In my search for the perfect historical mystery, regular readers of my blog will know that I’m a massive admirer of the work of Paul Doherty. Capable of writing clever whodunnits married with a variety of rich, historical backgrounds, often including a locked room or two, he has produced some of my favourite books of recent years. As such, I’ve produced this page indexing my reviews of his work.
I’ve lost count of how many books that Paul has released – his one hundredth book, The Last Of Days, was released in 2013 and he’s average about three books every two years since then, and almost all of them are available as ebooks. Below are links to his main series. The shorter ones have been grouped together as “Other Series” and there are also his standalone novels and his small number of factual historical investigations.
If you want more information, do check out Paul’s own website. It’s been recently updated and contains a fair bit of info and news, including blurbs for all the novels – click on the series titles on this page. If you want some quick recommendations, then I’ve put together my own Paul Doherty Top Five list.
Set during the reign of Edward I, Hugh Corbett (later Sir Hugh Corbett) investigates threats to the King and Country. Assisted by Ranulf-atte-Newgate, a felon saved from execution, there are seventeen books in the series to date. Paul’s longest running series – after a break of several years after The Mysterium, it returned, with a jump ahead into the reign of Edward II.
Set during the reign of Richard II (the late 14th century), Brother Athelstan, secretary to the coroner of London and priest to the parish of St Erconwald’s investigates murders and mayhem in this series of ten novels. Often (but not always) features an impossible crime.
Note that these books (up to The Assassin’s Riddle) were published under the pseudonym Paul Harding, but they have been reprinted under the name Paul Doherty as well. After a break of many years, the series recommenced with Bloodstone and, like the Hugh Corbett books, is currently one of Paul’s main series.
Ancient Egyptian conspiracies and impossible murders, investigated by Amerotke, against a vivid backdrop of a lost culture. There are seven books in the series to date, and Paul has mentioned on his website in the past a possible return to the series. Note that there is another series set in Ancient Egypt as well.
Stories told by Chaucer’s pilgrims in the evening on the way to Canterbury, these mysteries often involve a supernatural element as well as a “proper” mystery. Recently revived with The Midnight Man, hopefully there will be more from this series in the future.
Murder and intrigue at the court of Edward II. A new series, only three books so far. As the Hugh Corbett series now overlaps the period that this series – Dark Serpent is set between The Poison Maiden and The Darkening Glass – I’d guess that we won’t be seeing more from this series.
Set during the reign of Constantine the Great, as Christianity is introduced to Rome, these feature Claudia, agent of the Empress Helena. There are four books in the series to date (Domina (2002) isn’t part of this series, despite what the font of wisdom that is Wikipedia might have you believe) with hopefully more to come.
Set during the reign of Henry VIII and narrated in the first person by Sir Roger Shallot, a Falstaffian rogue, these tell of murders and plots against the backdrop of the reign of Bluff King Hal, embellished by Shallot’s somewhat unreliable boasting of his various exploits. Previously published under the pseudonym Michael Clynes, this is a series of six novels. No sign of anything new in this series for a long time, but if you want more of Henry, then Paul’s 100th book, The Last Of Days, published in June 2013, details the death of one of the most powerful – and dangerous – kings that this country has ever had.
Set in Canterbury at the end of the Wars of the Roses, these feature the apothecary Kathryn Swinbrooke and the Irish soldier Colum Murtagh. Written under the pseudonym C L Grace and, apparently, only published in the US, these were very hard to get hold of – until June 2013 when the entire series was released as ebooks.
Including the books featuring the rogue Matthew Jankyn, the eternal historian Nicholas Segalla, the Templar novels and the ancient Egyptian Mahu trilogy.
Those books that do not form part of a series, spread across the ages. I’ve included here the three novels written under the pseudonym Vanessa Alexander. No link yet as I haven’t reviewed any yet!
A variety of investigations into historical mysteries, some also covered in his works of fiction. Note that I have yet to read any of these.