Reviews

Top Hist Fic Picks for July 2022

This blog first appeared on paperlanternwriters.com

July is my birthday month, and this year I turn 65. It’s a significant number. I don’t feel 65 years old, though, so that’s a blessing! A summer birthday is a great thing because whenever you see something you want as a gift, either Christmas or your birthday is coming up soon. Today I’m giving you a list of historical fiction titles being released during my birthday month.

BEST COVER

Peril at the Exhibition by Nev March (July 12)

“Award-winning author Nev March mesmerized readers with her Edgar finalist debut, Murder in Old Bombay. Now, in Peril at the Exposition, she wields her craft against the glittering landscape of the Gilded Age with spectacular results.” ~book description

This is a story of newlyweds from Bombay settling in Chicago just prior to the 1893 World’s Fair. The green of the cover, offset by the gold arch, catches my eye and makes me want to know more. I prefer a pictorial cover to the more trendy graphic covers like A Lady’s Guide to Fortune Hunting, The Light Always Breaks, or Where Dogs Bark With Their Tales. I also like bright colors. If this story of a murder investigation, where the investigator goes missing, is as good as the cover I’ll enjoy it thoroughly!

BEST TITLE

A Dress of Violet Taffeta by Tessa Arlen (July 5)

“A sumptuous novel based on the fascinating true story of La Belle Époque icon Lucy, Lady Duff Gordon, who shattered the boundaries of fashion with her magnificently sensual and enchantingly unique designs.” ~from the book description

I’d love to read the story of a female icon from 1912 who fought for success in the male-dominated fashion world. The fact that she survived the sinking of the Titanic makes the story even more compelling. As for the title, how great an image do the words violet taffeta give you?

MOST ANTICIPATED

Sister Mother Warrior by Vanessa Riley (July 12)

“This book is not only a one-sitting read, it’s a slice of history that needs to be told. Utterly brilliant, powerful, and inspiring.”–Kristan Higgins, New York Times bestselling author of Always the Last to Know

I thoroughly enjoyed Edie Cay’s interview with Vanessa Riley for Paper Lantern Writers’ Afternoon Tealight, so when I saw the author’s name on this one, I was excited. I’m looking forward to reading this story of two Black women who were leaders in the most successful Black uprising in history. Powerful women in unexpected places make for great novels!

MOST INTRIGUING

Heirlooms by Sandra Byrd (July 5)

“Set in both modern-day and midcentury Whidbey Island, Washington, this dual-narrative story of four women—grandmothers and granddaughters—intertwines across generations to explore the secrets we keep, the love we pass down, and the heirlooms we inherit from a well-lived life.” ~from the book description

I love the colors in the cover of this one almost as much as I love heirlooms. Since I know several people who live on Whidbey Island I am further intrigued even though I’ve never been there. A dual timeline novel dealing with buried family secrets is tops on my list.

BIOGRAPHICAL FICTION

Elizabeth and Elizabeth by Sue Williams (July 1)

Joan: a novel of Joan of Arc by Katherine J. Chen (July 5)

ROMANCE

Mistress of Music: Grace’s Story by Evelyn Richardson

The Alaska Saga by Tracie Peterson (July 1)

A Lady’s Guide to Fortune Hunting by Sophie Irwin (July 12)

The Italian Ballerina by Kristy Cambron (July 12)

MYSTERY

The Case of Duffy’s Revenge by Ethan J. Wolfe (July 20)

The Yeoman’s Tale by M.J. Trow (July 5)

LGBTQ 

The Book of Queens by Joumana Haddad (July 5)

Briefly, A Delicious Life by Nell Stevens (July 19)

WOMEN’S 

Groupies by Sarah Priscus (July 12)

Fellowship Point by Alice Elliott Dark (July 5)

WORLD WAR II

The Soviet Sisters by Anika Scott (July 12)

Switchboard Soldiers by Jennifer Chiaverini (July 19)

The Woman With Two Shadows by Sarah James (July 26)

Small Acts of Defiance by Michelle Wright (July 19)

Perfectly Ordinary People by Nick Alexander (July 26)

MEDIEVAL

Shield Breaker by Richard Cullen (July 7)

The Jane Seymour Conspiracy by Alexandra Walsh (July 20)

MULTIGENERATIONAL

Five Part Intervention by Andrea J. Buchanan (July 5)

Where Dogs Bark With Their Tails by Estelle-Sarah Bulle (July 5)

MISCELLANEOUS

Long Shadows by Abigail Cutter (July 12)

Justice Warrior by Rusty Davis (July 20)

The Light Always Breaks by Angela Jackson-Brown (July 5)

The Book of Gothel by Mary McMyne (July 26)

Need more books on your TBR? See more new release titles at Historical Novel Society.

Linda Ulleseit is the award-winning author of The Aloha Spirit and Under the Almond Trees. Her next historical novel, The River Remembers, will be published in 2023. To interact with her and other historical fiction authors and readers, join PLW’s Facebook group SHINE.

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