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Archive for 'Historical'

A Dangerous Deceit

A Dangerous Deceit (2017) Alissa Johnson That was completely unexpected. In a very good way. Gabriel Arkwright is the third Gentleman Thief-taker, and like Samuel, he has a past he doesn’t talk about. He’s also glib and very good at becoming who he needs to be for each case. Jane Ballenger lives in an isolated […]

A Gift for Guile

A Gift for Guile (2016) Alissa Johnson Set in England in 1872 The second book in the Gentleman Thief-takers series tells Esther’s story–that of a girl who was used by her scoundrel father as dainty and surprising henchman, and who kept her secrets from everyone–including her sister. Now she is looking for her father–her true […]

A Dangerous Madness

A Dangerous Madness (2014) Michelle Diener Set in England in 1812 The third (and sadly, it seems) book in this series. Phoebe and Sheldrake’s engagment came at the insistance of their families, which is why despite her many misgivings, Phoebe acquiesced. “Sheldrake?” She peered at the man taking up most of the small space. “Good […]

Banquet of Lies

Banquet of Lies (2013) Michelle Diener Set in England in 1812. Giselle Barrington has spent her life following her father around Europe, collecting folklore and working secretly for the Crown. She’s developed her own strange passion: food, recipes, and cooking. “What do you do with the recipes?” The woman looked genuinely interested now. “I’m compiling […]

The Emperor’s Conspiracy

The Emperor’s Conspiracy (2012) Michelle Diener Set in England in 1811. Charlotte Raven was rescued by Lady Howe from life as a chimney sweep–a life for which she had finally grown too large. Her past, and her gratitude towards Lady Howe create a young woman who will do what she can to help those in […]

Talk Sweetly to Me

Talk Sweetly to Me (2014) Courtney Milan Set in England in 1882. This is the final novella in the Brothers Sinister series, and I adore it. Rose Sweetly is a computer–she can do complex mathematics in her head, and loves working with astronomers. She’s an utter geek, long before geeks were cool. “Why is it […]

The Suffragette Scandal

The Suffragette Scandal (2014) Courtney Milan Set in England in 1877 Free Marshall has done the things she told her brother Oliver she would, including going to college. Now she runs a women’s newspaper that calls for rights for women and points out injustices. (Free was based a bit on Nelly Bly.) She wagged a […]


Unclaimed (2011) Courtney Milan Set in England in 1841 Mark Turner has been knighted by the queen for his book on Chastity for men. That single event has made him a super star–despite all his best efforts not to be one. Why was it that men had to take every good principle and turn it […]


Unveiled (2011) Courtney Milan Set in England in 1837 Ash Turner has succeeded beyond what anyone might have imagined, and his final goal is taking the Dukedom from the family of his distance relative–turning the man’s children into bastards in the process. But Ash doesn’t care, because everything he does is for his family. (D)espite […]

The Countess Conspiracy

The Countess Conspiracy (2013) Courtney Milan Set in England in 1867 And this, this is my favorite story in this series. There was nothing shameful about the figure Sebastian was pointing to, not unless one harbored an irrational hatred for bar charts. “Don’t worry,” Sebastian told Violet’s niece. “I’ll try not to seduce you on […]

The Heiress Effect

The Heiress Effect (2013) Courtney Milan Set in England in 1867 Jane Fairfield has a serious problem–she has money and she is eligible, but she can’t marry–not now. So she has to do everything in her power to not marry, despite her fortune. Jane sashayed forward and took in the effect of her new gown. […]

A Kiss for Midwinter

A Kiss for Midwinter (2012) Courtney Milan Set in England in 1863. Lydia was a secondary character in The Duchess War and this is her story–how she found true love despite her past. Dr Grantham also appeared in The Duchess War, although far less than Lydia, but he is still interesting even in those brief […]

The Duchess War

The Duchess War (2012) Courtney Milan Set in England in 1863. Minerva Lane has been hiding. Hiding from her past and her childhood, and even her name, going by another name, Wilhelmina Pursling. No one but her great aunts knows of her past, not even her best friend Lydia, whose dangerous secrets she’s held for […]

Some Danger Involved

Some Danger Involved (2004) Will Thomas Set in London in 1884. I believe I started with series when Grandmom was living with us–both of us loved it for certain. Thomas Llewelyn is a young Welshman who is at the end of his rope. He was kicked out of Oxford, spent time in Oxford prison, and […]

Where the Dead Lie

Where the Dead Lie (2017) C.S. Harris Set in London in September 1813. In case you’ve lost track, this is book 12 in the Sebastian St Cry series. Sebastian is becoming used to fatherhood, and although his sister still hates him, Sebastian’s father has been reaching out to Sebastian, to try perhaps to repair their […]

Mission for a Queen

Mission for a Queen (2016) Tracy Grant Set in London and Europe in the summer of 1818 Malcolm and Susanne/Melanie have fled London, along with their children, Raoul, and Laura, while the friends back on London try to piece together what happened, and keep their disappearance as quiet and boring as possible. David and Simon […]

Shores of Desire

Shores of Desire (1997) Tracy Grant Set in Scotland and Europe in 1815 There are actually three primary characters in this story: Robert, Emma, and the War with Napoleon. Emma was used to dealing with everyday injuries, wounds from fights and falls and accidents. Save when Allan had been invalided home, his wounds already neatly […]

Dark Angel

Dark Angel (1994) Tracy Grant Set in Spain and England in 1813 Still out of sorts and not sure what I’m in the mood for, I went for something completely different: historical mystery/romance. I think one of the things I particularly like about Tracy Grant’s stories is that the children are an integral part of […]

A Perilous Undertaking

A Perilous Undertaking (2017) Deanna Raybourn Set in London in 1887. The second Veronica Speedwell mystery finds Veronica and Stoker preparing for an expedition–until their benefactor breaks his leg tripping over his giant tortoise. This leaves both cranky with each other until a new mystery is dropped in their laps. Veronica is summoned to the […]

A Curious Beginning

A Curious Beginning (2015) Deanna Raybourn Set in London in 1887 This had been on my wishlist for awhile, because although I found her other series vaguely annoying (both not so annoying that I didn’t read multiple books) this seemed right up my alley. As the city prepares to celebrate Queen Victoria’s golden jubilee, Veronica […]

Full Dark House

Full Dark House (2003) Christopher Fowler Bryant & May met during the bombing of London during WWII, when May joined the force and was set to the Peculiar Crimes Unit, where Bryant was the lead detective. The story starts in the modern day, when the PCU office has been blown up and it is believed […]

Magic and Manners

Magic and Manners (2016) C.E. Murphy Set in alternate Regency England, with magic. First, I really liked the magic and world-building. Magic is stigmatized in England, worked only by the lower-classes who are useful to the crown in warfare. The new Mrs Dover marked no complaints about a home   where the tea remained mysteriously […]

Shroud for the Archbishop

Shroud for the Archbishop (1995) Peter Tremayne Set in Rome in 664. The second Fidelma mystery finds Fidelma and Eadulf in Rome, where Eadulf is secretary to Wighard, Archbishop designate of Canterbury and Fidelma is to present various items to the Bishop of Rome. Again, Fidelma suffers culture shock as she sees the restricted rights […]

Absolution By Murder

Absolution By Murder (1994) Peter Tremayne Set in England in 664 I’d read these years and years ago, and had been looking for the eBook versions to go on sale, but no joy, so I broke down and bought the first two ebooks. Sister Fidelma follows the Celtic Christian tradition, but more importantly to the […]

The Holy Thief

The Holy Thief (1992) Ellis Peters Set in England in 1144. Two very different groups have stopped by the Benedictine abbey: a troubadour and his entourage, and a brother and a novice from Ramsey–seeing funds and help to rebuild the abbey and the city there, destroyed by Geoffrey de Mandeville, Earl of Essex. But a […]

The Summer of the Danes

The Summer of the Danes (1991) Ellis Peters Set in Wales in 1144. This story is quite different from others in this series. Like the first, it is set in Wales, but instead of a peaceful search for a saint, there is a possibility of a fight between brothers and then invasion (by the Danes […]

The Potter’s Field

The Potter’s Field (1989) Ellis Peters Set in England in 1143. The war between King Stephen and Empress Maud continues, and raiders have attacked East Anglia, sending the residents and the local Benedictines fleeing. The novice Sulien Blount is sent back to Shrewsbury both to escape the raiders and to consider whether he truly wants […]

The Heretic’s Apprentice

The Heretic’s Apprentice (1989) Ellis Peters Set in England in 1143. William of Lythwood has returned from his pilgrimage to the Holy Land in a coffin. He died of illness on his return home, and his attendant Elave has brought his body back to his family. However, a visiting cleric raises doubts as to whether […]

The Confession of Brother Haluin

The Confession of Brother Haluin (1988) Ellis Peters Set in England in 1143. Brother Haluin came to the abbey as a novice, and as a brother did penance beyond what it was believed he owed. But there are some born to do penance by nature. Maybe they, lift the load for some of us who […]

The Hermit of Eyton Forest

The Hermit of Eyton Forest (1987) Ellis Peters Set in England in 1142. The 14th Brother Cadfael book sees the Civil War still causing problems, and sees further reversals between the two contestants for the throne. Back at the Abbey, Cadfael has a new helper, another young novice. “Yes, I should think he might do […]

The Rose Rent

The Rose Rent (1986) Ellis Peters Set in England in 1142. The 13th Brother Cadfael mystery revolves around a property that had been donated to the Abbey by a widow, with an unusual stipulation. One white rose from that bush in her old garden, to be delivered to her on the day of Saint Winifred’s […]

The Raven in the Foregate

The Raven in the Foregate (1986) Ellis Peters Set in England in 1141. The 12th Brother Cadfael mystery finds a new priest come to the local parish–a priest sent by bishop Henry of Winchester. Although he is educated and pious, it soon becomes clear that he is not well suited to being a parish priest. […]

An Excellent Mystery

An Excellent Mystery (1985) Ellis Peters Set in England in 1141. The town of Winchester has been destroyed in the war between Maud and Stephen, and the people–as well as the Benedictine brothers and nuns–have scattered across the country to wherever they can find refuge. Two monks arrive at the Abbey of Saint Peter and […]

The Pilgrim of Hate

The Pilgrim of Hate (1984) Ellis Peters Set in England in 1141 The 10th Brother Cadfael novel finds the Abbey preparing for the celebration of Saint Winifred, and pilgrims arriving in hopes of a miracle. This celebration is a reprieve from the civil war that has been tearing up the country for three years. I […]

Dead Man’s Ransom

Dead Man’s Ransom (1984) Ellis Peters Set in England and Wales in 1141. The civil war continues to tear through England, reaching back towards Shrewsbury, where Hugh and the local sheriff are sent off to fight against the Earls of Chester and Lincoln as well as a marauder from Wales. When the sheriff is taken, […]