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December 20, 2009


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This once again provides a fresh setting, but at the price of a horrendous amount of setup before getting around to the actual mystery part: nearly two thirds of the book goes by before we get to the murder and Joliffe's opportunity to play sleuth.

I wonder how many historical mystery series exist because there isn't much market for straight historicals anymore.

I don't know about that. I have a fair amount of historical fiction on my shelves as well, some of it quite recent.

I think the medieval murder mystery trend was mostly spawned by the success of the Cadfael novels. I don't know about other eras.

There are a few series set in the Roman Empire. Besides Lindsey Davis's Falco, there are books by Steven Saylor, and my wife has read a couple of other series too, I think.

I know mysteries and mystery series set in other periods exist, though I've never found any of them as interesting as the medieval ones. I've tried the Falco books and didn't click with them, as well as occasional Regency, Victorian, and Elizabethan ones. What I don't know is whether historical mysteries in general were a going thing before the Cadfael books took off or whether they jump-started the entire genre, not just the medieval ones.

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