Historical Mystery

A
The Corpse Played Dead

I’ve been anxiously awaiting the next installment in the Lizzie Hardwicke series and it does not disappoint! Ms. Clarke has another winner on her hands. The Corpse Played Dead is just as intriguing and brilliantly written as the first book in the series, Death and the Harlot. The Corpse Played ...

B
A Lady's Guide to Gossip and Murder

Dianne Freeman continues her series of light historical mysteries with A Lady’s Guide to Gossip And Murder, which combines cozy mystery and playful period romantic drama to create an entertaining – though not exceptional – historical mystery. Frances Wynn, Countess of Harleigh, is an Americ ...

B+
Murder Knocks Twice

Chicagoan Gina Ricci takes care of her father, an ailing widower. Money is very tight. Palsy makes it hard for her father to repair broken appliances, a task that increasingly falls to Gina. Her schoolfriend Louise Smith, now bobbed-hair Lulu, tells her about a possible opening for a cigarette girl ...

B+
The Spies of Shilling Lane

Jennifer Ryan’s lovely, gristly, involving mystery about a British matron who becomes an investigator in the wake of a humiliating divorce petition, The Spies of Shilling Lane is a surprisingly cozy mystery that’s presided over by a pushy heroine who’s a touch Miss Marple, a pinch Jessica Flet ...

B+
Death of a New American

Death, passion and good sleuthing combine in Death of a New American, the second instalment in Mariah Fredericks’ Jane Prescott series. It’s 1912, just after the sinking of the Titanic, and the New York-based Benchley family is trying to move on with life as best they can.  Mild, plain, olde ...

C-
The Jean Harlow Bombshell

I love old Hollywood, its mysteries and its scandals, so The Jean Harlow Bombshell, which focuses on a biographer who was murdered for digging up a fresh secret about the beloved Hollywood star and the assistant left behind to deal with the criminal fall-out seemed a natural fit for me.  But while ...

A
The Royal Secret

Originally published in the UK under the title The Love Letter, Lucinda Riley's The Royal Secret is finally available to US readers. It's a novel that's hard to categorize as it contains elements of romance, mystery, and a touch of historical intrigue, but whatever one chooses to call it, it's a fas ...

A
Death and the Harlot

Yay! A new historical mystery author with a great start to a series! Death and the Harlot, by Georgina Clarke, is book one in the new Lizzie Hardwicke series and it’s a riveting beginning. Lizzie Hardwicke is one of the luckier harlots in Georgian London; she has a roof over her head, regular m ...

B
Tightrope

Amanda Quick’s slick, fun mystery series, set in the murder-laden town of Burning Cove in1930s California continues with Tightrope, a story about a former trapeze artist and the hired muscle who soon becomes the only man she can trust. When the book opens, second-generation trapeze artist Amali ...

B
The Alchemist of Lost Souls

Sometimes it’s the big picture that draws a person into a story. Combining strong fantasy elements with interesting worldbuilding and character work, The Alchemist of Lost Souls is less interesting for its telegraphed mystery than it is for the richness of its universe, but does not stand well on ...