We are well into autumn and the days are getting shorter, the leaves are falling, and there is a crispness in the air. It is the perfect time to curl up with a good book. This fall, why not transport yourself to a different time and place with a historical thriller?
If you want history with a dose of mystery than Matthew Carr’s The Devils of Cardona is your book. Judge Licenciado Bernardo Mendoza is sent to the Aragon region of Spain to investigate the murder of a Catholic priest. However, this is 1584, the Inquisition is in full swing, and the suspect, known only as the Redeemer, is a supposed Moor calling for the end of Catholic rule. This is a delicate situation for the King of Spain as he doesn’t want a revolt. When Mendoza arrives at the scene, he soon learns that this murder is much more personal than the historical and religious conflicts being exploited. So who is this Redeemer, is he the murderer, and what does he really want? For more thrillers with political and religious bends, check out the The Strangler Vine by Miranda Carter and The Midwife and the Assassin by Samuel Thomas.
In the mood for something more reminiscent of noir? In David C. Taylor’s Night Life, NYPD detective Michael Cassidy finds a Broadway dancer dead in his apartment with evidence of torture. Cassidy takes this death as a warning; he is investigating a chain of murders that greatly interests the C.I.A. and not in a good way. This is the McCarthy era and Cassidy’s family has Russian connections. How does he continue with his investigation without risking everything he has? For other historical detective fiction, look for Amy Stewart’s Lady Cop Makes Trouble and The Whispering City by Sara Moliner.
In The Gilded Hour, Sara Donati takes us to 19th century New York City where Anna and Sophie Savard are working as physicians treating the poor of the tenement houses. While vaccinating a group of Italian immigrant children, she learns that a couple of young boys went missing on their way to an orphanage. On top of that, a number of women have turned up dead in the tenements. Do the vanished children have anything to do with these murders? Does the New York Society for the Suppression of Vice play a role? Will Anna fall in love with the handsome Italian American detective? Check out The Gilded Hour to find out.
So now that you have a good book, all you need is a cozy afghan and a hot cup of tea to brave these cooler nights.