Historical Mysteries Set in Britain

Georgetown LibraryStaff Picks

Historical Mysteries Set in Britain

If you enjoy tea, biscuits, and a good whodunit, then this list is for you. I’ve compiled a group of enjoyable mysteries set against historical backdrops in Britain. While this is not an exhaustible list of the offerings in this area, it’s a good place to get started if you’ve read all of Agatha Christie’s books and don’t know where to go next.

And Only to Deceive by Tasha Alexander
Emily hardly knew her husband of six months. She wasn’t even with him when he died—he was in Africa hunting with friends. But she embraces widowhood ready to settle in with some books and finally get some peace from her meddling mother. However, going through her husbands’ papers, she discovers something unexpected: he was an antiquities collector. Curious about this side of him she never knew about, she visits the British Museum to view artifacts that he donated. Once in the exhibits, Emily discovers a secret about stolen Greek antiquities that could put her life in danger.

The Spies of Shilling Lane by Jennifer Ryan
Mrs. Braithwaite has recently suffered through a whole host of insufferable tribulations. First, her husband had the audacity to divorce her and then the local village matrons removed her as the head of the Women’s Voluntary Service. But to add to this outrage, when she protests her removal, her replacement, Mrs. Metcalf threatens to reveal a family secret. Mrs. Braithwaite does the only thing possible: she rushes to London to find her daughter, Betty to tell her the truth herself. But when she arrives, she finds her daughter is missing. With the help of Betty’s timid landlord, Mrs. Braithwaite sets out to find her daughter against the backdrop of the war-torn London during World War Two.

Murder at The Brightwell: A Mystery by Ashley Weaver
Amory Ames is tired of her husband’s numerous affairs and habit of drifting in and out of her life without warning. So when her ex-fiancé, Gil, shows up with concerns about his sister’s shifty boyfriend, Amory is happy to help and accompany Gil to the seaside to split up the pair. She isn’t expecting murder and suspicions that her ex-fiancé is one of the suspects. She must find the murderer before the murderer comes for her.

Her Royal Spyness by Rhys Bowen
Georgiana Rannoch is 34th in line for the throne in pre-world war two Britain. As a woman in 1930’s England, she’s constantly at the mercy of her brother for funds. But the final straw is when her family tries to marry her off to an unpleasant fish-faced prince. Fleeing to London she attempts to start up her own cleaning agency on the sly. Because of this she runs right into a spying proposal from the queen and a dead Frenchman in her bathtub. Georgie will need all her royal faculties to clear her brother for the murder.

Silent in the Grave by Deanna Raybourn
Lady Julia thought her husband died from a hereditary heart condition. But as the investigator who visits after her husband’s death assures her, it was not a natural death—it was murder. Julia immerses herself in an investigation of the crime, which is challenging as a widow in Victorian London. But following a string of clues, she arrives at an uncomfortable truth and an unexpected murderer.

The Matters at Mansfield (Or The Crawford Affair) by Carrie Bebris
It is a truth universally acknowledged that if Mr. and Mrs. Darcy had ever had the opportunity to solve crime together, they would have been an unstoppable pair. Thus is the setup of this lovely series, each book taking the Darcys into another of Jane Austin’s books to set right some unfathomable wrong amongst the characters. In this book, Lady Catherine de Bourgh attempts to arrange a marriage for her daughter, Anne. She’s thwarted when Anne has romantic plans of her own and tries to elope. The Darcys race after her, trying to save her from scandal—but will they be too late?

Death Below Stairs by Jennifer Ashley – 
As a cook in a posh Victorian household, Kat Holloway has learned to disregard the actions of her aristocratic employers. So when her latest employer proves to have an eccentric sister who traipses around London in men’s clothing, she takes it in stride. But when her Irish assistant is murdered, Kat insists on investigating her death. With the help of a former friend and delivery man, Kat slowly unravels the truth, which proves to be more than she bargained for—a possible plot against the queen.