New books by Historical Novel Society members, November 2020

The HNS congratulates our author members on their new releases! If you’ve written a historical novel or nonfiction work published (or to be published) in August 2020 or after, please send the following details in via our contact form or tweet @readingthepast by January 7, 2021: author, title, publisher, release date, and a blurb of one sentence or less. Details will appear in next February’s magazine. Submissions may be edited for space. This listing is limited to current paid HNS members.

Pelsaert’s Nightmare by Australian novelist Gregory Warwick Hansen (The Grayson Press, Mar. 30) dramatically recounts the life and colonial adventures of Francisco Pelsaert, merchant commander of the ill-fated Dutch East Indiaman ‘Batavia’ whose wrecking, in 1629, off the coast of what is now Western Australia triggered one of the most infamous mutinies in maritime history.

The Devil’s Crossing by Hana Cole (Sharpe Books, Apr.), set during the time of the 13th-century Children’s Crusade, follows troubled priest, Gui and his secret love, Agnes, as they battle slave traders and the Inquisition on a quest to free their enslaved son.

In Dave Tamanini’s Tituba The Intentional Witch of Salem (independently published, May 15), based on the first witch accused in colonial Salem, when enslaved Tituba’s only son dies while escaping bondage, she comes into her magical powers, and violating ancient rules, uses them for revenge and terror in Salem, 1692.

Answer Creek by Ashley E. Sweeney (She Writes Press, May 19) is a riveting re-telling of the Donner Party saga of resilience, folly, loss, and hope.

In Valerie Fletcher Adolph’s Miss Harriet’s Wedding (VFA Books, Jun. 1), a historical mystery set in 1947: shy Miss Harriet, most loved of the Avalon hotel’s elderly guests, is to be married in a quiet English church, but her brother will go to any length to prevent it, attempting abduction and hiring thugs who stretch the resourcefulness of her eccentric friends.

In Sarah Relyea’s Playground Zero (She Writes Press, Jun. 9), when the Rayson family leaves the East Coast for the gathering anarchy of 1960s Berkeley, twelve-year-old Alice embraces the moment in a hippie paradise that’s fast becoming a cultural ground zero.

Too Many Wolves in the Local Woods by Marina Osipova (independently published, Jul. 30), set in the Soviet Byelorussia occupied by the German Army, follows two young women, the Volga German, Ursula Kriegshammer, and a Russian, Natasha Ivanova, as they fight the enemy, but when their paths cross, one of them is killed and the other must carry on with the unshakable knowledge of her culpability.

Sandra Lynne Reed’s debut release The Drive in ’65 (Parenti Publishing, Jul. 31) is a memoir by the author, aged thirteen when her mom and sister packed up their five children and their grandma into a nine-passenger van and drove around North America; it follows five Alaskan-born kids who discovered their own country in the midst of the Civil Rights movement, the space race, and the escalating war in Vietnam.

A unique companion to Wulfsuna – Wolf Spear Saga 1, the six tales in Tales of the Wulfsuna by E. S. Moxon (SilverWood Books, Aug. 1), written in modern and Old English, capture vivid memories of characters of the Wolf Sons, emotively conveying sagas that shaped their lives in their own, humble words. The Old English translation is by Stephen Pollington.

Anne Robinson’s Spring of the White Bear (Thurston Howl Publications, Aug. 9) is a coming-of-age story about an Inuit boy in the mid-1850s, when the influence of the European whalers begins to devastate the lives of the Arctic inhabitants.

The Mortimer Affair: Joan de Joinville’s Story by Alice Mitchell (YouCaxton Publications, Aug. 24) is a novel of political intrigue set during the reign and abdication of Edward II, as seen through the eyes of the traitor Roger Mortimer’s wife.

Cyrus by Kei Kianpoor (Kryator Inc., Aug. 17) is a graphic novel about Cyrus the Great, father of the Persian Empire, which mixes historical fantastic accounts of Cyrus’s life with an imagined personal story line.

In Last of the Gifted: Spirit Sight by Marie Powell (Wood Dragon Books, Aug. 20), a warrior-in-training and his sister must stretch their magical abilities to stand between their people and the invading English army – even as their world shatters around them (Wales, 1282-3).

Marie Macpherson’s The Last Blast of the Trumpet (Penmore Press, Aug. 24), the final installment of the Knox trilogy, takes place as John Knox returns to Scotland to lead the Protestant Reformation; victory seems assured until charismatic young widow Mary Queen of Scots arrives to claim her throne and initiate a fierce battle of wills for the heart and minds of her people.

In Death in the Time of Pancho Villa: The Rose of Old El Paso Mystery Series, Book 1 by Sandra Marshall (Level Best Books/Historia Imprint, Aug. 25), set in 1911, Rose Westmoreland travels to El Paso to find her missing husband, just as the decisive battle of the Mexican Revolution is about to erupt right across the Rio Grande.

Into the Unbounded Night by Mitchell James Kaplan (Regal House, Sep. 1) follows the lives of five troubled individuals as they struggle for survival and purpose in the first-century Roman empire.

Based on actual characters and events from one of Lincoln’s most celebrated trials, The Lincoln Moon by Michael Price Nelson (Six Swans Press, Sep. 2) is about murder, family, friendship, and acts of conscience in troubling times.

In The Heart of a Hussar by Griffin Brady (Trefoil, Sept. 12), Poland is at war; he must choose between his lifelong ambition and his heart.

In Priscilla Royal’s Elegy to Murder (independent via Amazon Direct Publishing, Sep. 15), the sixteenth adventure of the English 13th-century sleuths, Prioress Eleanor and Brother Thomas, the prioress must set aside the comforting of suffering friends to excede her authority and hunt a murderer until Crowner Ralf can return.

A Bachelor’s Pledge by Penny Hampson (PP&M Publishing, Sep. 23) is an action-filled romance tale set in Falmouth, Cornwall in 1810, when traitors, spies, and shameful family secrets cause problems for government agent Phil Cullen and lady’s companion Sophia Turner when they tangle with a ruthless French spy.

In Amber Road: A Novel of Love and Betrayal on the Roman Frontier, Sherry Christie’s second novel set in Caligula’s reign, disgraced ex-tribune Marcus Carinna plunges into the dark forests of the Amber Road to recover his lost love and his own honor – with Caligula’s ruthless agents on his trail (Bexley House Books, Sep. 30).

In 1580s England, Blanche Wainfleet arranges to be imprisoned in Colchester Gaol in order to discover who killed her sister in The Finder of Lost Things by Kathy Lynn Emerson (Level Best Books/Historia Imprint, Oct. 6).

Summer Warrior by Regan Walker (Regan Walker Books, Oct. 7) is the unforgettable saga of Somerled, the Norse-Gael who forged the Kingdom of the Isles and won the heart of a Norse king’s daughter.

Birmingham, 1840: in Heart of Cruelty by Maybelle Wallis (Poolbeg Press, Oct. 21), Jane Verity is rescued from workhouse abuse on an impulse by Coroner William Doughty, but his growing passion for her as she serves as his housemaid leads him to an unbearable truth.

To Live and Die in Deep Deuce: A Lou Nyland Novel, Book 1 by Scott Hartshorn (Level Best Books/Historia Imprint, Nov. 10), set in the Deep Deuce neighborhood of Dust Bowl Oklahoma City, is a blend of mystery, historical fiction, and family saga.

In the third of E. M. Powell’s Stanton & Barling medieval murder mysteries, The Canterbury Murders (Crosshaven Press, Nov. 12), this time the pair are on pilgrimage to Canterbury where they are charged with investigating the vicious murder of one of the cathedral’s stonemasons.

In The Mirrored Palace (Adelaide, Dec.) by David Rich, Richard Francis Burton’s Hajj is reimagined as a spy mission that twists into a tale from the Arabian Nights.

Set in the Pennsylvania backcountry, the second Gideon Stoltz mystery, Nighthawk’s Wing (Skyhorse, Feb. 2, 2021), by Charles Fergus, glides along the edge between the gritty reality of the early 1800s – and a parallel world of spirits and haunted souls.


In This Section

About our Articles

Our features are original articles from our print magazines (these will say where they were originally published) or original articles commissiones for this site. If you would like to contribute an article for the magazine and/or site, please contact us. While our articles are usually written by members, this is not obligatory. No features are paid for.