- Michele Brown
If you like books by Victoria Johnson, you may like these suggestions. Here are some other historical mystery series, most of which can be described as novels of manners, with strong period details, and relationships which grow despite societal class distinctions. Enjoy!
Cordelia Frances Biddle - Martha Beale/Thomas Kelman series
Martha Beale is young, very rich, and without family in this series set in 1840s Philadelphia. Thomas Kelman is a special investigator for the mayor. Like the protagonists in Thompson's work, these two are of distinctly different social class, but share a growing regard for each other.
Rhys Bowen - Molly Murphy series
Plucky Irish immigrant in New York City, who decides to work as a private investigator. Early 20th century period details nicely drawn, as in Thompson's work. Her on-again, off-again beau is a police captain.
Start with Death of Riley.
C.S. Harris - Sebastian St. Cyr series
A newish series featuring the heir to an earldom in Regency London. The characters are all richly drawn and intriguing. You will be clamoring to read the next and the next and the next in the series in order to discover how the threads of the relationships are interwoven! St. Cyr is a dashing solver of crimes - as the author describes him on her website, think of Mr. Darcy with a bit of James Bond.
Kate Kingsbury - Cecily Sinclair series.
The widowed owner of the Pennyfoot Hotel in England solves crimes in the local countryside. There's a building relationship between her and her hotel manager, not unlike the budding romance in the Sarah Brandt series. Also set in the early 20th century.
Margaret Lawrence - Hannah Trevor series
Like Thompson's Sarah Brandt, the protagonist here is a midwife, but she practices in rural Maine in the 1780s. Murder ensues, and Hannah solves.
Also features her ex-lover and father of her illegitimate daughter.
Gillian Linscott - Nell Bray series
Same time period as Thompson's work, with a spunky English suffragette.
This heroine is strongly independent.
Margaret Miles - Charlotte Willett series
A young widow in colonial Massachusetts is a keen observer of human nature, and with her bachelor neighbor, a gentleman farmer and scientist, solves crimes in her small village. The time period - the buildup to the American Revolution - provides additional interest.
Anne Perry - Thomas and Charlotte Pitt series
Police inspector and his upper-crust wife solve crimes in Victorian London. Same nuance of class divisions and societal manners as in Victoria Thompson's Sarah Brandt novels.
Deanna Raybourn - Lady Julia Grey series
Another Victorian mystery of manners, with the aristocratic Lady Julia and investigator Nicholas Brisbane. Start with Silent in the Grave.
I hope you find something you like in the recommendations above. If we can help you with anything else, please let us know!
Michele R. Brown