Historical mysteries focus on clever crime solvers all over the world and throughout time.
Earl Grey tea
Why they go together:
Historical mysteries take place in classic settings, and nothing brings to mind a more classic drink than Earl Grey tea flavored with bergamot orange, typically grown in Italy or France.
Where to start:
The year is 1327. Franciscans in a wealthy Italian abbey are suspected of heresy, and Brother William of Baskerville arrives to investigate. When his delicate mission is suddenly overshadowed by seven bizarre deaths, Brother William turns detective. His tools are the logic of Aristotle, the theology of Aquinas, the empirical insights of Roger Bacon—all sharpened to a glistening edge by wry humor and a ferocious curiosity. He collects evidence, deciphers secret symbols and coded manuscripts, and digs into the eerie labyrinth of the abbey, where “the most interesting things happen at night.”
In 1896 New York, newspaper reporter John Schuyler Moore is summoned by his friend Dr. Laszlo Kreizler—a psychologist, or “alienist”—to view the horribly mutilated body of an adolescent boy abandoned on the unfinished Williamsburg Bridge. From there the two embark on a revolutionary effort in criminology: creating a psychological profile of the perpetrator based on the details of his crimes. Their dangerous quest takes them into the tortured past and twisted mind of a murderer who will kill again before their hunt is over.
Just after World War II, Barcelona lies in shadow, nursing its wounds. A boy named Daniel awakes on his eleventh birthday to find that he can no longer remember his mother’s face. To console his only child, Daniel’s widowed father initiates him into the Cemetery of Forgotten Books. Barcelona’s guild of rare-book dealers as a repository for books forgotten by the world, waiting for someone who will care about them again. Daniel chooses a volume from the spiraling labyrinth of shelves—one that, it is said, will have a special meaning for him. He so loves the novel he selects that he sets out to find the rest of the author's work. But someone has been systematically destroying every book this author has written. In fact, he may have the last one in existence. Before Daniel knows it, he has opened a door into one of Barcelona’s darkest secrets, an epic story of murder, magic, madness and doomed love. If he doesn’t find out the truth, he and those closest to him will suffer horribly.
Set in 1884, this is the first installment in what has become a beloved bestselling series. At 32, strong-willed Amelia Peabody decides to use her ample inheritance to indulge her passion for Egyptology. On her way to Egypt, Amelia encounters a young woman named Evelyn Barton-Forbes. The two become fast friends and travel on together, encountering mysteries, missing mummies, and Radcliffe Emerson, a dashing and opinionated archaeologist who doesn't need a woman's help—or so he thinks.
Maisie Dobbs isn’t just any young housemaid. Through her own natural intelligence—and the patronage of her benevolent employers—she works her way into college at Cambridge. When World War I breaks out, Maisie goes to the front as a nurse. It is there that she learns that coincidences are meaningful and the truth elusive. After the war, Maisie sets up on her own as a private investigator. But her very first assignment, a seemingly ordinary infidelity case, soon reveals a much deeper, darker web of secrets, which will force Maisie to revisit the horrors of the Great War and the love she left behind.