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Medieval Mysteries by Historians

By Rebecca LR Garber

This list is a work in progress. Dr. Garber can be reached at rlrg@umich.edu if you know of mysteries that do not appear in the following list.

The mysteries appear in chronological order of their settings.

  • Peter Tremayne
    A series set in 8th-century Ireland. Main protagonist is Sister Fidelma, an Irish high court lawyer and "religieuse" (sort of like a nun, but able to marry).
    • Shroud for the Archbishop (1995)
    • Suffer Little Children (1995)
    • Absolution by Murder (1996)
    • The Spider's Web (1997)
    • Valley of the Shadow (1998)
    • The Subtle Serpent (1998)
    • The Monk who Vanished (1999)
    • An Act of Mercy (2001)

  • Sharan Newman
    A series set in 12th-century Paris. Main protagonists are Catherine LeVendeur, a merchant's daughter with Jewish relatives and her English husband, Edmund.
    Famous historical characters include Heloise and Peter Abelard, Bernard of Clairvaux.
    • Death Comes as Epiphany (1993)
    • The Devil's Door (1994)
    • The Wandering Arm (1995)
    • Strong as Death (1996)
    • Cursed in the Blood (1998)
    • The Difficult Saint (1999)
    • To Wear the White Cloak (2000)
    • Heresy (2002)

  • Ellis Peters
    A mystery series featuring the Benedictine monk, Brother Cadfael, and the Shrewsbury Sheriff Hugh Beringar, set during the upheavals of the English civil war between Empress Maud and King Steven.
    • A Rare Benedictine (prequel: 1989)
    • A Morbid Taste for Bones (1977)
    • One Corpse Too Many (1979)
    • Monk's Hood (1981)
    • St. Peter's Fair (1981)
    • The Leper of Saint Giles (1980)
    • The Virgin in the Ice (1982)
    • The Sanctuary Sparrow (1983)
    • The Devil's Novice (1984)
    • The Pilgrim of Hate (1984)
    • An Excellent Mystery (1985)
    • The Raven in the Foregate (1986)
    • The Rose Rent(1986)
    • The Hermit of Eyton Forest (1988)
    • The Confession of Brother Haluin (1989)
    • The Heretic's Apprentice (1990)
    • The Potter's Field (1990)
    • The Summer of the Danes (1991)
    • The Holy Thief (1992)
    • Brother Cadfael's Penance (1994)

  • Sharon Kay Penman
    A mystery series and two historical series: The mysteries follow the exploits of Justin de Quincy, the illegitimate son of a bishop, through the labyrinth of 12th-century English politics with Richard away on crusade and Prince John hungering for power.
    Historical figures include Eleanor, Prince John, and Richard Lionheart from backstage.
    The first history chronicles the English civil war (12th century) between Maud and Steven.
    Famous characters include Maud and Steven, Henry II and Queen Eleanor.
    The second records the Welsh bid for independence under Llywellen (13th century).
    Historical figures include Llywellen of Wales, King John, Simon de Montfort, King Henry III, and King Edward II (Welsh).
    • Justin de Quincy
      • The Queen's Man (1996)
      • Cruel is the Grave (1998)

    • Welsh History
      • Here be Dragons (1985)
      • Falls the Shadow (1988)
      • The Reckoning (1991)

    • English Civil War
      • When Christ and his Saints Slept (1995)
      • Time and Chance (2002)

  • Ian Morson
    A series set in 13th-century Oxford. The main character is an Oxford don (teacher) named William Falconer, who solves mysteries by the "new" application of scientific method (like a modern detective, in other words).
    Famous historical characters include Roger Bacon
    • Falconer's Crusade (1995)
    • Falconer's Judgment (1996)
    • Falconer and the Face of God (1996)
    • A Psalm for Falconer (1997)
    • Falconer and the Great Beast (1999)

  • Candace Robb
    Two series. A new series takes place in 13th-century Scotland. Main protagonist is Dame Margaret Kerr of Perth.
    The other series is set in 14th-century York. Main protagonists are Owen Archer, a one-eyed longbow expert turned apprentice apothecary and his wife.
    Famous historical characters include Geoffrey Chaucer.
    • Margeret Kerr
      • A Trust Betrayed (2002)

    • Owen Archer
      • The Apothecary Rose (1993)
      • The Lady Chapel (1994)
      • The Nun's Tale (1995)
      • The King's Bishop (1996)
      • The Riddle of St. Leonard's (1997)
      • A Gift of Sanctuary (2000)
      • A Spy for the Redeemer (2002)
      • The Cross-Legged Knight (2003)

  • Caroline Roe
    A series set in 14th-century Girona, Spain. Main protagonists are Isaac, the blind Jewish physician and the Jewish, Christian, and Islamic members of his household.
    Famous historical characters include King Pedro.
    • Remedy for Treason (1998)
    • An Antidote for Avarice (1999)
    • Cure for a Charlatan (1999)
    • Solace for a Sinner (2000)
    • A Potion for a Widow (2001)

  • Margaret Frazer
    A series set in 14th-century England. Main protagonist is a nun, Sister Frevisse, with a knack for seeing more than others.
    Famous characters include Geoffrey Chaucer.
    • The Novice's Tale (1992)
    • The Servant's Tale (1993)
    • The Boy's Tale (1994)
    • The Outlaw's Tale (1995)
    • The Murderer's Tale (1996)
    • The Prioress's Tale (1997)
    • The Maiden's Tale (1998)
    • The Reeve's Tale (1999)
    • The Squire's Tale (2000)
    • The Clerk's Tale (2002)

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