Book Reviews: Our Historical Crime Recommendations


Shutterstock © historical crime

If you enjoy reading crime books, but are a bit fed up of the baddie being caught by DNA, mobile phone records and such like, perhaps it’s time to try some historical crime fiction.

Historical crime books

Shardlake series by CJ Sansom

The CJ Sansom series of Shardlake novels are set during the reign of Henry VIII and feature lawyer Matthew Shardlake.

The books twist and turn. The brooding lawyer’s investigations sometimes lead him to deal with the likes of Thomas Cromwell and The Duke Of Norfolk.

There are seven titles in total. They’re a fantastic way to submerge yourself in the history of the time.

The stories take place against the backdrop of actual events and at one point Shardlake has an unpleasant encounter with Henry VIII himself . . .

Two great reads from Laura Shepherd-Robinson

Blood and Sugar and Daughters Of Night are two thoroughly engaging reads by Laura Shepherd-Robinson. Beautifully dark and twisting you won’t be able to put them down.

They show you a side of London you may not have known existed.

The author has research both meticulously. You’ll learn more about some parts of history than you did at school!

Gothic shivers from Laura Purcell

Laura Purcell writes a gothic novel like no-one else.

The Silent Companions” gave a few members of the PF team the heebee-geebees and “The Shape Of Darkness” was reviewed by Fiction Ed Lucy here. Both books have quite an ending and they may have you checking under your bed before you switch your light off . . .

Webs of deceit by Andrew Taylor

Another author who writes thrilling historical crime is Andrew Taylor.

His beautifully woven stories include “The American Boy“, which features a young Edgar Allen-Poe caught up in a very dark mystery, and “The Scent Of Death” which takes place in New York during the American Civil War.

We hope you enjoy our suggestions and let us know on Twitter what some of your own favourites are!


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Tracey Steel

Having worked on a number of magazines over the years, I have found my perfect place on the “Friend” as I’m obsessed with reading and never go anywhere without a book! I read all of our stories with a mug of tea close by and usually a bit of strong cheese too!