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A few of my favorite things, too

I made a list of my favorite things for 2014, checked it twice, and realized there are a few more that deserved a nod to tempt the lovers of gothic or historical mystery. They have solid construction, fun characters, and enjoyable story worlds.

1. Anna Lee Huber's The Lady Darby series is historical mystery with a dash of romance. Artist Kiera was married to an older anatomist and forced to illustrate his gruesome dissections. The series follows the widowed Kiera as she assists the handsome Sebastian Gage in investigations, offering insights based on her unsusual education.

2. Tasha Alexander's Lady Emily series.

The dashing Lady Emily must first solve the murder of her husband and so begins her detecting career with the fascinating Colin Hargreaves.

3. Jaqueline Lapore's gothic meets vampire slayer series.

Emma Andrews learns that she is a dhampir, destined to fight vampires, along with the dashing Valerian Fox. So far, there are only two in this series. I truly hope there will be more.

4. Deanna Raybourn's Lady Julia Gray series.

When her husband dies mysteriously, Lady Julia is forced to rely on the services of the mysterious Nicholas Brisbane to uncover the killer.

5. Ariana Franklin's "Mistress of the Art of Death" series follows  Adelia, a 12th century female pathologist, fighting medieval crime and speaking for victims who otherwise would have been forgotten. Alas, the beloved author, aka Diana Norman, has passed from this realm so the series is at an end. But the author left many other works for us to enjoy.

These series combine several of my favorite elements: mystery, history, gothic, and paranormal. If you've discovered books in this realm (very light on the romance layer) let me know in the comments.

Winter is the best time to curl up with a warm beverage and a good book. Happy reading.

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