Historical Fiction

08/23/2016 - 12:03am
Cover to Land of Herrings and Persimmons: People and Places of Upper Stafford County, Virginia

Every year brings a lot of newcomers to the northern Stafford area. At first glance, they may see its many stores, wide roads, and convenient subdivisions. That’s modern Stafford, bedroom community to D.C. and Quantico Marine Corps Base. But Stafford County has a significant place in history, too.

Well-known local historian Jerrilynn Eby’s Land of Herrings and Persimmons is a tremendous volume that chronicles the county’s farming and industrial past, place by place, including Stafford County communities that were enveloped and lost when Quantico was established.

08/22/2016 - 2:14pm
If you like And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie

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 other book matches here.

And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie
First there were ten-a curious assortment of strangers summoned to a private island off the coast of Devon. Their host, an eccentric millionaire unknown to any of them, is nowhere to be found. The ten guests have precious little in common except that each has a deadly secret buried deep in their own past. And, unknown to them, each has been marked for murder. Alone on the island and trapped by foul weather, one by one the guests begin to fall prey to the hidden murderer among them. With themselves as the only suspects, only the dead are above suspicion. (catalog summary)

 

If you like the suspense and mystery of And Then There Were None, check out these titles:


A Bed of Scorpions by Judith Flanders
Summer in London-the sun is finally shining, the flowers are in bloom, and life is humming merrily along for book editor Samantha Clair, off to lunch with her old friend, art-dealer Aidan Merriam. Humming merrily until she learns that his partner has just been found dead in their gallery, slumped over his desk with a gun in his hand. Could anything be worse? Oh yes, the police investigation is being led by Inspector Jake Field, who just happens to be Sam's new boyfriend. And Aidan, who just happens to be Sam's ex-boyfriend, wants Sam's help. Finding herself drawn into another investigation, Sam does the only sensible thing and calls her mother. Before long, Sam finds her loyalties stretched to the limit as she herself is threatened. (catalog summary)

 

 


The Body in the Library by Agatha Christie
A young, blond woman is found dead on the floor of Colonel and Mrs. Bantry's library. Nobody seems to know who the woman is, let alone how she wound up murdered in the Bantry's home. Jane Marple is called in and the chase is on. (catalog summary)
 

 

 

08/22/2016 - 10:01am
If you like Let the Great World Spin by Colum McCann

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.

Let the Great World Spin by Colum McCann
A rich vision of the pain, loveliness, mystery, and promise of New York City in the 1970s. A radical young Irish monk struggles with his own demons as he lives among the prostitutes in the middle of the burning Bronx. A group of mothers gathers in a Park Avenue apartment to mourn their sons who died in Vietnam, only to discover just how much divides them even in grief. A young artist finds herself at the scene of a hit-and-run that sends her own life careening sideways. A 38-year-old grandmother turns tricks alongside her teenage daughter, determined not only to take care of her family but to prove her own worth. (catalog summary)

If you enjoyed Let the Great World Spin by Colum McCann for the writing, the family story and the setting, you may enjoy these titles:


 

American Rust by Philipp Meyer
Left alone to care for his aging father after his mother commits suicide and his sister escapes to Yale, Isaac English longs for a life beyond his hometown. But when he finally sets out to leave for good, accompanied by his temperamental best friend, former high school football star Billy Poe, they are caught up in a terrible act of violence that changes their lives forever. (catalog summary)

 

 

 

Brooklyn by Colm Tóibín
Eilis Lacey has come of age in small-town Ireland in the hard years following World War Two. When an Irish priest from Brooklyn offers to sponsor Eilis in America, she decides she must go, leaving her fragile mother and her charismatic sister behind. Eilis finds work in a department store on Fulton Street, and when she least expects it, finds love. Tony, who loves the Dodgers and his big Italian family, slowly wins her over with patient charm. But just as Eilis begins to fall in love, devastating news from Ireland threatens the promise of her future. (catalog summary)


 

08/22/2016 - 12:39pm
Cover to Grey Mask by Patricia Wentworth

The Miss Silver mystery series, by Patricia Wentworth, was written in the 1930s and 1940s. Like Agatha Christie’s Miss Marple, Miss Silver is genteel, a spinster, and an avid knitter. However, the similarities end there. Miss Silver is a professional investigator who is more similar to Sherlock Holmes than Miss Marple.   

08/19/2016 - 9:21am
If you like The Paris Wife by Paula McLain

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 other book matches here.

 

The Paris Wife by Paula McLain
Meeting through mutual friends in Chicago, Hadley is intrigued by brash "beautiful boy" Ernest Hemingway, and after a brief courtship and small wedding, they take off for Paris, where Hadley makes a convincing transformation from an overprotected child to a game and brave young woman who puts up with impoverished living conditions and shattering loneliness to prop up her husband's career. (catalog summary)

 

If you like the biographical fiction of The Paris Wife, you should check out these titles as well:

 

 

Caleb's Crossing by Geraldine Brooks
In 1665, a young man from Martha's Vineyard became the first Native American to graduate from Harvard College. Upon this slender factual scaffold she has created a luminous tale of love and faith, magic and adventure. (catalog summary)
 


 

 

 

Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese
Twin brothers born from a secret love affair between an Indian nun and a British surgeon in Addis Ababa, Marion and Shiva Stone come of age in Ethiopia, where their love for the same woman drives them apart. (catalog summary)

 

 

08/18/2016 - 11:03am
If you like Cold Mountain by Charles Frazier

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 other book matches here.

Cold Mountain by Charles Frazier
Sorely wounded and fatally disillusioned in the fighting at Petersburg, Inman, a Confederate soldier, decides to walk back to his home in the Blue Ridge Mountains and to Ada, the woman he loved there years before. His trek across the disintegrating South brings him into intimate and sometimes lethal converse with slaves and marauders, bounty hunters and witches, both helpful and malign. At the same time, Ada is trying to revive her father's derelict farm and learn to survive in a world where the old certainties have been swept away. As it interweaves their stories,Cold Mountainasserts itself as an authentic AmericanOdyssey--hugely powerful, majestically lovely, and keenly moving. (catalog summary)
 

If you like Cold Mountain, you might like these titles:



All the Pretty Horses
by Cormac McCarthy
This is the tale of John Grady Cole, who at sixteen finds himself at the end of a long line of Texas ranchers, cut off from the only life he has ever imagined for himself. With two companions, he sets off for Mexico on a sometimes idyllic, sometimes comic journey to a place where dreams are paid for in blood. Winner of the National Book Award for Fiction. (catalog summary)

 

 

Blue Asylum by Kathy Hepinstall
Amid the mayhem of the American Civil War, a Virginia plantation wife is put on trial by her slaveholder husband. Iris Dunleavy is convicted of madness by a Virginia judge; it is the only reasonable explanation the court can see for her willful behavior, so she is sent to Sanibel Asylum to be restored to a good compliant wife. But Iris knows her husband is the true criminal; she is no lunatic, only guilty of disagreeing with him on Southern notions of justice, cruelty, and property. The asylum calls itself modern, but Iris is skeptical of its methods, particularly the dreaded "water treatment." In this isolated place, she finds love with Ambrose. But can she take him with her if she escapes? Will there be anything for them to make a life from, back home? This novel is the story of a spirited woman, a wounded soldier, their impossible love, and the call of freedom. (catalog summary)

 

08/17/2016 - 2:59am
Cover to Mr. Churchill's Secretary

The old house Maggie inherited from her English grandmother was a testament to bygone days of glory. Maggie only meant to come to London to sell it, but with the housing market down and war raging in Europe—and most definitely threatening England—Maggie decided to keep it and fill it with her twentysomething friends.

Sarah is a dancer. “Chuck” is that tough yet tender rarity for the 1940s—a woman doctor. Paige is an old classmate from Wellesley, a Southern belle. Then there are the boy-crazy twins who live for the theatre.

08/12/2016 - 9:19am
If you like Necessary Lies by Diane Chamberlain

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 other book matches here.

Necessary Lies by Diane Chamberlain
Caring for her family on their mid-20th-century tobacco farm after the loss of her parents, 15-year-old Ivy connects with Grace County social worker Jane, who strains her personal and professional relationships with her advocacy of Ivy's family, whose dark secrets test Jane's resolve against racial tensions and state-mandated sterilizations. (catalog summary)

If you like the historical drama, diversity, and transition of Necessary Lies, then check out these titles:

 

 

Before We Visit the Goddess by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni 
A novel in stories, built around crucial moments in the lives of 3 generations of women in an Indian/Indian-American Family. (catalog summary)

 

 

 

 

The Charm Bracelet by Viola Shipman
Through an heirloom charm bracelet three women will rediscover the importance of family, love, faith, friends, fun and a passion for living as the magic of each charm changes their lives. (catalog summary)

 

 

08/10/2016 - 1:52pm
If you like Historical Fiction & Mysteries

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 other book matches here.

Are you looking for a mystery--but not set in the present day? A mystery that was solved long ago? A rogue hero or heroine that fears nothing from the past? Look no further. Here are a few fresh--all published in 2016--historical mysteries for you to dive into.

As Death Draws Near by Anna Lee Huber
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. (catalog summary)
 


Better Dead by Max Allan Collins
It's the early 1950's. Joe McCarthy is campaigning to rid America of the Red Menace. Nate Heller is doing legwork for the senator, though the Chicago detective is disheartened by McCarthy's witch-hunting tactics. He's made friends with a young staffer, Bobby Kennedy, while trading barbs with a potential enemy, the attorney Roy Cohn, who rubs Heller the wrong way. Not the least of which for successfully prosecuting the so-called Atomic Bomb spies, Julius and Ethel Rosenberg. When famous mystery writer Dashiell Hammett comes to Heller representing a group of showbiz and literary leftists who are engaged in a last minute attempt to save the Rosenbergs, Heller decides to take on the case. (catalog summary)

 

The Butcher Bird by S.D. Skyes 
Oswald de Lacey is growing up fast in his new position as Lord of Somershill Manor. The Black Death changed many things, and just as it took away his father and elder brothers, leaving Oswald to be recalled from the monastery where he expected to spend his life, so it has taken many of his villagers and servants. However, there is still the same amount of work to be done in the farms and fields, and the few people left to do it think they should be paid more - something the King himself has forbidden. Just as anger begins to spread, the story of the Butcher Bird takes flight. People claim to have witnessed a huge creature in the skies. A new-born baby is found impaled on a thorn bush. And then more children disappear. Convinced the bird is just a superstitious rumor, Oswald must discover what is really happening. (catalog summary)

 

08/09/2016 - 2:06am
Cover to The Mangle Street Murders

M.R.C. Kasasian’s The Mangle Street Murders begins a murder-by-gaslight series which may appeal to fans of Sherlock Holmes, Hercule Poirot, or Carole Nelson Douglas’ Irene Adler.

“It’s a pity you’re not prettier,” or words to that effect seem to follow March Middleton everywhere she goes. She is alone in the world after her surgeon-father’s death, her mother having died at her birth. With no marriage prospects and frankly no desire for wedlock, apparently penniless March accepts an old family friend’s invitation to be his ward. After all, London must be more interesting than the placid English countryside.

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