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11 / 30 books. 37% done!

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23 / 51 states. 45% done!

2024 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge

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16 / 50 books. 32% done!

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43 / 50 books. 86% done!

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9 / 25 books. 36% done!

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6 / 26.2 miles (second lap). 23% done!

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23 / 100 books. 23% done!

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58 / 104 books. 56% done!

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42 / 52 books. 81% done!

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61 / 165 books. 37% done!
Tuesday, August 22, 2023

Top Ten Tuesday: Historical Mysteries I Want to Read (and Adore)


Self-help. Poetry. Celebrity tell-alls. Historical fiction. Mysteries and thrillers. Sci-fi/fantasy. Romance. Horror. We all have our favorite genres. Some of us stick to our tried-and-true ones, others of us read widely across a bunch of different genres. I tend to be the former, consuming mostly mysteries/thrillers and historical fiction, with occasional forays into ghost tales, dystopian stories, and narrative non-fiction. I feel like I've talked all of my go-to genres to death here on BBB, so I struggled to come up with something new and different for today's TTT prompt: Genre Freebie. (Top Ten Tuesday is, as always, hosted by Jana over at That Artsy Reader Girl.) Since nothing unique came to mind, I'm going to be boring and just riff on a genre I already talk about a lot. Sorry/not sorry. It's a great genre after all...

I've always loved historical fiction and mysteries, but I'm actually a bit new-ish to historical mysteries. As you will soon see, I particularly enjoy a juicy Victorian England/Scotland whodunit. I'm looking to expand my horizons, though, so hopefully you can help me out. I'm on the hunt for historical mystery series set between about 1800 and 1950 anywhere in the world. I prefer female sleuths, but I'm open to male ones as well. Mostly, I just want series with memorable characters, twisty mysteries, engaging writing, and without anything too graphic (think PG to PG-13). That's not too much to ask, is it? To give you a taste of what I like, here's a quick rundown of my current favorites:

A Rip Through Time series by Kelley Armstrong (Victorian Scotland)
Below Stairs Mysteries by Jennifer Ashley (Victorian England)
Myrtle Hardcastle series by Elizabeth C. Bunce (Victorian England.)
Lady Darby series by Anna Lee Huber (Victorian Scotland)
The Agency series by Y.S. Lee (Victorian England)
The Gilded Newport series by Alyssa Maxwell (Rhode Island, USA, 1890s)
Kinship series by Jess Montgomery (Ohio, USA, 1920s)
Amelia Peabody series by Elizabeth Peters (Victorian England/Egypt)
The Veronica Speedwell series by Deanna Raybourn (Victorian England)
Enola Holmes series by Nancy Springer (Victorian England)

So, what recs do you have for me? Which historical mystery series do you love? Here are ten I have my eye on (images are of the first installment):

Top Ten Historical Mystery Series I Want to Read

1. Rachel Savernake series by Martin Edwards—Set in 1930s London, this series stars the intrepid daughter of a well-known hanging judge who has an uncanny knack for solving the murders that stump Scotland Yard. Convinced Rachel is more than she seems, journalist Jacob Flint follows the amateur sleuth hoping to discover the secrets behind her sleuthing success.

2. Lady Julia Grey series by Deanna Raybourn—When the titular heroine and private inquiry agent Nicholas Brisbane are brought together by the murder of Julia's husband, it becomes apparent that they make a good investigating team. Mysteries ensue. I believe this series is set in Victorian England.

3. Maggie Hope series by Susan Ella MacNeal—When Winston Churchill becomes prime minister in 1940, Maggie Hope is hired to be his secretary. Brilliant but overlooked because of her gender, Maggie's new position opens her up to an exciting array of unimaginable opportunities, including tantalizing mysteries begging to be solved.

4. Baskerville Hall series by Ali Standish—The first installment of this brand-new middle-grade series won't be available for a few more weeks, but I've got an ARC I'm excited to read. It imagines what might have happened if a young Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was recognized for his deductive brilliance and invited to attend a special school for gifted children. Spoiler alert: he and his schoolmates (including a boy named Jimmie Moriarty) find all kinds of mysteries to explore. 

5. Louise Falk series by Liz Freeland—It's 1913 and 20-year-old Louise Falk has traded her Pennsylvania upbringing for the bright lights of New York City. Solving a murder that happened in her Greenwich Village apartment proves she has an aptitude for investigation. Soon, she's moving all over the city to sniff out criminals. 

6. Verity Kent series by Anna Lee Huber—In post-World War I England, grieving widow Verity Kent is pulled into a mystery surrounding the death of her husband. Solving that one leads her to reluctantly take on more cases to help family and friends.

7. The Brontë Sisters series by Bella Ellis—Charlotte, Emily, and Anne Brontë are smart, creative, and plucky women who are eager to use their talents for endeavors beyond keeping house. When a neighbor's disappearance leads them to launch their own amateur investigation, they realize that they make a fine team of detectors—even society frowns on them doing something so unladlylike.

8. Murder Most Unladylike series by Robin Stevens—This middle-grade series is set in an English boarding school in the 1930s. It stars Daisy Wells and Hazel Wong, who set up a secret detective agency to investigate crimes among their friends and classmates.

9. Mrs. Jefferies series by Emily Brightwell—Another series set in Victorian England (I just can't resist!), this one just sounds delightful. Mrs. Jefferies is the eagle-eyed housekeeper of a prominent Scotland Yard inspector. Her insights are the real key to his success as an investigator. 

10. Victorian Book Club series by Callie Hutton—Set in Bath, England, in the 1890s, this series stars a female mystery author who solves real-life mysteries along with the members of her book club.

Phew! There you go, ten historical mystery series I already adore and ten I want to read (and adore). Which others would you recommend? What did you do for your genre freebie list today? I'd love to know. Leave me a comment on this post and I will gladly return the favor on your blog. I also reply to the comments you leave here.

Happy TTT! 

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Tress of the Emerald Sea by Brandon Sanderson

Listening

<i>Listening</i>
The Silent Sister by Diane Chamberlain



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