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Detective Nuns in Historical Fiction

Updated on January 17, 2015

Murder, whenever, is always a Mistake

Do you like historical fiction? I certainly do, especially novels featuring a murder mystery.

There are some wonderful fictional detectives deducing and deducting away in various centuries and I try to read every one which appears. Once this was fairly simple to do as only a handful of authors produced books of this nature. Now I'm thrilled to see more and more of them writing historical detective mysteries.

Thank heavens for Kindle! I couldn't afford to indulge my reading habit if I had to buy the printed books!

Here's my list of historical detecting nuns solving complex plots and spanning years of murder most foul.

Who is Sister Frevisse?

Dame Frevisse is a clever Benedictine nun in the 15th-century Oxfordshire convent of St. Frideswide's, during the reign of Henry V1 .

I really appreciate the "English village" murder mysteries here, as we observe the everyday life (and the intellectual and spiritual life) of various classes of people. The "everyday" life, however is well and truly of the 15th century.

Winter Heart. Charity is in short supply in the bleakest depths of winter, One man has been kidnapped. Another has been murdered..

Please note. The Sister Frevisse stories are just that - stories, not full novels. Long stories to be sure but not full length books.

Prioress Eleanor, another detecting nun

Eleanor, a small, shrewd and stubborn woman, is the Prioress of Tyndal in eleventh-century East Anglia.

She is only twenty when appointed as Prioress as a direct result of her closest relations being faithful servants of the royal family. This appointment is against the wishes of the other (male and female) monastics. and Eleanor faces a bleak time winning them over with her intelligence.

The day after she takes office a brutal murder takes place!

© 2011 Susanna Duffy

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    • Arachnea profile image

      Tanya Jones 3 years ago from Texas USA

      I like historical fiction, particularly of old England. The Brother Cadfael series is one of my favorite reads.

    • SusannaDuffy profile image
      Author

      Susanna Duffy 4 years ago from Melbourne Australia

      @Colin323: Yes, I like the Shardlake series too

    • profile image

      Colin323 4 years ago

      C.J. Sansom's 'Shardlake' series are very good, too. These are set in the reign of Henry the 8th and feature the disabled lawyer, Shardlake. The research on period detail and actual historical events is always excellent. I like the sound of Albert Bell's work featured here though, so I'll check these out.

    • mariacarbonara profile image

      mariacarbonara 4 years ago

      You always seem to find the most interesting books set in a historical context. Great lens

    • Raymond Eagar profile image

      Raymond Eagar 4 years ago

      Very nice .

    • Mickie Gee profile image

      Mickie Goad 4 years ago

      What an interesting list of mysteries. I might have discovered some new authors to read.

    • kimbesa2 profile image

      kimbesa 6 years ago from USA

      Love a good mystery...thanks!

    • kerbev profile image

      kab 6 years ago from Upstate, NY

      I'm a sucker for historical fiction.

    • SueM11 profile image

      Sue Mah 6 years ago from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

      I love reading mysteries. I would have to spend a fortune if I had to buy all the books i want tor read. Thanks for a great list. There are some I would have to add to my reading wish list.

    • SueM11 profile image

      Sue Mah 6 years ago from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

      I love reading mysteries. I would have to spend a fortune if I had to buy all the books i want tor read. Thanks for a great list. There are some I would have to add to my reading wish list.

    • JoyfulPamela2 profile image

      JoyfulPamela2 6 years ago from Pennsylvania, USA

      I love reading mysteries, especially older ones with historic twists! :)

    • jmsp206 profile image

      Julia M S Pearce 6 years ago from Melbourne, Australia

      These sound very exciting! Would love a kindle, great for travel.