Any time in history, women make excellent detectives! We’ve selected some of the top historical mysteries of 2023 if you love tales about shrewd women cracking puzzling situations. This list of whodunits starring female sleuths is certain to have something to intrigue every reader because it includes stories set all over the world and during various eras. Here are 8 historical mystery novels featuring strong female detectives.
Murder Under a Red Moon
When new bride Kaveri Murthy reluctantly agrees to investigate a minor crime to please her domineering mother-in-law—during the blood moon eclipse, no less—she doesn’t expect, once again, to stumble upon a murder. With anti-British sentiment on the rise, a charismatic religious leader growing in influence, and the fight for women’s suffrage gaining steam, Bangalore is turning out to be a far more dangerous and treacherous place than Kaveri ever imagined—and everyone’s motives are suspect. Together with the Bangalore Detectives Club—a mixed bag of street urchins, nosy neighbours.
Release Date: March 28, 2023
Mastering the Art of French Murder
As Paris rediscovers its joie de vivre, Tabitha Knight, recently arrived from Detroit for an extended stay with her French grandfather, is on her own journey of discovery. Paris isn’t just the City of Light; it’s the city of history, romance, stunning architecture . . . and food. Thanks to her neighbor and friend Julia Child, another ex-pat who’s fallen head over heels for Paris, Tabitha is learning how to cook for her Grandpère and Oncle Rafe.
Between tutoring Americans in French, visiting the market, and eagerly sampling the results of Julia’s studies at Le Cordon Bleu cooking school.
Release Date: April 25, 2023
The Medici Manuscript
Finding an old manuscript in the attic has always been a fantasy of Sylvia’s. She just never expected the fantasy to come true, or for it to lead her to answers about her mysterious family. The silver clasps binding the pages contain rare magic – the same magic that might run through Sylvia’s veins. To discover a link to her ancestors means understanding the book itself, but it’s written in a code that proves difficult to crack. The only thing she knows for certain is that it was once owned by the Medicis, the powerful family that controlled Renaissance Florence.
With the help of Gabe and his friends, Sylvia investigates the book’s origins.
Release Date: March 7, 2023
Murder on the Home Front
1940. It’s been a month since rector’s daughter Billie Harkness left her rural village to make a fresh start in the northern city of Hull. Now she has a new home and an exciting new job as one of only two female police constables in the whole city. But Hull still feels like a foreign country, and some people are less than impressed by the idea of a woman doing a ‘man’s job’.
Facing disrespect from her colleagues and suspicion from the public, Billie throws herself into her work. The tasks she’s assigned might be menial, but she’s determined to do her bit for the war effort.
Release Date: May 2, 2023
Playing It Safe
As the Blitz continues to ravage London, Ellie McDonnell—formerly a safecracking thief, but currently determined to stay on the straight and narrow to help her country—is approached by British Intelligence officer Major Ramsey with a new assignment. She is to travel under an assumed identity to the port city of Sunderland and there await further instructions. In his usual infuriating way, the Major has left her task as vague and mysterious as possible.
Ellie, ever-ready to aid her country, heads north, her safecracking tools in tow. But before she can rendezvous with the major, she witnesses an unnatural death.
Release Date: May 9, 2023
The Antiquity Affair
1907: The dawn of Egyptology is a time of imperialism and plunder, opulence and unrest, and Dr. Warren Ford, esteemed archaeologist, is the man of the hour. His daughters—intellectual Lila, on the eve of her debut as a Manhattan socialite, and nonconformist Tess, who dreams of following in his footsteps—have always lived in his shadow, and their lives couldn’t feel more different. But when a secretive organization seeks to find a lost relic legendary for its dangerous power, it isn’t Dr. Ford they turn to—it’s his two remarkable daughters. Rumored to reside in the mysterious Tomb of the Five Ladies, the Serpent’s Crown will only be found by solving a seemingly impossible riddle.
Release Date: June 6, 2023
Marion Lane and the Raven’s Revenge
T. A. Willberg
London, 1960. Marion Lane, a twenty-five-year-old apprentice detective at the elusive Miss Brickett’s Investigations & Inquiries, is busier than ever and determined to prove herself worthy of an official Inquirer badge. But when her close friend’s girlfriend, Darcy, is targeted by a dangerous gang leader and seeks out the Inquirers’ assistance, Marion cannot help but get involved. Just when Marion thinks she has the situation under control, Darcy disappears and the agency receives a package containing a dead raven. Everyone is puzzled by what the threat could mean.
Release Date: June 6, 2023
A Most Agreeable Murder
Feisty, passionate Beatrice Steele has never fit the definition of a true lady, according to the strict code of conduct that reigns in Swampshire, her small English township—she is terrible at needlework, has absolutely no musical ability, and her artwork is so bad it frightens people. Nevertheless, she lives a perfectly agreeable life with her marriage-scheming mother, prankster father, and two younger sisters— beautiful Louisa and forgettable Mary. But she harbors a dark secret: She is obsessed with the true crime cases she reads about in the newspaper. If anyone in her etiquette-obsessed community found out.
Release Date: June 27, 2023