Blog > Genre: historical-crime

Crime, and those who try to prevent it, is something written throughout the fabric of human civilisation. Here you’ll find thrilling fiction that spans all the ages of humankind.

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H.B. Lyle: Fiction to fact to fiction – finding nuggets in the archive

Posted on: 21/08/2018 with tags: author blog, crime fiction, espionage, historical crime, historical fiction, Sherlock Holmes, 20th Century, British History, English History, European

It’s perhaps the most dreaded question in the author Q&A: where do you get your ideas from? Setting aside Arthur Miller’s famous response (‘I wish I knew, I’d go there more often’) this is perhaps an easier question for the historical novelist to answer than those working in other genres. For inspiration, we only have to look into the history books. And this is so often the way of things – authors find out versions of what happened then transmute and change and reimagine then in the form of…

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The Venice that inspired CITY OF MASKS

Posted on: 07/08/2017 with tags: author blog, historical fiction, medieval history, s d sykes, Venice, European, Renaissance

Author SD Sykes introduces the Venice that has inspired her latest novel, City of Masks. The approach from the sea.  My first visit to Venice was in 1982, and we had crossed the modern road bridge by car and then parked near the railway station. I’m not criticizing this way of approaching Venice, except that it slightly misses the point of this place. In my opinion, Venice is best approached from the water, so that you can really appreciate her as a city of the Sea. The first time I had the oppo…

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Spy Fever: how spy lies led to the creation of the Secret Service

Posted on: 17/05/2017 with tags: author blog, conspiracy theories, crime fiction, English History, historical crime, historical fiction, 20th Century

For a historical novelist, the usual way of things is to delve into history, to look at what’s interesting or important, a setting, an event, a time period – we write into this, try to recreate, re-imagine, re-use as we see fit. But what happens when this gets turned on its head, when fiction starts turning into fact? In writing my first historical novel – The Irregular, set in 1909 – I discovered a startling example of invention becoming real, of fiction (spy fiction no less) having a very prof…

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Writing Fiction Based on Fact by Anna Mazzola and Sarah Day

Posted on: 30/01/2017 with tags: Anna Mazzola, mussolini's island, sarah day, The Unseeing

Sarah Day and Anna Mazzola have both written historical novels based on real events. Anna’s debut novel, The Unseeing, is based on the life of a real woman convicted of aiding a murder in London in 1837. Sarah’s debut, Mussolini’s Island, is based on the arrest and imprisonment of a group of Sicilian gay men during the Fascist era. Here they give some pointers on how to go about writing a novel based on a true story. Know what you’re letting yourself in for. Anna: I think the first thing to say…

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