Supper Sleuths

Real Detectives: Historicals Featuring Real People as Sleuths

Most of the historical figures masquerading as detectives on this list are well-known authors, politicians, and performers. Few have real experience solving crimes with the exception of Bruce Alexander’s Sir John Fielding who created the London Police department in the late 1700s. Arthur Conan Doyle, the creator of Sherlock Holmes, becomes the protagonist for a few authors: Mark Frost, Barbara Michaels, Roberta Rogow, and Walter Satterthwait, which makes for an intriguing comparison. Theodore Roosevelt, another experienced lawman, graces the pages of Lawrence Alexander’s and Caleb Carr’s books. The 1800s and early 1900s are well represented in this category with a few smatterings of other time periods from Elizabethan (Karen Harper) to the 1940s & 1950s (Elliott Roosevelt & Ron Goulart), as well as the more recent past.

(Credit is due to the Morton Grove's Public Library in Morton Grove, IL for the original list, and Nanci Milone Hill for refining it.)

The following is a list of titles by author. Whenever possible, the series is in order of publication date. This is by no means an exhaustive list, and please let us know if you feel that a title should be here. Please read one or more titles, and come prepared to discuss your impressions of them with the group.

Bruce Alexander Sir John Fielding Blind Justice (1994)
Murder in Grub Street (1995)
Watery Grave (1996)
Person or Persons Unknown (1997)
Jack, Knave and Fool (1998)
Death of a Colonial (1999)
Color of death (2000)
Smuggler's Moon (2001)
Experiment in Treason (2002)
Price of Murder (2003)
Lawrence Alexander Theodore Roosevelt The Big Stick. (1986)
Speak Softly (1987)
Steve Allen Steve Allen &
Jayne Meadows
Murder on the Glitter Box. (1989)
Murder in Manhattan. (1990)
Murder in Vegas. (1991)
Murder Game. (1993)
Murder On the Atlantic. (1995)
Wake Up to Murder. (1996)
Die Laughing. (1998)
Murder in Hawaii. (1999)
Stephanie Barron Jane Austen Jane and the Unpleasantness at Scargrave Manor. (1996)
1st in series, see Bibliomysteries for complete list.
Bernard Bastable
(aka Robert Barnard)
Mozart Too Many Notes, Mr. Mozart (1995)
Dead Mr. Mozart (1995)
Caleb Carr Theodore Roosevelt Alienist (1994)
Angel of Darkness (1997)
Mark Frost Arthur Conan Doyle List of Seven (1993)
The 6 Messiahs (1995)
Ron Goulart Groucho Marx Groucho Marx, Master Detective (1998)
Groucho Marx, Private Eye (1999)
Elementary, My Dear Groucho (1999)
Groucho Marx and the Broadway Murders (2001)
Groucho Marx, Secret Agent (2002)
Oakley Hall Ambrose Bierce Ambrose Bierce and the Queen of Spades. (1998)
Ambrose Bierce and the Death of Kings. (2001)
Ambrose Bierce and the One-Eyed Jacks. (2003)
Ambrose Bierce and the Trey of Pearls. (2004)
Robert Lee Hall Benjamin Franklin Benjamin Franklin Takes the Case (1988)
Benjamin Franklin and the Case of Christmas Murder (1990)
Murder at Drury Lane (1994)
Benjamin Franklin and a Case of Artful Murder (1994)
Murder By the Waters (1995)
Karen Harper Elizabeth I Poyson Garden (1999)
Tidal poole (2000)
Twylight tower (2001)
Queene's Cure (2002)
Thorne Maze (2003)
Queene's Christmas (2003)
Frye Mirror (2005)
Peter J. Heck Samuel Clemens Death on the Mississippi (1995)
Connecticut Yankee in Criminal Court (1996)
Prince and the Prosecutor (1997)
Guilty Abroad (1999)
Mysterious Stranger (2000)
Tom's Lawyer (2001)
Daniel M. Klein Elvis Presley Kill Me Tender (2000)
Blue Suede Clues (2002)
Viva Las Vengeance (2003)
Peter Lovesey Prince Albert Bertie and the Tin Man (1987)
Bertie and the Seven Bodies (1990)
Bertie and the Crime of Passion (1993)
Barbara Michaels Arthur Conan Doyle &
Harry Houdini
Other Worlds (1999)
William J. Palmer Charles Dickens Detective and Mr. Dickens (1990)
Highwayman and Mr. Dickens (1992)
Hoydens and Mr. Dickens (1996)
Dons and Mr. Dickens (2000)
Barbara Paul Enrico Caruso &
Geraldine Farrar
Cadenza for Caruso.(1984)
Prima Donna at Large.(1985)
Chorus of Detectives.(1987)
Roberta Rogow Arthur Conan Doyle &
Charles Dodson
Problem of the Missing Miss (1998)
Problem of the Spiteful Spiritualist (1999)
Problem of the Evil Editor (2000)
Problem of the Surly Servant (2001)
Elliott Roosevelt Eleanor Roosevelt Murder and the First Lady (1984)
Hyde Park Murder (1985)
Murder at Hobcaw Barony (1986)
White House Pantry (1987)
Murder at the Palace (1987)
Murder at the Palace (1987)
Murder in the Oval Office (1989)
Murder in the Rose Garden (1989)
Murder in the Blue Room (1990)
First Class Murder (1991)
Murder in the Red Room (1992)
Murder in the West Wing (1992)
Murder in the East Room (1993)
Royal Murder (1994)
Murder in the Executive Mansion (1995)
Murder in the Chateau (1996)
Murder at Midnight (1997)
Murder in the Map Room (1998)
Murder in Georgetown (1999)
Murder in the Lincoln Bedroom (2000)
Murder at the President's Door (2001)
William Satterthwait Oscar Wilde
Arthur Conan Doyle
&Harry Houdini
Gertrude Stein
Wilde West (1991)
Escapade (1995)
Masquerade (1998)
Elizabeth Ann Scarborough Sir Walter Scott Lady in the Loch (1999)
Harold Schechter Edgar Allan Poe
& Davy Crockett
& P.T.Barnum
& Kit Carson
Nevermore (1999)
Hum Bug (2001)
Mask of the Red Death (2004)
Rosemary Stevens Beau Brummel Death on a Silver Tray (2000)
Tainted Snuff Box (2001)
Bloodied Cravat (2002)
Murder in the Pleasure Gardens (2003)
Martin Woodhouse Leonardo Da Vinci Medici Guns (1975)
Medici Emerald (1976)
Medici Hawks (1978)