Agatha Christie’s novels need no introduction. The only tough choice is which to recommend. Of the Miss Marple stories, “A Murder is Announced” is probably my favourite, beginning with the clever idea of a murder announcement in a newspaper and containing an interesting mix of characters and a plot full of twists and turns. Of the Hercule Poirot novels, “Murder on the Orient Express” is one of the most fascinating with the unique atmospheric setting of a train and a complex plot.
With Josephine Tey I’m once again stuck over which to mention so I will cheat and go with my favourite 3: “Brat Farrar” about an impostor solving the mystery of a young boy’s death; “Miss Pym Disposes” about a writer solving a murder in a girls’ physical training college; and “The Daughter of Time”, an Inspector Alan Grant novel where, with time on his hands while in hospital, he becomes caught up in the mystery of the life of Richard III. Josephine Tey wrote psychological mysteries in a witty style with characters that jump off the page.
The sixth Lord Peter Wimsy book, “Strong Poison” by Dorothy L Sayers introduces the character’s detective partner, Harriet Vane, in unique fashion, as she is on trial for murder. Intrigued by her, Lord Peter Wimsy must solve the murder in order to save her life. Romance, humour and murder are combined in these popular novels.
“Once Corpse Too Many” by Ellis Peters is the second Brother Cadfael novel, but it introduces Cadfael’s detective partner, Hugh Beringer. These novels, set in the 12th century, have a wonderful mix of murders to be solved, lovable characters, well written settings and interesting historical details.
“The Hound of the Baskervilles” by Arthur Conan Doyle is so famous that it needs no description, but between the famous partnership of Holmes and Watson, the chilling spooky tale of a deadly hound, and the atmospheric backdrop, this remains an excellent, much loved story.
Other recommended historical mystery novels:-
“Laura” by Vera Caspary
“Fadeout” by Joseph Hanson
“Dissolution” by C J Sansom
“The Alienist” by Caleb Carr