New Arrivals · Historical Fiction

July 20, 2016
These titles were recently added to the collection of the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County.

Mata Hari's last dance : a novel

July 19, 2016
Moran, Michelle, author.
New York : Touchstone, 2016.
259 pages ; 21 cm
"From the international bestselling author of Rebel Queen and Nefertiti comes a captivating novel about the infamous Mata Hari, exotic dancer, adored courtesan, and, possibly, relentless spy. Paris, 1917. The notorious dancer Mata Hari sits in a cold cell awaiting freedom ... or death. Alone and despondent, Mata Hari is as confused as the rest of the world about the charges she's been arrested on: treason leading to the deaths of thousands of French soldiers. As Mata Hari waits for her fate to be decided, she relays the story of her life to a reporter who is allowed to visit her in prison. Beginning with her carefree childhood, Mata Hari recounts her father's cruel abandonment of her family as well her calamitous marriage to a military officer. Taken to the island of Java, Mata Hari refuses to be ruled by her abusive husband and instead learns to dance, paving the way to her stardom as Europe's most infamous dancer. From exotic Indian temples and glamorous Parisian theatres to stark German barracks in war-torn Europe, international bestselling author Michelle Moran who "expertly balances fact and fiction" (Associated Press) brings to vibrant life the famed world of Mata Hari: dancer, courtesan, and possibly, spy"-- Provided by publisher.

Monterey Bay

July 19, 2016
Hatton, Lindsay, author.
©2016
310 pages ; 22 cm
In 1940, fifteen year-old Margot Fiske arrives on the shores of Monterey Bay with her eccentric entrepreneur father. Margot has been her father's apprentice all over the world, until an accident in Monterey's tide pools drives them apart and plunges her head-first into the mayhem of John Steinbeck's Cannery Row. Steinbeck is hiding out from his burgeoning fame at the raucous lab of Ed Ricketts, the biologist known as Doc in Cannery Row. Ricketts, a charismatic bohemian, quickly becomes the object of Margot's fascination. Despite Steinbeck's protests and her father's misgivings, she wrangles a job as Ricketts's sketch artist and begins drawing the strange and wonderful sea creatures he pulls from the waters of the bay. Unbeknownst to Margot, her father is also working with Ricketts. He is soliciting the biologist's advice on his most ambitious and controversial project to date: the transformation of the Row's largest cannery into an aquarium. When Margot begins an affair with Ricketts, she sets in motion a chain of events that will affect not just the two of them, but the future of Monterey as well. Alternating between past and present, Monterey Bay explores histories both imagined and actual to create an unforgettable portrait of an exceptional woman, a world-famous aquarium, and the beloved town they both call home.--Provided by publisher.

The secret language of stones : a novel

July 19, 2016
Rose, M. J., 1953- author.
New York : Atria Books, 2016.
308 pages ; 24 cm
In World War I Paris, Opaline Duplessi, an employee at the famous La Fantasie Russie jewelry store, spends her time making trench watches for soldiers at the front, and mourning jewelry for the mothers, wives, and lovers of those who have fallen. People say that Opaline's creations are magical, a word she would rather not use. But she does have a rare gift, a form of lithomancy that allows her to translate the energy emanating from the stones and receive messages from beyond the grave. In her mind, she is not a mystic, but merely a messenger, giving voice to soldiers who died before they were able to properly express themselves to loved ones. Until one day, one of these fallen soldiers communicates a message directly to her, and Opaline sets off on a journey into the darkest corners of wartime Paris and across the English Channel, where the exiled Romanov dowager empress waits to discover the fate of her family. -- adapted from publisher website.

The accidental agent : a Jimmy Nessheim novel

July 18, 2016
Rosenheim, Andrew, author.
New York, NY : Overlook Press, 2016.
355 pages ; 24 cm
"First published in Great Britain in 2016 by Hutchinson."
In this gripping third book in Andrew Rosenheim's critically acclaimed Jimmy Nessheim series, the fate of America's fledgling nuclear program and the outcome of World War II itself are at stake. Fall, 1942. Special agent James Nessheim has quit the FBI and enrolled as a law student at the University of Chicago. It isn't long before his former boss, Assistant Director Harry Guttman, comes to call, determined to persuade Nessheim to accept a new and exceedingly dangerous assignment.

The king's assassin

July 18, 2016
Donald, Angus, 1965- author.
London : Sphere, 2016.
548 pages : map ; 20 cm.
"The outlaw chronicles"--Cover.
AD 1215: The year of Magna Carta - and Robin Hood's greatest battle The yoke of tyranny King John is scheming to reclaim his ancestral lands in Europe, raising the money for new armies by bleeding dry peasants and nobles alike, not least the Earl of Locksley - the former outlaw Robin Hood - and his loyal man Sir Alan Dale. The call to arms As rebellion brews across the country and Robin Hood and his men are dragged into the war against the French in Flanders, a plan is hatched that will bring the former outlaws and their families to the brink of catastrophe - a plan to kill the King. The roar of revolution England explodes into bloody civil war and Alan and Robin must decide who to trust - and who to slaughter. And while Magna Carta might be the answer their prayers for peace, first they will have to force the King to submit to the will of his people ...

Miss Jane : a novel

July 18, 2016
Watson, Brad, 1955- author.
New York : W. W. Norton & Company, [2016]
284 pages ; 22 cm
"Astonishing prose brings to life a forgotten woman and a lost world in a strange and bittersweet Southern pastoral. Since his award-winning debut collection of stories, Last Days of the Dog- Men, Brad Watson has been expanding the literary traditions of the South, in work as melancholy, witty, strange, and lovely as any in America. Inspired by the true story of his own great-aunt, he explores the life of Miss Jane Chisolm, born in rural, early-twentieth-century Mississippi with a genital birth defect that would stand in the way of the central "uses" for a woman in that time and place--namely, sex and marriage. From the country doctor who adopts Jane to the hard tactile labor of farm life, from the highly erotic world of nature around her to the boy who loved but was forced to leave her, the world of Miss Jane Chisolm is anything but barren. Free to satisfy only herself, she mesmerizes those around her, exerting an unearthly fascination that lives beyond her still"--Provided by publisher.

The imperial wife : [a novel]

July 18, 2016
Reyn, Irina, author.
New York : Thomas Dunne Books/St. Martin's Press, 2016.
276 pages ; 24 cm
"The Imperial Wife follows the lives of two women, one in contemporary New York City and the other in eighteenth-century Russia. Tanya Kagan, a specialist in Russian art at a top New York auction house, is trying to entice Russia's wealthy oligarchs to bid on the biggest sale of her career, The Order of Saint Catherine, while making sense of the sudden and unexplained departure of her husband. As questions arise over the provenance of the Order and auction fever kicks in, Reyn takes us into the world of Catherine the Great, the infamous 18th-century woman who may have owned the priceless artifact, and who it turns out faced many of the same issues Tanya wrestles with in her own life. The Imperial Wife asks what female ambition means, today and in the past, and whether a marriage can withstand an ambitious wife"-- Provided by publisher.

Max Gate : a novel

July 13, 2016
Wilkins, Damien, 1963- author.
©2013.
223 pages ; 20 cm
"First published by Victoria University Press, New Zealand, 2013." -- Title page verso.
"1928. As Thomas Hardy lies on his death bed at his Dorset home, Max Gate, a tug-of-war is taking place over his legacy ... and the eventual fate of his mortal remains. What counts for more: the wishes of his family and dutiful second wife, Florence? the opinion of his literary friends? Hardy's own express desires? or 'the will of the nation'? Narrated with wit and brutal honesty by housemaid Nellie Titterington, Max Gate is both an entertaining insight into the eccentricities of a writer's life, and a raw, intriguing tale of torn loyalty, ownership and jealousy" -- Provided by publisher.

Champion of the world

July 12, 2016
Dundas, Chad, author.
New York : G.P. Putnam's Sons, 2016.
474 pages ; 24 cm
"In this ... historical fiction debut set in the world of wrestling in the 1920s, a husband and wife are set adrift in a place where everyone has something to hide and not even the fights can be taken at face value"-- Provided by publisher.

The virgin's war

July 12, 2016
Andersen, Laura, author.
New York : Ballantine Books, [2016]
368 pages; 21 cm
"The conclusion of the Tudor Legacy series. It's 1585, and the balance of European power is tilting dangerously toward war. It will take all of Elizabeth Tudor's skill and wiles to defend England from the looming threat of the Spanish Armada. Complicating matters is Elizabeth's beloved daughter -- the result of the Queen's tempestuous marriage with her worst enemy: King Philip of Spain. As Elizabeth commits her riches, her honor, and her people to the coming war, the Queen will risk everything--even her own life--to preserve England's freedom"-- Provided by publisher.

Vita brevis : a crime novel of the Roman Empire

July 12, 2016
Downie, Ruth, 1955- author.
New York : Bloomsbury, 2016.
368 pages ; 25 cm.
"A Gaius Ruso mystery"--Cover.
"Russo and Tilla's excitement upon arriving in Rome with their baby daughter is soon dulled by their discovery that the grand facades of polished marble mask an underworld of corrupt landlords and vermin-infested tenements. There are also far too may doctors--some skilled, but others positively dangerous. Ruso thinks he has been offered a reputable medical practice only to find that his predecessor, Doctor Kleitos, has fled, leaving a dead man in a barrel on the doorstep and the warning "Be careful who you trust." Distracted by the body and his efforts to help a friend win the hand of a rich young heiress, Ruso makes a grave mistake, causing him to question his own competence and integrity. With Ruso's reputation under threat, he and Tilla must protect their small family from Doctor Kleito's debt collectors and find allies in their new home while they track down the vanished doctor and find out the truth about the father of the heiress--Russo's patient--and the unfortunate man in the barrel."-- from book jacket.

The graveyard of the Hesperides

July 11, 2016
Davis, Lindsey, author.
New York : Minotaur Books, 2016.
325 pages : map ; 25 cm.
"In first century Rome, Flavia Albia, the daughter of Marcus Didius Falco, has taken up her father's former profession as an informer. On a typical day, it's small cases cheating spouses, employees dipping into the till but this isn't a typical day. Her beloved, the plebeian Manlius Faustus, has recently moved in and decided that they should get married in a big, showy ceremony as part of beginning a proper domestic life together. Also, his contracting firm has been renovating a rundown dive bar called The Garden of the Hesperides, only to uncover human remains buried in the backyard. There have been rumors for years that the previous owner of the bar, now deceased, killed a bar maid and these are presumably her remains. In the choice between planning a wedding and looking into a crime from long ago, Albia would much rather investigate a possible murder. Or murders, as more and more remains are uncovered, revealing that something truly horrible has been going on at the Hesperides. As she gets closer to the truth behind the bodies in the backyard, Albia's investigation has put her in the cross-hairs which might be the only way she'll get out of the wedding and away from all her relatives who are desperate to 'help.'"-- Provided by publisher.

Girl in the afternoon

July 11, 2016
Burdick, Serena, author.
New York : St. Martin's Press, 2016.
280 pages ; 22 cm
"The Savarays are at the center of bourgeois Parisian society, as supporters of the Impressionist movement, friends of Édouard Manet, and citizens relatively unaffected by the Franco-Prussian war raging beyond their estate - until their beloved adopted son Henri, a burgeoning artist, disappears early one morning and 18-year-old Aimee Savaray sets out to find him. But Henri doesn't want to be found, and only one member of the family knows why. As Aimee seeks refuge in the art world, mentored by Manet, she unwittingly finds her way back to Henri. After so many years passed and secrets buried, their eventual reunion unmasks the lies that once held the family together, and now threaten to tear them apart"--Provided by publisher.

The heavenly table : a novel

July 11, 2016
Pollock, Donald Ray, 1954- author.
©2016
365 pages ; 24 cm
It is 1917, in that sliver of border land that divides Georgia from Alabama. Dispossessed farmer Pearl Jewett ekes out a hardscrabble existence with his three young sons: Cane (the eldest; handsome; intelligent); Cob (short; heavy set; a bit slow); and Chimney (the youngest; thin; ill-tempered). Several hundred miles away in southern Ohio, a farmer by the name of Ellsworth Fiddler lives with his son, Eddie, and his wife, Eula. After Ellsworth is swindled out of his family's entire fortune, his life is put on a surprising, unforgettable, and violent trajectory that will directly lead him to cross paths with the Jewetts. No good can come of it. Or can it? .--Amazon.com

The Hamilton affair : a novel

July 11, 2016
Cobbs Hoffman, Elizabeth, author.
New York : Arcade Publishing, [2016]
403 pages ; 24 cm

A beauty refined

July 8, 2016
Peterson, Tracie, author.
©2016
315 pages ; 22 cm.
Phoebe Von Bergen is excited to accompany her father when he travels from Germany to purchase sapphires in Montana. Little does she know that her father's plans--for the gemstones and his daughter--are not what they seem. Ian Harper, a lapidary working in Helena, finds the young woman staying at the Broadwater Hotel more than a little intriguing. Yet the more he gets to know her, the more he realizes that her family story is based on a lie--a lie she has no knowledge of. And Ian believes he knows the only path that will lead her to freedom. Meeting Ian has changed everything. Phoebe is determined to stay in America, regardless of her father's plans. But she may not be prepared for the unexpected danger as the deception begins to unravel.

Where hope prevails

July 8, 2016
Oke, Janette, 1935- author.
©2016
317 pages ; 23 cm.
"When Beth Thatcher returns to Coal Valley, she has much to be excited about. She anticipates Jarrick's proposal of marriage and perhaps a spring wedding. The mine is expanding, and there are more schoolchildren than ever. But the town's rapid growth brings many challenges. A second teacher is assigned, and Beth finds herself going head-to-head with a very different philosophy of education--one that dismisses religion and rejects God. Fearful for the children who sit under the influence of Robert Harris Hughes, Beth struggles to know how to respond. At the same time, Beth wonders if Jarrick is considering a position at her father's company simply for her sake. Should she admit her feelings on the matter? Or keep silent and allow Jarrick to make up his own mind?"--Provided by publisher.

Chasing Lady Amelia

July 7, 2016
Rodale, Maya, author.
©2016
374 pages ; 18 cm.
Includes excerpt of author's Lady Claire is all that (pages 369-374).
"In the second novel of Maya Rodale's enchanting Keeping Up with the Cavendishes series, an American heiress finds her reputation--and heart--in danger when she travels to London and meets a wickedly tempting rake...Lady Amelia is fed up with being a proper lady and wishes to explore London, so one night she escapes and finds herself in the company of one Alistair Finlay-Jones. He's been ordered by his uncle to wed one of the American girls. How lucky then, that one of them stumbles right into his arms! Alistair and Amelia have one perfect day to explore London, from Astley's Amphitheater to Vauxhall Gardens. Inevitably they end up falling in love and making love. If anyone finds out, she will be ruined, but he will win everything he's ever wanted. When Amelia finds out Alistair has been ordered to marry her, he must woo her and win back the angry American girl. But with the threat of scandals, plural, looming...will he ever catch up to the woman he loves?"--Page 4 of cover.

A gift for guile

July 7, 2016
Johnson, Alissa, 1975- author.
©2016
374 pages ; 18 cm.
Beautiful and conniving, maddening and brilliant, Esther is everything private detective Samuel Brass shouldn't want. Esther knows she's put herself in terrible danger, but nothing will stop her from making amends-not her family's enemies, not old fears, and certainly not the domineering, interfering, and undeniably handsome former officer of the Scotland Yard. Yet whenever he's near, Samuel makes her long for a life that can never be hers ... and wish she were worthy of being saved.

As death draws near

July 6, 2016
Huber, Anna Lee, author.
New York : Berkley Prime Crime, 2016.
viii, 342 pages ; 21 cm.
"The latest mystery from the national bestselling author of A Study in Death tangles Lady Kiera Darby and Sebastian Gage in a dangerous web of religious and political intrigue. July 1831. In the midst of their idyllic honeymoon in England's Lake District, Kiera and Gage's seclusion is interrupted by a missive from Kiera's new father-in-law. A deadly incident involving a distant relative of the Duke of Wellington has taken place at an abbey south of Dublin, Ireland, and he insists that she and Gage look into the matter. Intent on discovering what kind of monster could murder a woman of the cloth, the couple travels to Rathfarnham Abbey school. Soon, a second nun is slain in broad daylight near a classroom full of young girls. With the sinful killer growing bolder, the mother superior would like to send the students home, but the growing civil unrest in Ireland would make the journey treacherous. Before long, Kiera starts to suspect that some of the girls may be hiding a sinister secret. With the killer poised to strike yet again, Kiera and Gage must make haste and unmask the fiend before their matrimonial bliss comes to an untimely end.."-- Provided by publisher.

A meal in winter : a novel of World War II

July 6, 2016
Mingarelli, Hubert, 1956-
New York : The New Press, 2016.
138 pages ; 20 cm
"First published in the Great Britain by Portobello Books, London, 2013. Published in the United States by The New Press, New York, 2016. Distributed by Perseus Distribution"--Title page verso.
In Polish countryside, during the war, three German soldiers are ordered to track down Jews for execution. Having time to contemplate the mission, their differing sympathies begin to splinter the group.

Ithaca : a novel based on Homer's Odyssey

July 6, 2016
Dillon, Patrick, 1962- author.
New York : Pegasus Books Ltd., 2016.
265 pages ; 24 cm
In the tumultuous aftermath of the Trojan War, a young man battles to save his home and his inheritance. Setting out to find his father, he ends up discovering himself.

Belgravia

July 5, 2016
Fellowes, Julian, author.
New York : Grand Central Publishing, 2016.
402 pages ; 24 cm
Two families living in 1840s London must guard a secret that originated at the Duchess of Richmond's legendary ball on the eve of the Battle of Waterloo.

The summer bride

July 5, 2016
Gracie, Anne.
New York : Berkley Sensation, 2016.
308 pages ; 18 cm.
"Fiercely independent Daisy Chance has a dream, and it doesn't involve marriage or babies--or being under any man's thumb. Raised in poverty, she has a passion--and a talent--for making beautiful clothes. Daisy aims to become the finest dressmaker in London. Dashing Irishman Patrick Flynn is wealthy and ambitious, and has entered society to find an aristocratic bride. Instead, he finds himself growing increasingly attracted to the headstrong, clever, and outspoken Daisy"--Page 4 of cover.

The house at the edge of night : a novel

July 5, 2016
Banner, Catherine.
New York : Random House, 2016.
419 pages ; 25 cm
A sweeping saga about four generations of a family who live and love on an enchanting island off the coast of Italy. Castellamare is an island far enough away from the mainland to be forgotten, but not far enough to escape from the world’s troubles. At the center of the island’s life is a café draped with bougainvillea called the House at the Edge of Night, where the community gathers to gossip and talk. Amedeo Esposito, a foundling from Florence, finds his destiny on the island with his beautiful wife, Pina. Spanning nearly a century, through secrets and mysteries, trials and sacrifice, this beautiful and haunting novel follows the lives of the Esposito family and the other islanders who live and love on Castellamare.

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