Of course, sir. I'll take care of it.
June 1, 2012 8:36 PM   Subscribe

Help me find historical fiction starring the kinds of people described in this awesome comment.

So I'm looking for stories about the quiet badasses that make Big Problems for Important People go away -- the more ridiculous and suspenseful, the better.

I'm hoping such a thing exists for historical fiction set in the Roman Empire, the middle ages, the Renaissance -- I'm looking for troubled royalty more than I am modern politics. I'm especially interested in elaborate dances of social protocol and formal etiquette (note: I am ok with suggestions that tread into romantic/thriller territory).

I recognize that this list of characteristics is kind of narrow, but Mefi's tastes spread into some pretty tight niches.

Thanks, gang!
posted by The demon that lives in the air to Media & Arts (8 answers total) 28 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Sweet Katherine of Aragon, you are in for a treat. It's called Wolf Hall.
posted by rdc at 9:04 PM on June 1, 2012 [10 favorites]

Not historical at all but of course Jeeves is the epitome of this..
posted by The otter lady at 9:04 PM on June 1, 2012

Best answer: I'll start this off with the very popular series by Hillary Mantel about Thomas Cromwell (Henry the VII's fixer for a time), Wolf Hall followed by Bring up the Bodies. Both are excellent works of fiction about one of the most fascinating characters in history.
posted by msali at 9:06 PM on June 1, 2012 [1 favorite]

You might consider Lindsey Davis's "The Silver Pigs." Marcus Didius Falco, acting as an agent for the Roman Emperor Vespasian, is sent to the mines of Britain to investigate a possible conspiracy involving the ingot trade. Action, romance, politics, and a side of history all wrapped up in one.

Falco is more of an informer than a fixer, but it's fair to say that when the Emperor needs a little problem untangled, Falco's his man.
posted by MonkeyToes at 5:01 AM on June 2, 2012

The Falco books are great fun.

That description also sounds like Jodie Foster's character in "Inside Man".
posted by rmd1023 at 5:42 AM on June 2, 2012

There's a book called The Fixers about the guys who cleaned up MGM studio stars' messes during Hollywood's golden age. As I recall there were a lot of questions about the accuracy of the author's research, but if you just want some good stories it might fit the bill.
posted by Wretch729 at 2:56 PM on June 2, 2012

Response by poster: rdc and msali: Considering I devoured the Kindle sample of Wolf Hall last night with enormous pleasure, yes, I think you're right. Much appreciated.

Looking forward to getting into the rest of these!
posted by The demon that lives in the air at 3:48 PM on June 2, 2012

Muriel Spark's Abbess of Crewe, which sets the Nixon White House in an Abbey.
posted by PinkMoose at 4:21 PM on June 2, 2012 [1 favorite]

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