the plague charmer tudor queens series desmond elliott 2017 Maxim Jakubowskis Selection killer on the wall
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Historical Fiction Historical Fiction Books

Rich and immersive, transporting and informative, good historical fiction is a sumptuous treat. Sign up for our free emails and stay up-to-date with past.

Books of the Month

A Talent for Murder by Andrew Wilson
A Talent for Murder
Andrew Wilson
May 2017 Book of the Month. A fascinating foray into the past, and the intriguing missing period of time so well documented, yet little known about in Agatha Christie’s life. I’ve visited...
Format: Hardback - Released: 18/05/2017
The Last Painting of Sara de Vos by Dominic Smith
The Last Painting of Sara de Vos
Dominic Smith
May 2017 Book of the Month. A rather beautiful and entirely captivating tale, set in several time periods, framing passion, deception, love and loss. In the 1600’s artist Sara channels her despair...
Format: Paperback - Released: 04/05/2017
Peculiar Ground by Lucy Hughes-Hallett
Peculiar Ground
Lucy Hughes-Hallett
May 2017 Book of the Month. A huge book both in scope and length, it begins with the journals of a landscape gardener building a great park in 1663 then moves to...
Format: Hardback - Released: 18/05/2017
Six Tudor Queens: Anne Boleyn by Alison Weir
Six Tudor Queens: Anne Boleyn
Alison Weir
May 2017 Book of the Month. We know we are in good hands when an eminent historian renowned for her non-fiction work turns her hand to fiction. Lovers of historical novels will...
Format: Hardback - Released: 18/05/2017

Other Featured Books this Month

Under a Sardinian Sky by Sara Alexander
Under a Sardinian Sky
Sara Alexander
May 2017 Debut of the Month. An expressive and heartfelt relationship tale set in a gloriously evocative 1950’s Sardinia. Carmela is engaged to the son of the town’s wealthiest family, however finds herself questioning his overbearing...
Format: Paperback - Released: 20/04/2017
The Clocks in This House All Tell Different Times by Xan Brooks
The Clocks in This House All Tell Different Times
Xan Brooks
May 2017 Debut of the Month. This magnetic debut evokes the social and emotional landscapes of interwar England with an abundance of originality. With the country battered and drained by the Great War, orphan Lucy Marsh...
Format: Paperback - Released: 15/04/2017
An Unlikely Agent by Jane Menczer
An Unlikely Agent
Jane Menczer
May 2017 Debut of the Month. An enthralling Edwardian espionage thriller featuring an endearing, independent female lead and lashings of intrigue.London, 1905, and Margaret Trant is living a humdrum live until she sees an...
Format: Paperback - Released: 11/05/2017
Mischling by Affinity Konar
Mischling
Affinity Konar
Maxim Jakubowski May 2017 Highly Recommended. Not a thriller by any means, unless the quest by a twin sister to discover what happened to her other half in the horror of the...
Format: Hardback - Released: 02/02/2017
Heretics by Leonardo Padura
Heretics
Leonardo Padura
A Maxim Jakubowski selected title. An epic, ambitious novel by the prominent Cuban thriller writer Leonardo Padura which brings back his eponymous hero Mario Conde but also delivers so much more to the table. Beginning with...
Format: Paperback - Released: 06/04/2017
The Light We Lost by Jill Santopolo
The Light We Lost
Jill Santopolo
May 2017 Debut of the Month. My goodness me did these two have a passion, a chemistry that burned so bright it was painful to behold. They, Lucy and Gabe, met on...
Format: Hardback - Released: 18/05/2017
The Shadow Queen by Anne O'Brien
The Shadow Queen
Anne O'Brien
A truly gripping and compelling novel exploring the fascinating life of Joan of Kent, as she grew from a wilful child to a shrewd and capable woman, through to the time her son became Richard II. Joan tells her own...
Format: Hardback - Released: 04/05/2017
Hunting the Hangman by Howard Linskey
Hunting the Hangman
Howard Linskey
A truly fascinating and totally engrossing read about the assassination plot against one of the most feared and hideous Nazi leaders of the Second World War. This may be classed as a work of fiction, yet this is seeped, in...
Format: Paperback - Released: 25/05/2017
Dead to Me by Lesley Pearse
Dead to Me
Lesley Pearse
Another dramatic and engagingly expressive historical novel by Lesley Pearse. Set before and during the Second World War, we follow Ruby and Verity during the ups and downs of their young lives. Ruby has a less than auspicious beginning, while...
Format: Paperback - Released: 04/05/2017
Nine Folds Make a Paper Swan by Ruth Gilligan
Nine Folds Make a Paper Swan
Ruth Gilligan
As is the case with so many good Irish literary novels, this is poignant, breathtaking and very sad. Following three stories told in three different voices that do eventually come together, it covers the years 1901 to 1941 through the...
Format: Paperback - Released: 06/04/2017
The Cardinal's Court A Hugh Mac Egan Mystery by Cora Harrison
The Cardinal's Court A Hugh Mac Egan Mystery
Cora Harrison
An entirely captivating and readable historical mystery. Hugh Mac Egan finds himself in the middle of deviously twisted plot, attempting to solve the riddle of who killed one of Cardinal Wolsey’s men. Hugh is positive the murderer isn’t his patron's...
Format: Hardback - Released: 24/04/2017
The Essex Serpent by Sarah Perry
The Essex Serpent
Sarah Perry
A gorgeously eloquent and powerfully expressive novel, ‘The Essex Serpent’ explores an unusual relationship in the 1890’s. This isn't exactly a love story, it is rather, a tale about love, in all its different forms. While Cora and Will form...
Format: Paperback - Released: 04/05/2017
Island of Secrets by Patricia Wilson
Island of Secrets
Patricia Wilson
May 2017 Debut of the Month. Right from the start we realise this is a Montague/Capulet situation; a feud between families, in this case from Crete, that spills blood only here our...
Format: Paperback - Released: 18/05/2017
Golden Hill by Francis Spufford
Golden Hill
Francis Spufford
Winner of the RSL Ondaatje Prize 2017. Shortlisted for the Desmond Elliott Prize 2017. Inventively entertaining, niftily plotted first novel...
Format: Paperback - Released: 29/09/2016
The Wonder by Emma Donoghue
The Wonder
Emma Donoghue
Set in the Irish Midlands in the 1850s, Emma Donoghue's The Wonder - inspired by numerous European and North American cases of 'fasting girls' between the sixteenth century and the twentieth - is a psychological thriller about a child's murder...
Format: Paperback - Released: 18/05/2017
Pharaoh by Wilbur Smith
Pharaoh
Wilbur Smith
From the glittering temples of Luxor to the Citadel of Sparta, Pharaoh is an intense and powerful novel magnificently transporting you to a time of threat, blood and glory. Master storyteller, Wilbur Smith, is at the very peak of his...
Format: Paperback - Released: 18/05/2017
The Last Night by Cesca Major
The Last Night
Cesca Major
Two women, separated by years, tied by secrets untold and haunted by tragedies that could not be foreseen. In a peaceful coastal village, Irina spends her days quietly restoring furniture, hiding from a long-held family secret. When an antique bureau...
Format: Paperback - Released: 04/05/2017
Before the Rains by Dinah Jefferies
Before the Rains
Dinah Jefferies
A gorgeously expressive and captivating novel, set in 1930’s India at the height of the struggle for independence against British rule. 28 year old photographer Eliza agrees to document the royal family and subjects of one of the princely states....
Format: Paperback - Released: 18/05/2017
The Flame Bearer by Bernard Cornwell
The Flame Bearer
Bernard Cornwell
The brand new novel in Bernard Cornwell's number one bestselling series on the making of England and the fate of his great hero, Uhtred of Bebbanburg. Britain's precarious peace threatens to turn into a war of annihilation. But Uhtred is...
Format: Paperback - Released: 20/04/2017

Last Month's Featured Books

The Dark Circle by Linda Grant

The Dark Circle
Linda Grant
Shortlisted for the Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction 2017. The new novel by the acclaimed author of Upstairs at the Party and the Booker-shortlisted The Clothes on Their Backs. The...

When the Sky Fell Apart by Caroline Lea

Reader Reviewed When the Sky Fell Apart
Caroline Lea
Prepare for your heart to break… this is a powerful, evocative tale of life during the Nazi occupation of Jersey in the 1940’s. The first page made me flinch, yet...

The Gustav Sonata by Rose Tremain

The Gustav Sonata
Rose Tremain
Shortlisted for the Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction 2017. Shortlisted for the Costa Novel Award 2016. Profoundly moving tale of love and devotion, told in a steady, lucid style...

Arrowood by Mick Finlay

Reader Reviewed Arrowood
Mick Finlay
April 2017 Debut of the Month. London 1895, gloriously brought to life in all its grizzly glory. Arrowood is a weathered Private Investigator with a soft...

A Dangerous Crossing by Rachel Rhys

Reader Reviewed A Dangerous Crossing
Rachel Rhys
April 2017 Debut of the Month. All aboard for an Agatha Christie-esque mystery set on a ship bound for the distant shores of Australia in 1939....

The Shadow Land by Elizabeth Kostova

Reader Reviewed The Shadow Land
Elizabeth Kostova
April 2017 Book of the Month. This is a beautifully crafted novel. Those familiar with Kostova’s writing will be delighted to know that her beautiful, descriptive...

Mothering Sunday by Graham Swift

Mothering Sunday
Graham Swift
Shortlisted for the Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction 2017. From the jubilant “You shall go to the ball!” of the preface, and the “Once upon a time” opening, this...

An American Decade by Richard Aronowitz

An American Decade
Richard Aronowitz
An expressive, fascinating, and convincing glimpse into 1930’s America just before the Second World War. As the Nazi regime takes hold, 30 year old widower Christoph leaves Germany for a...

Their Finest by Lissa Evans

Their Finest
Lissa Evans
It's 1940. After a short spell promoting the joy of swedes for the Ministry of Food, Catrin Cole finds herself writing dialogue for 'Just an Ordinary Wednesday', a heart-warming but...

The Plague Charmer by Karen Maitland

Reader Reviewed The Plague Charmer
Karen Maitland
Told by many voices, some wise, some wicked, this is the story of a close community under unbearable strain. What is the breaking point where neighbours and even sisters will...

The Fourteenth Letter by Claire Evans

The Fourteenth Letter
Claire Evans
London 1881. A bride is murdered on at her engagement party, setting in chain a twisting, riveting mystery full of memorable characters in Claire Evans' dramatic debut novel perfect for...

The Cutthroat by Clive Cussler, Justin Scott

The Cutthroat
Clive Cussler, Justin Scott
The latest action-packed historical blockbuster featuring Isaac Bell, from Sunday Times bestseller Clive Cussler. Women are being brutally murdered all over America ...it's going to take an extraordinary mind to...

The Harrowing by James Aitcheson

The Harrowing
James Aitcheson
1066, The Norman Conquest: Five strangers. Five secrets. No refuge. No turning back. Priest, Lady, Servant, Warrior, Minstrel: each has their own story; each their own sin. As enemies past...

A Piece of the World by Christina Baker Kline

A Piece of the World
Christina Baker Kline
From the bestselling author of Orphan Train comes a luminous portrait of a woman of grit and grace, as heartwarming as it is gripping. A story that allows the...

The Spy of Venice A William Shakespeare Novel by Benet Brandreth

The Spy of Venice A William Shakespeare Novel
Benet Brandreth
Suspenseful, seductive and as sharp as an assassin's blade, The Spy of Venice introduces a major new literary talent. CJ Sansom meets Shakespeare in Love - a historical thriller...

A Hero in France by Alan Furst

A Hero in France
Alan Furst
Still set against Furst's familiar background of the dark years of WW2, this new offering full of treachery and intrigue for once eschews the tropes of espionage and restricts itself...

Black Water by Louise Doughty

Black Water
Louise Doughty
Fluctuating between the riots and massacre in Indonesia in 1965 and the second coup in 1997 with the unrest of 1998, this is a powerful tale of espionage and love. ...

The Butchers of Berlin by Chris Petit

Reader Reviewed The Butchers of Berlin
Chris Petit
This is a tough, violent thriller which illustrates the chaos in Germany in 1943. Suffering setbacks in the war and severe shortages, Berlin is in the middle of a rushed...

The One Man by Andrew Gross

The One Man
Andrew Gross
Something of a departure for erstwhile James Patterson collaborator Andrew Gross, and a powerful, breathless thriller with a difference. It's 1944 and the American nuclear programme is stalling and the...

Sleeper's Castle by Barbara Erskine

Reader Reviewed Sleeper's Castle
Barbara Erskine
A sweeping saga of a tale, linking the past and the present through two women’s dreams and a house that straddles time. This is the first Barbara Erskine novel I’ve...

Days Without End by Sebastian Barry

Days Without End
Sebastian Barry
Shortlisted for the Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction 2017. Winner of 2016 Costa Book of the Year and Winner of the Costa Novel Award 2016. This big-hearted, beautiful and...

A Country Road, A Tree by Jo Baker

A Country Road, A Tree
Jo Baker
Shortlisted for the Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction 2017. An enthralling work of literary fiction exploring Samuel Beckett’s life in Occupied France. It’s autumn, 1939 and a...

The Vanishing Futurist by Charlotte Hobson

The Vanishing Futurist
Charlotte Hobson
Shortlisted for the Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction 2017. An exuberant, kaleidoscopic debut set in the turbulent times around the 1917 Russian revolution, told through the eyes of an...

The Good People by Hannah Kent

The Good People
Hannah Kent
Shortlisted for the Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction 2017. Three women are at the heart of this beguiling, elemental novel, in which the dialogue dances, and the force of...

The Words in My Hand by Guinevere Glasfurd

The Words in My Hand
Guinevere Glasfurd
Shortlisted for The Authors' Club Best First Novel Award 2017. A gloriously readable and emotional fictional tale based on the relationship between Dutch maid Helena Jans van der Strom and...

The Month Before's Featured Books

The Long Firm by Jake Arnott

The Long Firm
Jake Arnott
This is a jaw-dropping absolute classic of a tale, stuffed full of brutal gangster goings-on, with a subtle heartbreaking undertone. Harry Starks sits centre stage, king of his empire, quick...

At the Edge of the Orchard by Tracy Chevalier

Reader Reviewed At the Edge of the Orchard
Tracy Chevalier
In her last novel, The Last Runaway, Tracy Chevalier returned to her American roots for the first time, setting her story on the Ohio frontier in 1850. At the...

The Chilbury Ladies' Choir by Jennifer Ryan

Reader Reviewed The Chilbury Ladies' Choir
Jennifer Ryan
An engaging and charmingly bittersweet slice of fiction set during the Second World War. In a Kent village during 1940, the vicar closes the choir, as the ladies of the...

The Unseeing by Anna Mazzola

Reader Reviewed The Unseeing
Anna Mazzola
March 2017 Debut of the Month. A detailed, intriguing and highly enjoyable debut historical thriller. James Greenacre is accused of murdering his bride and his mistress,...

A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles

Reader Reviewed A Gentleman in Moscow
Amor Towles
Maxim Jakubowski's March 2017 Book of the Month. Shortly after the Russian revolution, a White Russian count is spared execution because of a subversive poem he...

The Soldier, the Gaoler, the Spy and Her Lover by Simon Parke

The Soldier, the Gaoler, the Spy and Her Lover
Simon Parke
A captivating and fascinating novel, where fact blends seamlessly with fiction, set from 1647-1649 during the final months of Charles I. These years are one of the most intriguing periods...

The Second Bride by Katharine Swartz

The Second Bride
Katharine Swartz
A bittersweet, compassionate family drama set in Cumbria. Ellen is under pressure after her step-daughter comes to live with her family. Emotionally bombarded, Ellen attempts to solve the mystery of...

The Riviera Express (A Miss Dimont Mystery, Book 1) by T. P. Fielden

Reader Reviewed The Riviera Express (A Miss Dimont Mystery, Book 1)
T. P. Fielden
March 2017 Debut of the Month. A snappy, vibrant, romp of a read, set in a 1950’s Devonshire seaside town. Miss Judy Dimont (in her forties),...

The Fatal Tree by Jake Arnott

The Fatal Tree
Jake Arnott
March 2017 eBook of the Month. Powerful and expressive, this is an extraordinary tale, based in reality, set in the London underworld of the 1720’s. Edgeworth...

The Cavendon Luck (Cavendon Chronicles, Book 3) by Barbara Taylor Bradford

The Cavendon Luck (Cavendon Chronicles, Book 3)
Barbara Taylor Bradford
Two families, the aristocratic Inghams and the Swanns who serve them, have been bound by loyalty since the first stone was laid. But when war looms, sons, husbands and brothers...

The Orphan's Tale by Pam Jenoff

The Orphan's Tale
Pam Jenoff
A heartbreaking tale echoing with intensity and hope, set during World War Two and based on real events. Seventeen year old Noa and the Jewish baby she managed to rescue...

Birdcage Walk by Helen Dunmore

Reader Reviewed Birdcage Walk
Helen Dunmore
March 2017 Book of the Month. A breathtaking, evocative, and stormy tale set in the early 1790’s, just as the fallout from the French Revolution was...

The Confessions of Young Nero by Margaret George

The Confessions of Young Nero
Margaret George
In part inspired by a desire to redress how Nero “has suffered badly at the hands of popular culture,” as the author notes in the novel’s afterword, this epic, expansive...

Before the Rains by Dinah Jefferies

Before the Rains
Dinah Jefferies
A gorgeously expressive and captivating novel, set in 1930’s India at the height of the struggle for independence against British rule. 28 year old photographer Eliza agrees to document the...

The Himalayan Summer by Louise Brown

The Himalayan Summer
Louise Brown
The Himalayan Summer is a spellbinding novel of the British Raj period, the quest to find a child, and a love story beyond boundaries - for all fans of

Lady of Hay by Barbara Erskine

Lady of Hay
Barbara Erskine
Barbara Erskine's iconic debut novel still delights generations of readers thirty years after its first publication. A story spanning centuries. A long awaited revenge. In London, journalist Jo Clifford plans...

The Witchfinder's Sister by Beth Underdown

The Witchfinder's Sister
Beth Underdown
1645. When Alice Hopkins' husband dies in a tragic accident, she returns to the small Essex town of Manningtree, where her brother Matthew still lives. But home is no longer...

The Summer Before the War by Helen Simonson

Reader Reviewed The Summer Before the War
Helen Simonson
Despite the title – The Summer Before the War – which this terrific novel does indeed trace, it also spills into the horrors of the war years and eventually releases...

4 3 2 1 by Paul Auster

4 3 2 1
Paul Auster
A Maxim Jakubowski selected title. The contemporary magician of the post-modern and often quirky novel (maybe equalled by just Haruki Murakami) returns with a doorstepper...

The Ashes of Berlin by Luke McCallin

The Ashes of Berlin
Luke McCallin
A Maxim Jakubowski selected title. The third in a so far underrated series featuring Berlin cop and ex-soldier Gregor Reinhardt, following on from THE MAN...

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Once Upon a Time…

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With authors like the two-time Man Booker Prize winning Hilary Mantel among its illuminati, it’s no wonder that Historical Fiction is arguably more popular than ever. Follow the lives, loves, betrayals, deaths, trials-and-tribulations of those that went before us.

 

Whether you follow Sebastian Faulks and P.S Duffy to the hell and displacement of the Front in WWI, Philippa Gregory to the intrigue, immorality and perils of the court of Henry VIII, or get rocked on the high seas of the King’s Navy in Patrick O’Brien’s Master and Commander, there is a wealth of exceptional storytelling to dive headfirst into. Where will you let our time machine take you today?

 

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A selection of authors who will feature in this Lovereading category include:

Lindsey Davis
Peter Ackroyd
Michael Wood
Simon Sebag Montefiore
Umberto Eco
Pat Barker
Tracy Chevalier
Michael Jecks
Rose Tremain

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