Friday, August 6, 2010

What Would You Recommend? - Historical Mysteries

This is a question I get asked all the time working in the bookstore: "What would you recommend for somebody who loved "_________"? (fill in the blank)" Usually I can come up with something, but that something can be a bit of a wild guess if it's not a book or genre I normally read. This is where you helpful people come in. If you have a suggestion, I'd love to hear it.

Historical mysteries are an interesting subcategory, and one I got asked about last week. I have to admit that I know of a couple, but they're really only the best known ones, and I haven't read any of them: Peter Tremayne's series, the Cadfael books by Ellis Peters and the books by Sharon Kay Penman. These ones are all placed in medieval settings. There's only one Roman set one that I know of: the series by Lindsey Davis.

The Cadfael series of books is perhaps the most well known, having been made into a T.V. series that, if my memory's not playing tricks, starred Derek Jacobi. In terms of the other books and authors I've listed here, I've seen some comments about the Sharon Kay Penman books that say her regular historical fiction is better, but I really can't say for myself. I've not seen anything for the other two authors I've mentioned.

Does anyone know of any other mysteries set in various historical settings? And, for those of you that read them, which ones are your favorites? Which ones are historically accurate is another good question too. One that I'd find particularly key.

So, what would you recommend?
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