18th century -- fiction

Murder by the Waters: Further Adventures of the American Agent Abroad

By Robert Lee Hall

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"The year is 1758. Sent from America to England to battle with the Crown, Benjamin Franklin, with his keen mind and scientific skills, has also found himself called upon to solve a series of mysteries - cases of murder, blackmail, forgery, and jewel theft - but his latest mystery is perhaps his most baffling and challenging.

"He is invited to the city of Bath, site of England's famous spa, where rakes and lechers and gamesters abound. He rides there in a coach with a beautiful, seemingly innocent young girl who comes to sit at the heart of a plot to gain control of a fabulous fortune.

"Thieves steal letters, highwaymen attack, bludgeoners attempt murder, and shots ring out in the House of God. Despite all this, the Bath social round progresses, at secret gaming parties, grand balls, and the famous waters, where a man is later found murdered.

"Benjamin Franklin must winnow his way through this intrigue, to the truth of a mystery which may be masterminded by his great enemy, the enigmatic Quimp, who governs much of England's crime. Ben is ably aided by his natural son, Nick Handy. Once again his acute intellect and unerring heart prove him to be the archetypal detective."

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Outlander

By Diane Gabaldon

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Claire Randall is leading a double life. She has a husband in one century, and a lover in another... In 1945, Claire Randall, a former combat nurse, is back from the war and reunited with her husband on a second honeymoon when she innocently touches a boulder in one of the ancient stone circles that dot the British Isles. Suddenly she is a Sassenach, an "outlander"--in a Scotland torn by war and raiding border clans in the year of our Lord...1743. Hurled back in time by forces she cannot understand, Claire's destiny in soon inextricably intertwined with Clan MacKenzie and the forbidden Castle Leoch. She is catapulted without warning into the intrigues of lairds and spies that may threaten her life ...and shatter her heart. For here, James Fraser, a gallant young Scots warrior, shows her a passion so fierce and a love so absolute that Claire becomes a woman torn between fidelity and desire...and between two vastly different men in two irreconcilable lives.

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Sharpe's Tiger: Richard Sharpe and the Seige of Seringapatam, 1799

By Bernard Cornwell

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In a battery of events that will make a hero out of an illiterate private, a young Richard Sharpe poses as the enemy to bring down a ruthless Indian dictator backed by fearsome French troops. The year is 1799, and Richard Sharpe is just beginning his military career.

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Clarissa; or, The History of a Young Lady

By Samuel Richardson

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In this classic eighteenth-century epistolary novel, Clarissa's family tries to marry her off and a city gentleman tries to seduce her.
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A Case of Curiosities

By Allen Kurzweil

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In France, on the eve of the Revolution, a young man named Claude Page sets out to become the most ingenious and daring inventor of his time.

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Devil's Own Luck

By David Donachie

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Harry Ludlow, forced out of the Royal Navy, becomes a privateer in partnership with his younger brother James. But for the Ludlows, murder and intrigue take more of their time than hunting fat trading vessels. Harry and James find themselves aboard the Navy's 74-gun Magnanime. In command is a captain with whom Harry has crossed swords in the past. When James is found standing over the body of a dead officer, Harry's feud shifts into the background.

First of the Privateersman mystery series.

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Canaletto and the Case of the Westminster Bridge

By Janet Laurence

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When famed Italian artist Canaletto ventures to England on a business jaunt, he encounters more difficulties than just the language barrier. Upon arriving, Canaletto is attacked and robbed twice in the same day by a relentless pickpocket. When he is left for dead in a dark alley, the young woman who helped Canaletto earlier rescues the artist again. The visitor to England meets Jane Austen at dinner, helps uncover a spy, and finds that he has a talent for detective work.

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The Music of the Spheres

By Elizabeth Redfern

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"In the London of 1795, intrigue and death walk the dark streets. England is at war with its neighbor and nemesis, France, and espionage is rampant. It is the job of Jonathan Absey at the Home Office to catch these spies, but his mind is elsewhere, his dreams haunted by the still unsolved murder of his fifteen-year-old daughter in these same streets. Desperately pursuing both investigations, hestumbles across a strange society of astronomers called the Company of Titius who are on a furious search of their own: to discover a long-lost star in the wide black sky. Soon, as he digs into their arcane world, their quest begins to merge with his own, and Absey finds himself discovering more than he had ever imagined-not only about spies and murderers but also about celestial numbers and the making of codes; about passions as unnatural as they are obsessive; and about the bonds of family...and the lengths we will go to preserve them."
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All Souls Rising

By Madison Smartt Bell

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The violent struggle for freedom in Haiti, typified by the opening scene in which a woman is crucified for killing her baby so he will not grow up to be a slave, and the rise of a former slave, Toussaint L'Ouverture, to self-proclaimed governor general.

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The Devil's Own Luck

By David Donachie

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In 1793, privateer Harry Ludlow finds himself aboard the navy's 74-gun Magnanime, with his younger brother James. In command is Oliver Carter, a captain with whom Harry has an unfortunate history. When James is found standing over the body of a dead officer, Harry's feud shifts into the background. But dark secrets start to surface on all sides. First of the Privateersman series.

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