Historical Mysteries and Thrillers

Historical mysteries and thrillers ranging from pre-history to the mid 1900s (plus or minus); includes Golden Age

A review of The Turquoise Shop by Frances Crane – recently published

A fun mystery, with a bit of 1940s awkwardness… The Turquoise Shop is the first in Frances Crane’s Patrick and Jean Abbott series, set in a fictional New Mexico artists’ colony, Santa Maria, which has some notable similarities to the town of Taos, where Crane lived.  The book was written in the 1940s, and unfortunately …

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A review of The Master of Mysteries by Gelett Burgess – recently published

A fun collection of period short mysteries… Way back in the early twentieth century, Gelett Burgess wrote a series of short mysteries featuring “Astro the Seer”.   Astro ostensibly uses his metaphysical and extrasensory talents, such as reading palms, calculating astrological profiles, and feeling magnetic vibrations, to help his clients.  But he doesn’t really rely on …

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A review of Courting Dragons by Jeri Westerson, coming in January 2023

A great start to a new series… Fans of Jeri Westerson’s Crispin Guest “Medieval Noir” series will also enjoy the first book in her new King’s Fool series, Courting Dragons.   This series features Will Somers, Henry VIII’s court jester, as the protagonist, and to be sure, there’s less noir, but all the key elements are …

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A review of Just Murdered by Katherine Kovacic – coming in Jan 2023

A nice start to a spin-off series! I’ve been a fan of Kerry Greenwood’s Phryne Fisher series for a couple of decades, but I watch almost no TV.  So I barely knew that there was a TV series for the original books, Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries, and was completely unaware that there was also a …

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Review of The Two Hundred Ghost by Henrietta Hamilton

A light-hearted and enjoyable series starter! The Two Hundred Ghost is the first book in Henrietta Hamilton’s Sally and Johnny Heldar series. At this point, Sally and Johnny aren’t yet married, so it’s an origin story of sorts, and other familiar characters (Tim, Father William) make their initial appearances too. And it’s set in one …

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A review of The Murder of Roger Ackroyd by Agatha Christie – new edition coming out soon

It deserves all its accolades… I feel a bit brash reviewing Agatha Christie’s The Murder of Roger Ackroyd.  After all, it’s considered one of her masterpieces, and shows up on multiple “best mysteries” and “books to read before you die” lists. The acclaim is totally deserved, in my opinion, and I’m not quite sure what …

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Review of Secrets of the Nile by Tasha Alexander – recently published

Egyptian historical mysteries tend to be great, whether relatively recent or truly ancient… I’m a huge fan of mysteries set in Egypt, whether they are modern-ish, like Parker Bilal’s Makana books; or somewhat recent historicals, like Michael Pearce’s Mamur Zapt series; or even set in truly ancient times, like Agatha Christie’s Death Comes as the …

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Review of A Desperate Undertaking by Lindsey Davis – recently published

A bit disappointing… I have been a big fan of Lindsey Davis’ original Falco series and spin-off Flavia Albia books for years.   I’ve enjoyed Falco’s snark, Helena Justina’s class, Falco and Helena Justina’s odd and happy partnership, Falco’s odder and somewhat hapless family, Helena Justina’s almost as hapless brothers, Flavia Albia’s own style of snark, …

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A review of Golden Cargoes by Fiona Buckley – recently published

Ursula Blanchard is still at the top of her game… In the interest of full disclosure, I’ve been a fan of Fiona Buckley’s Ursula Blanchard series for years – and years – and years.   And Golden Cargoes exemplifies what I like most about the series:  Buckley’s ability to craft an engaging tale in a detailed …

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