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Archive for 'Historical'

What Remains of Heaven, Audio Book

What Remains of Heaven, Audio Book (2009/2016) C.S. Harris narrated by Davina Porter (Sebastian St. Cyr) Set in England in 1812. When the controversial, reform-minded Bishop of London is found bludgeoned to death in an ancient crypt beside the corpse of an unidentified man murdered decades before, Sebastian St. Cyr, Viscount Devlin, is asked by […]

Where Serpents Sleep, Audio Book

Where Serpents Sleep, Audio Book (2008/2015) C.S. Harris narrated by Davina Porter (Sebastian St. Cyr) Set in England in 1812. Oddly, on the same day, the book I was listening to and the book I read both had passages about the murder of Prime Minister Spenser Percival. I prefer the “solution” presented in the other […]

The Emperor’s Conspiracy

The Emperor’s Conspiracy (2012) Michelle Diener (Regency London) Set in England in 1811. Once you accept the premise of the relationship between Charlotte and Lady Howe, this is a fantastic mystery and romance. Lady Howe really is marvelous. “There is no man in this house,” Catherine said into the silence. “So I’ll ask you as […]

Why Mermaids Sing, Audio Book

Why Mermaids Sing, Audio Book (2007/2015) C.S. Harris narrated by Davina Porter (Sebastian St. Cyr) Set in England in 1811. Several young men have been found dead, their bodies mutilated. As several are from prominent families who refuse to speak to the police, Sir Henry Lovejoy begs Sebastian for help. If I’m lucky, I’ll be […]

Banquet of Lies

Banquet of Lies (2013) Michelle Diener (Regency London) Set in London in 1812. Another favorite. “We’ve been fattening Mavis up,” Iris said, and something in the way she said it made Gigi go very still. If this was evidence of Mavis with more meat on her bones, she must have been a walking skeleton when […]

An Unexpected Gentleman

An Unexpected Gentleman (2011) Alissa Johnson (Haverston Family) Set in the early 1800s in Scotland All Adelaide Ward wants is to marry for the security of her family: her sister, her nephew, and (probably) her brother. And if doing that means marrying Baron Robert Maxwell, she is willing to do so. But Connor Brice wants […]

Nearly a Lady

Nearly a Lady (2011) Alissa Johnson (Haverston Family) Set in England and Scotland during the regency, after the wars with Napoleon. Gideon Haverston has returned home from war with both physical scars and mental ones. Gideon shifted his weight to his good leg, pivoted, knocked the barrel of the rifle away with one hand, and […]

When Gods Die, Audio Book

When Gods Die, Audio Book (2006/2015) C.S. Harris narrated by Davina Porter (Sebastian St. Cyr) Set in England in 1811. At the Prince Regents dinner party, the beautiful young wife of an elderly marquis is found dead–stabbed in the back, her clothing partially undone. Jarvis immediately starts to cover up the prince’s involvement, but he […]

A Morbid Taste for Bones

A Morbid Taste for Bones (1977) Ellis Peters (Chronicles of Brother Cadfael) Set in England in 1137. The herbarium in particular was his kingdom, for he had built it up gradually through the fifteen years of labour, and added to it many exotic plants of his own careful raising, collected in a roving youth that […]

What Angels Fear, Audio Book

What Angels Fear, Audio Book (2005/2014) C.S. Harris narrated by Davina Porter (Sebastian St. Cyr) Set in England in 1811 A young actress has been found horribly murdered, in St Matthews of the Fields’ Lady Chapel, and a deuling pistol with Viscount Devlin’s device on the trigger guard. I am so far behind on this […]

Breeze Spells and Bridegrooms

Breeze Spells and Bridegrooms (2024) Sarah Wallace, S.O. Callahan (Fae & Human Relations: A Regency Fantasy Series) Roger Barnes failed his Hastings Exam–the magical test that determines which child can inherit. He believes the is inherently problematic, and goes up before the Council to propose a different testing scheme. Many humans, once they reached the […]

Blitz, Audio Book

Blitz, Audio Book (2022) Daniel O’Malley narrated by Moira Quirk (The Rook Files) “What is this? You’re—what? You’re—you’re scrying my family? In a cup of coffee?” “Legally, scrying is seeing the future,” said the woman. “I’m showing the present. Of a location within a 36.876-kilometer radius. Through an aperture of up to 41.34 inches.” “Is […]

Where There’s a Kilt, There’s a Way

Where There’s a Kilt, There’s a Way (2021) Ella Stainton (Kilty Pleasures) Set in Scotland and Sweden in 1930 (I)t gave Joachim a place where he could pay rent instead of sponging off his lover and not have to ask to borrow Ainsley’s motorcar. Not that Ainsley minded—he never seemed put out to share at […]

Best Laid Plaids

Best Laid Plaids (2020) Ella Stainton (Kilty Pleasures) Set in Scotland in 1928 said scholar had annihilated his reputation as one of the Empire’s most learned folklorists by publicly insisting that he chatted with ghosts. The steel tip of his walking stick twanged, punctuating each step in the way he’d grown accustomed in the ten […]

An Unexpected Peril, Audio Edition

An Unexpected Peril, Audio Edition (2021) Deanna Raybourn narrated by Angele Masters (Veronica Speedwell) Set in London in 1889 “He said it was the oddest little place he had ever been. One mountain, one small city, one castle, and seventy varieties of beer. He remembered it with great difficulty,” Stoker was never happier than when […]

Lady Ambition’s Dilemma

Lady Ambition’s Dilemma (2024) Jane Steen (Lady Helena Investigates) Set in England in 1883. Lady Helena is approaching the end of her mourning period, following the death of her husband in 1881. Although she still misses Justin, she is ready to return to the world–and her growing feelings for Armand Fortier also need to be […]

Speculations in Sin

Speculations in Sin (2024) Jennifer Ashley (Kat Holloway / Below Stairs Mystery) Set in London in 1883 Joanna–Kat’s best friend and the woman who keeps Grace, Joanna’s daughter, is in trouble. Her husband has been accused of embezzlement, and if he loses his job not only will Grace have nowhere to live, but Joanna and […]

Think of England

Think of England (2014) K.J. Charles Set in England in 1904 (Peakholme) had been an extraordinarily modern creation at that time, equipped with the very latest innovations, with running water in all the bathrooms, heated by hot-water radiators and illuminated throughout by electricity from his own hydroelectric generator. “It was a damned business. My company […]

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 […]