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The Loaded Bookshelf

I'm an Editor in book publishing. All opinions are my own.

Currently reading

Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil
John Berendt
American Rust
Philipp Meyer
The First Rumpole Omnibus
John Mortimer

Criminally Underrated Friday

Instruments of Darkness  - Imogen Robertson In the Shadow of Gotham - Stefanie Pintoff

Though I'm as into popular, bestselling books as the next gal, I think it's a special feeling to discover an underrated gem, an author or book that didn't break out and land on everyone's radar.  Every Friday I will post about one of mine.


Historical Mystery Edition -- Stephanie Pintoff and Imogen Robertson


I LOVE historical mysteries, just can't get enough of them.  Any era, any time period, I'm willing to give a historical mystery series a go.  My particular favorites include C. J. Sansom's Matthew Shardlake series, Jacqueline Winspear's Maisie Dobbs series, Frank Tallis's Lieberman Papers, and the late Arianna Franklin's mistress of the art of death series.


This year I discovered two fantastic series to add to my list.


Stephanie Pintoff's Simon Ziele series is set in early 20th-century New York City, a time of great change in the world of detection.  Readers of Victoria Thompson's gaslight mysteries will recognize this as the time period after Theodore Roosevelt as Police Commissioner instituted mass reforms in the NYPD, meaning officers were hired through merit tests rather than patronage.  And newer technologies and thinking (such as finger printing and the beginnings of modern psychoanalysis) were beginning to show their relevance in crime detection.  These novels richly depict this changing time period with mystery plotlines that are well constructed and enjoyable to read.


Going further back in time, Imogen Robertson's series is set in the late 1700s in England and features amateur detectives Harriet Westerman and Gabriel Crowther -- Crowther, a taciturn expert in anatomy, pairs his expertise with Westerman's status, keen perceptiveness, and willingness to snoop.  This series only gets better as it goes on.


Any other historical mystery aficionados out there?  What authors are your favorites?