Historical crime fiction is a challenging genre. In addition to the challenge of coming up with good characters, a compelling plot, and sharp writing, the author must create a believable world from the past. More than that, the world has to live and breath, influencing and shaping things without diverting attention from the all-too-human struggles and complications of the characters. The best historical fiction brings the past alive while helping to frame a story about how people respond to their best--and worst--impulses. Here are some recent books that meet this test.
Rhys Bowen$24.95 $22.46
Set in Victorian times (with the actual Queen Victoria). Lots and lots of foodie morsels to enjoy here. The female protagonist must juggle cooking with a new love as she searches for the source of a poisoned mushroom.
Kirin Millwood Hargrave$27.00 $24.30
1617, a Norwegian settlement above the Arctic circle. Men are killed in a terrible storm and women are hunted as witches. But the women won't go quietly.
Charles Todd$30.99 $27.89
Scotland Yard detective Ian Rutledge looks into the strange deaths of two young women during the years after WW 1. Latest in a long seres, but holds up well by itself.
Anna Lee Huber$17.00 $15.64
Scotland 1832. Amatuer slueths Lady Darby, and her husband Sebastian Gage, investigate a recent death and ancient family secrets. Risque local customs figure in the story.
Serena Burdick$16.99 $15.63
Coney Island in 1911. Twenty-year-old heiress Peggy Batternberg finds love and adventure with a humble artist. But class and murder intercede.
Baja California, 1979. Viridiana is a naïve young woman meets three mysterious tourists who first promise fun. When one of the tourists is murdered, secrets are exposed.
Tarashea Nesbit$26.00 $23.40
A murder strikes Plymouth Plantation in the 1620s. But will the trial get to the truth?
C. S. Harris$26.00 $23.40