Each series listed here is set in Britain, in an earlier period in history, or both.

Albert, Susan Wittig. The Cottage Tales of Beatrix Potter. New York: Berkley.

The charming Beatrix Potter of literary fame joins her menagerie of animals (who can talk amongst themselves) to solve crime in England's Lake District at the beginning of the twentieth century.

Beaton, M.C. Agatha Raisin. New York: St. Martin’s Minotaur.

Retired advertising executive Agatha Raisin has taken up residence in the Cotswolds and must use her less-than-perfect sluething skills to solve the crime that seems to follow her wherever she goes. Readers will be adore Agatha's bluntness and dry wit and Beaton's depiction of the playful antics of life in a small village.

Beaton, M.C. Hamish Macbeth Mysteries. New York: Ivy Books.

Hamish Macbeth may be a wiz at solving murders, but this Police Constable will do anything to avoid promotion so as to stay in his home village of Lochdubh in the Highlands of Scotland. While some of the plotlines may seem a bit formulaic at times in this large series, Hamish's wry sense of humor and the quirky residents of Lochdubh will keep readers coming back for more.

Christie, Agatha. Miss Marple. New York: Avenel Books.

No cozy mystery list would be complete without Miss Jane Marple of St. Mary Mead, the elderly busybody with a knack for solving crimes that stump even the cleverest of detectives.

Davis, Lindsey. Marcus Didius Falco. New York: Crown Publishers.

This series, set in Imperial Rome in 70 A.D., features the sharp-witted and wise-cracking detective Marcus Didius Falco. "Davis' [work]," states Publisher's Weekly, "though couched in period detail, rewards as much for deft handling of plot and depth of characterization as for its historicity."

Peters, Elizabeth. Amelia Peabody. New York: Atheneum.

Join Amelia Peabody and Radcliffe Emerson, the renowned husband and wife archeology team, and their son, Ramses, as they find adventure and mystery in Egypt during the reign of Queen Victoria. Publishers Weekly states that "if Indiana Jones were female, a wife, and a mother who lived in Victorian Times, he would be Amelia Peabody."

Peters, Ellis. Brother Cadfael. New York: Morrow.

Specializing in herbal remedies and murder, Brother Cadfael is Medieval England's answer to CSI. Readers looking for engaging, well-written, and sophisticated material need look no further than the Brother Cadfael series.

Sayers, Dorothy L.. Lord Peter Wimsey. New York: Harper & Row.

Sayers has often been labeled as one of the greatest mystery writers of the twentieth century, and it's easy to see why when reading her Lord Peter Wimsey series. For the best books featuring this pianist, bibliophile and criminologist, readers are encouraged to begin with Clouds of Witness and beyond.