5 Mystery Novels for History Buffs

One of the hardest parts of picking up a new book is moving between genres! It is so hard to know whether you will like certain plot lines, or which authors are worth reading and which won’t quite be your style. I think that is why so many readers just stick to the genres they know they like. Well, if you are looking for something a little different (but not too different!) I have a few recommendations for you. Here are five mystery novels that will appeal to readers of historical fiction and non-fiction:


In the Shadow of Lakecrest by Elizabeth Blackwell

This is a mystery novel set in the 1920s about a young woman who rushes into a marriage with a young man from a wealthy family, hoping for financial stability, only to find that his family is haunted by the disappearance of his aunt when he was a child. The setting was wonderfully developed and it had a class gothic feel, making this an excellent choice for readers of historical fiction, classic gothic novels, or even readers who have a particular interest in the Jazz Age.


The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield

I love The Thirteenth Tale because there is something in it for everyone. It has a story within a story told by an aging author, so book lovers of all kinds will appreciate its homage to fiction. The story that Vida Winter tells dives into one family’s lineage and the trauma that marks it, making this particularly appealing to readers who enjoy diving into genealogy and family history. It also has some elements of gothic novels so Edgar Allen Poe readers will definitely enjoy this one.


See What I Have Done by Sarah Schmidt

This is a retelling of Lizzie Borden’s story, diving intimately into the narrative from several key players: Lizzie, her sister Emma, their housemaid Bridget, and a stranger named Benjamin. Anyone that has ever taken an interest in Lizzie Borden’s story will appreciate this collage of narratives, and lovers of American history will appreciate the attention to details of life in New England in the late 1800s.


Winter Sisters by Robin Oliveira

Winter Sisters is a new release about two young girls who disappear during a snowstorm in New York in 1879, their eventual rediscovery, and the investigation into the horrific abuse they experienced during their absence. Parts of this novel do get a little graphic, but the relationships between the characters, the harsh realities of America in the late 1800s, and the heartwarming resolution to this novel all make it a fantastic read for readers interested in American history. This is a follow-up novel to My Name is Mary Sutter, a novel taking place during the Civil War, so this book also contains some interesting information about America’s recovery from the Civil War, and how it affected daily life among New England residents.


White Heat by M.J. McGrath

I absolutely loved the Edie Kiglatuk series because it manages to balance an engaging narrative and compelling mystery while immersing readers in a world that is entirely unfamiliar to most. The main character, Edie, is a native woman living in the far North, and much of her habits, from her diet to her wardrobe, are traditional. All of the novels in the series, but White Heat especially, address some of the history of the region, and it was fascinating to read about how that history still affects native Inuit today. Anyone that has an interest in North American history, especially relations between whites and native populations, will enjoy this one.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s