The Wall Street Journal has a guest column from time to time where notables list their five "best books". British author Anne Perry wrote the column in the April 21, 2007, edition. I can't link to the WSJ, as it charges for use of its web edition. But I can let you know that Anne Perry's favorite "fictional tales rooted in history" are
1. I, Claudius, by Robert Graves;
2. Full Dark House, by Christopher Fowler;
3. The Scarlet Pimpernel, by Baroness Emmuska Orezy;
4. To Say Nothing of the Dog, by Connie Willis; and
5. The Ballad of the White Horse, by G.K. Chesterton.
Anne Perry writes crime novels set in the late 19th Century, all dealing with murder. She is personally acquainted with that crime, having served time for it herself.
Theodore Dalrymple, about whom I have posted several times, writes about that crime here.
She's a fine, successful writer, and Carol and I enjoy her books.
I just checked out from the library I, Claudius. PBS based a TV series on the book several years ago.