Reviews

Top Hist Fic Picks October 2022

This post first appeared on PaperLanternWriters.com

October is when the fall season really takes hold for me. It’s a month of orange and black and brown, scary movies (which I don’t like), small candy bars, and cool wind. Not too many scary stories in the new releases this month, but there are several that promise to be good reading before a fire on a cool Fall night. 

This month a lot of the new releases I’ve listed under Biographical are retellings of familiar stories from a woman’s (or another woman’s) point of view. Marmee is told by the mother of Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women. Hester  is about Hester Prynne, and The Myrtle Wand retells the ballet Giselle.

Kris Waldherr’s Unnatural Creatures  comes out this month, too. Read Lantern Rebecca D’Harlingue’s interview with Kris on our blog.

BEST COVER

Secrets of the Nile by Tasha Alexander (October 4)

“In a brilliant homage to Agatha Christie, critically acclaimed author Tasha Alexander sends Lady Emily to Egypt during British colonial rule to investigate a crime that leads back to the era of the Pharaohs.” ~book description

I love the yellow and blue contrast in this cover. It’s eye-catching and beautiful. The novel is the next in a series of Lady Emily mysteries. In this one, Lady Emily and her husband cruise up the Nile with a private party when their host is poisoned. There are, of course, a variety of suspects from a politician to an archaeologist.

BEST TITLE

The Godmother’s Secret by Elizabeth St. John (October 4)

“If you knew the fate of the Princes in the Tower would you tell? Or forever keep the secret?” ~from the book description

The word ‘secret’ immediately grabs my attention. And a godmother? I don’t remember a story with a godmother as the central figure. In this one, the godson is Edward V, the boy sent with his brother to the tower and disappeared. Edward’s godmother is desperate to protect him, at great risk to herself.

MOST INTRIGUING

Lavender House by Lev AC Rosen (October 18)

“A delicious story from a new voice in suspense, Lev AC Rosen’s Lavender House is Knives Out with a queer historical twist.” ~from the book description

Lavender House is the family seat of the matriarch of a soap empire, but it’s also a space where none of the staff or residents have to hide who they really are. When the matriarch is killed, a gay former policeman is hired to find the killer.

MOST ANTICIPATED

The Fire and the Ore by Olivia Hawker (October 1)

“Three spirited wives in nineteenth-century Utah. One husband. A compelling novel of family, sisterhood, and survival by the Washington Post bestselling author of One for the Blackbird, One for the Crow.” ~book description

Olivia Hawker is one of my favorite historical fiction authors. Her books are filled with tremendously layered characters faced with impossible obstacles. This book features Mormon sister-wives who are thrown together based only on their shared man.

BIOGRAPHICAL

Marmee by Sarah Miller (October 25)

In the Shadow of the Queen by Heather B. Moore (October 4)

Miss Del Rio by Barbara Mujica (October 4)

The Myrtle Wand by Margaret Porter (October 11)

Hester by Laurie Lee Albanese (October 4)

Prize for the Fire by Rilla Askew (October 20)

ROMANCE

On Good Authority by Briana Una McGuckin (October 11)

The Secrets of Emberwild by Stephania H. McGee (October 4)

The Boxing Baroness by Minerva Spencer (October 25)

Unnatural Creatures by Kris Waldherr (October 4)

The Hit Man’s Wife by Joy Ross Davis

To Capture His Heart by Nancy Campbell Allen

LGBTQ+

Before All the World by Moriel Rothman-Zecher (October 11)

FANTASY

Light Perpetual by Andrzej Sapkowski (October 25)

WORLD WAR I

The Invincible Miss Cust by Penny Haw (October 4)

WORLD WAR II

The Whalebone Theater by Joanna Quinn (October 4)

As Little As Nothing by Pamela Mulloy (October 11)

That Summer in Berlin by Lecia Cornwall (October 11)

Three Sisters by Heather Morris (October 5)

MEDIEVAL

A Fox in the Fold by Candyce Robb (October 4)

13th CENTURY

Ranshin: Samurai Crusaders by Tetsuo Ted Takashima (October 1)

The Lost Melody by Joanna Davidson Politano (October 4)

19th CENTURY

The Gilded Sutra by Julia Todd (October 18)

Diamond Hunter by Paul Fraser Collard (October 13)

MYSTERY

The Winter Guest by W. C. Ryan (October 4)

The Night Ship by Jess Kidd (October 4)

Need more historical fiction 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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