So much of historical fiction is set in London or the Home Counties, one could easily believe that the rest of the country did not exist in the past. And for no period is this more true than Victorian Britain. In fact, I struggled to find 10, so I included 2 from the Regency period as well.
His Bloody Project by Graeme Macrae Burnet
Set up as a true story, but being entirely fictional, we follow this grim, dark tale set in the Scottish Highlands. The sad thing is that stories like this did happen and worse as well. And it’s testimony to the authors brilliant writing style that I felt convinced that it must have happened just so.
The Strings of Murder (Frey & McGray #1) by Oscar de Muriel
Mystery series set in Victorian Edinburgh (and other parts of the British Isles). An English police officer sent to Edinburgh after falling into disgrace with his superiors has to work with Scottish police officer to solve crimes that may or may not have a super natural background. I love them.
Arthur & George by Julian Barnes
There is so little historical fiction set in the Midlands, it has to be celebrated. It’s probably my favourite Barnes. When Conan Doyle meets a young Indian man living in Staffordshire accused of a dreadful crime.
Crocodile on the Sandbank (Amelia Peabody #1) by Elizabeth Peters
They are silly fun mysteries usually set on archaeological digs somewhere in Egypt. Now and then I read one as a bit of a palate cleanser after reading something harrowing. Works every time.
The Anatomist’s Wife (Lady Darby Mystery #1) by Anna Lee Huber
Set in 1830ies Scotland and Northern England, I love this series! Solid mystery adventures.
The Black Country (Scotland Yard’s Murder Squad #2) by Alex Grecian
I live on the edge of the Black Country, another Midlands set book and despite the fact that I rolled my eyes at times, I still liked it enough to recommend.
The Curious Tale of the Lady Caraboo by Catherine Johnson
This YA book is set in 1819 but I thought a historical romance would fit the bill quite nicely. Set in the area around Bristol it is a fabulous tale of mistaken identity.
The Strangler Vine (Avery & Blake #1) by M.J. Carter
What I like the most about Carter’s books is how she shatters one of the protagonists rosy-tinted view of the British Empire. Slowly, surely. This one is set in India.
Gaslight by Eloise Williams
Eloise Williams writes absolutely enchanting books for young people, without sparing them the grizzly reality of life back then. Older middle-grade, young YA book set in Cardiff in 1899.
The Convictions of John Delahunt by Andrew Hughes
Mystery set in 1840s Dublin based on true events. Victorian Ireland was shaken by the events and I can honestly say, so was I reading this book.