Historical mystery series written by Robert R. McCammon, the Matthew Corbett book series is set in colonial America and centers on the exploits of a youthful clerk–and professional problem solver–who works for the magistrate in the Carolinas during the 17th and 18th centuries.
Throughout the series, Matthew Corbett is lured into a number of fascinating and frequently perilous investigations that incorporate aspects of historical fiction, mystery, and adventure.
How To Read The Matthew Corbett Series in Order?
Each book in the Matthew Corbett book series introduces a fresh mystery or case for Corbett to solve, and the entire series tracks his professional and personal growth as he overcomes numerous obstacles and foes.
- Speaks the Nightbird (2002) – In the coastal community of Fount Royal in the Carolinas, Rachel Howarth is found guilty of witchcraft in 1699 and given the death penalty by hanging. She’s been charged with murder, practicing devilcraft, and engaging in blasphemous sexual acts, and the struggling, religious colonial community wants her dead. But Matthew Corbett, the traveling magistrate’s young clerk, who was called to Fount Royal to consider the claims, quickly comes around to supporting the seductive young widow.
- The Queen of Bedlam (2007) – A metropolis brimming with activity, noise, and business has been shaken by the unexplained death of a well-respected doctor. Who slashed the decent man’s life short on a dark street with a blade? When the Masker claims a new victim, hardworking young law clerk Matthew Corbett is drawn into a maze of forensic clues and heart-pounding investigation that will both test his natural penchant for detection and inflame his hunger for justice. The local print master has dubbed the fiend “the Masker,” adding fuel to a volatile mystery.
- Mister Slaughter (2010) – In 1702, Matthew Corbett, an apprentice problem solver for the Herrald Agency, was assigned the duty of traveling with serial killer Tyranthus Slaughter from a Philadelphia asylum to the harbor in New York City. However, Mr. Slaughter tempts Matthew and Hudson Greathouse with an unexpected offer while they are traveling, which has disastrous results.
- The Providence Rider (2012) – Explosions rock Matthew Corbett’s Manhattan neighborhood in the winter of 1703, and Corbett learns that his old foe, Professor Fell, would stop at nothing to get his attention and hire him as a skilled problem solver. As a result, Matthew makes the long journey from New York to Pendulum Island in the remote Bermudas, facing out against a variety of enemies in his effort to meet the violent and cunning criminal genius.
- The River of Souls (2014) – Professional problem solver Matthew Corbett is in the Carolina colony with his new buddy Magnus Muldoon, where three slaves have managed to escape their captors-one of them is suspected of murdering the daughter of a plantation owner. Matthew and Magnus will go to a place known as “the River of Souls” on their mission to solve the crime, where they will run with alligators, Native American warriors, and a horrific entity known as the Soul Cryer.
- Freedom of the Mask (2016) – Early in the eighteenth century, professional problem solver Matthew Corbett departed New York for Charles Town on a job for his agency-and then he vanished. Hudson Greathouse, a friend of Matthew’s, sets out to find him, unaware that Matthew is over the ocean in London’s notorious Newgate Prison, where he is being hunted by a masked vigilante and suspected of killing a Prussian count. In an effort to save Matthew in time, Hudson must now set ship for England with Berry Grigsby, who is dear to Matthew.
- Cardinal Black (2019) – It is the year 1703. Matthew Corbett’s relationship with the woman he loves is deteriorating quickly. Professor Fell’s criminal mastermind compelled her to take a drug that had rendered her insane. The one item that may have saved her, a book of potions, was taken during an attack on the English town where she had been hiding out under a different identity. Cardinal Black, a psychotic man, was behind the attack.
- King of Shadows (2022) – 1704. Matthew Corbett is going to meet a foe who is entirely unrelated to any adversary he has before encountered. Matthew and Hudson Greathouse are stranded on the lovely island of Golgotha while traveling to Italy to find Brazio Valeriani and information about the mirror made by his father, the sorcerer Ciro. This location is full of secrets and puts the two of them in grave danger.
- Seven Shades of Evil (2023) – This book collects eight gripping stories featuring the professional problem solver and his associates that take place between the popular novels. This includes four original stories, including “Wandering Mary,” and four additional tales that previously appeared in limited form and are no longer available elsewhere:
- The Four Lamplighters (features Matthew and Hudson)
- Night Ride (features Matthew)
- The House at the Edge of the World (features Hudson)
- The Scorpion’s Eye (features Minx)
- Skeleton Crew (features Katherine)
- The Pale Pipesmoker (features Katherine and Minx)
- Wandering Mary (features Matthew)
- Incident on The Lady Barbara (features Berry)
If you like the Matthew Corbett reading order, you may be interested in the Matthew Shardlake series.