11 Historical Suspense Novels Full Of Crime And Mystery

By
Thu, 30 Aug 2018

Crime and punishment have evolved quite a bit over the years, but one thing that hasn't changed is the public's interest in learning about them. The eleven books on this list are full of mystery, danger, and well-crafted glimpses into the past, from Elizabethan England to 1940s Georgia.

11 Historical Suspense Novels Full Of Crime And Mystery

Title Author More by the Author
1. The Widows of Malabar Hill Sujata Massey India Gray The Sleeping Dictionary
2. Instruments of Darkness Imogen Robertson The Paris Winter Anatomy of Murder
3. The Lost Book of the Grail Charlie Lovett First Impressions The Further Adventures of Ebenezer Scrooge
4. The Last Days of Night Graham Moore The Sherlockian
5. The 19th Wife David Ebershoff The Danish Girl Pasadena
6. I Was Anastasia Ariel Lawhon The Wife, the Maid, and the Mistress Flight of Dreams
7. The Muralist B. A. Shapiro The Collector’s Apprentice The Safe Room
8. Maid of Secrets Jennifer McGowan Maid of Deception Maid of Wonder
9. Dollface Renée Rosen Windy City Blues White Collar Girl
10. Darktown Thomas Mullen Lightning Men The Last Town on Earth
11. The Baker's Daughter Sarah McCoy Marilla of Green Gables The Time It Snowed in Puerto Rico

The History of Policing in America

In Depth

When you hear the words "crime novel," you probably picture modern police officers and detectives. But not all books about criminals and their pursuers take place in contemporary settings. There are plenty of works that tell the stories of wrong-doers throughout time. If you'd like to delve into the danger and mystery of the past, then these eleven historical novels, listed here in no particular order, should be right up your alley.

There are plenty of works that tell the stories of wrong-doers throughout time.

First up, at #1, we have "The Widows of Malabar Hill" by Sujata Massey. It tells the story of one of the first female lawyers in India, Perveen Mistry, who is hired to investigate the mysterious will that a wealthy Muslim merchant has left for his three widows.

It tells the story of one of the first female lawyers in India, Perveen Mistry, who is hired to investigate the mysterious will that a wealthy Muslim merchant has left for his three widows.

With new suspicions sparking and the case growing more mysterious, the attorney is faced with quite the challenge. Luckily, she is up to the task.

Luckily, she is up to the task.

Coming in at #2 is "Instruments of Darkness" by Imogen Robertson. This murder mystery follows Harriet Westerman, the mistress of a manor in 18th century London. When a man turns up dead on her property, she enlists an anatomy expert to help her solve the crime. The two intelligent sleuths work together to uncover deadly secrets.

This murder mystery follows Harriet Westerman, the mistress of a manor in 18th century London.

At #3, we have "The Lost Book of the Grail" by Charlie Lovett. It pieces together the past and the present, with a story about Arthur Prescott, an obsessive bibliophile, and his journey through time to locate a missing manuscript which holds the buried secrets of the Holy Grail. With a historical connection to King Arthur, the novel is intensely packed with nail-biting suspense.

It pieces together the past and the present, with a story about Arthur Prescott, an obsessive bibliophile, and his journey through time to locate a missing manuscript which holds the buried secrets of the Holy Grail.

Next up, at #4, "The Last Days of Night" by Graham Moore is a fascinating novel based on actual events. It takes place in America during the 1880s, when electricity is starting to get popular. The story revolves around the daunting case that lies before inexperienced lawyer, Paul Cravath. It was filed by Thomas Edison against George Westinghouse, regarding the invention of the electric light bulb. As the case unfolds, it turns out to be a mysterious affair seemingly impossible to solve.

The story revolves around the daunting case that lies before inexperienced lawyer, Paul Cravath.

At #5, we have David Ebershoff's "The 19th Wife." After Ann Eliza leaves her husband, powerful Mormon leader Brigham Young, she decides to try to end the practice of polygamy in the United States. This story runs parallel to a second narrative, which involves a polygamist family in present-day Utah. The book is a daunting depiction of mystery, murder, love, and faith.

After Ann Eliza leaves her husband, powerful Mormon leader Brigham Young, she decides to try to end the practice of polygamy in the United States.

Coming in at #6, "I Was Anastasia" by Ariel Lawhon, explores the concept of identity. The story takes place following the massacre of the Romanov family. Two years after the mass assassination, a young woman claims to be the Grand Duchess Anastasia. While some believe her, others think that she is lying in order to get her hands on the imperial fortune. As rumors about her spread, she comes face to face with enemies old and new.

The story takes place following the massacre of the Romanov family.

At #7, we have B. A. Shapiro's "The Muralist." Alizee Benoit is an artist operating for the Works Progress Administration who disappears without a trace in New York City. No clues can be linked to her disappearance until approximately seventy years later, when her great-niece confronts hidden enigmas that might lead to unlocking the inexplicable vanishing of her aunt.

No clues can be linked to her disappearance until approximately seventy years later, when her great-niece confronts hidden enigmas that might lead to unlocking the inexplicable vanishing of her aunt.

Next, at #8, we have Jennifer McGowan's "Maid of Secrets." Meg Fellowes is an orphan in the court of Queen Elizabeth, who finds herself in the queen's confidential aristocracy of protectors. With threats surrounding the crown and political motives signaling coming danger, this mysterious and daunting account is full of twists and turns.

Meg Fellowes is an orphan in the court of Queen Elizabeth, who finds herself in the queen's confidential aristocracy of protectors.

At #9, we have "Dollface" by Rene Rosen. This compelling tale follows Vera Abramowitz, whose passion and desires earn her the title "dollface." Endlessly ambitious, she finds herself in a glittering world of fame and fortune. But despite her seemingly wonderful life, some of the things she did to achieve success might end up coming back to haunt her.

Endlessly ambitious, she finds herself in a glittering world of fame and fortune.

Coming in at #10 is "Darktown," written by Thomas Mullen, which features an enigmatic plot with a quick-witted fusion of history and crime fiction. In 1940s Atlanta, a police department is forced to hire its first black officers. The men face constant discrimination and mistreatment at the hands of their white peers. Things get even more complicated when they come across a murder that they suspect might have been committed by some of their fellow cops.

Coming in at #10 is "Darktown," written by Thomas Mullen, which features an enigmatic plot with a quick-witted fusion of history and crime fiction.

Last, at #11, is Sarah McCoy's "The Baker's Daughter." Set in the 1940s, the novel focuses on teenager Elsie Schmidt, who witnesses dark days during the war. Sixty years later, in a series of interviews with journalist Reba Adams, Elsie is forced to confront her turbulent past. The book depicts the complexities and long-lasting effects of hardship.

Sixty years later, in a series of interviews with journalist Reba Adams, Elsie is forced to confront her turbulent past.