Historical Fiction

B+
The Mad Girls of New York

Maya Rodale takes on the real-life tale of adventuresome journalist Nellie Bly in The Mad Girls of New York, which brings mystery to Bly’s time at a horrific mental institution. Blending fact with fiction and a typical dash of her usual strong-women-in-triumph panache, Rodale feels as home in the ...

C+
Girls of Flight City

Lorraine Heath joins the women’s fiction market in this World War II-set tale about daring women who used their biplanes to battle the evils of Hitler.  The volume reminds me of the work of Jill Barnett, whose book about women fighters in World War II - Sentimental Journey - also explores the rom ...

A-
The Diamond Eye

The Diamond Eye is an excellent fictionalized retelling of the life of the legendary Lyudmila Mikhailovna Pavlichenko (called Mila in the book). Lyundmila was an infamously deadly Soviet sniper (incidentally, born in Kiyv) who is credited with killing over 300 Nazis during World War II. She was so g ...

C
The Tsarina's Daughter

Ellen Alpsten’s Tsarina took a look at the life of Catherine I, and The Tsarina’s Daughter gives us a peek behind the curtain at the life of Catherine and Peter the Great’s daughter, Elizabeth.  The novel is overlong and overly florid, with soapy plot twists abounding, just like the previous ...

C
The Christie Affair

Mystery writer Agatha Christie was a legend in her own time.  When she became the center of her own mystery  - disappearing in December of 1926 after her husband Archie requested a divorce – she made worldwide headlines.  Christie was eventually found eleven days later, hiding out in a hotel an ...

C+
The Last Dance of the Debutante

Once upon a time, it was de rigueur for society misses to be presented to the queen, an event which marked their entrée into society and the beginning of their Season, during which they would hopefully find a marriageable prospect. By 1957, the concept is seen as fairly antiquated, and is ready ...

A
Go Tell the Bees That I Am Gone

The past may seem the safest place to be . . . but it is the most dangerous time to be alive. . . . Jamie Fraser and Claire Randall were torn apart by the Jacobite Rising in 1746, and it took them twenty years to find each other again. Now the American Revolution threatens to do the same.   It ...

A-
Daughter of the Sea

Elisabeth Hobbes dips her toes into the historical fiction side of the writing pool with Daughter of the Sea, the tale of a foundling and the woman who takes her in.  This pretty, lyrical tale is honest and lovely, with some perfect prose imagery. Effie Cropton has a sailor husband and an infant ...

C
Death at Greenway

Death at Greenway is described as a “captivating suspense novel about nurses during World War II”. Oddly enough it merits neither descriptor. Bridget Kelly has made a deadly mistake - or so her supervisor has informed her. As a trainee, Bridget is to walk the wards with an actual nurse and of ...

B
The Woman at the Front

I associate Lecia Cornwall’s name with historical romances, although I confess I haven’t read any of her work in that genre.  The blurb for her latest book, The Woman at the Front, caught my eye because of its First World War setting; I’ve spent a fair amount of time in Northern France (pre-C ...