I love history and reading novels about a certain time period helps bring history to life. And, if you as curious as I am, novels send you off to see what is true and what isn't about historical personages, events, politics, culture, etc.
Reading historical novels, especially historical mysteries, can be fun and educational. Part of the fun is finding characters that you enjoy.
Some of the medieval mysteries I've enjoyed the most include:
Arianna Franklin's series about Adelia Aguilar
Cassandra Clark's Sister Hildegaard series
Peter Tremayne's Sister Fidelma series
Michael Jecks' Knights Templar series (just finished two of this series)
Susan McDuffie (just finished A Mass for the Dead set in 13th c. Scotland)
Denise Domning's Season of the Raven (review in previous post)
Others I've read:
Ellis Peters' Caedfel series (I've read a few of these over the years)
Susannah Gregory's Matthew Bartholomew series
Some of the things I've learned:
In Domning's Season of the Raven, the protagonist is a Keeper of the Pleas, a position established by the Articles of Eyre in 1194. In Jecks' Knight Templar series, the protagonist is a Keeper of the Peace in the 1300's. After researching both titles, it appears that over time, the responsibilities of the Keeper of the Pleas may have been split into the role of coroner and the role of a justice of the peace. The requirements remained the same, however: they had to be Knights, men of substance, and have an income of 20 pounds a year. Domning weaves the qualifications seamlessly into the story.
I've also learned about murdrum, the origin of "hue and cry," the system of hundreds in terms of an inquest, and more.
I've downloaded a few more medieval mysteries to try by some different authors: Wine of Violence by Priscilla Royal and The King's Hounds by Martin Jensen. Not that I'll be reading medieval mysteries exclusively, but it will be a reading itinerary for a while.
Do you have a favorite medieval mystery series?