Teresa L. Jacobsen

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Traitor's Storm: A Tudor Mystery Featuring Christopher Marlowe

Trow successfully combines adventure, wit, and history (and, yes, a mystery) in this winning historical series featuring the real-life playwright in his undercover role as an intelligencer for Queen Elizabeth I. The dashing spy makes it all look so easy. This entry (number six after Crimson Rose) is particularly engaging and would be no problem for readers new to the series.

Ill-Gotten Panes: A Stained-Glass Mystery

McAndrews's sweet debut is long on cute with the de rigueur adorable kitten and a spunky, redheaded protagonist. This cozy will snag those intrigued by the stained-glass side of the story and a gorgeous cover (can't go wrong with Tiffany).

A Matter of Breeding: A Viennese Mystery

While the protagonists of Jones's historical forensic series, set in 1901 Vienna, are likable, his intricate plot is Sherlockian in its posturing, minute clues, and use of heavy dialog, barely escaping becoming ponderous at times.

Cat on a Cold Tin Roof: An Eli Paxton Mystery

Cincinnati's sarcastic PI is back in his third engrossing animal-related case (after The Trojan Colt)...

The Kennedy Connection: A Gil Malloy Novel

Belsky's (Playing Dead) quick read has unexpectedly clever twists, perfect for the conspiracy-oriented reader. The first-person narrative keeps the tone personal.

Tailing a Tabby: A Bookmobile Cat Mystery

Cass's heartfelt second series entry (after Lending a Paw) demonstrates real flair and features an earnest yet professional protagonist with an extremely likable and intuitive cat. Partner with Miranda James, of course, and also consider Clea Simon.

After the Exhibition: A Jack Haldean Mystery

Set in the 1920s and written in traditional British style, Gordon-Smith's eighth series entry (after Blood from a Stone) delights with its deftly juggled subplots and smashing conclusion. Think Dorothy Sayers when recommending to readers.

Grace Against the Clock: A Manor House Mystery

Managing historic Marshfield Manor might be Grace Wheaton's official job but sleuthing comes naturally, particularly when a key benefactor is poisoned at a big fund-raising event...

The Devil Takes Half: A Greek Islands Mystery

Serafim's dense prose is perfect for lovers of literary and scholarly mysteries. Her plotting is methodical and traditional, with subtle nods to Sherlock Holmes, Greek mythology, and historical events.

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