Seattle Picks: Historical Mysteries
Annotation:Two former vaudeville dancers move to Darling, Alabama, though one of them denies her past. The town's garden club, the Darling Dahlias, vows to find out the truth when a mysterious man comes to town asking after Nora.
Annotation:While Madame Guillotine is still in action in 1793, a serial killer, who cuts the heads off his victims, is loose in Paris. Aristide Ravel, freelancer to the Paris police, is the only one who can see the killer's agenda.
Annotation:Supposedly on vacation in Provence with his niece, Detective Joe Sandilands is on the snoop for the girl’s missing mother. When a statue in a local chapel is defaced, the detective springs into action and winds up seeking a murderer.
Annotation:Nico, an Athenian investigator, tries to catch whoever killed an eminent statesman while young, aspiring politician, Pericles, avoids political landmines and his pesky little brother, Socrates, in this humorous and historically detailed mystery set in the 5th century, B.C.E.
Annotation:Marcus Didius Falco, PI and bereaved father in 77 AD Rome, takes on his 20th murder investigation, which veers into the personal when dead bodies and Falco’s enemies demand his attention.
Annotation:Though Gaius Ruso would rather practice medicine, once again he’s sent to Roman England to find a missing tax collector and his brother—not to mention the King’s money!
Annotation:Theban chief detective, Rahotep, searches carefully for the perpetrator of a plot to unseat the young pharaoh, while a serial killer with connections to politicians leads Rahotep in circles around Amarna.
Annotation:The Sultan’s harem may be at the center of a puzzling series of murders and the defection of the Ottoman’s naval admiral, a man who strikes fear in Yashim’s heart as he navigates a tangled web of baffling clues.
Annotation:Gordon brings medieval France to life with the animated Fools’ Guild, specifically Theophilos, the jester-sleuth who investigates both a harlot’s murder and the authenticity of the Count’s long-lost “brother.”
Annotation:The Australian flapper PI Phryne Fisher once again delivers a mystery with wit and panache. Phryne finds herself embroiled in a scheme involving pirates and a couple’s disappearance while on vacation.
Annotation:Benjamin January, a free black man in 1830s New Orleans, goes undercover as a piano player in a bordello, despite his French physician’s degree, in order to investigate a plot involving embezzlement, family secrets and murder.
Annotation:When a lady in waiting to Princess Elizabeth is murdered, King Henry VIII hires Welsh Guardsman Hugh Bellows to find the killer, whose calling card is decaptitation. Hugh is joined on the sly by two teen sleuths; the Princess herself and Simon Maldon. First in series.
Annotation:When reputable dentist Harvey Burdell is found brutally murdered, his widow housekeeper, Emma Cunningham, is suspected and a criminal lawyer takes her complicated case. Based on a true story in 1850s New York.
Annotation:Will Anderson loses nearly everything, including his life, when he discovers his rival dead at the auto factory where he works. This is crime noir—Will is accused and nothing is as it seems.
Annotation:An attempt on composer Gustav Mahler’s life at Vienna’s Court Opera kills a soprano instead. PI Karl Werthen and criminologist Hanns Gross follow clues into the intrigue and murder behind the music.
Annotation:While on a trip to break Jules Verne's fictional around-the-world record, reporter Nellie Bly stops over in Egypt only to witness a fatal stabbing. Is it part of a terrorist plot to drive the British out of Egypt?
Annotation:In Victorian London, Tom Wasp, a multifaceted chimney sweep, pursues a mysteriously missing china doll belonging to a convicted killer while simultaneously working undercover with his apprentice Ned and a highly disguisable protector, Mr. Chuckwick.
Annotation:Ex-detective Emmanuel Cooper sets out to solve a young boy’s murder and becomes a murder suspect himself in this hardboiled story of race and politics in 1950s South Africa. Sequel to A Beautiful Place to Die.
Annotation:In 11th century Japan, the imperfect and newly demoted sleuth and accused murderer, Sugawara Akitada, throws himself into the investigation when a politico is killed, despite the dangerous position in which he and his family are placed.
Annotation:When his Iroquois friend and mentor Conawago is accused of murder, Duncan McCallum fliees, hoping to find the real killer. Unfortunately, there's more at stake than their reputations. Sequel to Bone Rattler.
Annotation:The police think Judge Jackson was killed by friends of anarchist Al Drayson, though criminologist Alistair Sinclair thinks otherwise and pulls detective Simon Ziele out of his jurisdiction to help him find the real killer in early 20th century New York.
Annotation:Court poisoner to the Borgias, Francesca Giordano must keep Pope Alexander VI safe from his enemies (who sometimes seem like friends) while still seeking revenge for her father’s death. Meanwhile, romance calls.
Annotation:In 18th-century Japan, ex-detective Chamberlain Sano Ichiro becomes entangled in the crime underworld when his uncle’s daughter goes missing.
Annotation:Captain Alexei Korolev of Moscow’s Criminal Investigation Division finds that the brutal murder of an American nun may have been politically motivated. This thriller set in 1936 Russia marks the beginning of an auspicious series.
Annotation:Tudor England attorney, Matthew Shardlake, investigates a suicide on the queen’s behalf and becomes embroiled in a complicated and politically challenging murder case.
Annotation:While search besieged Massilia for his son Meto, Gordianus, a “finder” for Julius Caesar, witnesses what could be a murder at Sacrifice Rock. A jumble of political threads and disparate characters are deftly brought together as the Finder finds the connection.
Annotation:Having survived the WWI trenches in France, three young veterans are murdered when they return home to England. Scotland Yard detective Ian Rutledge needs to figure out why before another returning soldier is killed.
Annotation:The 19th-century Ottoman Empire provides the exotic setting for Special Prosecutor Kamil Pasha and his enquiries into illegal firearms, an explosion, a bank heist, a deadly fire and a sadistic, threatening killer.
Annotation:In 16th-century Prague, a Christian girl is found murdered in a Jewish shop and new sexton Benyamin Ben-Akiva has three days to discover the culprit and save his already persecuted community.