Rather than begin with the crime, the investigation, the trial and then the resolution, Execution Dock by Anne Perry, opens with the trial of thoroughly repellent Jericho Phillips accused of child pornography and prostitution.
Another book I’ve read that felt quite similar to Perrys‘ Inspector Monk and her Thomas and Charlotte Pitt books is The Thief Taker by T.F. Banks. Henry Morton is a Bow Street Runner in the early years of the 19th century. The atmosphere and the attention to detail is quite like Perry.
Unfortunately there were only two books published in this series. Sometimes the appeal of a series like this is not only the mystery, but also the development of the characters over time. Both Hester and Monk of the Inspector Monk series have complex backgrounds. The minor characters have a life of their own and have also developed over time adding complexity to the story.
Another mystery series with an interesting premise and engaging characters are the Sir John Fielding mysteries by Bruce Alexander. Fielding was the real life 18th century blind magistrate who created the Bow Street Runners. He was also half brother to novelist Henry Fielding. The stories are told by Jeremy Proctor, a young lad taken up by Fielding. While satisfyingly researched, Alexander stated in an interview that he wouldn’t let a mere fact stand in the way of a good story. Unfortunately for us, Alexander died in 2003 leaving the series unfinished.