My new historical fiction release The Cuban Heiress gave me the opportunity to incorporate my love of suspense and history. Set in 1934 on an ill-fated luxury cruise ship the SS Morro Castle, The Cuban Heiress is the story of two women whose lives are endangered as the secrets of their past come back to haunt them. On a cruise ship filled with a mysterious cast of characters, twists and turns abound alongside the real-life enigma of the fate of the ship.
My favorite historical novels are the ones that have a mystery at their core, propelling the plot forward as they send readers on a quest through history to put the pieces together. From 1920s Ecuador to New York City in the 1950s, these seven historical novels feature page-turning mysteries that will transport you to the past and keep you guessing until the end.
In the Face of the Sun by Denny S. Bryce
Denny S. Bryce’s page-turning novel opens with a murder that transports readers from Black Hollywood in the 1920s to an unforgettable road trip across the U.S. during the 1960s. Bryce weaves the two timelines together in a fascinating story arc that leaves readers marveling at the connections between characters as the echoes of the past shape the present.
The Spectacular by Fiona Davis
This propulsive novel is a fast-paced race throughout 1950s New York City to stop a deadly bomber from striking again. Set against the backdrop of the legendary Radio City Music Hall, Fiona Davis brings some of New York City’s most memorable landmarks to life as a Rockette is entangled in the mystery of the “Big Apple Bomber” who is terrorizing the city.
The Night Tiger by Yangsze Choo
The Night Tiger is a stunning work of historical fiction set in colonial 1930s Malaysia that centers on a series of mysterious deaths, a missing finger, and a deadly tiger. Filled with unforgettable characters and breathtaking prose, The Night Tiger carries readers on an extraordinary journey of myth and mystery.
The Mystery of Mrs. Christie by Marie Benedict
The real-life disappearance of novelist Agatha Christie is the inspiration for Marie Benedict’s fascinating novel The Mystery of Mrs. Christie. Benedict transports readers to 1926 and Christie’s untold mystery as she reconstructs that fateful eleven day-period and investigates the people closest to the missing author.
The Spanish Daughter by Lorena Hughes
Set in 1920s Ecuador, The Spanish Daughter is steeped in family secrets and dramatic family conflict. When Puri returns to the estate she inherited from her deceased father, she must discover who wants her dead and why. Twists and turns abound in this atmospheric read.
The Shadow Land by Elizabeth Kostova
When Alexandra Boyd travels to Bulgaria and discovers an urn filled with human ashes, she embarks on a quest to return the ashes to the deceased man’s family and becomes embroiled in a mystery that takes her back through the country’s dangerous history. Richly detailed and filled with haunting prose, The Shadow Land proves that sometimes untangling the events of the past can be the greatest mystery of all.
The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón
When a book dealer’s son discovers a special book, he’s intent to find more of the author’s published works only to realize that someone is destroying them all. 1940s Barcelona provides the backdrop for this extraordinary novel of ill-fated love and murder set around the Spanish Civil War.