15 Intriguing British Victorian Mystery Novels for Fans of Sherlock Holmes & Ripper Street


If you enjoyed books like the Sherlock Holmes series (late Victorian to Edwardian) or television shows like Ripper Street, there's a good chance you might also enjoy reading a mystery or two from the same time period. Below, we've gathered up some of the best Victorian-set British mystery novels to help you explore the options.

Most of the books below are parts of longer series – so if you find you like it, you'll have plenty more to enjoy.

British Victorian Mystery Novels

The Cater Street Hangman

The Cater Street Hangman (Charlotte and Thomas Pitt Series)

Author: Anne Perry

In the opening novel of this NY Times-bestselling novel, we see Victorian-era Inspector Thomas-Pitt in pursuit of an elusive strangler. As he works, he meets Charlotte Ellison, a proper lady who struggles to handle the intrusive policeman and his annoying ways. As the investigation progresses, irritation turns to romance.

Heavy readers who enjoy the first in this series will be delighted to know there are (as of February 2020) 32 books in total (as of July 2020).

Get itAmazon US | Amazon UK


The Wages of Sin


Author: Kaite Welsh

In Victorian London, a young woman, Sarah Gilchrist, has fled her troubled past in London to join the University of Edinburgh’s medical school’s first female class. Though she has more than enough troubles to deal with as a result of her gender, they’re soon multiplied when she realises one of the anatomy corpses looks very familiar…

Get itAmazon US | Amazon UK


Crocodile on the Sandbank

The Mummy Case (Amelia Peabody Novels)

Author: Elizabeth Peters

If you enjoy adventurous mystery heroines like Miss Fisher or Frankie Drake, there's a pretty good chance you'll enjoy Victorian Egyptologist Amelia Peabody. Though not all the novels take place in England, it is her home when she's not out adventuring.

In the first novel, Amelia comes into an inheritance and decides to see the world – encountering mystery and romance in equal measures.

Get itAmazon US | Amazon UK


The Inspector & Mrs. Jeffries

The Inspector & Mrs. Jeffries (Mrs. Jeffries Mysteries)

Author: Emily Brightwell

This delightful book is the first in the lengthy Mrs. Jeffries series. Set in a very cozy Victorian London, the mild-mannered Inspector Witherspoon solves crimes with his widowed housekeeper, Mrs. Jeffries (herself a police widow).

Fans of this one will be pleased to know there are thirty-six Mrs. Jeffries novels.

Get itAmazon US | Amazon UK


A Beautiful Blue Death

A Beautiful Blue Death (Charles Lenox Mysteries)

Author: Charles Finch

Victorian gentleman and armchair explorer Charles Lenox is the sort who typically prefers to keep to himself. However, when lifelong friend Lady Jane requests his assistance, he can't resist the call of a good mystery.

This book is the first of six in the Charles Lenox series (as of July 2020).

Get itAmazon US | Amazon UK


And Only to Deceive

And Only to Deceive (Lady Emily Mysteries)

Author: Tasha Alexander

If you enjoy tales set in Victorian polite society, don't miss this series. It begins with a young woman, Emily, who accepted the proposal of a Viscount, only to have him die shortly after the wedding. As she investigates the man she'd never grow to know, she also manages to get herself ensnared in darker, more complicated matters involving multiple suitors and missing antiquities at the British Museum.

In total, there are 14 Lady Emily Mysteries (as of July 2020).

Get itAmazon US | Amazon UK


Loch of the Dead


Author: Oscar de Muriel

Though all the novels in this delightful Victorian mystery series are set around the UK, we particularly enjoyed the fourth book in this series. Loch of the Dead follows Edinburgh’s famed detective duo, McGray and Frey, as they investigate a series of crimes around a supposedly Highlands magical loch.

Get itAmazon | Amazon UK




Author: Mick Finlay

Set in late Victorian London, this series follows Arrowood – the detective Londoners turn to when Sherlock Holmes isn't an option. He works the South of London, where people are poorer and crimes are grittier.

Part-psychologist, part-drunk, Arrowood and his sidekick Barnett do what they can to help those with no one else.

Get itAmazon US | Amazon UK


A Rare Interest in Corpses

A Rare Interest in Corpses (Ben Ross Mysteries)

Author: Ann Granger

In 1864, Lizzie Martin becomes a companion to a wealthy widow who also dabbles at being a slumlord. It's not long before Lizzie finds out that her predecessor disappeared under mysterious circumstances, supposedly having left her post to follow a man.

Eventually, the girl's body is found in a slum near the new St Pancras railway station, Lizzie teams up with an old childhood friend, Inspector Ben Ross, to find out what really happened – ideally, before a similar fate befalls her.

Get itAmazon US | Amazon UK


The Silver Locomotive Mystery

The Silver Locomotive Mystery (Railway Detective Series)

Author: Edward Marston

When a rare, individually-commissioned silver coffee pot goes missing on the way to Cardiff, the great Railway Detective Robert Colbeck is called in to investigate. Along with his trusty sidekick Sergeant Victor Leeming, he quickly realises all is not as it seems.

This is actually the sixth novel in the Railway Detective Series, but we wanted to highlight this one because it's set largely in Wales – a rarity among Victorian mystery novels.

Get itAmazon US | Amazon UK


The Way of All Flesh


Author: Ambrose Parry

In 1847 Edinburgh, Will Raven is a medical student and apprentice to the brilliant Dr. Simpson. Along with Simpson’s equally clever housemaid Sarah, Will finds himself in the middle of a murder mystery when bodies start appearing in the rougher Old Town section of the city.

The Victorian-era tale mixes medicine, mystery, and romance, and it was longlisted for the Theakston Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year. A second entry to the series was published in 2019.

Get itAmazon | Amazon UK


Death at Bishop's Keep

Death at Bishop's Keep (A Victorian Mystery Book)

Author: Robin Paige

American Kate Adrleigh has only just arrived in Essex when a body is unearthed at a nearby archaeological dig. The complete opposite of a typical Victorian gentlewoman, she's soon working with amateur detective Sir Charles Sheridan to unravel the mystery.

There are 12 books in the series, for those who enjoy it.

Get itAmazon US | Amazon UK


A Lady's Guide to Etiquette & Murder

A Lady's Guide to Etiquette & Murder (A Countess of Harleigh Mystery Book)

Author: Dianne Freeman

After the American-born Countess of Harleigh is widowed, she suddenly finds herself with more freedom than she ever had as a wife. She rents a home in Belgravia, invites her sister over from New York, and prepares for her sister's first London season.

Unfortunately, she doesn't get very far with her plans before the Metropolitan Police receive a letter suggesting she had something to do with her late husband's demise. Together with the help of her dashing neighbour George Hazelton, she'll work to clear her name.

There are three books in the Countess of Harleigh series (as of July 2020).

Get itAmazon US | Amazon UK


Edinburgh Twilight by Carole Lawrence


Author: Carole Lawrence

This series of Edinburgh-based mysteries is set in the late 19th century, a time when the city was very clearly divided between the wealthy “haves” of the New Town and the “have-nots” of the crime-ridden Old Town. DI Ian Hamilton is a man scarred by the fire that claimed his parents, and the novel finds him approaching his toughest case yet when the “Holyrood Strangler” is on the loose.

Get itAmazon US | Amazon UK


Some Danger Involved

Some Danger Involved (Barker & Llewelyn Series)

Author: Will Thomas

While many Victorian mysteries lean very much towards the cozy side of the spectrum, this one is an exception. Set on the gritty streets of Victorian London, detective Cyrus Barker and his Oxford-educated (and former Oxford Prison resident) sidekick Thomas Llewelyn work to solve a gruesome murder in London's Jewish ghetto.

For those who enjoy this darker take on the time period, there are currently 12 novels in the series.

Get it: Amazon US | Amazon UK


Did We Miss Any Good British Victorian Mystery Novels?

Have we missed one of your favourites? Do you have other recommendations to add? Let us know in the comments!


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British Victorian Mystery Novels for fans of Sherlock Holmes

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  1. Great choices – very pleased to see that ‘The Railway Detective’ was not forgotten! I would also suggest these series:
    Jennifer Ashley, ‘Kat Holloway/Below Stairs’
    Miranda J. Carter, ‘Blake and Avery’
    David Dickinson, ‘Lord Francis Powerscourt’
    Lyndsay Faye, ‘Timothy Wilde’
    Alex Grecian, ‘Scotland Yard Murder Squad’
    Bradley Harper, ‘Harkness and Doyle’
    T.E. Kinsey, ‘Lady Hardcastle’
    Chris Nickson, ‘DI Tom Harper’
    Deanna Raybourn, ‘Veronica Speedwell’
    Victoria Thompson, ‘Gaslight Mysteries’

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