Edward Whittemore has an interesting quartet series dealing with the history of Jerusalem and the middle east. Mixes historical facts with some bizarre twists. One of the characters for instance is seemingly based on Sir Richard Burton, the 19th century explorer; and the true bible is the writings of on an imbecile translating a blind beggars tales. Strange books but very interesting. The first two books, Sinai Tapestry and Jerusalem Poker are the preferred of the 4.
The Stepford trilogy by Robertson Davies is another series to consider. They can get complex at times, but never drag.