries set against WWI England/France.

Date Posted: 10/5/2009 8:42 AM ET
Member Since: 8/10/2009
Posts: 12
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Rennie Airth does a post-WWI England series.

Date Posted: 10/5/2009 9:02 AM ET
Member Since: 5/29/2007
Posts: 13,347
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Just great!!!!  More books to add to my list!  Thanks!  (just kidding)  :)

Date Posted: 10/5/2009 1:09 PM ET
Member Since: 9/30/2006
Posts: 6,911
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I second one of Cheryl's picks - the series by Robin Paige.  If you don't know, this series is actually written by Susan Wittig Albert (China Bayles) and her husband Bill Albert under this pseudonym.  Absolutely  my favorite.  Albert also has a new series going which is historical, "The Cottage Tales of Beatrix Potter."  It took me awhile to figure out these were for adults, not kids!  :)

Date Posted: 10/5/2009 1:30 PM ET
Member Since: 8/24/2005
Posts: 504
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In addition to the wealth of titles already suggested, look into the Hilda Johansson series by Jeanne Dams. Hilda is a Swedish immigrant in 19210 or so South Bend, Indiana, serving as a maid in the Studebaker household.

What's really interesting is reading a title from several series that are all set at roughly the same time. The series of Jacqueline Winspear and Carola Dunn are both post-World War I, for instance.

 

Date Posted: 10/5/2009 6:08 PM ET
Member Since: 8/10/2005
Posts: 4,600
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:P at Caviglia...I do hope you won't be 'booked' to death! But I guess, on the other hand...what a way to go! :P

Cheryl

Date Posted: 10/5/2009 7:20 PM ET
Member Since: 5/20/2008
Posts: 2,161
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I love Emily Brightwells "Mrs. Jeffries" series. Its about a Scotland Yard Inspectors housekeeper and staff. They are the coziest cozies EVAH. I read them for total comfort and joy.

I went on a kick where I enjoyed Rebecca Kent and  Kate Kingsbury (same author) the former writes a Victorian mysteries about the headmistress of an all girls school who can see ghosts, and the latter is a WWII mystery about the Lady of the Manor and her solving mysteries. The latter got to be redundant, but I am still enjoying her Rebecca Kent series.

Now... if you go back through this genre and search my name, you'll find my recommendations for Golden Age authors. Although historical is fun, the real deal is way better. I just can't get over how well authors composed mysteries during the early middle 1900's. Quickly, I'd recommend Patricia Wentworth, Gladys Mitchell, Edmund Crispin, Dorothy Sayers, and for really fun moral puzzles, G.K. Chesterton.

Rue Morgue Press is reissuing alot of these authors. I curently really want to read the "Lady Lupin" series by joan Coggin. Lady Lupin is a sweet natured slightly air headed vicars wife for a knack at mysteries. These are supposed to be light comedy. I'd also like to read Shelia Pimm's Irish mysteries, and Pamela Branch and Dorothy Bowers.

Date Posted: 10/6/2009 11:26 AM ET
Member Since: 8/10/2009
Posts: 12
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Has anyone read MIriam Grace Monfredo's books? I saw them advertised in the back of one of Michael Kilian's books. They sounded like they might be worth a try.

Date Posted: 10/6/2009 1:06 PM ET
Member Since: 8/10/2009
Posts: 12
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J.M.C. Blair does a series in which Merlin (yes, as in Merlin of the Arthurian legends) is the detective.

Kim (Mistry) -
Date Posted: 10/6/2009 3:04 PM ET
Member Since: 6/23/2006
Posts: 4,089
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Thanks, Twinkies, for yet another recommendation added to my RL! The Rebecca Kent mysteries sound right up my alley :)

Date Posted: 10/11/2009 11:46 AM ET
Member Since: 12/22/2008
Posts: 533
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I've never read C. J. Sansom, but a number of people here seem to love his books.

Date Posted: 10/13/2009 8:03 AM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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I didn't see these mentioned an I haven't read one yet: But Tasha Alexander has a historical mysterie series.

Also The Fig Eater by Jody Shields

And Barbara Cleverley has a mystery series starrring Joe Sandilands.  Those are WWI era I think. 

Date Posted: 10/13/2009 8:50 AM ET
Member Since: 2/21/2008
Posts: 310
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If you are looking for a short series (only 3 novels) that is already complete, I would recommend Cynthia Peale's series set in 1800's Boston.  It starts with The Death of Colonel Mann. 

Great series with wonderful detail and likeable characters.  Your best bet to find these would be here on this website!

Alice J. (ASJ) - ,
Date Posted: 10/28/2009 8:58 AM ET
Member Since: 5/13/2009
Posts: 40,409
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Anyone read a new Historical mystery author lately? I read Medicus by Ruth Downie and had trouble getting into it. Always looking for  a good new author. So what do you have for ideas?

Date Posted: 10/28/2009 4:05 PM ET
Member Since: 12/22/2008
Posts: 533
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It is still WL'd, but I am going to try the new cozy mystery series with Abigail Adams.  I think the author is Barbara Hamilton.



Last Edited on: 10/28/09 7:13 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 10/28/2009 4:57 PM ET
Member Since: 8/10/2005
Posts: 4,600
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These are new-ish series, but I haven't read them so can neither confirm or deny whether they're any good. :D I've really been trying to not start anything new until I catch up with some of the dozens of series I'm in the middle of. But these are on my TBR....

Bone Rattler by Eliot Pattison which is the first of a series set in Colonial America. There is a second one due out I think next year.

The Unquiet Bones by Melvin Starr takes place in 14th C. England during the time of the Black Death. There is a second due out soon.

The Salisbury Manuscript by Philip Gooden starts a new series set in 1870's England featuring a lawyer.

There's others too, but I'm at work and I can't think straight. LOL

Cheryl

Alice J. (ASJ) - ,
Date Posted: 10/28/2009 6:36 PM ET
Member Since: 5/13/2009
Posts: 40,409
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HI Valerie,

Can you check the author on the Martha Washington cozy? I can't find a Barbara Hamilton.

Alice

Date Posted: 10/28/2009 7:09 PM ET
Member Since: 12/22/2008
Posts: 533
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Hi Alice.  I am so sorry to send you on a wild goose chase.  It's Abigail Adams, not Martha Washington.  How embarrassing.  I am currently reading George Washington's biography and guess I had Martha on my mind.




Last Edited on: 10/28/09 7:12 PM ET - Total times edited: 1