Friday, March 14, 2014

Small press spotlight: New and forthcoming historical mysteries

Mysteries are published by nearly all publishers, plus there are a number of small and independent presses exclusively devoted to mystery fiction.  Here are ten new and forthcoming novels of historical crime, with settings ranging from ancient Greece, Rome, and Ireland to 1950s England.  Because many fall into existing series, and readers often prefer to read the volumes in order, I've listed the title of the first book when applicable.

In the first century AD, Pliny the Younger takes his fourth case: to clear the name of a friend's husband who was accused of murder.  Pliny's first case featured in All Roads Lead to Murder. Perseverance Press, September 2013.

The latest (sixth) installment of the Robert Carey mysteries set in Elizabethan England, in which Robert is asked by his queen (and cousin) to look into the decades-old death of her former rival, Amy Dudley.  The first series entry was A Famine of Horses.  Poisoned Pen Press, February 2014.

A mystery surrounding the disappearance of young students from their school at the Sanctuary of Artemis absorbs sleuths Nico and Diotima as they return home to Athens for their wedding.  Fourth in a series that began with The Pericles Commission.  Soho, May 2014.

From a renowned academic with degrees in classical philology and Celtic languages and literatures comes a debut mystery set at a convent in ancient Ireland that faces ruin if the theft of St. Brigid's bones comes to light.  Pegasus, October 2014.

Dr. Thomas Silkstone, an American physician in Georgian London, looks into the suspicious disappearance of a botanist who was the only survivor of a recent expedition to Jamaica.  Fourth in series; the first was The Anatomist's Apprentice.  Kensington, August 2014.

In the English countryside during the age of Chaucer, a mother revisits her past as she and her fellow villagers seek justice for the deaths of five children.  Campanile, January 2014.

In an atmospheric, gas-lit Victorian London, two women become unlikely partners as they join forces to uncover a murder.  Crooked Cat, November 2013.

The grandeur and immense wealth in Gilded Age Newport forms the backdrop to this debut mystery set in 1895, when a distant cousin of the Vanderbilts, Emma Cross, tries to save her brother from a murder charge.  Kensington, March 2013.

I reviewed Mary Reed and Eric Mayer's Nine for The Devil here in 2012, and in this 10th in the series in Emperor Justinian's Constantinople, our usual sleuth, John, Lord Chamberlain, has been exiled.  In his absence, Felix, Captain of the Palace Guard, looks into the disappearance of a holy relic.  Poisoned Pen Press, March 2014.

Third in the Mirabelle Bevan mystery series (after Brighton Belle and London Calling), about a retired Secret Service agent in '50s England who finds that her wartime experience comes in handy for crime-solving.  Polygon, April 2014.


  1. These books sound interesting.

  2. I like the sound of the Sara Sheridan's books!

    1. I've been curious about them since the setting intrigues me - I have book one but haven't gotten to it yet.

  3. Wow that's quite the list of upcoming books. Diamonds and Dust sticks out because of that gorgeous cover!

    1. I agree - it's simple but very effective in how it conveys the era.