New books by Historical Novel Society members, November 2021

Congrats to the following author members on their newly released books. If you’ve written a historical novel or nonfiction work published (or to be published) in July 2021 or after, please send the following details in via our contact form or tweet @readingthepast by Jan. 7, 2022: author, title, publisher, release date, and a blurb of one sentence or less. Details will appear in February’s magazine. Submissions may be edited for space.

Half the Terrible Things by Paul Legler (North Dakota State University Press, Nov. 15, 2020) is a true crime story about a young farm boy murdered in 1922 in the swamps of Florida and the search for his grave by the granddaughter of his girlfriend, eighty years later.

Wayward Voyage by Anna M. Holmes (The Book Guild, Apr.), set in the early 18th-century Americas, follows Anne Bonny’s path to piracy.

Rodger Carlyle’s Enemy Patriots: A Unique World War II Story of Love Courage, Loyalty and Brotherhood (Verity Books, May), is a novel about two friends, forever tied together by a terrible accident where each lost a brother, who are reunited at the opening of World War II, one spying for the Americans and the other for the Japanese.

In Joanna Grochowicz’s Shackleton’s Endurance – An Antarctic Survival Story (Allen & Unwin Australia, May 2), marooned on the Antarctic sea ice after the loss of his ship, Ernest Shackleton and 27 members of his 1914 Trans-Antarctic expedition face a journey of unimaginable proportions over ice and ocean, and the uncharted mountainous interior of South Georgia. The UK release was Sept. 3, and the US release was Oct. 2.

In The Governor’s Man by Jacquie Rogers (Sharpe Books, May 19), the first of a trilogy of Roman Britain mysteries, when Roman military investigator Quintus Valerius is sent back to Britannia on the trail of fraud at the Somerset mines, he uncovers more than just murder and a complex plot threatening the Empire – he lifts the lid on secrets from his own past.

With the California Gold Rush as a backdrop, Ned Purdom’s Virga (Chapman Saddle Publishing, Jun. 7) traverses the precariousness of a 19th-century transcontinental love story, with the illusory notion of success and how it measures us all.

The Abalone Ukulele: A Tale of Far Eastern Intrigue by R. L. Crossland (New Academia Publishing, Jun. 29) is a historical crime novel set in 1913 Shanghai, where four cultures are about to collide: China, Korea, Japan, and the US; and it develops the ultimate point of collision is three tons of Japanese gold ingots meant to undermine an already collapsing China.

“The social realism of Jane Austen meets the Southern Gothic of Flannery O’Connor” in Silk: Caroline’s Story by Sophia Alexander (Onalex Books, Jun. 30), an award-winning novel set in 1899 in the Lowcountry of South Carolina, where Caroline must choose between the town doctor and a good-natured farmer—all the while oblivious to a young sociopath who is not about to let this happen.

In Ancient Mesopotamia, 2300 BCE, Shauna RobertsThe Moon God’s Wife: A Novel of Enheduanna (Nicobar Press, Jul. 17), answers the question: Can Esh achieve her destiny despite being a political pawn in the world’s first empire?

The audacious young widow of a Union soldier joins forces with a former Confederate prisoner of war to form a detective agency in 1867 Chicago in Devil by the Tail by Jeanne Matthews (D. X. Varos, Jul. 20).

Set at the beginning of the 13th century, Paul Quinn’s The Venetian Crusader (Vanguard Press, Jul. 29) is a novel of manipulation, greed and revenge telling the incredible story behind the wealth and beauty of Venice.

Champagne Widows by Rebecca Rosenberg (Lion Heart, Aug. 17), was described as an “effervescent historical novel [that] paints a richly detailed portrait of the enterprising Veuve Clicquot” by Publishers Weekly’s BookLife Prize.

Far Other Worlds by Arlene MacLeod (Weymouth Press, Aug. 18), set in 12th-century Scotland, tells the story of young widow Ailsa as she encounters unexpected love and unlooked-for adventure in her quest to live free.

In Skye Alexander’s Never Try to Catch a Falling Knife (Level Best Books/Historia imprint, Aug. 25), first in her Lizzie Crane Mystery Series, Roaring Twenties jazz singer Lizzie Crane is about to get her big break in show biz, when she discovers her saxophonist stabbed to death––and police think she’s either the killer or the next victim.

Love and Retribution by Catherine McCullagh (Big Sky Publishing, Sep. 6) is set against a richly detailed backdrop of wartime England and tells the story of a young widow who rescues two mystery men only to become caught in an intricate web of intrigue, passion, and retribution.

Set in Renaissance-era Greece, Island of Gold by Amy Maroney (Artelan Press, Sep. 8), tells the story of a noble-born French falconer and a spirited merchant’s daughter who seek their fortunes on the island of Rhodes.

A Strand of Gold by Elisabeth Conway (Atmosphere Press, Sep. 30) explores the struggles of two Chinese women, whose search for a better life in an exotic and challenging environment leads them into desperate danger; the narrative explores attitudes to slavery, prostitution, and opium addiction against a backdrop of East India Company bureaucracy and Raffles’ idealism.

Inspired by a bizarre chapter in Toronto’s history that began in 1926, The Great Stork Derby by Ann S. Epstein (Vine Leaves Press, Oct.) examines the 50-year aftermath in a family who entered a contest to win cash for having the most babies, and asks whether an overbearing husband can learn the true meaning of fatherhood.

In The Mrs. Tabor by Kimberly Burns (Independently published, Oct 9), a blonde bombshell joins the 1880s Colorado silver rush to find her fortune the best way a woman can—a rich husband—but amid scandalous divorces and weddings, an economic crash, and a deathbed promise, she proves she is not just a gold digger and her love is tougher stuff.

Betty Bolté’s newest release is Fractured Crystals (Mystic Owl, Oct. 12), book 4 in the Fury Falls Inn series, historical fantasy set in 1821 northern Alabama in a haunted roadside inn, and which includes magic and witchcraft, too.

In Kinley Bryan’s debut novel Sisters of the Sweetwater Fury (Blue Mug Press, Oct. 12), three sisters navigate the hazards of seafaring family relationships—when the Great Lakes Storm of 1913 descends upon the region, threatening their dreams and even their lives.

Muskets & Minuets by Lindsey Fera (Zenith Publishing, Oct. 19) is a YA coming of age tale set in Massachusetts during the years leading up to the beginning of the Revolutionary War.

While the rich carouse in 1920s Cuba, a voodoo-haunted killer menaces Havana in Dance of the Millions, Paul Martin’s second Music & Murder Mystery (Level Best Books/Historia Imprint, Nov. 2).

The Austens of Broadford by Carole Penfield (Sycamore Lane Press, Dec.), set in the early Georgian era, is based on the life of Jane Austen’s incredible great-grandmother, whose scathing handwritten Memorandum, passed down and read by young Jane, describes the evils of primogeniture; a capricious father-in-law who reneges on verbal promises to support his son’s family which leads to loss of home and social rank, a theme reflected in Sense & Sensibility.

In Home So Far Away by Judith Berlowitz (She Writes Press, Spring 2022), Klara Philipsborn has just side-stepped the rise of Nazism in Berlin for a promising job in Madrid when a fascist military coup draws her into a war that calls her to volunteer her skills as a nurse and translator, a war in which decisions of the heart, and of her very identity, may cost her more than she signed up for.


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