Historical Mysteries are, ironically enough, one of the newer categories of mysteries, having officially started in 1911. There were a few examples here and there over the following decades, but they didnt really start getting noticed until the 80’s. Since 2,000 they have become a major category.
This could be a tricky subject. Though Historical Mysteries are quite popular and can be wonderful, an often maligned genre of pure Romance novels is the “Bodice Ripper,” a term first used in a 1980 newspaper article for generally historical romance novels which invariably feature a “highly pneumatic” heroine on the cover, her ample endowments appearing courtesy of a wardrobe malfunction caused by the overly-enthusiastic advances of the darkly handsome and dangerously-macho love interest, who usually is posed behind her, his hands on her shoulders, a carnal look in his eye.
OK, a Historical Mystery can take many different forms (with or without ripped bodices). One interesting type is “faction.” This is a relatively new literary buzzword for fiction that uses real historical elements or real historical figures as part of the story.