Crime and mystery fiction has for decades proven both popular and commercial in all its guises from the hallowed investigations of Sherlock Holmes to the mean streets of contemporary noir, through the golden age of Agatha Christie and her traditional cohorts, the dark shadows of psychological thrillers, women detectives, private eyes, and a variety of categories that have persisted in defying the imagination and seducing readers in thinking that crime does, in fact, pay or, at any rate, royally entertain! For our opening volume, we present fifteen brand-new stories by some of the best authors practicing the craft today, each introducing imaginative facets of crime and its subtle variations but set in the past, in periods ranging from far flung prehistory to the murky days of World War II, and passing through medieval periods, mythical times, the somber alleys of Victorian times and a whole variety of past years and places where the allure of mystery only serves to enhance the deviousness of the plots and its heroes and villains. Historical mysteries are one of today’s most rewarding sub-genres, often characterized by the charms of Umberto Eco’s The Name of the Rose, the Brother Cadfael tales of the late Ellis Peters and so many other major talents of the writing world. In a world without forensics and the modern tools of the detecting trade, the authors and their hardy characters must use their little gray cells and their powers of deduction with so much more diligence than the detectives and cops of today and this often constitutes one of the greatest charms of historical mysteries (and fiction).