This week, I'm looking at three authors who write historical mystery series. I've sampled two of the series, and one of the books in the third is waiting for me on my To-Be-Read shelves. Let's get started!
|Sarah A. Hoyt|
There are five books in the series: Death of a Musketeer (2006), The Musketeer's Seamstress (2007), The Musketeer's Apprentice (2007), A Death in Gascony (2008), and Dying by the Sword (2008).
"Dumas fans eager for further details of the lives of his swashbuckling musketeer heroes may enjoy this first in a series of historical mystery novels that transforms those men of action and intrigue into the king's detectives. The concept is less far-fetched than it might seem; in one of Dumas's own sequels to The Three Musketeers, The Viscount of Bragelonne, D'Artagnan displays almost Holmesian powers of deduction. The whodunit posed for her four heroes—a young woman who closely resembles the queen has been murdered by an unknown assailant—is not especially tricky due to a paucity of plausible suspects, and the colloquial language can jar."
|Carole Nelson Douglas|
There are eight books in the Irene Adler series, the first three of which are: Good Night, Mr. Holmes (1990), Good Morning, Irene (1990) APA The Adventuress (2004), and Irene at Large (1992) APA A Soul of Steel (2006).
"Setting herself the task of creating a heroine worthy of Sherlock Holmes, Texas writer Douglas succeeds smashingly. In providing an inventive, believable past for Irene Adler, the one woman (and an American at that) who ever duped Holmes, Douglas writes in a voice that resonates of Dr. Watson's (or Conan Doyle's) when appropriate, and links Adler's adventures with information offered about her in Doyle's 'A Scandal in Bohemia.' Narrated with credible Victorian style and sensibility by Penelope 'Nell' Huxleigh, a parson's daughter, this lively caper establishes Adler's sleuthing skills as she solves cases that involve Oscar Wilde and Bram Stoker, among others. The novel has more going for it than the usual Holmesian pastiche, presenting a truly original perspective of the one whom the great detective himself dubbed 'the woman.' She's a superior woman at that: readers will doff their deerstalkers."
The first three books in this ten-book series are: Death Comes as Epiphany (1993), The Devil's Door (1994), and The Wandering Arm (1995).
"A medievalist breathes life and vigor into the scholastic debates and religious controversies of 12th-century France in this entrancing mystery debut. Catherine LeVendeur, a young novice and scholar at the Convent of the Paraclete, is sent by the Abbess Heloise on a perilous mission to find out who is trying to destroy the reputation of the convent and, through it, that of the abbess's onetime lover and patron, theologian Peter Abelard. A psalter created at the convent and given as a gift to the powerful abbot Suger of Saint-Denis is later rumored to contain heretical statements in its accompanying commentaries. Catherine, in the role of a disgraced novice, must find the book and copy the disputed passages to determine if they are forgeries. Further complicating her search, Saint-Denis's master stonemason, Garnulf, is murdered, a crime which may be tied to the sinister hermit Aleran and the rebuilding of the splendid Abbey of Saint-Denis. Re-entering worldly life, the young novice must face both her sometimes disapproving family and her attraction to Garnulf's mysterious apprentice, Edgar. Newman skillfully depicts historical figures and issues in a very different age, one in which piety and great beauty coexist with cruelty."
I hope you've enjoyed my journey through three historical mystery series set in France. If I've left out any of your personal favorites, please let us know which one was neglected. We all need to add to our wish lists, you know!
Join me next weekend when I'll wrap up French crime fiction month!