Historical mysteries

A Free Man of Color

By Barbara Hambly

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Benjamin January, a Creole physician and piano teacher who has known the glories of Paris as well as of his native New Orleans, is at the Blue Ribbon Ball during Mardi Gras. Near the ball, Angelique Crozat, an octoroon who travels in the city's finest company, is found murdered--and there is no shortage of suspects. This novel transports the reader to the center of the cosmopolitan South in an age when both its glories and the forces which would tear it apart are equally in evidence.

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Crocodile on the Sandbank

By Elizabeth Peters

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It was the time of the Great Game of European powers. Spies and soldiers traded information, risking betrayal and death. Into this unsettled territory trips Amelia Peabody, intrepid heiress and would-be Egyptologist.
First of the Amelia Peabody series.
Also available as an audiobook.

 

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The Poyson Garden: An Elizabethan Mystery

By Karen Harper

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The letter came in secret, with a pearl eardrop from an aunt long thought dead, resurrecting the forbidden past. Banished by her spiteful half sister, Queen Mary, to Hatfield House in the English countryside, twenty-five-year-old Princess Elizabeth cannot refuse the summons. The Boleyns are in grave danger. And Elizabeth, daughter of Anne Boleyn, is marked for death by a master poisoner whose reign of terror may have royal sanction.

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Shinju

By Laura Joh Rowland

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When beautiful, wealthy Yukiko and low-born artist Noriyoshi are found drowned together in a shinju, or ritual double suicide, everyone believes the culprit was forbidden love. Everyone but newly appointed yoriki Sano Ichiro, who follows the samurai code.

Despite the official verdict and warnings from his superiors, the shogun's Most Honorable Investigator of Events, Situations, and People suspects the deaths weren't just a tragedy -- they were murder. Risking his family's good name and his own life, Sano will search for a killer across every level of society -- determined to find answers to a mystery no one wants solved. No one but Sano...

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Death at the Crossroads: A Samurai Mystery

By Dale Furutani

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Matsuyama Kaze is a "ronin," a Japanese knight errant. Kaze must travel across Japan until he fulfills a promise made to his dying Lord and Lady -- to find their nine-year-old daughter. As this masterless samurai searches the countryside, he is caught up in a series of mysteries that test his strength and skills as well as his Confucian training.

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To Shield the Queen: A Mystery at Queen Elizabeth I's Court

By Fiona Buckley

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In order to quell widespread rumors about their supposed murderous intentions, Elizabeth I and Sir Robert Dudley dispatch one of her ladies-in-waiting, young widowed mother Ursula Blanchard, to help tend Lord Dudley's sickly wife, Amy. Despite Ursula's friendly attentions, Amy dies violently. Ursula's subsequent search for the murderer of a trusted retainer uncovers evidence of Catholic scheming and tests her love for a dashing Frenchman.

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The White Rose Murders

By Michael Clynes

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In 1517 the English armies have defeated and killed James IV of Scotland at Flodden and James's widow-queen, Margaret, sister to Henry VIII, has fled to England, leaving her crown under a Council of Regency. Roger Shallot is drawn into a web of mystery and murder by his close friendship with Benjamin Daunbey, the nephew of Cardinal Wolsey, first minister of Henry VIII. Benjamin and Roger are ordered into Margaret's household to resolve certain mysteries as well as to bring about her restoration to Scotland. They begin by questioning Selkirk, a half-mad physician imprisoned in the Tower. He is subsequently found poisoned in a locked chamber guarded by soldiers. The only clue is a poem of riddles. However, the poem contains the seeds for other gruesome murders. The faceless assassin always leaves a white rose, the mark of Les Blancs Sangliers, a secret society plotting the overthrow of the Tudor monarchy.

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The True Prince

By J.B. Cheaney

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Newly apprenticed to Shakespeare's theatre company, Richard and Kit are drawn into a series of crimes involving the members of Queen Elizabeth's court.
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The Queen's Man

By Sharon Kay Penman

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Eleanor of Aquitaine sits on England's throne. At seventy, she has outlived the husband with whom she had once scandalized the world. But has she also outlived her favorite, her first-born son? Richard Lionheart, England's king, has been missing these last months. It is rumored that he is dead. Many think his youngest brother plots to steal the crown. Only Eleanor's fierce will can keep John from acting on his greed. Only a letter, spattered with the blood of a dying man murdered on the Winchester road, can tell her if Richard still lives.

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The Name of the Rose

By Umberto Eco

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In 1327, finding his sensitive mission at an Italian abbey further complicated by seven bizarre deaths, Brother William of Baskerville turns detective, penetrating the cunning labyrinth of the abbey and deciphering coded manuscripts for clues.
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