Forthcoming historical novels for 2020

The Historical Novel Society lists mainstream and small press titles set in the 1960s and earlier.  Details are compiled by Fiona Sheppard and are based on publisher descriptions.  This is a work in progress.  Other than short excerpts, please link to this page rather than copying the entries – thank you!

January 2020

Johnnie Alexander, Amanda Barratt, Lauralee Bliss, Rita Gerlach, Homefront Heroines, Barbour (stories of four women of the WWII era)

Tasha Alexander, In the Shadow of Vesuvius, Minotaur (Lady Emily Hargreaves uncovers a mystery in the ancient city of Pompeii)

Aharon Appelfeld, To the Edge of Sorrow, Schocken (Jewish resistance fighters vs Nazis during WWII)

David Ashton, The Lost Daughter, Two Roads (Jean Brash mystery book 2)

Greg Bear, The Unfinished Land, John Joseph Adams (historical fantasy at time of Spanish Armada invasion)

Serena Burdick, My Sister’s Way Home, Park Row (after her sister goes missing Ellie hatches a plan to be admitted to the ‘House of Mercy’, risking everything to bring her older sister home)

Benjamin Black, The Secret Guests, Henry Holt (as London endures nightly German bombings, Britain’s secret service whisks the princesses Elizabeth and Margaret from England, seeking safety for the young royals on an old estate in Ireland)

Andrew Caldecott, Wyntertide, Jo Fletcher (welcome back to Rotherweird, where an ancient plot is about to come to fruition – and this time the forces of darkness might actually win)

Diane Chamberlain, Big Lies in a Small Town, SMP (dual period narrative of secrets and lies set in North Carolina 2020 and 1940)

Jerome Charyn, Cesare: A Novel of War-Torn Berlin, Bellevue Literary Press (1937, a 17-year-old German naval sub-cadet is wandering along the seawall when he stumbles upon a gang of ruffians beating up a tramp, whose life he saves)

Mary Collins, Ten Bells Street at War, Piatkus (London 1940-separated by circumstances, the girls’ friendship stands strong in the face of hardship as they fight for their place in a frightening new world)

Sandra Dallas, Westering Women, SMP (Maggie joins 43 other women & 2 reverends on a dangerous 2000 mile journey west in 1852)

Caroline Dunford, Hope for the Innocent, Accent (new historical crime series set in 1939)

Emuna Elon, House on Endless Waters, Atria (novel about a writer who embarks on a transformative journey in Amsterdam, where he discovers the shocking truth about his mother’s wartime experience)

Jessica Fellowes, The Mitford Scandal, Minotaur (third book in the Mitford Murders series, lady’s maid Louisa Cannon accompanies Diana Mitford into a turbulent late 1920s Europe)

Victoria Gilbert, Bound for Murder, Crooked Lane (Librarian Amy Webber uses her reference skills to solve murders in her small Virginia home town)

C. M. Gleason, Murder at the Capitol, Kensington (July 1861, just months after the Battle of Fort Sumter, President Lincoln’s top priority is to unite the country, while Adam Quinn finds himself on the trail of a murderer)

Tessa Gratton, Lady Hotspur, Tor (novel of betrayal and battlefields in a gender-swapped historical fantasy homage to Shakespeare’s Henry IV)

Donna Hill, Confessions in B Flat, Sideways Books (retelling of Romeo and Juliet set during the 1964 Civil Rights movement from an author who lived through it)

Grace Hitchcock, The Gray Chamber, Barbour (stories of American crime fiction based on strange but true history)

M. L. Huie, Spitfire, Crooked Lane (a new historical mystery series set in post-war England)

Zora Neale Hurston, Hitting a Straight Lick with a Crooked Stick, Amistad (May 1925, Zora Neale Hurston was living in New York, “desperately striving for a toe-hold on the world.” During this period, she began writing short works that captured the zeitgeist of African American life)

Julia Kelly, The Whispers of War, Gallery (start of World War II looms over three friends who struggle to remain loyal as one of them is threatened with internment by the British government)

Larry Kramer, The American People, Vol 2: The Brutality of Fact, FSG (completes the radical reimagining of America’s history, ranging from the brothels of 1950s Washington, D.C., to the activism of the 1980s and beyond)

Sarah E. Ladd, The Thief of Lanwyn Manor, Thomas Nelson (1818, latest Regency romance explores Cornwall, England, and the secrets within one of its historic manor houses)

Catherine Lloyd, Death Comes to the Nursery, Kensington (Kurland St. Mary mystery 7)

Maggie Mason, Blackpool Weaver, Sphere (next in series after Blackpool Evacuee)

James L. May, The Body Outside the Kremlin, Delphinium (a political prisoner incarcerated on the island of Solovetsky, in the 1920s, is mysteriously conscripted to solve the murder of a fellow inmate)

Chris McCormick, The Gimmicks, Harper (set in the waning years of the Cold War, debut novel about a trio of young Armenians that moves from the Soviet Union, across Europe, to Southern California, and at its center, one of the most tragic cataclysms in twentieth-century history—the Armenian Genocide)

Jess Montgomery, The Hollows, Minotaur (follow-up to The Widows, murder mystery set in Ohio 1926)

Lance Olsen, My Red Heaven, Dzanc Books (imagines the intersection of historic figures – artists, actors, physicists, and autocrats – on a single day in Berlin, 1927)

Tracie Peterson, Kimberley Woodhouse, Forever Hidden, Bethany House (trilogy follows the lives of three sisters in the gold-rush era of Nome’s founding)

Gary Phillips, Matthew Henson and the Ice Temple of Harlem, Agora Books (a re-imagined pulp novel that follows the exploits of Matthew Henson, a real life Arctic explorer, on his Doc Savage-style adventures through 1920s Harlem)

Steph Post, Miraculum, Polis Books (part southern gothic, part noir, part magical realism set on the Texas-Louisiana border in 1922)

Bonnie Proudfoot, Goshen Road, Swallow Press (set from late 1960s novel captures one working-class family in rural West Virginia as they balance on the dividing line between Appalachia old and new)

M. J. Rose, Cartier’s Hope, Atria (novel follows an intrepid female journalist in Gilded Age New York as she chases the story of the Hope Diamond)

Laura Joh Rowland, The Woman in the Veil, Crooked Lane (fourth in Victorian mystery series)

Constance Sayers, A Witch in Time, Redhook (a young witch is cursed to relive a doomed love affair through many lifetimes, as both troubled muse and frustrated artist)

Jane Thynne, The Words I Never Wrote, Ballantine (a chance discovery inside a vintage typewriter case reveals the story of two sisters on opposite sides of World War II)

Nancy E. Turner, Light Changes Everything, Thomas Dunne (Arizona Territory, 1907 ― coming-of-age of a resilient young feminist a century ahead of her time)

Roseanna M White, On Wings of Devotion, Bethany House (2nd in Codebreakers trilogy gives a glimpse into the deadly world of WWI spies and the heroes who fight to stop them)

Beatriz Williams, Lauren Willig, Karen White, All the Ways We Said Goodbye, Wm Morrow (historical adventure that moves from the dark days of two World Wars to the turbulent years of the 1960s)

Rita Woods, Remembrance, Forge (multi-period set in Haiti 1791, New Orleans 1857 & present day ―Remembrance…It’s a rumor, a whisper passed in the fields. A hidden stop on the underground road to freedom, if you can make it there)

Ch’oe Yun, (trans. Bruce Fulton & Ju-Chan Fulton), There a Petal Silently Falls, Columbia Univ. Press (a collection of stories ―portrayals of the psychological and spiritual reality of post-WW II Korea)

February 2020

Anita Abriel, The Light After the War, Atria (inspired by a true story of two Jewish friends who survived the Holocaust, this novel of love and friendship spans World War II from Budapest to Austria and the postwar years from Naples to Caracas)

Tessa Afshar, Daughter of Rome, Tyndale (a love story and an immersive journey through first-century Rome and Corinth)

Eleanor Anstruther, A Perfect Explanation, HMH (based on true story of author’s grandmother—about the perils of aristocratic privilege, where inheritance is everything and happiness is hard won)

Ali Aragi, Agha, Melville House (multi-generational debut tells the story of a centuries-old curse carrying one family to the brink of the 1979 Iranian revolution)

Charlotte Betts, The Palace of Lost Dreams, Piatkus (story set in 18th century India)

Catherine Cavendish, The Garden of Bewitchment, Flame Tree (horror thriller set in Yorkshire, 1893)

Heidi Chiavaroli, The Tea Chest, Tyndale (multi-period 1773 & present ― two women, separated by centuries, must find the strength to fight for love and freedom. . . and discover a heritage of courage and faith)

Armando Lucas Correa, The Daughter’s Tale, Washington Square (saga explores a hidden piece of World War II history and the lengths a mother will go to protect her children

Shaun Curry, The Swords of Silence, Harper Inspire (Japan 1620 – based on historical events, this action adventure is a glimpse into the world of samurai-dominated Japan)

Susanne Dietze, The Blizzard Bride, Barbour (daughters of the Mayflower series)

David Downing, Diary of a Dead Man on Leave, Soho Crime (April 1938― depiction of Germany in the days leading up to World War II and the difficult choices of one man of conviction)

Eric Dupont, The American Fiancée, HarperVia (over the course of the20th century, three generations of the Lamontagnes will weather love, passion, jealousy, revenge, and death. Epic family saga)

Elizabeth Elo, Finding Katarina M

., Polis Books (a contemporary surgeon goes on an extraordinary journey to find her grandmother who was sent to the Gulag, Stalin’s notorious network of labor camps)

Mario Escobar, Children of the Stars, Thomas Nelson (a story of escape, sacrifice, and hope amid the perils of the second World War)

Charles Finch, The Last Passenger, Minotaur (third and final in a prequel trilogy to Charles Lenox series)

Leah Garriott, Promised, Shadow Mountain (Warwickshire, England, 1810―after the heartbreak and humiliation of a broken engagement, Margaret Brinton is determined to never allow her heart to be hurt again)

Genevieve Graham, The Forgotten Home Child, Simon & Schuster (a young girl caught in a scheme to rid England’s streets of destitute children: multi-period Canada 2018 and England 1936)

Jocelyn Green, Veiled in Smoke, Bethany House (exploration of Chicago’s history begins with a look at the aftermath of the Great Fire of 1871 ― #1 of 3 in Windy City Saga)

Janice Hadlow, The Other Bennet Sister, Henry Holt (novel explores what if bookish Mary Bennet’s life took a different path from that laid out for her in Pride and Prejudice?)

Tina May Hall, The Snow Collectors, Dzanc (a bereaved contemporary woman delves into the mystery of a centuries-old letter regarding the Franklin expedition, which disappeared into the ice in 1845)

Stacey Halls, The Foundling, MIRA (brings to life a remarkable mix of upper class and lower, of Moorish musicians and their families, poor and working class, Irish, Germans, Italians and others)

Kiran Millwood Hargrave, The Mercies, Little, Brown (Finnmark, Norway 1617― inspired by the Vardø storm and the 1620 witch trials; story of love, evil, and obsession, set at the edge of civilization)

Ursula Hegi, The Patron Saint of Pregnant Girls, Flatiron (shores of the Nordsee, 1878 ― portrait of marriage & motherhood, & the ways in which women hold each other up in the face of heartbreak)

Colin Hester, Death and the Butterfly, Counterpoint (London 1940 – multigenerational story centered around endless heartbreak and enduring love)

Juris Jurjevics, Play the Red Queen, Soho Crime (posthumous masterwork—the story of two American GI cops caught in the corrupt cauldron of a Vietnamese civil war stoked red hot by revolution)

Jim Kelly, The Night Raids (Nighthawk 3), Allison & Busby (a German bomber misses its target and drops its bomb on a neighbourhood of terraced streets on the edge of the Cambridge’s medieval centre)

Jim Kelly, Byron’s Pool, Allison & Busby (crime thriller set in 1940)

Peg Kingman, The Great Unkown, Norton (blends wit and psychological insight with a grasp of early evolutionary theories& what it means to be human. Set in 1840s Britain and France)

Sharlene MacLaren, Her Rebel Heart, Whitaker House (romance set during the American Civil War)

Susan Anne Mason, The Brightest of Dreams, Bethany House (brings to a close the Canadian Crossings series)

Marianne Monson, Her Quiet Revolution, Shadow Mountain (biographical fiction brings to life the story of America’s first female state senator, Martha Hughes Cannon, who was also a doctor, suffragist, and champion of public health in the frontier territory of Utah in the late 19th century)

Silvia Moreno-Garcia, Untamed Shore, Agora Books (thriller, set in Mexico in the 1970’s about a film-obsessed young Mexican woman who becomes infatuated with three American tourists)

Louisa Morgan, The Age of Witches, Redhook (tale of family, magic, ambition and love in Gilded Age New York and London)

Scott Oden, Twilight of the Gods, St. Martin’s Press (1218 ― fantasy adventure continues the saga of Grimnir ―the last in a long line of monsters left to plague Miðgarðrin)

Alyssa Palombo, The Borgia Confessions, St Martin’s Griffin (novel of love and power set against the tumultuous backdrop of Renaissance Italy)

Melissa Anne Peterson, Vera Violet, Counterpoint (explores themes of poverty, violence, and environmental degradation as played out in the young lives of a group of close-knit friends)

Sarah Sundin, The Land Beneath Us, Revell (when an Army Ranger and a librarian are bound together by a marriage of convenience, neither suspects it might lead to love. Set in 1940s)

Charles Todd, A Divided Loyalty, Wm Morrow (Scotland Yard detective Ian Rutledge is assigned one of the most baffling investigations of his career)

Margaret Verble, Cherokee America, Mariner Books (follows a web of complex family alliances and culture clashes in the Cherokee Nation, during the aftermath of the Civil War)

Rikke Villadsen, Cowboy, Fantagraphics (a rugged outlaw rides into a typical nineteenth-century Western town, swinging his six-guns and stirring up trouble)

Paul Wolfe, The Lost Diary of M, Harper (reimagines the extraordinary life and mysterious death of bohemian Georgetown socialite Mary Pinchot Meyer— secret lover of JFK, ex-wife of a CIA chief, sexual adventurer, LSD explorer and early feminist living by her own rules)

Michael Zapata, The Lost Book of Adana Moreau, Hanover Square (story of a Latin American sci-fi writer in 1929 and the lives her lost manuscript unites decades later in post-Katrina New Orleans)

March 2020

Boris Akunin, She Lover of Death, Mysterious Press (tale of a secret suicide society in turn-of-the-century Moscow featuring a naïve young protagonist and the inimitable hero Erast Fandorin)

Gretchen Berg, The Operator, Wm Morrow (debut novel, set in a small Midwestern town in the early 1950s, about a nosy switchboard operator who overhears gossip involving her own family, and the unraveling that discovery sets into motion)

Lisa T Bergren, Selah, Bethany House (last in colonial-era Sugar Baron’s Daughters trilogy)

Maisy Card, These Ghosts are Family, Simon & Schuster (portrait of a family and individuals caught in the sweep of history, slavery, migration, and the more personal dramas of infidelity, lost love, and regret)

Amanda Cabot, Out of the Embers, Revell (when a fire destroys the orphanage where she worked, Evelyn Radcliff flees to the Texas Hill Country with an orphan in tow and a killer in pursuit)

Max Allan Collins, Do No Harm, Forge (latest in Nathan Heller mysteries set in late 40s)

Mary Connealy, Woman of Sunlight, Bethany House (Brides of Hope Mountain #2)

Connilyn Cossette, Like Flames in the Night, Bethany House (series end takes readers through the Israelites’ last days under Joshua)

Curtis Craddock, A Labyrinth of Scions and Sorcery, Tor (sequel to An Alchemy of Masques and Mirrors set in 16th-century France)

Olivier Dufault, (trans. Pablo Strauss), Benediction, House of Anansi (based on the true story of Canada’s most unlikely cowboy; tale of fraud and reinvention in the old American West)

Louise Erdrich, The Night Watchman, Harper (based on the life of the author’s grandfather who worked as a night watchman and carried the fight against Native dispossession from rural North Dakota all the way to Washington, D.C.)

Jess Faraday, Shadow of Justice, Blind Eye (detective mystery story set in 19th-c London)

Ann Friedman, A Fine Tapestry of Murder, Accent ( a mystery that spreads from the unsavoury slums of the Ile Notre-Dame to the home of the Duc de Languedoc ― set in Paris, 1676)

Jody Hedlund, The Runaway Bride, Bethany House (having fled a dangerous engagement in London, Arabella can’t risk pairing herself with the wrong man again – The Bride Ships #2 of 3)

Rebecca James, The Woman in the Mirror, Minotaur (a chilling modern gothic novel of a family consumed by the shadows and secrets of its past)

Brenda Janowitz, The Grace Kelly Dress, Graydon House (imagines an iconic wedding dress, such as Grace Kelly’s and the three generations of women whose lives are touched by it)

Alka Joshi, The Henna Artist, MIRA (set in post-Raj 1950s Jaipur about a young woman struggling to shape her own destiny in a world pivoting between the traditional and the modern)

Alexandra Lapierre, The Woman of a Thousand Names, Atria (tale based on the true story of the Mata Hari of Russia, featuring a beautiful aristocrat fighting for survival during the deadly upheaval of the Russian Revolution)

John Lawton, Hammer to Fall, Atlantic Monthly (third Joe Wilderness spy thriller from a master of the genre, moving from icy Finland to tumultuous Cold War Prague)

Sarah Leipciger, Coming Up For Air, House of Anansi (set in Paris in 1899, Norway in the 1950s, and the Ottawa Valley in Canada in 2017, three lives intertwine in poignant and surprising ways)

Hilary Mantel, The Mirror & the Light, Henry Holt (traces the final years of Thomas Cromwell, the boy from nowhere who climbs to the heights of power, offering a defining portrait of predator and prey)

Shannon McNear, The Blue Cloak, Barbour (romantic suspense based on real events beginning in 1797)

TaraShea Nesbit, Beheld, Bloomsbury (story of the first murder in Plymouth, Massachusetts)

Pola Oloixarac, (trans. Roy Kesey), Dark Constellations, Soho Press (from the world of 19th-century science to an ultra-surveilled near future, novel explores humanity’s quest for knowledge and control, and leaps forward to the next steps in human evolution)

Tracie Peterson, Secrets of My Heart, Bethany House (Portland, Oregon, 1879. Nancy Pritchard finds herself a widow with a world of problems when her deceased husband’s schemes start to come to light)

Eric Sean Rawson, Banana Republic, Regal House (loosely based on the history of U.S. intervention in the “banana wars” of the early 20th-c. A comic tale of greed, ambition, and gunboat diplomacy)

Ed Ruggero, Blame the Dead, Forge (set against the heroism and heartbreak of World War II, novel captures the evocative and timeless stories of ordinary people swept up in extraordinary times)

Natasha Pulley, The Lost Future of Pepperharrow, Bloomsbury (sequel to The Watchmaker of Filigree Street takes readers to 1880s Japan, where nationalism is on the rise and ghosts roam the streets)

Katy Simpson Smith, The Everlasting, Harper (set in Rome in four different centuries; explores love in all its various incarnations and ponders elemental questions of good and evil, obedience and free will that connect four unforgettable lives)

Jill Eileen Smith, Star of Persia: Esther’s Story, Revell (brings to life the beloved story of Esther, queen of Persia)

B.A. Thomas-Peter, The Kissing Fence, Caitlin Press (two generations grapple with identity, oppression, and redemption rooted in the chilling history of the 1950s and 60s conflict between the BC government and the Doukhobor community)

Jin Yong, A Bond Undone, SMP (second book in the Chinese classic Legends of Condor Heroes series)

April 2020

Cara Black, Three Hours in Paris, Soho Crime (in June of 1940, after Paris had fallen to the Nazis, Hitler spent a total of three hours in the city. Why did he leave in such a hurry—and why did he never come back?)

Megan Campisi, Sin Eater, Atria (novel about a shunned orphan girl in 16th century England who is ensnared in a deadly royal plot and must turn her subjugation into her power)

J’nell Ciesielski, The Socialite, Thomas Nelson (glamour, treachery, and espionage collide when an English socialite rushes to save her sister from the Nazis)

Lynn A. Coleman, Lynette Sowell, Cecelia Dowdy, Terri Haynes, A Teacher’s Heart, Barbour (4 inspirational romances set in late 19th-c)

Mariah Fredericks, Death of an American Beauty, Minotaur (Jane Prescott is taking a break from her duties as lady’s maid for a week, and plans to begin it with attending the hottest and most scandalous show in town – 3rd in series)

Michelle Griep, The House at the End of the Moor, Shiloh Run (19th-century inspirational mystery romance)

Louise Hare, This Lovely City, Anansi International (debut novel about a Jamaican immigrant living in postwar London)

Gill Hornby, Miss Austen, Flatiron (England 1840 – witty novel about Cassandra Austen and her famous sister, Jane)

Angela Hunt, Daughter of Cana, Bethany House (#1 in series of 4 New Testament novels)

Nancy Jensen, In Our Midst, Dzanc (World War II fiction)

Paulette Jiles, Simon the Fiddler, Wm Morrow (1865 – story of an itinerant fiddle player & a ragtag band of musicians trying to make a living, and the charming young Irish lass who steals his heart)

Otto Kraus, The Children’s Block, Pegasus (story of five hundred children who lived in the Czech Family Camp in Auschwitz-Birkenau between September 1943 and June 1944)

Keith Ross Leckie, Cursed! Blood of the Donnellys, Douglas & McIntyre (based on the true story of the Donnellys of Lucan Township. In the midst of the feuds and famine of Tipperary, Ireland in 1846, Jim Donnelly and Johannah McGee fall passionately in love)

Billy O’Callaghan, The Boatman and Other Stories, Harper (stories span a century and two continents, from the muddy fields of Ireland to a hotel room in Paris, a dingy bar in Segovia to an airplane bound for Taipei)

Eliot Pattison, The King’s Beast, Counterpoint (spring 1769, and war is brewing and hopes for a peaceful resolution may rest with an astonishing cache of fossils recovered in the Kentucky territories)

Molly Pohlig, The Unsuitable, Henry Holt (blend of Gothic ghost story and Victorian novel of manners)

Bill Pronzini, The Stolen Gold Affair, Forge (8th title in the Carpenter & Quincannon historical mystery series)

Rishi Reddi, Passage West, Ecco (novel follows a family of Indian sharecroppers at the onset of World War I, revealing a little-known part of California history)

Lauraine Snelling, A Blessing to Cherish, Bethany House (finale to early 20th-c series about Norwegian immigrants)

Julia Spencer-Fleming, Hid From Our Eyes, Minotaur (Clare Fergusson/Russ Van Alstyne mystery series with a new crime that spans decades)

Caroline Stevermer, The Glass Magician, Tor (magical and romantic tale set in New York’s Gilded Age)

Karin Tanabe, A Hundred Suns, SMP (novel set in 1930s Indochina about an American who journeys there in the name of family fortune, the glamorous world she finds herself in—and the truth she may be running from)

Megan Walker, Lakeshire Park, Shadow Mountain (Brighton, England 1820 – Regency Romance)

Martha Waters, To Have and to Hoax, Atria (historical rom-com in which an estranged husband and wife in Regency England feign accidents and illness in an attempt to gain attention)

Kathleen Y’Barbo, The Chisholm Trail Bride, Barbour (daughters of the Mayflower series – inspirational)

May 2020

Josi S. Kilpack, Rakes and Roses, Shadow Mountain (Regency Romance)

Robert Wexelblatt, The Hsi-Wei Tales, Regal House (story set against the historical background of the Sui Dynasty in China)

Abigail Wilson, Masquerade at Middlecrest Abbey, Thomas Nelson (historical Regency romance)

June 2020

Lars Mytting, (trans. Deborah Dawkin), The Bell in the Lake, Overlook (epic novel set in 1897 Norway, of a young woman whose fate plays out against her village’s mystical church bells)

Karen Quevillon, The Parasol Flower, Regal House (working from 19th-c letters and paintings a PhD student reconstructs a year in the life of Hannah Inglis, an unknown artist who slipped from the history books)

July 2020

August 2020

Nancy Campbell Allen, Brass Carriages and Glass Hearts, Shadow Mountain (steampunk retelling of Cinderella – Victorian Proper Romance series)


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