New Arrivals · Historical Fiction

July 17, 2019
These titles were recently added to the collection of the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County.

The golden hour : a novel

July 16, 2019
Williams, Beatriz, author.
©2019
468 pages ; 24 cm
"The Bahamas, 1941. Newly-widowed Leonora "Lulu" Randolph arrives in Nassau to investigate the Governor and his wife for a New York society magazine. After all, American readers have an insatiable appetite for news of the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, that glamorous couple whose love affair nearly brought the British monarchy to its knees five years earlier. What more intriguing backdrop for their romance than a wartime Caribbean paradise, a colonial playground for kingpins of ill-gotten empires? Or so Lulu imagines. But as she infiltrates the Duke and Duchess's social circle, and the powerful cabal that controls the islands' political and financial affairs, she uncovers evidence that beneath the glister of Wallis and Edward's marriage lies an ugly-and even treasonous-reality. In fact, Windsor-era Nassau seethes with spies, financial swindles, and racial tension, and in the middle of it all stands Benedict Thorpe: a scientist of tremendous charm and murky national loyalties. Inevitably, the willful and wounded Lulu falls in love. Then Nassau's wealthiest man is murdered in one of the most notorious cases of the century, and the resulting coverup reeks of royal privilege. Benedict Thorpe disappears without a trace, and Lulu embarks on a journey to London and beyond to unpick Thorpe's complicated family history: a fateful love affair, a wartime tragedy, and a mother from whom all joy is stolen."--Publisher.

Death in a desert land : a novel

July 16, 2019
Wilson, Andrew, 1967- author.
©2019
338 pages ; 21 cm
"Baghdad, 1928. Agatha Christie has traveled to the excavation of the ancient Mesopotamian city of Ur to investigate an unsolved mystery: two years ago, the explorer and writer Gertrude Bell died there from a drug overdose. At the time, authorities believed that Bell had taken her own life, but a letter recently unearthed reveals she was afraid someone intended to kill her. Upon arrive, Agatha encounters Miss Bell's former rival, the enigmatic archaeologist Mrs. Woolley, as she is on the cusp of making a potentially lucrative discovery. Temperamental but brilliant, Mrs. Woolley quickly charms the famous novelist, but Agatha cannot ignore the possibility that her new friend might be a murderer. As Agatha stealthily begins to gather information, she discovers that her mission is not without considerable risks. With the killer poised to strike again, Agatha must use all of her skills to outwit a devilishly cunning adversary determined to stay hidden in the desert sands."--P. [4] of cover.

In the full light of the sun

July 15, 2019
Clark, Clare, author.
Boston : Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2019.
424 pages ; 24 cm
"Based on a true story, this gorgeous new novel follows the fortunes of three Berliners caught up in an art scandal--involving newly discovered van Goghs--that rocks Germany amidst the Nazis' rise to power. Hedonistic and politically turbulent, Berlin in the 1920s is a city of seedy night clubs and sumptuous art galleries. It is home to millionaires and mobs storming bakeries for rationed bread. These disparate Berlins collide when Emmeline,a young art student; Julius, an art expert; and a mysterious dealer named Rachmann all find themselves caught up in the astonishing discovery of thirty-two previously unknown paintings by Vincent van Gogh. In the Full Light of the Sun explores the trio's complex relationships and motivations, their hopes, their vanities, and their self-delusions--for the paintings are fakes and they are in their own ways complicit. Theirs is a cautionary tale about of the aspirations of the new Germany and a generation determined to put the humiliations of the past behind them. With her signature impeccable and evocative historical detail, Clare Clark has written a gripping novel about beauty and justice, and the truth that may be found when our most treasured beliefs are revealed as illusions"-- Provided by publisher.

Some like it scandalous

July 15, 2019
Rodale, Maya, author.
©2019
355 pages ; 17 cm.
Theodore Prescott the Third, one of Manhattan's Rogues of Millionaire Row, has really done it this time. The only way to survive his most recent, unspeakably outrageous scandal is marry someone respectable. Someone sensible. Someone like Daisy Swann. Of all the girls in Gilded Age Manhattan, it had to be her. Daisy Swann has plans and they do not involve a loveless marriage with anyone. But when a devastating family secret threatens to destroy her standing in society, suddenly a fake engagement with Theo is just the thing to make all her dreams come true. Daisy Swann aspires to sell cosmetics that she has created, but this brainy scientist needs a smooth talking charmer's flair for words and eye for beauty to make it a success. Before long, Daisy and Theo are trading kisses. And secrets. And discovering that despite appearances, they might be the perfect couple after all.--Provided by publisher.

Vintage 1954

July 15, 2019
Laurain, Antoine, author.
London : Gallic Books, 2019.
218 pages ; 20 cm
Translated from the French.
"Originally published in France as Millésime 54 by Flammarion, 2018"--Title page verso.
"When Hubert Larnaudie invites some fellow residents of his Parisian apartment building to drink an exceptional bottle of 1954 Beaujolais, he has no idea of its special properties. The following morning, Hubert finds himself waking up in 1950s Paris, as do antique restorer Magalie, mixologist Julien, and Airbnb tenant Bob from Milwaukee, who's on his first trip to Europe. After their initial shock, the city begins to work its charm on them. The four delight in getting to know the French capital during this iconic period, whilst also playing with the possibilities that time travel allows. But, ultimately, they need to work out how to get back to 2017, and time is of the essence..."--Provided by publisher.

The nickel boys : a novel

July 12, 2019
Whitehead, Colson, 1969- author.
©2019
213 pages ; 22 cm
In this bravura follow-up to the Pulitzer Prize, and National Book Award-winning The Underground Railroad, Colson Whitehead brilliantly dramatizes another strand of American history through the story of two boys sentenced to a hellish reform school in Jim Crow-era Florida. As the Civil Rights movement begins to reach the black enclave of Frenchtown in segregated Tallahassee, Elwood Curtis takes the words of Dr. Martin Luther King to heart: He is "as good as anyone." Abandoned by his parents, but kept on the straight and narrow by his grandmother, Elwood is about to enroll in the local black college. But for a black boy in the Jim Crow South of the early 1960s, one innocent mistake is enough to destroy the future. Elwood is sentenced to a juvenile reformatory called the Nickel Academy, whose mission statement says it provides "physical, intellectual and moral training" so the delinquent boys in their charge can become "honorable and honest men." In reality, the Nickel Academy is a grotesque chamber of horrors where the sadistic staff beats and sexually abuses the students, corrupt officials and locals steal food and supplies, and any boy who resists is likely to disappear "out back." Stunned to find himself in such a vicious environment, Elwood tries to hold onto Dr. King's ringing assertion "Throw us in jail and we will still love you." His friend Turner thinks Elwood is worse than naive, that the world is crooked, and that the only way to survive is to scheme and avoid trouble. The tension between Elwood's ideals and Turner's skepticism leads to a decision whose repercussions will echo down the decades. Formed in the crucible of the evils Jim Crow wrought, the boys' fates will be determined by what they endured at the Nickel Academy.

Feast day of the cannibals

July 12, 2019
Lock, Norman, 1950- author.
New York : Bellevue Literary Press, 2019.
237 pages ; 19 cm
"In the sixth stand-alone book in The American Novels series, Shelby Ross, a merchant ruined by the depression of 1873-79, is hired as a New York City Custom House appraiser under inspector Herman Melville, the embittered, forgotten author of Moby-Dick. On the docks, Ross befriends a genial young man and makes an enemy of a despicable one, who attempts to destroy them by insinuating that Ross and the young man share an unnatural affection. Ross narrates his story to his childhood friend Washington Roebling, chief engineer of the soon-to-be-completed Brooklyn Bridge. As he is harried toward a fate reminiscent of Ahab's, he encounters Ulysses S. Grant, dying in a brownstone on the Upper East Side; Samuel Clemens, who will publish Grant's Memoirs; and Thomas Edison, at the dawn of the electrification of the city. Feast Day of the Cannibals charts the harrowing journey of a tormented heart during America's transformative age."--Publisher description.

One good deed

July 11, 2019
Baldacci, David, author.
©2019
422 pages ; 24 cm
It's 1949. When war veteran Aloysius Archer is released from Carderock Prison, he is sent to Poca City on parole with a short list of do's and a much longer list of don'ts: do report regularly to his parole officer, don't go to bars, certainly don't drink alcohol, do get a job -- and don't ever associate with loose women. The small town quickly proves more complicated and dangerous than Archer's years serving in the war or his time in jail. Within a single night, his search for gainful employment -- and a stiff drink -- leads him to a local bar, where he is hired for what seems like a simple job: to collect a debt owed to a powerful local businessman, Hank Pittleman. Soon Archer discovers that recovering the debt won't be so easy. The indebted man has a furious grudge against Hank and refuses to pay; Hank's clever mistress has her own designs on Archer; and both Hank and Archer's stern parole officer, Miss Crabtree, are keeping a sharp eye on him. When a murder takes place right under Archer's nose, police suspicions rise against the ex-convict, and Archer realizes that the crime could send him right back to prison... if he doesn't use every skill in his arsenal to track down the real killer.

Beirut Hellfire Society : a novel

July 11, 2019
Hage, Rawi, author.
©2018
278 pages ; 22 cm
Picking up his late father's arrangement with an anti-religious sect that performs secret burials for marginalized outcasts, an eccentric undertaker in 1970s Beirut confronts perspectives on death in the face of war.

Someone to honor : a Westcott novel

July 11, 2019
Balogh, Mary, author.
©2019
324 pages : genealogical table ; 24 cm
"Abigail Westcott's dreams for her future were lost when her father died and she discovered her parents were not legally married. But now, six years later, she enjoys the independence a life without expectation provides a wealthy single woman. Indeed, she's grown confident enough to scold the careless servant chopping wood outside without his shirt on in the proximity of ladies. But the man is not a servant. He is Gilbert Bennington, the lieutenant colonel and superior officer who has escorted her wounded brother, Harry, home from the wars with Napoleon. Gil has come to help his friend and junior officer recover, and he doesn't take lightly to being condescended to - secretly because of his own humble beginnings."--Publisher description.

Delayed rays of a star : a novel

July 11, 2019
Lee, Amanda Koe, 1987- author.
New York : Nan A. Talese, Doubleday, [2019]
383 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm
"At a chance encounter at a Berlin soirée in 1928, the photographer Alfred Eisenstaedt captures three very different women together in one frame: up-and-coming German actress Marlene Dietrich, who would wend her way into Hollywood as one of its lasting icons; Anna May Wong, the world's first Chinese American star, playing for bit parts while dreaming of breaking away from her father's modest laundry; and Leni Riefenstahl, whose work as a director would first make her famous--then, infamous. From this curious point of intersection, Delayed Rays of a Star lets loose the trajectories of these women's lives. From Weimar Berlin to LA's Chinatown, from a seaside resort in East Germany to a luxury apartment on the Champs-Élysée, the different settings they inhabit are as richly textured as the roles they play: siren, muse, predator, or lover, each one a carefully calibrated performance. And in the orbit of each star live secondary players--a Chinese immigrant housemaid, a German soldier on leave from North Africa, a pompous Hollywood director--whose voices and viewpoints reveal the legacy each woman left in her own time, as well as in ours. Amanda Lee Koe's playful, wry prose guides the reader dexterously around murky questions of ego, persona, complicity, desire, and difference. Intimate and raw, Delayed Rays of a Star is a visceral depiction of womanhood--its particular hungers, its calculations, and its eventual betrayals--and announces a bold new literary voice"-- Provided by publisher.

Costalegre

July 11, 2019
Maum, Courtney, 1978- author.
Portland, Oregon : Tin House Books, [2019]
227 pages : illustrations ; 21 cm
An American heiress and modern art collector offers safe passage to a resort in Mexico to European artists under threat from the Nazis, while her emotionally unstable daughter chronicles their wartime experiences.

Flirtation walk

July 9, 2019
Mitchell, Siri L., 1969- author.
©2016
374 pages ; 22 cm
"When a woman trying her best to be good meets a man determined to be anything but, can there be hope for love, or will two lonely hearts be condemned to casual flirtation?"--Back cover.

Temptation's darling

July 8, 2019
Lindsey, Johanna, author.
New York : Gallery Books, 2019.
391 pages ; 24 cm
"Threatened by powerful enemies, William Blackburn, Earl of Ketterham, lives in exile in the Scottish Highlands with his daughter Vanessa. When she comes of age William urges her to return to her mother in England to make her debut. Raised with all the advantages and freedom a boy would have, Vanessa doubts she can fit into the mold of a proper young lady. Still, she agrees to re-enter fashionable society, determined to end the vendetta against her father, never imagining the high price she will have to pay. Lord Montgomery Townsend enjoys living on the edge, courting danger as he fixes potentially scandalous problems for the Prince Regent. While hiding out at the home of the Countess of Ketterham, Monty watches a disaster-in-the-making as his hostess tries to prepare her estranged daughter for a match with the pompous son of a powerful family. Puzzled as to why independent-minded Vanessa submits to being turned into a puppet and wants to marry the arrogant rogue, Monty nonetheless steps in to make her dreams come true. But no good deed goes unpunished and soon he faces more pressing problems, including the temptation to upend Vanessa’s wedding plans so he can marry her himself!"--Inside dust jacket.

The flight girls

July 3, 2019
Salazar, Noelle, author.
Toronto, Ontario : MIRA, [2019]
368 pages ; 23 cm
1941. Audrey Coltrane has always wanted to fly. It's why she implored her father to teach her at the little airfield back home in Texas. It's why she signed up to train military pilots in Hawaii when the war in Europe began. And it's why she insists she is not interested in any dream-derailing romantic involvements, even with the disarming Lieutenant James Hart, who fast becomes a friend as treasured as the women she flies with. Then one fateful day, she gets caught in the air over Pearl Harbor just as the bombs begin to fall, and suddenly, nowhere feels safe. To make everything she's lost count for something, Audrey joins the Women Airforce Service Pilots program. The bonds she forms with her fellow pilots reignite a spark of hope in the face of war, and--especially when James goes missing in action--give Audrey the strength to cross the front lines and fight for everything she holds dear.

The last word

July 3, 2019
Hastings, Samantha, author.
New York : Swoon Reads, 2019.
258 pages ; 22 cm
In 1861 London, eighteen-year-old Lucinda Leavitt evades plans to find her a suitable husband by enlisting the help of childhood friend David to seek the ending of her favorite author's last, unfinished book.

Night song

July 3, 2019
Jenkins, Beverly, 1951-
New York : Avon Books, 1994.
374 pages ; 178 cm.
Buffalo soldier Sergeant Chase Jefferson longs for the lovely ebony beauty, Cara Lee. As a school teacher in 1880's Kansas, she is determined to protect her reputation and her job.

Dragonfly : a novel

July 2, 2019
Meacham, Leila, 1938- author.
New York : Grand Central Publishing, 2019.
xi, 563 pages ; 24 cm
At the height of WWII, five idealistic young Americans receive a mysterious letter from the OSS, asking them if they are willing to fight for their country. The men and women from very different backgrounds--a Texan athlete with German roots, an upper-crust son of a French mother and a wealthy businessman, a dirt-poor Midwestern fly fisherman, an orphaned fashion designer, and a ravishingly beautiful female fencer -- all answer the call of duty, but each for a secret reason of his or her own. They bond immediately, in a group code-named Dragonfly. Thus begins a dramatic cat-and-mouse game, as the group seeks to stay under the radar until a fatal misstep leads to the capture and the firing-squad execution of one of their team. But ... is everything as it seems, or is this one more elaborate act of spycraft?

Kristin Lavransdatter

July 1, 2019
Undset, Sigrid, 1882-1949.
New York : Penguin Books, 2005.
xx, 1144 pages : maps ; 22 cm.
Originally published as 3 separate works: New York : Penguin Books, 1997-2000.
1. The wreath -- 2. The wife -- 3. The cross.
Panorama of Norwegian life in the first half of the 14th century and the tumultous life of a woman, traces Kristin's life from childhood to death.

Renegade

June 28, 2019
Schmidt, Anna, 1943- author.
©2019
376 pages ; 18 cm
Includes recipes.
"Lily Travis may be a Harvey Girl, but she's a rebel--and a romantic--at heart. Too bad her impulsive nature led her to marry a man who promised a life of ease and prosperity, only to disappear the very next day. She's kept her secret as best she can, and now she's convinced she'll never find true love...not even with the handsome local sheriff she can't get off her mind. Cody Daniels knows Lily isn't the right woman for a by-the-book lawman with political ambitions. She's brash, headstrong...and entirely too tempting. But when Lily's past catches up with her and the villain she married threatens everything she holds dear, Cody is determined to defend her honor and show her the future they could have together--no matter the consequences." --Provided by publisher.

Underestimating Miss Cecilia

June 28, 2019
Miller, Carolyn, 1974- author.
©2019
340 pages ; 22 cm
"Cecilia Hatherleigh keeps secret her unrequited love for Edward Amherst, the earl's son next door. Instead of pining away, she decides to turn her focus toward living out her newfound faith. Meanwhile, a London riot awakens Edward to the responsibilities due his family name, which means it's time to restore his abandoned legal career and make a marriage of convenience. When misadventure strikes at a house party, the two are thrown together."--Publisher description.

Duke of shadows

June 28, 2019
Foley, Gaelen, author.
©2019
505 pages : map ; 23 cm.
England, 1817. Lady Portia Tennesley has always dreamed of marrying for love. When the suitor who seemed her perfect match disappears at the height of the Season, she's heartbroken. Eventually she consents to an arranged marriage with an eccentric duke she barely knows, a wealthy recluse who seems more interested in science than spending time with his new fiancée. But before Portia walks down the aisle to her grand, loveless match, she turns to the only man who can uncover her former beau's fate--the mysterious outlaw known as Silversmoke. Lucas Wakeford, the Duke of Fountainhurst, leads a double life that leaves him little time for romance. After his parents died at the hands of brigands as a lad, he found his true passion in standing up for the powerless as his masked alter ego, the heroic highwayman, Silversmoke. As the duke, however--his charade as a scholarly quiz aside--Luke knows he must eventually marry. Besides, having a wife around could help him blend in with his fellow noblemen. Elegant and highborn Lady Portia Tennesley seems perfect for the sort of duchess Luke needs. A fashionable belle preoccupied with high society, she's sure to keep her nose out of his secret life fighting crime in London's underworld. But when the lady herself ventures into Silversmoke's lair, begging for the famed highwayman's help, Luke is astonished--and realizes he has seriously underestimated his future bride. Yet as Silversmoke, he can't deny a damsel in distress, so he agrees to find her missing suitor. Tangled in a web of secrets and hidden identities, will Luke and Portia's growing attraction be strong enough to survive the truth, or will their love steal away into the night

Bakhita : a novel of the Saint of Sudan

June 28, 2019
Olmi, Véronique, author.
©2019
362 pages ; 24 cm
"Inspired by the true story of a former slave who became a saint, this poignant novel explores how a human being can survive the obliteration of her identity, and how kindness and generosity can be born out of profound trauma. She recalls little of her childhood, not even her own name. She was barely seven years old when she was snatched by slave raiders from her village in the Darfur region of southern Sudan. In a cruel twist, they gave her the name that she will carry for the rest of her life: Bakhita, "the Lucky One" in Arabic. Sold and resold along the slave trade routes, Bakhita endures years of unspeakable abuse and terror. At age thirteen, at last, her life takes a turn when the Italian consul in Khartoum purchases her. A few years later, as chaos engulfs the capital, the consul returns to Italy, taking Bakhita with him. In this new land, another long and arduous journey begins--one that leads her onto a spiritual path for which she is still revered today. With rich, evocative language, Véronique Olmi immerses the reader in Bakhita's world--her unfathomable resilience, her stubborn desire to live, and her ability to turn toward the pain of others in spite of the terrible sufferings that she too must endure"-- Provided by publisher.

With our blessing

June 26, 2019
Spain, Jo, author.
©2016
359 pages ; 25 cm
"Originally published in Great Britain by Quercus, June 2016"--Title page verso.
"In 1975, a baby just minutes old is taken from its devastated mother. In 2010, the gruesome corpse of a nun is found in a Dublin public park. Detective Inspector Tom Reynolds and his team are on the scene and he's convinced the murder is linked to historical events that took place in the infamous former Magdalene Laundries, institutions for "fallen women." As Reynolds and his team follow the trail to an isolated convent, everything seems perfectly normal and it seems perhaps they've followed the wrong lead. But it soon becomes disturbingly clear that the killer is amongst them and determined to exact further vengeance for the sins of the past"--Provided by publisher.

The godless

June 26, 2019
Doherty, P. C., author.
©2018
215 pages ; 23 cm
"November, 1381. London has been rocked by a series of bizarre and brutal murders. The corpses of a number of prostitutes have been discovered, their throats slit, their bodies stripped; in each case, a blood-red wig has been placed on their heads. At the same time, a mysterious explosion rips through a royal war cog bound for Calais, killing all on board. Could there be a connection? Summoned to assist in the investigations by Sir John Cranston, Brother Athelstan uncovers rumours that the mysterious Oriflamme is responsible. But who - or what - exactly is he ... and why has he suddenly reappeared after almost twenty years?"--Publisher's description.

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