History Mysteries were a twenty-two book series of mystery books originally released by American Girl. The series can be seen as the precursor to the Historical Character Mysteries as several of the authors from this series went on to write for that and other various Historical character series.
Each book was a stand-alone novel set in a time period and/or location that, at the time of publication, was not covered by any Historical Characters, including times before the United States was founded as an independent country. The characters were generally older, ranging from ages ten to fourteen, and the books were marketed as for ages ten and up.
The cover shows the main character from a scene of the story. The first pages, instead of a half title page has a frontispiece; on verso is a quote from the story and on recto is a close-up from the cover illustration, focused on the main character's face. Past the title page, edition notice, dedication page, and table of contents is a two-page map titled "Character's World: Location in Year," bordered by something appropriate to the time and location. The map shows the places relevant to the story, with images of the locale.
At the beginning of each chapter is a small black-and-white sketch illustrated by Greg Dearth, designed to simulate a woodcut block and to help set the mood of the chapter. Books are written in third person limited point of view so only the main character's thoughts and perceptions are seen, similar to the Central Series.
Each book has a Looking Back section that, much like the Central Series, discusses details about the time and location and any significant events. If another language is used prominently, a glossary is included.
The series was published from 1999 to 2004 and later discontinued. Many of the books from the series were later re-released in unbranded digital form by Open Road Integrated Media as the series Mysteries Through Time, and these can be found as Kindle versions via Amazon distribution.
List of Books
- 1. The Smuggler's Treasure by Sarah Masters Buckey
- 2. Hoofbeats of Danger by Holly Hughes
- 3. The Night Flyers by Elizabeth McDavid Jones
- 4. Voices at Whisper Bend by Katherine Ayres
- 5. Secrets on 26th Street by Elizabeth McDavid Jones
- 6. Mystery of the Dark Tower by Evelyn Coleman
- 7. Trouble at Fort La Pointe by Kathleen Ernst
- 8. Under Copp's Hill by Katherine Ayres
- 9. Watcher in the Piney Woods by Elizabeth McDavid Jones
- 10. Shadows in the Glasshouse by Megan McDonald
- 11. The Minstrel's Melody by Eleanora E. Tate
- 12. Riddle of the Prairie Bride by Kathryn Reiss
- 13. Enemy in the Fort by Sarah Masters Buckey
- 14. Circle of Fire by Evelyn Coleman
- 15. Mystery on Skull Island by Elizabeth McDavid Jones
- 16. Whistler in the Dark by Kathleen Ernst
- 17. Mystery at Chilkoot Pass by Barbara Steiner
- 18. The Strange Case of Baby H by Kathryn Reiss
- 19. Danger at the Wild West Show by Alison Hart
- 20. Gangsters at the Grand Atlantic by Sarah Masters Buckey
- 21. Ghost Light on Graveyard Shoal by Elizabeth McDavid Jones
- 22. Betrayal at Cross Creek by Kathleen Ernst
- Alternate titles for the series include Mysteries Through Time and/or Mysteries through History.
- American Girl had promotional bookmarks for the series featuring the first five books.