Historical detective series

I’m still reading Anita Blake, but since I have nothing more to say about the books at the moment than what I have said already, I thought I’d list the first batch of my favourite historical detective series. They are set in different time periods and all have something that appeals to me one way or the other.

I always link to one or a few books in the series, but I’m not always sure which one is the first one to start with. Though the books are usually self-contained and can be read out of order. I’d recommend to read them in order, though, since you will get a bit of background knowledge about the various characters.


1. Aristotle detective by Margaret Doody

Only three books are out I think. This is quite an interesting series, since the detective is Aristotle with a student as his sidekick.

2. SPQR series by John Maddox Roberts

Not much sleuthing is going on in those books, but you just have to love them. Decius Caecilius Metellus is such a likeable character and his constant brushes with Clodius are just wonderful. The first book is "The King’s Gambit". The books are set in the time of Caesar (they start out when he is still a total nobody) and bring the people to life in a great way. The author sometimes takes real events and gives them a good spin, like inside views of the Catiline conspiracy or the incident when Clodius gatecrashed the rites of Bona Dea dressed as a woman.

3. Marcus Corvinus series by David Wishart

By far my favourite series of all. Marcus Corvinus is a great character. I love his whole household, including his nasty cook, and the whole setting. The time is during Tiberius’ reign and it all starts while Livia is still alive. The first few books center around real historical events. The first one is "Ovid", in which M. C. meets his future wife. The next book "Germanicus" tells the well known story of Varus partly from his own point of view.

4. Marcus Didius Falco series by Lindsey Davis

I don’t like all of them, but some are just wonderful. Whereas Decius Caecilius Metellus is a Plebeian politician and Marcus Corvinus is a Patrician bon vivant, Marcus Didius Falco is a private detective who actually has to work for his living. The books are set in the time of Vespasian. My favourite ones are:

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