Historical Thrillers

From 1327 Italy to World War II's Nazi Germany, these novels will fascinate you with the details of their unique settings and thrill you with intense plots.

The Dress Lodger

By Sheri Holman

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Fifteen-year-old Gustine is a "dress lodger", a young prostitute who rents a beautiful dress from her landlord to attract a higher class of clientele. Surgeon Henry Chiver is a prisoner of his own past and is looking to start over.

Doctor and dress lodger come together in the filthy, cholera-infected East End of Sunderland. Here, during the worst epidemic since the bubonic plague, Gustine secures bodies for the doctor's school in exchange for medical care for her ailing child. The arrangement is gruesome but profitable for both until Henry's greed and his growing obsession with her child challenge Gustine's loyalty to him.

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Deception: A Novel of Murder and Madness in T’ang China

By Eleanor Cooney

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Over a period of forty years, chief magistrate Dee fights the malevolent empress Wu, who has killed her own children, exiled her most respected statesman, and reduced her husband to idiocy.

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Bone House: A Novel

By Betsy Tobin

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"It is the tale of two women. One is Dora -- large, voluptuous, and charismatic -- a prostitute to whom men are drawn for pleasure, women for friendship. Her strange death in an icy ravine affects everyone in the tiny village: her enormous, slow-minded son; an embittered midwife; the hunchbacked lord of the manor; his decaying mother; and an itin- erant portrait painter, whose arrival in the village unearths secrets and passions beyond anyone's expectations.

The other -- young, slight, and solitary -- is a dutiful chambermaid to the mistress of the manor until Dora's accident begins to distract her from her daily tasks. Her quest to uncover the truth about the prostitute's mysterious life and sudden death leads her to a terrible discovery, and the beginnings of a future."

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The Alienist

By Caleb Carr

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1896 Manhattan is awash in grotesquely mutilated corpses. An alienist (19th century term for psychologist) and a New York Times reporter join forces with chief of police Theodore Roosevelt to put pay to the monster against a backdrop of decadence and corruption. Angel of Darkness is the sequel.

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The Firedrake's Eye

By Patricia Finney

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Troubled by visions, Tom O'Bedlam, the mad son of a prominent Catholic family, wanders the London streets, where he finds evidence that his brother has launched a scheme to assassinate Queen Elizabeth I.

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