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Historical Fiction

01/22/2016 - 10:52am
Major Pettigrew's Last Stand by Helen Simonson

This readalike is in response to a customer's book-match request. If you would like personalized reading recommendations, fill out the book-match form and a librarian will email suggested titles to you. Available for adults, teens, and kids.  You can browse the book matches here.

Major Pettigrew's Last Stand by Helen Simonson: "Major Ernest Pettigrew (retired) leads a quiet life in the village of St. Mary, England, until his brother's death sparks an unexpected friendship with Mrs. Jasmina Ali, the Pakistani shopkeeper from the village. Drawn together by their shared love of literature and the loss of their respective spouses, the Major and Mrs. Ali soon find their friendship blossoming into something more. But will their relationship survive in a society that considers Ali a foreigner?" (Book summary)


If you liked Major Pettigrew's Last Stand, you may also like these titles for the wit, beauty of the language, and the great characters:

An Available Man by Hilma Wolitzer
A sixty-ish widower misses the companionship of a wife, but has absolutely no desire for dating.

Cutting For Stone by A. Verghese
An Indian nun has an affair with a British surgeon.  Their twin sons grow up in Ethiopia, and fall in love with the same woman.

01/05/2016 - 3:08am
All Men Fear Me by Donis Casey

Boynton, Oklahoma: 1917. A stranger comes to town. A nondescript, little man in a bowler hat. Says his name is Nick. Old Nick. He seems drawn to the flaring tempers and anti-foreigner rants that are bubbling up as the United States enters WWI. He can smell the murderous rages and incendiary fear wafting off some of the citizens. For the scared and the angry, he might sidle up behind them and whisper in their ears, "Tell me. Tell me what you want."  And then, somehow, their ugly thoughts . . . become reality.

12/15/2015 - 2:51am
Blotto, Twinks, and the Ex-King’s Daughter by Simon Brett

He: likes foxhunting on his fine stallion Mephistopheles, whiskey & soda, but above all else, cricket. His form is handsome and athletic. His mind uncluttered with much in the way of philosophy or common sense.

She: enjoys fashion, researching/knowing everything, and breaking men’s hearts. Well, she doesn’t really like it. Simply an occupational hazard when one is such a beautiful breath-sapper. But what this to-the-manor-born brother and sister like most is solving murders. To catch the “coffinators” is their aim.

12/09/2015 - 2:47am
A Curious Beginning by Deanna Raybourn
After her guardian’s burial, Veronica Speedwell returns to her cottage only to find an intruder in the process of ransacking her belongings. Never one to shy away from danger, Speedwell grabs a nearby sword and gives chase. She is quickly overpowered by the intruder and dragged to a waiting carriage. As luck would have it, a gun-toting gentleman fires his pistol at the offending thug, resulting in Veronica’s hasty release.

12/02/2015 - 2:43am
A New York Christmas by Anne Perry
At twenty-three, Jemima Pitt has grown from Thomas and Charlotte Pitt's little girl into a young woman ready to take on her own adventures in Anne Perry’s A New York Christmas.

11/30/2015 - 9:27am
Sorcery and Cecelia, or, The Enchanted Chocolate Pot by Patricia C. Wrede and Caroline Stevermer

“Being the Correspondence of Two Young Ladies of Quality Regarding Various Magical Scandals in London and the Country”

If you care for your Austen/Regency romances with a difference—but not necessarily zombies, Sorcery and Cecelia might be your cup of tea.

11/10/2015 - 2:29am
A Desperate Fortune by Susanna Kearsley

Sara Thomas is brilliant, lovely, and socially awkward. She knows a committed relationship won’t work out for her in the long-term. They never do. So, Sara isn’t looking for romance when she takes a job decrypting an old manuscript. Yet that is what she finds in Susanna Kearsley’s A Desperate Fortune.

10/16/2015 - 7:47am
If you like Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

This readalike is in response to a patron's book-match request. If you would like personalized reading recommendations, fill out the book-match form and a librarian will email suggested titles to you. Available for adults, teens, and kids.  You can browse the book matches here.

Outlander by Diana Gabaldon: "The year is 1945. Claire Randall, a former combat nurse, is back from the war and reunited with her husband on a second honeymoon -- when she walks through a standing stone 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 Highland clans in the year of Our Lord ... 1743. Hurled back in time by forces she cannot understand, Claire is catapulted into intrigues and dangers that may threaten her life ... and shatter her heart. For here she meets James Fraser, a gallant young Scots warrior, and becomes a woman torn between fidelity and desire ... and between two vastly different men in two irreconcilable lives." (Book summary)

If you enjoyed Outlander,  you may enjoy these other historical romances with strong characters or time-traveling novels:

Beyond the Highland Mist by Karen Marie Moning
He would sell his warrior soul to possess her. . . . An alluring laird... He was known throughout the kingdom as Hawk, legendary predator of the battlefield and the boudoir. No woman could refuse his touch, but no woman ever stirred his heart-until a vengeful fairy tumbled Adrienne de Simone out of modern-day Seattle and into medieval Scotland. Captive in a century not her own, entirely too bold, too outspoken, she was an irresistible challenge to the sixteenth-century rogue. Coerced into a marriage with Hawk, Adrienne vowed to keep him at arm's length-but his sweet seduction played havoc with her resolve. A prisoner in time... She had a perfect "no" on her perfect lips for the notorious laird, but Hawk swore she would whisper his name with desire, begging for the passion he longed to ignite within her. Not even the barriers of time and space would keep him from winning her love. Despite her uncertainty about following the promptings of her own passionate heart, Adrienne's reservations were no match for Hawk's determination to keep her by his side. . . .  (Catalog summary)

Clan of the Cave Bear by Jean M. Auel
Twenty years ago The Clan of the Cave Bear became a blockbuster, launching a bestselling saga. This is the story of Ayla and her odyssey at the beginning of time. (catalog description)

 

09/23/2015 - 7:19am
The Secret Adversary by Agatha Christie

After reading CRRL librarian Joy O’Toole’s great write-up on Agatha Christie, I thought I’d give one of her series a try. I’m not sure why I had been avoiding them. I like British stuff, historical novels, and mysteries. But what I had glimpsed of Inspector Poirot and Miss Marple did not immediately grab me. I decided to try one of her lesser-known series, Partners in Crime, which starts with The Secret Adversary.

Friends since childhood, charming, young, and starving Tommy and Tuppence meet at a London tea shop to catch up, only to discover that they both face the same problem—chronic unemployment! In London after the Great War, there aren’t a lot of jobs to be had, so for the price of an advertisement in the newspaper, they decide to create The Young Adventurers, Ltd., a firm that will take on very nearly anything.

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