This month my focus is on finding more stories with male protagonist. Preferably stories that involve mystery blended with historical fiction or a period piece. Having said that, I do like modern day mystery stories as well. If you know of any with male protagonist, please comment below! This wish-list provides a Victorian mystery series written by Will Thomas.
From his bio at goodreads: Thomas was born 1958 in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, is a novelist who writes a Victorian mystery series featuring Cyrus Barker, a Scottish detective or “private enquiry agent,” and his Welsh assistant, Thomas Llewelyn. The Barker/Llewelyn novels are set in the 1880s and often feature historical events, people, and movements. Martial combat is a recurring theme throughout this hardboiled series.
Prior to writing novels, Will Thomas wrote essays for Sherlock Holmes society publications and lectured on crime fiction of the Victorian era.
Will Thomas’ first novel, Some Danger Involved, was nominated for a Barry Award and a Shamus Award, and won the 2005 Oklahoma Book Award. In 2015, he won the Oklahoma Book Award a second time for Fatal Enquiry. Will Thomas has been featured on the cover of Library Journal, and was the Toastmaster at the 2007 Great Manhattan Mystery Conclave in Manhattan, Kansas. His fifth novel, The Black Hand, was nominated for a 2009 Shamus Award. He is married to Julia Thomas, author of The English Boys.
Some Danger Involved
An atmospheric debut novel set on the gritty streets of Victorian London, Some Danger Involved introduces detective Cyrus Barker and his assistant, Thomas Llewelyn, as they work to solve the gruesome murder of a young scholar in London’s Jewish ghetto. When the eccentric and enigmatic Barker takes the case, he must hire an assistant, and out of all who answer an ad for a position with “some danger involved,” he chooses downtrodden Llewelyn, a gutsy young man with a murky past.
As they inch ever closer to the shocking truth behind the murder, Llewelyn is drawn deeper and deeper into Barker’s peculiar world of vigilante detective work, as well as the heart of London’s teeming underworld. Brimming with wit and unforgettable characters and steeped in authentic period detail, Some Danger Involved is a captivating page-turner that introduces an equally captivating duo.
To Kingdom Come
Victorian enquiry agent Cyrus Barker and his young assistant Thomas Llewelyn, first introduced in Will Thomas’s critically acclaimed debut novel Some Danger Involved, are back with a new mission in To Kingdom Come.
When a bomb destroys the Special Irish Branch of Scotland Yard, all fingers point to the increasingly brazen factions of Irish dissidents seeking liberation from English rule. Volunteering their services to the British government, Barker and Llewelyn set out to infiltrate a secret cell of the Irish Republican Brotherhood known as the Invisibles. Posing as a reclusive German bomb maker and his anarchist apprentice, they are recruited for the group’s ultimate plan: to bring London to its knees and end the monarchy forever.
Their adventures take them from an abandoned lighthouse on the craggy coast of Wales to the City of Light, where Llewelyn goes undercover with Maire O’Casey, the alluring sister of an Irish radical. Llewelyn again finds himself put to the test by his enigmatic employer as he is schooled in the deadly science of bomb making.
Fraught with explosives, secret initiations, and vicious stick fights, and featuring historical figures such as Charles Parnell and W. B. Yeats, To Kingdom Come is a riveting sequel to Some Danger Involved.
The Limehouse Text
In The Limehouse Text, Barker and Llewelyn discover a pawn ticket among the effects of Barker’s late assistant, leading them to London’s Chinese district, Limehouse. There they retrieve an innocent-looking book that proves to be a rare and secret text stolen from a Nanking monastery, containing lethal martial arts techniques forbidden to the West. With the political situation between the British Empire and Imperial China already unstable, the duo must not only track down a killer intent upon gaining the secret knowledge but also safeguard the text from a snarl of suspects with conflicting interests.
Prowling through an underworld of opium dens, back-room blood sports, and sailors’ penny hangs while avoiding the wrath of the district’s powerful warlord, Mr. K’ing, Barker and Llewelyn take readers on a perilous tour through the mean streets of turn-of-the-century London.
The Hellfire Conspiracy
In the latest adventure in what is “fast becoming one of the genre’s best historical-mystery series” (Booklist), roughhewn private enquiry agent Cyrus Barker and his assistant Thomas Llewelyn must track down London’s first serial killer.
When Barker and Llewelyn are hired to find a girl from the upper classes who has gone missing in the East End, they assume her kidnapping is the work of white slavers. But when they discover five girls have been murdered in Bethnal Green, taunting letters begin to arrive in Craig’s Court from a killer calling himself Mr. Miacca.
Barker fears that Miacca might be part of the Hellfire Club, a group of powerful, hedonistic aristocrats performing Satanic rituals. He must track the fiend to his hideout, while Llewelyn confronts the man who put him in prison.
Dodging muckrakers, navigating the murky Thames under cover of darkness, and infiltrating London’s most powerful secret society, The Hellfire Conspiracy is another wild ride that “brings to life a London roiling with secret leagues, deadly organizations, and hidden clubs”
The Black Hand
When an Italian assassin’s body is found floating in a barrel in Victorian London’s East End, enquiry agent Cyrus Barker and his assistant Thomas Llewelyn are called in to investigate. Soon corpses begin to appear all over London, each accompanied by a Maf ia Black Hand note. As Barker and Llewelyn dig deeper, they become entangled in the vendettas of rival Italian syndicates — and it is no longer clear who is a friend or foe.
Please note: There are only five book listed out of the eight in the series. You may find the rest of the series of goodreads and Amazon.
Here are some of the wish lists from a few of my friends this month:
Erin @ Flashlight Commentary
Colleen @ A Literary Vacation
Heather @ The Maiden’s Court-Coming Soon!
Magdalena @ A Bookaholic Swede-Coming Soon!
Holly @ 2 Kids and Tired