I've always enjoyed novels with a strong historic setting. If they involve historic figures as main characters, that is even better. For example, I love Sharon Kay Penman's novels. When I stumbled onto Ariana Franklin's "Mistress of the Art of Death" series, I was a very happy reader. She combines the amateur sleuth protagonist along with a historic setting in a seamless way.
When the hubby and I were in B&N after Christmas, I found one of Franklin's novels in the discount bin. It went home with me, of course. Franklin was actually Diana Norman and died in 2011. The title I found, "A Murderous Procession," was her last book in this series. If you want to learn more about the author and this series featuring a wonderful woman named Adelia, visit here: http://www.arianafranklin.com/franklin-bio.htm.
Up next will be Lois Lowry's "The Giver." Hard to believe, but I've never read this classic, award winning book.