1) The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins
WHY I LIKE IT: This is the classic mystery novel against which so many have been compared over the years. Set in the then-contemporary Victorian age, it is a splendid, eerie mystery that, like so many other Victorian novels, reveals a complex social portrait as well. Centered on a stolen jewel, mystical curses, and murder, it is spell-binding, detective fiction at its best!
2) The Crocodile on the Sandbank by Elizabeth Peters
WHY I LIKE IT: This is such a wonderfully well-written book that it could easily find itself on a shelf for literary fiction, not just mystery. The Egyptian setting, complete with a rich cast of eccentric Victorian characters, led by Amelia Peabody, is delightful. As the mystery unravels, there is just enough romance to make it interesting and fun. Love this series!
3) Her Royal Spyness by Rhys Bowen
WHY I LIKE IT: This series is light and charming, but very well-written. The premise behind the series is intriguing – an impoverished member of the English aristocracy, Lady Georgie, posing as a maid and finding herself in all sorts of mysterious scrapes and romantic intrigues. It is the perfect companion to curl up with after a long day.
BIO: Michelle Cox holds a B.A. in English literature from Mundelein College, Chicago, and is the author of the award-winning, A Girl Like You, the first in the Henrietta and Inspector Howard series. She is known for her wildly popular blog, “How to Get Your Book Published in 7,000 Easy Steps—A Practical Guide” as well as her charming “Novel Notes of Local Lore,” a blog dedicated to Chicago’s forgotten residents. Michelle lives with her husband and three children in the Chicago suburbs. LIKE Michelle’s FB page and follow her on twitter as @michellecox33.