Forthcoming historical novels for 2018

Part of the Forthcoming Historical Novels guide

The Historical Novel Society lists mainstream and small press titles set in the 1960s and earlier.  Details are compiled by Sarah Johnson (US) and Sarah Cuthbertson (UK), 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 2018

Jennifer Ashley, Death Below Stairs, Berkley (a young cook in a Victorian household turns detective after her assistant is murdered)

Alessandro Barbero, The Athenian Women, Europa (family drama set in Athens of 411 BC, about two elderly war veterans and their daughters)

Marie Benedict, Carnegie’s Maid, Sourcebooks (in the 1860s, an Irish immigrant maid inspires Andrew Carnegie toward philanthropy)

Melanie Benjamin, The Girls in the Picture, Delacorte (the friendship and artistic partnership between actress Mary Pickford and screenwriter Frances Marion)

Mary Lynn Bracht, White Chrysanthemum, Putnam (a novel of 20th-century Korea, told through the stories of two sisters)

Alan Bradley, The Grave’s a Fine and Private Place, Delacorte/Doubleday Canada (young sleuth Flavia de Luce investigates another crime)

Chico Buarque, My German Brother, FSG (in 1960s Sao Paulo, a man searches for his possibly imaginary German half-brother; humorous literary fiction)

Karen Charlton, Plague Pits and River Bones, Thomas & Mercer (the latest Detective Lavender mystery set in Regency England)

Bernard Cornwell, Fools and Mortals, Harper (novel about Richard Shakespeare, William’s estranged younger brother, an actor in Elizabethan England)

Jessica Fellowes, The Mitford Murders, Minotaur (1920s-era historical mystery set amid the Mitford household, and based on a real-life unsolved murder)

Robert Harris, Munich, Knopf (spy thriller taking place during the Munich Conference of September 1938)

Clarissa Harwood, Impossible Saints, Pegasus (in 1907 London, a woman advocating for the suffrage movement and an Anglican priest develop a mutual attraction)

Jennifer Laam, The Lost Season of Love and Snow, St. Martin’s Griffin (biographical novel about Alexander Pushkin’s wife, Natalia)

Soraya M. Lane, Hearts of Resistance, Lake Union

Lawrence H. Levy, Last Stop in Brooklyn, Broadway (PI Mary Handley solves crimes on Coney Island in 1894; 3rd in series)

Sujata Massey, The Widows of Malabar Hill, Soho (mystery set in 1920s Bombay featuring a female attorney protecting women’s rights as sleuth)

Paolo Maurensig, Theory of Shadows, FSG (the mysterious death of world chess champion Alexander Alekhine in 1946)

Simon Sebag Montefiore, Red Sky at Noon, Pegasus (suspense set during an epic cavalry ride outside Stalingrad during WWII)

Ian Mortimer, The Outcasts of Time, Pegasus (time-travel adventure in which two men move progressively forward in time, each instance 99 years after the last, in search of salvation following the Black Death)

Deanna Raybourn, A Treacherous Curse, Berkley (historical mystery; in 1888 London, Veronica Speedwell investigates a missing explorer and a cursed relic from an ancient tomb)

Rachel Rhys, Dangerous Crossing, Atria (historical suspense as a woman boards an ocean liner bound for Australia in 1939)

Nathaniel Rich, King Zeno, FSG (historical crime novel set in 1918 New Orleans)

Rebecca Rosenberg, The Secret Life of Mrs. London, Lake Union (the complicated marriage of Charmian and Jack London in 1915 San Francisco)

Lucinda Riley, The Pearl Sister, Atria (multi-period novel following the quests of two women, moving from modern Thailand to colonial Australia)

Aimie K. Runyan, Daughters of the Night Sky, Lake Union (in Russia in 1941, a young woman joins a female-only Soviet air unit, a team of military aviators called the “night witches”)

Jody Shields, The Winter Station, Little, Brown (a Russian doctor in 1910 Manchuria tries to save his city from plague)

Gregory Blake Smith, The Maze at Windermere, Viking (love, ambition, and deception over three centuries in Newport, Rhode Island)

Lauren Willig, The English Wife, St. Martin’s (intrigue, family secrets, and murder, set in Gilded Age NYC)

February 2018

Sara Ackerman, Island of Sweet Pies and Soldiers, MIRA (debut novel, historical women’s fiction set on Hawaii during WWII)

Janet Beard, The Atomic City Girls, William Morrow (about the women who worked on the Manhattan Project during WWII)

Ned Beauman, Madness Is Better than Defeat, Knopf (literary thriller set in Hollywood and New York in the 1930s, about a  newly discovered temple in Honduras)

Frances Brody, A Death in the Stars, Minotaur (a theatre star is murdered in 1927 Yorkshire; latest Kate Shackleton historical mystery)

Peter Carey, A Long Way from Home, Knopf (about three people who take part in the Redex Trial car race that circumnavigates Australia in 1954)

Chanel Cleeton, Next Year in Havana, Berkley (multi-period story set in Miami and Cuba, about a Cuban American woman who discovers family secrets dating back from the Cuban Revolution)

Elizabeth Crook, The Which Way Tree, Little, Brown (a story of revenge set in Texas Hill Country in the 1860s; a young girl determines to kill the panther that killed her mother)

Jasmin Darznik, Song of a Captive Bird, Ballantine (novel based on the life of Forugh Farrokzhad, rebel poet in 1940s Iran)

Charles Finch, The Woman in the Water, Minotaur (historical mystery set in 1850 London and featuring Charles Lenox’s first case)

Minrose Gwin, Promise, William Morrow (two different women, one black and one white, try to survive a tornado’s aftermath in Depression-era Mississippi)

Joanna Hickson, The Tudor Crown, HarperCollins (the rise of Henry VII, the first Tudor king)

Lucy Hughes-Hallett, Peculiar Ground, Harper (English country house novel spanning three centuries, from the 17th c to the 20th c, exploring themes of immigration and exclusion)

Gary Inbinder, The Man Upon the Stair, Pegasus (in 1890 Paris, detective Achille Lefebvre takes on a baffling missing-persons case)

Meghan Kenny, The Driest Season, Norton (literary family saga set in Wisconsin farm country during WWII)

Laura Madeleine, Where the Wild Cherries Grow, St. Martin’s (in 1919, a young woman seeks to start anew in the south of France)

David Mamet, Chicago: A Novel of Prohibition, Custom House (kaleidoscopic thriller set in 1920s Chicago)

Susan Meissner, As Bright as Heaven, Berkley (family saga set in Philadelphia during the Spanish flu epidemic of 1918)

Tom Miller, The Philosopher’s Flight, Simon & Schuster (historical fantasy set in WWI-era America)

Cheryl Reid, As Good as True, Lake Union (in segregated Alabama in 1956, a recent widow, the daughter of Syrian immigrants, finds her life turned upside down)

Steven Saylor, The Throne of Caesar, Minotaur (Gordianus the Finder mystery set around the Ides of March in 44 BC Rome)

Mitch Silver, The Bookworm, Pegasus (multi-period thriller surrounding art, an old bible, and a secret WWII operation)

F.R. Tallis, Mephisto Waltz, Pegasus (newest Max Liebermann mystery set in 1907 Vienna)

Charles Todd, The Gatekeeper, William Morrow (latest Ian Rutledge mystery set in 1920s England)

Carrie Turansky, Across the Blue, Multnomah (Edwardian inspirational romance about an aviation pioneer and the woman he loves, a would-be journalist)

March 2018

Tessa Arlen, Death of an Unsung Hero, Minotaur (historical mystery set in the English countryside in 1916 as a WWI officer with amnesia is murdered; latest in the Countess of Montfort and Mrs. Jackson series)

Amy Bloom, White Houses, Random House (novel inspired by the life of journalist Lorena Hickok and her love affair and friendship with Eleanor Roosevelt)

Taylor Brown, Gods of Howl Mountain, St. Martin’s (family secrets, whiskey-running, and vengeance in the mountains of 1950s North Carolina)

James Carroll, The Cloister, Nan A. Talese/Doubleday (multi-period novel focusing on the relationship of Abelard and Heloise, and its impact on a modern scholar and a priest)

Kirstin Chen, Bury What We Cannot Take, Little A (a family saga of danger and loyalty set in Maoist China)

Elizabeth J. Church, All the Beautiful Girls, Ballantine (the story of a young aspiring dancer in 1960s Las Vegas)

Marisa de los Santos, I’ll Be Your Blue Sky, William Morrow (a mysterious bequest leads to a decades-old mystery; set in coastal Delaware in the ‘50s and today)

Emmanuelle de Villepin, The Devil’s Reward, Other (three generations of women untangle a complex family story that encompasses the First and Second World Wars)

Eoin Dempsey, White Rose, Black Forest, Lake Union

Kristin Harmel, The Room on Rue Amelie, Gallery (three lives intersect in occupied Paris)

Alan Hollinghurst, The Sparsholt Affair, Knopf (seven generations in a remarkable family, spanning the 1940s to the present)

Jane Johnson, Court of Lions, Pegasus (multi-period novel about a secret message dating from the fall of Granada in 1492)

Tadzio Koelb, Trenton Makes, Doubleday (following WWII, a woman kills her army veteran husband and assumes his identity)

Ariel Lawhon, I Was Anastasia, Doubleday (historical suspense, centering on Anna Anderson’s quest to be recognized as Grand Duchess Anastasia)

A.G. Lombardo, Graffiti Palace, FSG (a retelling of The Odyssey, but set during the 1965 Watts Riots in LA)

Christina Lynch, The Italian Party, St. Martin’s (two Americans’ lives in 1950s Siena, Italy)

Christine Mangan, Tangerine, Ecco (1950s thriller about the intersecting lives of two women)

Mary Morris, Gateway to the Moon, Nan A. Talese/Doubleday (a New Mexican town comes to terms with its Sephardic Jewish history; multi-period)

Andrea Penrose, Murder at Half-Moon Gate, Kensington (Wrexford & Sloane murder mystery set in Regency London)

Bill Pronzini, The Bag of Tricks Affair, Forge (historical mystery set in 1890s San Francisco; detective Sabina Carpenter is the only witness to a murder)

Sara Sheridan, England Expects, Kensington (former SS operative Mirabelle Bevan investigates a sportswriter’s murder in 1953 Brighton, England)

Linda Spalding, A Reckoning, Pantheon (as the Civil War approaches, a Virginia family comes to terms with their Civil War past)

Kelli Stanley, City of Sharks, Minotaur (PI Miranda Corbie mystery set in 1940s San Francisco)

Ines Thorn, The Beachcomber, AmazonCrossing (on a German island in the 18th century, a woman defends her family from charges of witchcraft)

Fiona Valpy, Sea of Memories, Lake Union (a young Scotswoman’s life changes after WWII erupts; moves from an island off the French coast to Scotland in wartime)

Kim Van Alkemade, Bachelor Girl, Touchstone (based on a true story from NY’s Jazz Age, in which millionaire Jacob Ruppert leaves the bulk of his fortune, including Yankee Stadium, to a young actress)

Andrew Wilson, A Different Kind of Evil, Atria (Agatha Christie investigates a British agent’s murder in the Canary Islands)

Jacqueline Winspear, To Die But Once, Harper (14th Maisie Dobbs mystery, set on the WWII home front)

Barbara Wood, The Far River, Turner (historical novel taking place in a winery in southern California)


April 2018

Marcos Aguinis, Against the Inquisition, AmazonCrossing

Laura Andersen, The Darkling Bride, Ballantine (multi-generational gothic  novel set in the Irish countryside in the 1880s and contemporary times)

Elizabeth Blackwell, On a Cold Dark Sea, Lake Union (three women Titanic survivors come to terms with the fateful choices they made)

Mia Couto, Woman of the Ashes, FSG (first in a trilogy about the last emperor of southern Mozambique; set in 1894)

Carys Davies, West, Scribner (a father and daughter trace separate paths on the American frontier in the early 19th century)

David Downing, The Dark Clouds Shining, Soho (WWI spy novel set in Soviet Russia)

Stephanie Dray and Laura Kamoie, My Dear Hamilton, William Morrow (novel of Eliza Schuyler Hamilton, founding mother and revolutionary woman)

Julia Drosten, The Elephant Keeper’s Daughter, AmazonCrossing (saga set in 19th-century Morocco)

Eldonna Edwards, This I Know, Kensington (coming of age novel about a young woman with psychic talents in the 1960s Midwest)

Charles Frazier, Varina, Ecco (novel of Varina Howell Davis, First Lady of the Confederacy)

Mariah Fredericks, A Death of No Importance, Minotaur (a ladies’ maid in an upper-crust NYC household in 1910 turns detective)

William Gear, This Scorched Earth, Forge (an Arkansas family’s traumatic journey during the US Civil War)

Peter Golden, The Candy Store, Atria (in the 1950s, a young man from New Jersey searches for his heritage in Russia and southern France)

Ellen Keith, The Dutch Wife, Patrick Crean Editions (WWII-era novel about a Dutch woman, a German SS officer and, three decades later, a military captive during Argentina’s Dirty War)

Kelly O’Connor McNees, Undiscovered Country, Pegasus (novel about the intimate relationship between Eleanor Roosevelt and Lorena Hickok)

Abir Mukherjee, A Necessary Evil, Pegasus Crime (in 1920 India, a Maharajah’s son is assassinated; 2nd in series featuring Sergeant Banerjee)

Elaine Neil Orr, Swimming Between Worlds, Berkley (three young people’s lives intersect during America’s civil rights movement)

Anne Perry, Twenty-One Days: A Daniel Pitt Novel, Ballantine (Daniel Pitt, a reluctant lawyer, turns detective in this first volume of a series set in 1910 England)

Penny Richards, Murder Will Speak, Kensington (part of the Lilly Long series; Lilly, an actress in 1880s Chicago, goes undercover to solve a friend’s murder)

Adrienne Sharp, The Magnificent Esme Wells, Harper (coming-of-age novel about a young woman growing up in Golden Age Hollywood and Vegas)

Mary Sharratt, Ecstasy, HMH (novel of Alma Mahler, composer and muse in late 19th- and early 20th-century Vienna)

Amanda Skenandore, Between Earth and Sky, Kensington (story of love, loss, and heritage set at the intersection of white and Native American culture in 19th- and 20th-century Pennsylvania)

Alicia Smith, Speakeasy, St. Martin’s (historical thriller about a WWII code-breaker with a secret)

Daniela Tully, Hotel on Shadow Lake, St. Martin’s (a woman investigates her grandmother’s disappearance, uncovering secrets; multi-period novel, moving from the present day to 1930s Germany and early 20th-c NYC)

Jon Michael Varese, The Spirit Photographer, Overlook (1870 Boston: did a charlatan claiming to be a “spirit photographer” capture a real ghost on film?)

May 2018

Barbara Cleverly, Fall of Angels, Soho (Detective Inspector John Redfyre mystery set in 1923 Cambridge; first in series)

Liz Freeland, Murder in Greenwich Village, Kensington (a young woman turns sleuth in pre-WWI Manhattan)

Malcolm Hansen, They Come in All Colors, Atria (story of a biracial boy in NYC and the Deep South in the 1960s and ‘70s)

Gregory Harris, The Framingham Fiend, Kensington (Colin Pendragon mystery set in Victorian London, in which Colin must solve a Ripper-esque murder)

Tessa Harris, The Angel Makers, Kensington (flower seller Constance Piper solves another mystery in Victorian-era London)

Edward Rutherfurd, China: The Novel, Doubleday (sweeping novel of Chinese history from 1839 forward)

Larry D. Sweazy, See Also Proof, Seventh Street (in 1965 North Dakota, indexer Marjorie Trumaine searches for a missing 14-year-old girl)

Rupert Thomson, Never Anyone But You, Other (the clandestine love affair between two women in 1930s Paris and Jersey)

Alison Weir, Jane Seymour: The Haunted Queen, Ballantine (novel of Henry VIII’s third wife and queen)


June 2018

Elise Valmorbida, The Madonna of the Mountains, Spiegel & Grau (saga about a woman from the Italian countryside, spanning the 1920s through the 1950s)

James W. Ziskin, A Stone’s Throw, Seventh Street (Ellie Stone, a young newspaper reporter in 1960s’ upstate New York, investigates a double murder at an abandoned stud farm)


July 2018

Andrea Camilleri, The Sacco Gang, Europa (a “wild west tale” set in 1920s Italy)

Susan Spann, Trial on Mount Koya, Seventh Street (in 1565 Japan, Master ninja Hiro Hattori and Jesuit Father Mateo investigate a mystery in a Buddhist temple atop the sacred Mount Koya)