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Archive for 'Historical'

Proper English

Proper English (2019) K.J. Charles Set in England in 1902 If Pat stayed, she would continue running Skirmidge House, and either she would resent Olivia for treating her as an upper servant, or Olivia would resent her for usurping her rights as head of the household Pat did not corset. She had had no mother […]

The Missing Page

The Missing Page (2021) Cat Sebastian (Page & Sommers) Set in in England in 1947 “The letter from the solicitor said the uncle’s will stipulated that all legatees attend the reading at the family home in Cornwall or forfeit their bequest.” Leo’s eyebrows shot straight up. “Was it his uncle’s dying wish to reenact a […]

The Last Drop of Hemlock

The Last Drop of Hemlock (2023) Katharine Schellman (Nightingale Mysteries) Set in New York City in 1924. Vivian enjoys her new job at the Nightingale–and even more enjoys making deliveries for the dress shop instead of sewing. But when Bea’s uncle, who had just started working at the Nightingale as a bouncer, is found dead […]

Hither, Page

Hither, Page (2019) Cat Sebastian (Page & Sommers) Set in England in 1946. This story reminds me very much of an Agatha Christie, only with boinking. A combination of A Murder is Announced and The Moving Finger. None of the witnesses could suggest a possible motive, nor did any of them think Mrs. Hoggett had […]

Lady Odelia’s Secret

Lady Odelia’s Secret (2022) Jane Steen (Scott-De Quincy Mysteries) Set in England in 1882. As usual, I experienced the strange shock that it was my husband—my Justin—buried under the tall new monument, set apart within its own patch of closely scythed grass. “What do you think?” I asked my sister. “No railing?” She raised her […]

Mortal Follies

Mortal Follies (2023) Alexis Hall Set in alternate England in 1841. This isn’t just a story of love and curses and betrayal and hot springs and sacrifices. It’s a story of all those things told by the most unreliable of story tellers. I am that knavish sprite that frights the maidens of the villagery. I […]

Lady Helena Investigates

Lady Helena Investigates (2018) Jane Steen (Scott-De Quincy Mysteries) Set in England in 1881 It’s too early to make big decisions about your life. You must give yourself time to grieve, Baby. That’s why deepest mourning should be carried out with the mirrors covered, you know. You’re not supposed to be looking at yourself and […]

A Holiday By Gaslight

A Holiday By Gaslight (2018) Mimi Matthews Set in England in 1861 Sophie’s father keeps improving their country estate–whether they have the funds to do so or not–so when wealthy manufacturer asks permission to court her, the family agrees. But despite wanting to help her family, Sophie also wants to be happy. Is it so […]

Last Call at the Nightingale

Last Call at the Nightingale (2022) Katharine Schellman (Nightingale Mysteries) Set in New York City in 1924 Vivian Kelly and her sister Florence are glad to have jobs, a roof over the heads, and food on the table (even if it isn’t always enough food). (W)orking at a dressmaker’s shop meant they both had to […]

Bodies from the Library: Lost Tales of Mystery and Suspense from the Golden Age of Detection

Bodies from the Library: Lost Tales of Mystery and Suspense from the Golden Age of Detection (2018) ‘Before Insulin’ by J.J. Connington (1936) ‘The Inverness Cape’ by Leo Bruce (1952) ‘Dark Waters’ by Freeman Wills Crofts (1953) ‘Linckes’ Great Case’ by Georgette Heyer (1923) ‘Calling James Braithwaite’ by Nicholas Blake (1940) ‘The Elusive Bullet’ by […]

A Kiss for Midwinter

A Kiss for Midwinter (2012) Courtney Milan (Brothers Sinister) Set in England in 1862 He hadn’t chosen to become a doctor so that he could foretell the death of children. He’d been seduced by the stories—the stories of John Snow saving hundreds of lives by careful observation, of men who noticed the world around them […]

A Christmas Dance

A Christmas Dance (2014) Alissa Johnson Miss Byerly did not feature in his matrimonial plans. Pity, really, that she wasn’t a bit softer. He’d spoken to her once or twice before and she seemed an intelligent sort, with an efficiency of speech and manner he appreciated. But he wasn’t in need of additional efficiency in […]

Mrs. Holloway’s Christmas Pudding

Mrs. Holloway’s Christmas Pudding (2023) Jennifer Ashley (Kat Holloway Mysteries) Set in London in 1882 There have been two Mrs. Holloway novellas this year, and this one is focused more on Mrs. Holloway. It’s almost Christmas and everyone is getting ready for the holiday. We’d had an excess of the fruit, which Mrs. Bywater had […]

Secrets Typed in Blood

Secrets Typed in Blood (2022) Stephen Spotswood (Pentecost & Parker) Set in New York City in 1947 This is one of the books that I wanted to read, but couldn’t get myself in the mood for. So I went ahead and read it. First, I really hate the new covers. Well, hate is a strong […]

The Mysterious Mr. Quin

The Mysterious Mr. Quin (1930) Agatha Christie The Passing of Mr. Quinn Grand Magazine (1923) The Shadow on the Glass Grand Magazine October (1923) At the ‘Bells and Motley’  A Man of Magic Grand Magazine (1925) The Sign in the Sky The Police Magazine (1925) / A Sign in the Sky Grand Magazine (1925) The […]

A Kiss for Midwinter

A Kiss for Midwinter (2012) Courtney Milan (Brothers Sinister) Set in England in 1864 Jonas Grantham worked hard to rise above his beginnings and to become a doctor. He’d been seduced by the stories—the stories of John Snow saving hundreds of lives by careful observation, of men who noticed the world around them and cared […]

Playmates, Audio Book

Playmates, Audio Book (1989) Robert B. Parker narrated by Michael Prichard (Spenser) Accusations have been made of point shaving in college basketball, and Spenser is asked to see if there is any truth in it. Although he is supposed to be looking into point shaving, what draws Spenser in is a discover about Dwayne. “Do […]

Stardust, Audio Book

Stardust, Audio Book (1990) Robert B. Parker narrated by Michael Prichard (Spenser) TW: Horrible things are alluded to rather than spoken (written) directly, as fit the character to whom the things happened. Jill Joyce–the famous actress who makes any TV show a hit–thinks someone is threatening her. But she is so over the top no […]

A Power Unbound

A Power Unbound (2023) Freya Marske (The Last Binding) Set in England in 1909 The final book in the Last Binding Trilogy centers on Alston, Lord Hawthorn who has been arrogant and supercilious throughout the series, but here becomes Jack, and Alan, Alanzo Rossi, who met Alston, Maud, and Violet on the ship from America […]

Ceremony, Audio Book

Ceremony, Audio Book (1982) Robert B. Parker narrated by Michael Prichard (Spenser) April Kyle has run away from home, and although her father has disowned her, her mother still wants to know where she is. Where she is, is the Combat Zone in Boston, turning tricks. This is not a favorite, nor is the other […]

Pale Kings and Princes, Audio Book

Pale Kings and Princes, Audio Book (1988) Robert B. Parker narrated by Michael Prichard (Spenser) Cocaine. Police corruption. Murder. Revenge. Barely anyone in this book is likable and most of the people are pretty awful. But–as with other books–there is an open recognition of the importance of mental health and its treatment. It always amuses […]

Valediction, Audio Book

Valediction , Audio Book (1984) Robert B. Parker narrated by Michael Prichard (Spenser) Spenser continues to unravel as Susan moves to California to work. And starts seeing someone else. Paul is staying with Spenser for summer break, and suggests Spenser take a case for the director of the dance company Paul is working for. A […]

The Widening Gyre, Audio Book

The Widening Gyre, Audio Book (1983) Robert B. Parker narrated by Michael Prichard (Spenser) I’ve been borrowing these from the library, and the book before this one was checked out, so I jumped ahead. I mean, I’ve already read the series multiple times. Spenser is starting to unravel. I sipped another small swallow of whiskey. […]

A Savage Place, Audio Book

A Savage Place, Audio Book (1981) Robert B. Parker narrated by Michael Prichard (Spenser) Spenser gets a call from Rachel Wallace that she has recommended him to a reporter in California. She won’t tell him anything other than the woman will be calling soon. Candy Sloan is a reporter who wants to be more than […]

Early Autumn, Audio Book

Early Autumn, Audio Book (1981) Robert B. Parker narrated by Michael Prichard (Spenser) Enter Paul Giacomin, and some more Hawk. “Paul Giacomin,” I said. “Yes,” Susan said. “You said you wanted to talk about him.” “But not while I’m watching the ball game.” “Can’t you watch and talk at the same time? If you can’t, […]

Murder at Spindle Manor

Murder at Spindle Manor (2022) Morgan Stang (Lamplight Murder Mysteries) Isabeau Agarwal is a huntress, and her latest hunt has led her to Spindle Manor, to search out a monster that takes the memory and skins of it victims, replicating them until it finds a new victim. “Is there any way I may be of […]

Looking for Rachel Wallace, Audio Book

Looking for Rachel Wallace, Audio Book (1980) Robert B. Parker narrated by Michael Prichard (Spenser) Publisher: Random House Audio Rating: 8/10

The Judas Goat, Audio Book

The Judas Goat, Audio Book (1978) Robert B. Parker narrated by Michael Prichard (Spenser) Hugh Dixon’s family was murdered in a terrorist attack in London. Now, a year later, he wants Spenser to find the terrorists and bring them to justice. The 1978 of this book is a foreign world. You just get on a […]

Promised Land, Audio Book

Promised Land, Audio Book (1976) Robert B. Parker narrated by Michael Prichard (Spenser) We are now beginning to see Spenser develop into who he is in later stories. “Maybe Millie might know.” “Your daughter?” “Yeah, she’s sixteen. That’s old enough for them to have girl talk and stuff, I imagine. Maybe she’s got something you […]

Murder at Midnight

Murder at Midnight (2023) Katharine Schellman (Lily Adler) Set in England in 1816 The fourth Lily Adler book finds her at a house party with her late husband’s family, Matthew Spenser, and the Hartleys. Lily had always found their custom of calling each other by their middle names—the names chosen by their mother, rather than […]

Mortal Stakes, Audio Book

Mortal Stakes (1975/2009) Robert B. Parker narrated by Michael Prichard (Spenser) Baseball! For serious looking at baseball there are few places better than Fenway Park. The stands are close to the playing field, the fences are a hopeful green, and the young men in their white uniforms are working on real grass, the authentic natural […]

A Restless Truth

A Restless Truth (2022) Freya Marske (Last Binding) Set in England in 1908 (or so) One of the things I especially like about this series are the lovely secondary characters. “Miss Debenham,” he said, warm with pride, “meet Lady Albert Barton. My wife.” Oh. Lady Albert Barton rolled her eyes and sat down heavily on […]

A Murderous Relation, Audio Edition

A Murderous Relation, Audio Edition (2020) Deanna Raybourn narrated by Angele Masters (Veronica Speedwell) Set in England in 1888 I apparently enjoyed this more listening than I did originally reading. his argument is as specious as Lamarck’s Theory of Inheritance. It seemed wildly unfair that he had proverbial first crack at searching her things when […]

The Price of Lemon Cake

The Price of Lemon Cake (2023) Jennifer Ashley (Below Stairs Mysteries Novella / Kat Holloway) Set in London in 1882. Although Kat Holloway makes an appearance in this story, it is about Lady Bobby Perry and told from her point of view. Bobby is in love with Judith, and in this story we learn more […]

Death at the Manor

Death at the Manor (2022) Katharine Schellman (Lily Adler) Set in England in 1815. Jack’s ship is repaired and ready to return to see, and Lily is headed to the country to visit her aunt. “Will you write me?” “Of course. I shall tell you how revered I am aboard ship and how no one […]

Mrs. Martin’s Incomparable Adventure

Mrs. Martin’s Incomparable Adventure (2019) Courtney Milan (The Worth Saga) Set in England in 1867. She was sixty-nine and unmarried—one of the so-called surplus women who choked up the attics and rooming houses of London. Never mind her experience, her meticulous calculational capabilities, her voluminous memory. She was old and unpretty. “I was polite and […]

Naked Once More

Naked Once More (1989) Elizabeth Peters (Jacqueline Kirby) “I had a ball, showing off and smirking at the cameras and thinking up cute, acerbic comments.” “Many of which you stole from Dorothy Parker.” The people who yearned for the good old days might not have enjoyed the reality; good old days before penicillin and heart […]

Silence in the Library

Silence in the Library (2021) Katharine Schellman (Lily Adler) Set in London in 1815 Lily Adler has slowly getting back into life in London, when she received an unexpected visitor: her father. The man disapproves of absolutely everything she does–and isn’t quiet about his opinions. Although she doesn’t appreciate his demands or her presence, she […]

Four Walls and a Heart

Four Walls and a Heart (2023) Celia Lake (Charms of Albion) Set in the hidden magical part of England in 1884 Magni has served in the Guard for several years, and is told he is about to have changes in his job–including a promotion. Gil left the Guard to join the army, against the wishes […]

The Body in the Garden

The Body in the Garden (2020) Katharine Schellman Set in England in 1815. Lily Adler has returned to London in an attempt to restart her life after the loss of her husband. Lily had to take a deep breath before she could respond. It had been two years, but her chest still clenched almost too […]

Die for Love

Die for Love (1984) Elizabeth Peters (Jacqueline Kirby) First, I love the reminders of a world past. Jacqueline began to fear she would miss her plane. When she remonstrated, he said cheerfully, “Oh, there’s plenty of time,” and indeed they reached the gate several seconds before the loudspeaker announced the last call for Flight 576. […]

The Murders of Richard III

The Murders of Richard III (1974) Elizabeth Peters (Jacqueline Kirby) “No. It’s been dated to about 1580. Like most of the other portraits of Richard, it was probably copied from a lost original. The only one that might be a contemporary portrait is in the Royal Collection. When it was X-rayed recently, the experts found […]

A Marvellous Light

A Marvellous Light (2021) Freya Marske (The Last Binding) Set in England in 1908 Another time period I love–not yet modernity, but some of the trappings are starting to appear. A chauffeur was not needed. Robin referred vaguely to friends of his who owned motorcars and had taught him the knack of it in Hyde […]

A Botanist’s Guide to Parties and Poisons

A Botanist’s Guide to Parties and Poisons (2022) Kate Khavari (Saffron Everleigh) Set in England in 1923 Saffron Everleigh a research assistant in University College London, and very few people believe she earned and deserved her degree and position (Because: 1923). Safforn feels she owes everything to her mentor, Dr Maxwell, so when a woman […]

The Seventh Sinner

The Seventh Sinner (1972) Elizabeth Peters (Jacqueline Kirby) This was written in 1972, and is a product of those times–but not horribly so. (T)he long white scar on his forearm was the result of a bayonet cut acquired during the Six Days’ War, and Ted was already respected in academic circles for his research on […]

Once a Rogue

Once a Rogue (2023) Allie Therin (Roaring Twenties Magic) Set in New York in 1925 I wish I’d been better able to focus, because I love Allie Therin’s stories. In fact, I was hoping that the story would allow me to focus on something outside of myself. The failing is mine, not the story’s. I’ll […]

A Dangerous Collaboration

A Dangerous Collaboration, Audio Book (2019) Deanna Raybourn narrated by Angèle Masters (Veronica Speedwell) Set in England in 1888. Lord Rosemorran had behaved with his characteristic good-natured vagueness, offering money to fund the venture and raising objections only when he realized his sister’s absence would mean taking care of his own children. “In my well-being. […]

A Fatal Illusion

A Fatal Illusion (2023) Anna Lee Huber (Lady Darby) Set in England in 1832 This book picks up immediately after the events of the previous book. Kiera and Gage are rushing to Yorkshire after receiving a message that Lord Gage had been shot. Lord Gage isn’t dead, but he is also much unchanged despite having […]

The Deadliest Fall

The Deadliest Fall (2023) Charlie Cochrane Set in England in 1947. The war is over but things are still settling back down. When Leslie Cadmore runs into Marianne Sibley, he is reminded how much he misses his best friend and lover (and Marianne’s twin), but still is unsure whether Patrick was involved in the death […]

Blitz, Audio Book

Blitz, Audio Book (2022) Daniel O’Malley narrated by Moira Quirk (The Rook Files) “Our physicists are terrifically excited by the implications, but then, they’re in a state of almost constant excitement here. We’ve had to schedule enforced naps for all the scientists on Kirrin Island to keep them from working until they keel over.” Responsible […]