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9 of the Best Romantic Historical Mysteries to Sweep You Into Another Time

What's romance without a taste of mystery?

woman holding knife from the book cover Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco
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  • Photo Credit: Kerri Maniscalco

We all know there is no greater mystery than those related to the heart. So, it makes sense that the best stories have both.

And when you add in a historical setting, you have a hero and heroine often not just fighting their own attractions while investigating mysteries but also navigating complicated societal expectations. It ratchets up the tension and adds myriad problems to stand in their way.

The historical mystery genre intertwines elements of history with the suspense and intrigue of a classic mystery novel. Set in various time periods and often featuring real historical figures or events, these novels transport readers to different eras, offering glimpses into the past while engaging them in captivating whodunits or thrilling investigations.

The historical backdrops are meticulously researched, with authors incorporating authentic details to create immersive settings. Characters, both fictional and sometimes based on historical figures, navigate through intricate plots filled with secrets, conspiracies, and enigmas to be solved.

Whether set in ancient civilizations, medieval Europe, or more recent historical periods, historical mysteries provide readers with a compelling blend of historical insight and suspenseful storytelling.

Add in a bit of romance and you're in for a treat. If you’re looking to get swept off your feet and transported to a different time, here are nine dashing romantic historical mysteries.

books for catherine coulter fans

A Curious Beginning

By Deanna Raybourn

After her spinster aunt dies, Veronica Speedwell sets off on the journey of a lifetime. As the city prepares for Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee, Veronica prepares her butterfly nets. But fate has other plans.

When she manages to avoid abduction, she meets a German baron with ties to her mysterious past. He offers her sanctuary with a reclusive natural historian named Stoker until he can reveal the plot against her.

But before the baron can return, he’s found murdered. Veronica and Stoker are forced on the run as they avoid an elusive enemy in pursuit of the truth.

Maids of Misfortune: A Victorian San Francisco Mystery

Maids of Misfortune: A Victorian San Francisco Mystery

By M. Louisa Locke

It’s summer in San Francisco in 1879 and young widow Annie Fuller is in trouble. Her husband squandered their fortune before committing suicide five years earlier and now her boardinghouse is at risk.

When one of her boarders, a clairvoyant, claims a local death is actually a murder, and that his significant assets are at large, Annie turns to the family lawyer to help, a man both attractive and infuriating.

And as they work together to discover the truth, the pull between the two becomes undeniable.

The Anatomist’s Wife

The Anatomist’s Wife

By Anna Lee Huber

Lady Kiera Darby wants nothing more than to disappear into her art after her husband dies. She retreats to her sister’s estate.

But when her sister throws a party, the cream of London society intrudes on her solace. After one of the guests is murdered, her brother-in-law implores her to use her skills painting anatomy to assist inquiry agent Gage.

But as their investigation leads to more grim discoveries, Kiera receives several disturbing notes. With her family’s reputation on the line and her own innocence at stake, Kiera refuses to stop. Even if that means she might be next.

A Poisoned Season

A Poisoned Season

By Tasha Alexander

With London’s social season roaring, Victorian nobility is buzzing with the arrival of a stranger claiming to be a direct descendent of Louis XVI and Marie Antionette. It’s odd timing considering a cat burglar is on the loose.

And they’re targeting anything tied to the doomed queen. But when the owner of one of the stolen items is found dead, the thief becomes obsessed with Lady Emily Ashton.

And to make matters worse, she’s already facing a scandal over her brewing romance with the handsome Colin Hargreaves. It’s going to take all her wits and nerves to unmask the stalker, reveal the murderer, and save her reputation.

Stalking Jack the Ripper

Stalking Jack the Ripper

By Kerri Maniscalco

Seventeen-year-old Audrey Rose Wadsworth was born into a life of luxury. As a lord’s daughter, she’s expected to embrace the wealth and privilege her station affords her by attending social teas and behaving like a lady.

Except Audrey has other plans. Whenever she can, she makes her way to her uncle’s laboratory, where she learns the gruesome science of forensic medicine.

But when a series of savagely mutilated corpses puts her in the path of a serial murderer, her need to find the truth puts her sheltered life in mortal danger.

The Untamed Bride

The Untamed Bride

By Stephanie Laurens

After two assassination attempts, Colonel Derek Delborough is anxiously anticipating arrival in Southampton. But days before they dock, someone tries to kill him. And Miss Delilah Duncannon saves his life.

She’s as intriguing as she is unwelcome, but by saving him, she’s put herself directly in the line of fire. Now, she’s a target of Delborough’s enemies, too.

As they race to reach the safe confines of Cynster country house, they struggle with a deadly enemy on their trail and the dangerous distraction their growing attraction threatens to become.

Ravished: A Novel

Ravished: A Novel

By Amanda Quick

Harriet Pomeroy needs help. And not just any help. But someone brave, powerful, and clever enough to find the thieves using her beloved caves to stash their ill-begotten gains, and force them to leave. She finds that help in Gideon Westbrook, the Beast of Blackthorne Hall.

Though his reputation is menacing, he’s nothing she expected. Neither is her sudden passion. As she tries to win his heart, a treacherous villain plots to ensure that her happily ever after is over before it even begins.

Sweet Revenge: A Lady Arianna Regency Mystery

Sweet Revenge: A Lady Arianna Regency Mystery

By Andrea Penrose

Lady Adriana Hadley wants to find her father’s murderer. That’s why she plays a French chef in a London aristocratic house. But when the Prince Regent gets sick after eating her chocolate dessert, she’s thrust into a dangerous scandal.

Her only hope is Alessandro de Quincy, Earl of Saybrook. His expertise in chocolate makes him ideal for investigating the crime. 

But when he discovers her true identity, she convinces him to keep her secret for her help in finding the actual criminal. The only problem is, whoever it is wants England in chaos. And putting Alessandro and Adriana at the bottom of the Thames might be their next step.

A Study In Scarlet Women

A Study In Scarlet Women

By Sherry Thomas

Charlotte Holmes has never exactly fit in with the expectations placed on her by society. But she never thought she’d actually be cast out of her social circles and left to fend for herself on the streets of London.

When three suspicious deaths place her sister and father as the main suspects, Charlotte will do whatever it takes to clear their names.

Including turn to a police inspector who has long been in love with her. Using the alias Sherlock, Charlotte sets out to defy societal expectations and match wits with an enemy mastermind that no one can see but her.