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Vicariously Visit Yesteryear, Courtesy of the Library


[Countess Iska Teleki recording phonograph.], Digital ID 1536853, New York Public LibraryRecently, while I was mentally present in the early 1900s while ensconced in an absolutely riveting historical mystery, my physical body answered the insistent trill of my cellular phone. I was rather unhappily jolted out of the land of gramophones and petticoats by a question from a friend, inquiring concerning the health of one of my cats who is afflicted with allergies.

Apparently, I was not catapulted entirely into the present era because when I responded, "I daresay, he seems to be recuperating, but it's still early days," my friend groaned and exclaimed, "I interrupted you reading one of those days-gone-by books that you devour on a regular basis, huh?" I unabashedly am a huge fan, in many respects, of many a bygone era, especially those where etiquette and civility were not too often misinterpreted as docility and lack of intellect. (My nephew and niece often quip that visiting my apartment is analogous to visiting a wing of a (albeit cluttered!) museum because of the noticeable dearth of perks of modernity in same (my nephew and niece were both simply aghast when I informed them that I do not, nor have I ever, subscribed to cable, and my niece once expressed the desire to bring my manual can opener to Show-and-Tell), I have managed to convince them of the immeasurable enjoyment that may be derived from immersing oneself in days gone-by in the form of books. (Although my nephew and niece still can't quite fathom why Nancy Drew didn't simply e-mail her pals-in-sleuthing, George and Bess, when Nancy was in a quandary.)

Everyday dresses, garments, et cetera.,Every-Day Dresses, Garments, Etc., Digital ID 815688, New York Public LibraryHappily, for those of us who still dream of being rescued by Bulldog Drummond, the NYPL contains a literal plethora of historical fiction, especially mysteries, in its circulating collection, in a wide variety of formats (regular-sized print books, large-print physical books, audio books. and e-books). Some of the books were created purposely as historical works, while some have stood the test of time to the extent that said works are now regarded as "historical" from the present time (such as many authored by the Grand Lady of Mystery, Dame Agatha Christie). The list appearing below is by no means intended to be exhaustive, but rather represents a smattering of the historical fiction to be found within the NYPL's circulating collection. Furthermore, some of the titles enumerated below are part of a series written by the relevant authors; for the sake of space, not every title encompassed in the pertinent series is listed.




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