Tuesday 16 August 2016

Top Ten Books That Take Place In London

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted over at The Broke and the Bookish. You can check out this week's topic here and for a list of future topics head here. As someone born in London (lived there till I was 8) it's one of my favourite book settings. However, it was surprisingly hard to put this list together, I tried to choose from a variety of genres - although historical fiction definitely wins out! 

1) Tainted Angel by Anne Cleeland
Tainted Angel (Regency, #1)
Full of secrets, and twists and hidden agendas this is such a great read and the London of this novel is a very interesting one.

2) The Other Side of Midnight by Simone St. James
The Other Side of Midnight
The first Simone St. James book I ever read and my overall favourite, this is set in a London teeming with ghosts and the insights into a post-war London were great.

3) A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
A Tale of Two Cities
As my favourite Classic this was guaranteed to make the list. London is one of the "Two Cities" of the title and is brilliantly and evocatively written. You almost feel like you're genuinely there. 

4) Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare
Clockwork Angel (The Infernal Devices, #1)
This is almost an alternate London. There are certainly more automatons and demons than you would generally find in a London of this time. But I love this series so it had to make the list.

5) Soulless by Gail Carriger
Soulless (Parasol Protectorate, #1)
Definitely an alternate London. But still very recognisably London. Although there are added werewolves and vampires, there is still a Queen Victoria and the social dictates of the time seem to be pretty similar to reality. Not to mention the obsession with tea!

6) The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson
The Name of the Star (Shades of London, #1)
This is very obviously an American view of London, there are a few parts that just didn't ring true (like the school life) but I lose myself in this world and these characters everytime I pick up a book in this series!

7) The Ruby in the Smoke by Philip Pullman
The Ruby In The Smoke
Both the books and the TV series were great. I love the mystery and the characters and the setting is so compellingly written.

8) A Girl Like You by Gemma Burgess
A Girl Like You
One of my all time favourite contemporaries and also one of the most British books I have ever read. Where Shades of London was clearly an American view of London this is quite clearly British. The cultural references, the way the characters speak, everything felt true to real life. This book makes me feel at home!

9) A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett
A Little Princess
I have read and re-read this book so many times since I was a child and it never fails to move me. You get at least two views of London in this, the priveleged Sara of the beginning of the book gets shopping and pampering whilst the poor Sara of the rest of the book encounters many of the sadder aspects of London. 

10) Silent in the Grave by Deanna Raybourn
Silent in the Grave (Lady Julia Grey, #1)
This is a really fun view of London. It seems to be historically accurate and I loved the family details but it was the references to things such as the Tower of London (and the ravens) that really made me fall for this series. That and the brilliant characters!

You can also find us on Goodreads (Ann and Clare) to keep up with what we are reading


  1. I love London as a setting and never seem to get tired of it. The Carriger books are supposed to be quite good (and I love the idea of vamps and werewolves roaming around), and the Raybourn book looks good too.

    1. I love the Parasol Protectorate books! And Raybourn is one of my favourite authors!

  2. Love a good intriguing book. Tainted Angel is going on our tbr!

    1. Tainted Angel was great! There is a sort-of sequel/spin-off as well but Tainted Angel was definitely better!

  3. I actually haven't read any of the books on this list, but I always enjoy books set in London, one of my favourite cities. I have to pick some of these up some time soon, you have a great list!
    My TTT!

  4. Soulless was so fun - I need to continue! :)

    Check out my TTT.