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Old 03-01-2015, 01:58 PM
Location: Prescott, AZ
339 posts, read 283,384 times
Reputation: 420


For my money any lover of the historical novel can't go wrong with Jeff Shaara. He picked-up over ten years ago by finishing the Civil War Trilogy that his Dad, Mike, began with "The Killer Angels."

Since then he has written about a dozen or more historical novels, on subjects ranging from the Civil War to the Revolutionary War to WWII. I believe he has a WWII Trilogy (or quartet) which covers all aspects of the global conflict, from Europe to the Pacific.

He really brings history alive, I think. His books read like thriller or action novels, but are painstakingly-researched and I believe are very historically accurate. I have never heard of any of his works being disparaged for inaccuracies from other historians.

Shaara has a habit of showing you the particular war from all sides. That is, he will, say, for WWII have chapters on Stalin and Ike and Patton, but then will also have at least one "common soldier" in the mix; like a private storming the beach at Normandy in the D-Day Invasion.
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Old 03-03-2015, 05:42 AM
4,539 posts, read 3,709,119 times
Reputation: 9640
Let's not forget Ken Follet's many excellent historical novels like Pillars of the Earth to his most recent, the Century trilogy. I just finished the third book in the series which brought the story and the families to present time from the beginning of World War 1 in the first book. Excellent writing.

Also, Wilbur Smith ranks high on my list for enjoyable historical fiction with his many books set in Africa from the time of the Pharaohs in the River God series to the Siege of Khartoum in The Triumph of the Sun
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Old 05-03-2015, 06:02 PM
Location: Cochise County, AZ
1,399 posts, read 948,164 times
Reputation: 3046
Though the OP narrowed the field to mystery, many of the other posters have included works that are not mysteries. I love historical fiction and am surprised that two of my favorites have not been mentioned by anyone:

R. F. Delderfield - Many of his works deal with soldiers returning home from the Edwardian era to the 1960's. I loved the Swann saga and his other works. Some of his works were adapted as British TV series.

Susan Howatch - I feel in love with Cashelmara and Penmarric and read her Wheel of Fortune series. Several years ago, I tried her Starbridge series. I was hesitant due to the religious nature (Church of England), but I am glad that I read them. The wiki says:

the main protagonist of each book also appears in the other books, allowing the author to present the same incidents from different viewpoints.
I truly enjoyed reading the differing viewpoints and feel her works are very well done.
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Old 05-03-2015, 09:12 PM
5,998 posts, read 9,892,689 times
Reputation: 6398
A new mystery/historical fiction series caught my attention recently. It is set in San Francisco, and is of the "Victorian Mystery" category. The author is M. Louisa Locke, and the first book in the series was Maids of Misfortune. Locke is an indie author, and apparently her stories are doing really well. She is a historian, and you've got the perfect mix of a good storyteller plus a trained researcher. I think vol.4 is out now. You can buy the books in print on Amazon, or on Kindle, but they aren't available in bookstores.
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Old 05-04-2015, 02:34 PM
Location: Type 0.7 Kardashev
10,576 posts, read 7,756,583 times
Reputation: 37565
Sharon Kay Penman has written a number of excellent works set in medieval Britain.

The Sunne In Splendour is the story of Richard III, a sprawling 944-page epic. It was her first book, written in the early 1980s. When she completed it, the manuscript - her only copy - disappeared when her car was stolen. She rewrote it.

Her first trilogy consists of Here Be Dragons, about the shifting relationship between the Welsh Prince Llewelyn the Great and King John, Falls The Shadow is about King Henry III (John's successor) and the rebellion led by Simon de Montfort, and the concluding The Reckoning is about the final years of struggle between the Welsh princes and the English crown before the Conquest of Wales.

Her five-book Plantagenet series begins during the Anarchy, follows the reign of King Henry II, and concludes during the reign of Richard the Lionheart. Though I have not read it, I have no reason to think it is not as good as the previously mentioned books. The author is meticulous in detail, and concludes her books by pointing out the facts she changed from known history for the sake of the narrative.

Highly recommended.

I would also suggest checking out some of Edward Rutherford's fiction. He writes long series of stories spanning thousands of years, all set in one place. For example, Sarum is set outside what is now the city of Salisbury and begins when the glaciers were receding over ten thousand years ago and proceeds through the building of nearby Stonehenge, the Roman Conquest, the Norman Conquest, the Black Death, the Reformation, the 20th Century (and many eras I do not mention here), with all these tales connected in a certain way. He has written in similar ways about London, the New Forest, Dublin, Moscow, New York, and other places.
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Old 05-06-2015, 01:35 PM
Location: north central Ohio
8,574 posts, read 4,732,195 times
Reputation: 5118
In the Shadow of Blackbirds by Cat Winters

In 1918, the world seems on the verge of apocalypse. Americans roam the streets in gauze masks to ward off the deadly Spanish influenza, and the government ships young men to the front lines of a brutal war, creating an atmosphere of fear and confusion. Sixteen-year-old Mary Shelley Black watches as desperate mourners flock to s√©ances and spirit photographers for comfort, but she herself has never believed in ghosts. During her bleakest moment, however, she’s forced to rethink her entire way of looking at life and death, for her first love—a boy who died in battle—returns in spirit form. But what does he want from her?

Featuring haunting archival early-twentieth-century photographs, this is a tense, romantic story set in a past that is eerily like our own time.

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Old 05-07-2015, 07:55 PM
Location: Colorado Plateau
1,177 posts, read 3,521,776 times
Reputation: 1251
I didn't look through the whole thread so I'm not sure if anyone mentioned Lucia St. Clair Robson. Lucia St. Clair Robson, historical novelist - Official author website

I really liked her Ride The Wind, about Cynthia Ann Parker, Quanah Parker, and the Comanche Indians, and The Tokaido Road, about feudal Japan. She has several other historical fiction books.
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Old 05-07-2015, 08:14 PM
Location: Wilmington NC
5,945 posts, read 5,694,445 times
Reputation: 15022
Originally Posted by AnneWest View Post
If you like WWII stories, read:

Amazon.com: City of Thieves: A Novel (9780452295292): David Benioff: Books

Funny, sad, heart-breaking coming-of-age story set during the seige of Leningrad by the Germans.
And yes, David Benioff is one of the co-creators and writers of HBO's Game of Thrones. <3
This is one of my favorite books ever.

I also agree that anything by Geraldine Brooks is worthwhile. March is also one of my favorite books ever, and Caleb's Crossing is good (it's short).

The Calligraphers daughter by Eugenia Kim.

Empire of the Sun by ???
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Old 05-07-2015, 11:44 PM
Location: Cochise County, AZ
1,399 posts, read 948,164 times
Reputation: 3046
Has anyone else enjoyed the First North American series written by W. Michael Gear and Kathleen O'Neal Gear? I love how many of the books have prologues of archaeological sites and then the book is based on what might have happened during the times and lives of those who used the items found.
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Old 11-08-2019, 01:07 PM
1,906 posts, read 1,183,320 times
Reputation: 3549
Darkness at Chancellorsville (2019)

Good recounting of the fight at Chancellorsville, and the events directly preceding it.. Stonewall Jackson is mentioned by name in it's subtitle, but he's not really featured any more prominently than all the other generals present..
My opinion, the book's strength is the way Peters imagines their slice of life thinking & manner of speaking.. it's weakness, it's kinda long & monotonous. All things considered, a cool read w/nice cover art & some helpful, chronological maps.
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