New books by Historical Novel Society members, August 2022

Below is a listing of our author members’ newest publications – congratulations to all! If you’ve written a historical novel or nonfiction work published (or to be published) in May or after, please send the following details to Sarah Johnson via our contact form or @readingthepast by October 7: author, title, publisher, release date, and a blurb of one sentence or less. Space is limited, so concise blurbs are appreciated. Details will appear in November’s magazine. Submissions may be edited.

Gifford MacShane has published Book 3 of the Donovan Family Saga, Rainbow Man (independently published, Oct. 18, 2021), a multicultural novel set in the 1880s Arizona Territory that explores the relationship between a reckless young woman and the childhood friend who would do almost anything to protect her honor.

The Lessons We Learn: A Homefront Mystery by Liz Milliron (Level Best/Historia, Feb. 28), set in March 1943, sees Betty Ahern investigating the death of her best friend’s father; she must find the killer before her friend is wrongly convicted.

Mary F. BurnsThe Eleventh Commandment (Word By Word, Mar.) finds amateur sleuths John Singer Sargent and Violet Paget entangled in an international archaeological mystery in Paris, which leads them to Rotterdam and London as they investigate the death of Moses Shapira, a Jerusalem antiquities dealer who claimed he found a 3000-year-old, early version of the Ten Commandments.

From USA Today bestselling author Eliza Knight comes The Mayfair Bookshop (William Morrow, Apr. 12): a brilliant dual-narrative story about Nancy Mitford—one of 1930s London’s hottest socialites, authors, and a member of the scandalous Mitford Sisters—and a modern American book curator desperate for change, connected through time by a little London bookshop.

The lives of two women living in Hong Kong more than a century apart are unexpectedly linked by forbidden love and financial scandal in The Admiral’s Wife by M. K. Tod (Heath Street Publishing, Apr. 12).

In L.G. Roy‘s novel Babylon Hill (UTM Editions Canada, Apr.), crimes committed by a Niagara street gang during the Fenian invasion of Canada in 1866 set the members against each other and play out to unexpected results in Buffalo’s heinous Canal Street district and the turbulent Pennsylvania oil fields.

Set in the unpredictable world of the colonized Caribbean at the dawn of the Golden Age of Piracy, Katie Crabb’s Sailing by Orion’s Star (Independently published, Apr. 26) details the intertwining lives of two pirates, a desperate sailor, and a wealthy family, all of whom must decide where they stand as rebellion sweeps across the sea.

In Song for the Widowmaker by Gail Fraser (Friesen Press, May), after spending years apart, a working-class couple from Dundee, Scotland immigrates to Homestake Mine near Deadwood, South Dakota, and face the dangers of mining in the early 20th century.

No Job for a Woman by Dorinda Balchin (Independently published, May 1) is the first in a series of five novels, The Wars of Jenny McLeod, about a female war correspondent, beginning in Berlin on Kristallnacht and following the fortunes of Jenny McLeod and her family through to the Korean War.

Marilyn Pemberton’s A Teller of Tales (Williams & Whiting, May 25) is set in 1820s Wednesbury, England, where Lizzie’s frustration at the daily obstacles that women face is revealed in the tales she tells her damaged brother, with disastrous results.

HNR reviewer Penny Ingham’s latest novel Twelve Nights (Nerthus, Jun. 1) is set in London in 1592: when a player is murdered on stage, suspicion falls on the wardrobe mistress, Magdalen Bisset, because everyone knows poison is a woman’s weapon; Magdalen is innocent, although few are willing to help her prove it, and as time runs out, she must risk everything in her search for the true killer.

On the 26th November 1095 in Clermont, France, Pope Urban II made one of the most important speeches in history, preaching the First Crusade and unleashing madness; in the midst of the frenzy, innkeeper Albert is found dead, and Mayor Arnaud, desperate, asks his friend, the minstrel Bertrand, to look into it, in Deus Le Volt by Berwick Coates (Paragon Publishing, May 6).

Ella fights for Hungarian women’s rights in 1905 Budapest in Wendy Teller’s Hungarian Elegy, book two in her Hungarian Trilogy (Weyand Associates, May 17).

In Peter Clenott’s The Unwanted (Level Best/Historia, Jun. 28), set in WWII-era Europe, revenge will bring four people together in ways unimagined.

A Gallery of Beauties by Nina Wachsman (Level Best/Historia, Jun. 28) takes place in 17th century Venice: a commission to paint the portraits of the twelve most beautiful women in Venice stirs dangerous passions and leads to murder.

Advocate and friend of King James, William Broune, finds himself drawn into the horror of the North Berwick witch trials and to Ailsa, a local healer, who seeks justice for the accused witches and tries to convince William to follow his conscience and do the right thing, in The King’s Inquisitor by Tonya Brown (Late November Literary, Jul. 1).

The Eisenhower Chronicles by M. B. Zucker (Historium Press, Jul. 26) dramatizes Ike’s life, portraying his epic journey from unknown soldier to global hero as only a novel could.

In The Sender of the Dreams by Bill Page (Matador, Jul. 28), it is dark November in the Roman Britain of AD 370 and Canio is under threat of execution for sorcery—so why does he suddenly begin hearing in his dreams the stories of the rebel emperors Carausius and Allectus that he had first heard as a child from a very old man some 25 years before?

Jules Larimore’s debut The Muse Of Freedom: a Cévenoles Sagas novel, (Mystic Lore Books, Aug.), set in the mysterious Cévennes mountains of Languedoc, France, 1695, is based on the true story of Jean Pierre Bondurant—a young noble apothecary who unravels his Huguenot family’s legacy of dangerous secrets, aided by a mystic holy woman healer.

Daniel Godfrey’s The Calculations of Rational Men (Independently published, Aug. 15), opens in December 1962; five hundred men of HMP Queen’s Bench are woken with the news of a thermonuclear nightmare—the Soviet Union has launched!

In One Person’s Loss by Ann S. Epstein (Vine Leaves Press, Sep. 20), Jewish newlyweds flee Nazi Germany for Brooklyn, admonished by their parents to have children to “save our people,” but as they clash over when, or even whether, to start a family, they agonize over the fate of the families they left behind in Berlin.

Based on true events, the second title in Alana White’s mystery series set in Renaissance Florence, Italy, The Hearts of All on Fire (Atmosphere Press, Sep. 27), follows real-life lawyer Guid’Antonio Vespucci as he investigates two murders, unaware that at the same time powerful enemies are conspiring to destroy Florence—and him.

In The Key Holders by Rose R. Yarom (Troubador, Sep. 28), torn from their everyday lives, Princess Crete and her infant twin children, Asterion and Asteria, are forced to flee the murderous wrath of her half-brother, Minos; they found the realm of Thulium, and after centuries of peaceful existence, two factions arise to contest the rulership, whose descendants confront each other through the ages in a power struggle.

Paul Duffy’s Run with the Hare, Hunt with the Hound (Cynren Press, Oct. 1) takes place in twelfth-century Ireland: as invaders swarm from across the sea, Alberic, the son of an English slave, must navigate safely through revenge, lust and betrayal to find his place amidst the birth of a kingdom in a land of war.

In pre-WWII Germany, beauty and congeniality are meant to distract Olympic tourists from secret preparations for war, and one courageous young English tourist must risk everything to expose the truth behind the façade in That Summer in Berlin by Lecia Cornwall (Berkley, Oct. 11).

In Orpen at War by Patricia O’Reilly (The Liffey Press, Oct.), William Orpen has a Boys’ Own attitude when he arrives at the Somme as official British war artist but, surrounded by the horrors of war, he soon changes his mind.

In Margaret Porter’s The Myrtle Wand (Gallica Press, Oct. 11), Princess Bathilde, the abandoned fiancée of the tragic ballet Giselle, confronts loss, love, and destiny within Louis XIV’s scandalous court in this expansion and fact-based re-imagining of the dance world’s familiar and frequently performed tale.

Set in 1930s Kentucky, in Bonnie Blalock’s Light to the Hills (Lake Union, Dec. 1), a mule-riding librarian’s past catches up with her when she forges a bond with a family along her delivery route.

In Stephen Preston BanksCashdown’s Folly (Five Star, Dec. 21), a family saga of the 1870s frontier, pioneer Hamish “Cashdown” Musgrave and his suffragist wife Libbie settle their sprawling family on Washington Territory’s Palouse Prairie, where they must contend with lawlessness, warring tribes, a mysteriously missing brother, and Cashdown’s obsession to control an isolated mountain sacred to the local Palus Indians.

A Noble Cunning: The Countess and the Tower by Patricia Bernstein (History Through Fiction, Mar. 7, 2023) is based on the true story of a persecuted Catholic noblewoman who rescued her husband from the Tower of London the night before his scheduled execution by executing an elaborate plot with the help of her devoted women friends.


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