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Rhys Bowen

Posted: Sun September 7th, 2008, 4:42 pm
by Spitfire
OK, I have never read historical mystery, or any mystery novels for that matter. I never have been drawn to that gendre. I have heard alot of hype about Rhys Bowen's books, and they look interresting to me. Especially the Constable Evans series. Has anybody read her stuff and would you recommend her? Would her books be a good place to start in the HM gendre, or should I start somewhere else...I think I heard Dunnet's got a good mystery series? Sorry if I am not staying true to this thread!

Posted: Mon September 29th, 2008, 6:40 pm
by Margaret
There's a review of Rhy Bowen's Her Royal Spyness at It's by one of my guest reviewers, and I haven't read the book myself yet, but it sounds like delicious fun. This is a new series, not part of Bowen's Molly Maguire series, but it's also set in the early 20th century - this time in England, with a protagonist who is an impoverished but quick-witted aristocrat.

Posted: Wed April 8th, 2009, 9:14 am
by Mattigan
I don't care for the Constable Evans series. I tried but gave up after the third one.I just couldn't get hooked.

I like her Molly Murphy series though.

I enjoy the Justin de Quincy mystery series by S.K. Penman.

Bruce Alexander has a series about the Bow Street Runners and the "Blind Beak" that I liked so much I read them in a week. I wish there would be more but he died.

Posted: Fri April 24th, 2009, 6:20 pm
by Chatterbox
What HM you like probably depends on your taste in books generally...

I'm so-so about Rhys Bowen. It's OK. If you want something set in the 30s, though, you could try David Roberts's Lord Edward Corinth books. Much meatier.

Fiona Buckley's series featuring Ursula Blanchard and Queen Elizabeth is good, much stronger than Karen Harper's series set in the same period (which is too ye olde Englande for me). Penman's mystery series is excellent! Then there are the Cadfael mysteries, if you happen to be a Penman fan. (Ellis Peters, who also wrote as Edith Pargeter.) Elizabeth Peters has a hugely successful series revolving around Victorian/Edwardian era Egyptologists and their adventures.

Moving forward, there is Hannah March, who wrote four excellent mysteries set in Georgian England, as well as Kate Ross's excellent series (cut short by her death) of Julian Kestrel mysteries set during the Regency. Beautiful writing.

Barbara Cleverly sets most of her mysteries in the 1920s, Ann Granger has two books set in the Victorian era. Rennie Airth has two mystery thrillers set in the interwar period in England, and I'm eagerly anticipating his third.

Robert Harris combines HF and HM with Pompeii and his book about Cicero. Charles Todd has an excellent series with a sleuth haunted by ghosts of the WW1 trenches. Anne Perry's books are all historical mysteries, although I find some of them feeling a bit formulaic by now.

Tracy Grant has two books set during the Napoleonic era in England & France. Caroline Roe has a series set in medieval spain (the Isaac of Girona mysteries). There are some who have set mysteries in 17th & 18th century France, although there isn't that much available in translation. Claude Izner's books are available; he focuses on early 20th century paris, while Frank Tallis sets his in early 20th century Vienna. Then there is Ariana Franklin, who I've seen referred to here (I confess to enjoying her books!)

Posted: Wed April 29th, 2009, 2:19 am
by JMJacobsen
For what it's worth, the only Rhys Bowen I've read is Her Royal Spyness....I enjoyed it (there's a review here, if you're so inclined). Not a heavy mystery by any means, but a fun one.

Posted: Fri May 8th, 2009, 3:06 pm
by LoisAnn
Gotta jump in here & give a nod to one of my favorite HM series - the Sir Robert Carey mysteries by P.F. Chisholm (aka Patricia Finney). They are delightful, witty, well-developed and fast reads.

They are loosely based on the true-life experiences of Sir Robert Carey (cousin to Queen Elizabeth I). There are four of them to date - the first is A Famine of Horses. The books are set on the English/Scottish border which was an ever-shifting line in those days!

Her Elizabethan mystery trilogy that begins with Firedrake's Eye is also quite fascinating - longer, more detailed and complex stories. (They are written under her Patricia Finney name.)

And, a resounding second endorsement for Sharon Kay Penman's Justin de Quincy series. Great fun! The first one is The Queen's Man.

Posted: Sun January 25th, 2015, 10:31 pm
by rockygirl
I haven't read Constable Evans yet, but I've read all of Her Royal Spyness and some of Molly Murphy.

The Molly Murphy ones are okay.

Her Royal Spyness is a fun series. Rhys Bowen has a great sense of humor, and it comes out in this wickedly amusing series.

Read them in order!