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HistMyst not to be missed

Looking for a good historical mystery to settle into? You might want to check out the finalists and winner of the Left Coast Crime Convention's Lefty Award for best historical mystery. The Leftys are nominated by and voted on by conference attendees—that is, by mystery readers and writers.  First, here are the finalists and a little about them:

A Bride’s Guide to Marriage and Murder (5th in the Countess of Harleigh mystery series) by Dianne Freeman: "The Agatha Award-winning Countess of Harleigh Mysteries are a witty romp through the high society of Victorian England with a touch of romance, an appealing and independent female lead, and rich historical detail. In this charming fifth installment, Frances Wynn, the American-born Countess of Harleigh, finds her wedding day overshadowed by murder . . ."

In Place of Fear (standalone) by Catriona McPherson: "Edinburgh 1948. It’s the first day of the new National Health Service and wee Nelly Crowther fae Freer Street, wearing a Sunday hat on a Monday morning, is ready to take on the world. Is she ready to solve a murder too? The war is won. Now for the peace . . ."

Under a Veiled Moon (2nd in the Inspector Corravan mystery series) by Karen Odden: September 1878. One night, as the pleasure boat the Princess Alice makes her daily trip up the Thames, she collides with the Bywell Castle, a huge iron-hulled collier. The Princess Alice shears apart, throwing all 600 passengers into the river; only 130 survive. It is the worst maritime disaster London has ever seen, and early clues point to sabotage by the Irish Republican Brotherhood, who believe violence is the path to restoring Irish Home Rule. For Scotland Yard Inspector Michael Corravan, born in Ireland and adopted by the Irish Doyle family, the case presents a challenge. . ."

The Secret in the Wall (8th in the Silver Rush mystery series) by Ann Parker (yes, that's me): "When a skeleton tumbles from the wall of her latest business investment, music store owner Inez Stannert is determined to unearth a secret that someone has already killed to keep buried."

Framed in Fire (9th in the Lane Winslow mystery series) by Iona Whishaw: It’s early spring 1948 and Lane [Winslow] arrives in New Denver to find that her friend, Peter Barisoff, is not at home. Instead, in a nearby meadow, she encounters Tom, an Indigenous man in search of his ancestral lands. Lane is intrigued. Unfortunately, once Peter returns home, the day takes a gloomy turn when the trio uncovers human remains next to Peter’s garden, and Lane must tell her husband, Inspector Darling, that she’s inadvertently stumbled into his professional domain—again.


Annnnd now (drum roll, please...)


Anywhere You Run by Wanda M. Morris

It’s the summer of 1964 and three innocent men are brutally murdered for trying to help Black Mississippians secure the right to vote. Against this backdrop, twenty-one year old Violet Richards finds herself in more trouble than she’s ever been in her life. Suffering a brutal attack of her own, she kills the man responsible. But with the color of Violet’s skin, there is no way she can escape Jim Crow justice in Jackson, Mississippi. Before anyone can find the body or finger her as the killer, she decides to run.... Back in Jackson, Marigold, Violet’s older sister, has dreams of attending law school. Working for the Mississippi Summer Project, she has been trying to use her smarts to further the cause of the Black vote. But Marigold is in a different kind of trouble: she’s pregnant and unmarried. After news of the murder brings the police to her door, Marigold sees no choice but to flee Jackson too....Two sisters on the run—one from the law, the other from social shame. What they don’t realize is that there’s a man hot on their trail. This man has his own brand of dark secrets and a disturbing motive for finding the sisters that is unknown to everyone but him.


Hey, you can't go wrong with any of these books. And if historical mysteries aren't your cuppa tea, check out the winners and finalists of the other Lefty Award categories right here. You're sure to find a book or two or more to add to your TBR pile!

Ann Parker authors the award-winning Silver Rush historical mystery series published by Poisoned Pen Press, an imprint of Sourcebooks. During the day, she wrangles words for a living as a science editor/writer and marketing communications specialist (which is basically a fancy term for "editor/writer"). Her midnight hours are devoted to scribbling fiction. Visit for more information.


  1. Congratulations on your nomination, Ann :-)

  2. Congratulations for being among the cream of the crop, Ann. Well done! By the way, all the finalists' books you listed sound like great reads. I must add them to my list of books I want to enjoy.

  3. Congrats for your nomination, Ann. I remember clearly when the event of the winning book took place. I even remember the names of the three men who were murdered. It took 41 years to bring the murderer to justice. And almost 60 years later, Jackson, MS is still a mess.


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