Genre tips

#AtoZChallenge: Genres–Historical Suspense

The A to Z Challenge asks bloggers to post 26 articles on a themed topic. It’s supposed to be every day except Sundays during the month of April but I find that too busy and decided to post mine ‘about’ once a month. Yes, it’ll take me a couple of years. Sigh.

My topic, like the last three times, will be writing genres.

This genre:

Historical Mystery


set in a particular historical time frame and involves the solving of a mystery or crime (usually murder); sometimes called ‘historical suspense’

Tipsa to z

  1. Make the historic era as important as the plot and characters but not more important than the mystery.
  2. Each chapter should contain its own narrative arc with rising action and a climactic moment to end of the chapter.
  3. Don’t shy away from finishing each chapter on a cliffhanger.
  4. Keep chapters short. That makes them more dramatic.
  5. Raise questions and delay the answer. Hint at what’s coming but don’t reveal it.

Popular Books

  1. A Ghost in the Kitchen by Teagan Geneviene
  2. Labyrinthine Journey by Luciana Cavallero
  3. Anything featuring Sherlock Holmes
  4. Athenian Mystery series by Gary Corby
  5. The Desert God by Wilbur Smith
  6. The Pingkang Li Mysteries by Jeannie Lin
  7. Sarah Gilchrist Series by Kaite Welsh
  8. Tongwan City by Gao Jianqun

BTW: If the book you’ve written fits into any of these genres, let me know in the comments and I’ll include you, the book title, and where to purchase it.

Click for complete list of these 26 genres

Click for a complete list of all genres I’ve written about

More H Genres:

Jacqui Murray is the author of the popular Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy, the Man vs. Nature saga, and the Rowe-Delamagente thrillers. She is also the author/editor of over a hundred books on integrating tech into education, adjunct professor of technology in education, blog webmaster, an Amazon Vine Voice,  a columnist for NEA Today, and a freelance journalist on tech ed topics. Look for her next prehistoric fiction, Laws of Nature, Summer 2021. 


71 thoughts on “#AtoZChallenge: Genres–Historical Suspense

  1. Hi Jacqui – Brother Cadfael are delightful Welsh Medieval Monk detective stories … simple but engaging and well told. Very British though – cheers Hilary

    Liked by 1 person

      • I’m not very good about the marketing part of this stuff yet, Jacqui. I should try to pay more attention to that. I know it’s a common refrain of writers, but it is so much more fun to write than anything else. I try to remind myself that part of the point of writing is to have others read your thoughts.

        Thanks so much for leaving the review. If I ever get my act together at Bookbub, I’ll let you know. I also intend to read the next book in the Crossroads trilogy at some point, but the TBR list has hit an all-time high. Pretty soon, I may make a run at the Guinness Book of World Records. 🤣

        Liked by 1 person

    • There’s a line between character-driven and plot driven. This genre leans toward action. I’ve read War and Peace (in Russian–which I can’t do anymore) and it is definitely inspired by its characters. I absolutely agree with To Kill a Mockingbird!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I think the tips for this genre apply to nearly any fiction writing. Personally, I really enjoy the added dimension of accurate history infused into a story. Your list of books to consider just added to my TBR list – as usual. LOL

    Liked by 1 person

    • Are there any religious genres? I’ve written about ‘Yemenite Jewish Poetry’, ‘Wisdom Literature’, ‘Islamic fiction’, ‘Wisdom literature’, and ‘Inspirational’. What did I miss?


  3. I was going to say I hadn’t read any of these, but I have read some Sherlock homes and possibly some Wilbur Smith.I think Robbie Cheadle may have some books to fit this category.

    Liked by 2 people

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