An Historical Mystery, sometimes translated as The Gondreville Mystery, is set in 1803. The central location of the story is one of the grandest estates in France. Much of the story revolves around how members of the Nobel family estate holders regarded Napolean. The most interesting aspect of this book was trying to see or understand Balzac's attitude toward Napolean.
I found this a "duty" read. I think most readers would feel inclined to abandon it. Being by Balzac, there are great passages but this is for those reading the full Comedie Humaine.