Thursday, September 1, 2011

Things I've Noticed: Historical Fiction is pretty amazing

A few months back I did a “Genre Character of the Week” featuring Matthew Corbett, the protagonist of the Robert R. McCammon novel, Speaks the Nightbird. The story in question followed a magistrate’s clerk in 1699 America and his involvement with a witch trial. Earlier today I finished the third novel in the series, Mr. Slaughter.
These three novels (The second is titled The Queen of Bedlam) give a really interesting look at colonial life in the context of a mystery novel. Once a historical novel becomes a series the opportunity to world build starts showing up and these books definitely do not disappoint. Starting in the Carolina colonies and moving to New York well before it became NYC, the stories, which I would describe as a mix of action, mystery and horror, show a world I wasn’t terribly familiar with before. The closest example I can give of how much I like this series is to compare it to my two other favourite Historical Fiction mystery series, The Cadfael books by Ellis Peters and the Novels of Ancient Rome mysteries by Steven Saylor.
Although I’m mostly a Fantasy/Horror/SF guy myself, I have to say that the more I read of historical fiction, the more I’m digging it.

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