Wednesday, 13 January 2016

NEW HISTORICAL FICTION for Spring 2016 – Elizabeth Fremantle

A selection of historical titles to look forward to in the coming months:

                                    

THE QUEEN'S CHOICE – Anne O'Brien (Mira, Jan 14th)


One Question. Two paths. A choice that will make history.
France 1399: The Duke of Brittany is dead and his widow, Joanna of Navarre, has inherited control of their land - a testament to her intellect, integrity and political prowess.

Then comes an unprecedented proposal from Henry IV, King of England. And the price of becoming his Queen? Abandoning her country by marriage, leaving her children and sacrificing her independence.

What will Joanna choose? And how will she face the accusation of witchcraft and necromancy?


FOR THE MOST BEAUTIFUL – Emily Hauser (Transworld, Jan 28th)

Three thousand years ago a war took place that gave birth to legends - to Achilles, the greatest of the Greeks, and Hector, prince of Troy. It was a war that shook the very foundations of the world. But what if there was more to this epic conflict? What if there was another, hidden tale of the Trojan War?

Now is the time for the women of Troy to tell their story.

Thrillingly imagined and startlingly original, For the Most Beautiful reveals the true story of true for the first time. The story of Krisayis, daughter of the Trojans' High Priest, and of Briseis, princess of Pedasus, who fight to determine the fate of a city and its people in this ancient time of mischievous gods and mythic heroes.

In this novel full of passion and revenge, loyalty and betrayal, bravery and sacrifice, Emily Hauser breathes exhilarating new life into one of the greatest legends of all - in a tale that has waited millennia to be told.


A BRIEF AFFAIR – Margaret Leroy (Sphere, Feb 11th)

September 1940. England is at war and London has become an ever-fragile place for widowed Livia Ripley and her two young daughters. When Livia meets charismatic publisher Hugo, she is hopeful that her life is about to change for the better. But as clouds gather in the clear autumn sky, the wail of the siren heralds the arrival of the Luftwaffe. As the raids intensify, Livia reluctantly volunteers to become a warden, at the invitation of the intense and enigmatic Justin Connelly.

Here she experiences the true reality and despair of war, a contrast to the world of comfort and cocktails provided in fleeting afternoons at the Balfour Hotel with Hugo. And it’s during these dangerous nights that Livia discovers a strength she never knew she had that will give her the power to save those she loves. A stunningly captured story of a woman finding herself while the world is at war.


THE FORGOTTEN SUMMER– Carol Drinkwater (Michael Joseph, Feb 11th)


The annual grape harvest at the Cambon family's vineyard is always a cause for celebration. But not this year. When an accident destroys the crop, leaving the estate facing ruin, Clarisse Cambon knows exactly who to blame – her daughter-in-law Jane.


It's just the latest incident in a decades-long feud whose origin both women have concealed and going back to Algeria in 1962 during the dying throes of the War of Independence.




THE SILVERED HEART – Katherine Clements (in Paperback, Headline, Feb 11th)


1648. Orphaned heiress Lady Katherine Ferrers is forced into marriage for the sake of family honour … but with Cromwell’s army bringing England to its knees, her fortune is the real prize her husband desires. As her marriage becomes a prison and her privileged world crumbles, Katherine meets her match in Rafe – a lover who will lead her into a dangerous new way of life where the threat of death lurks at every turn…

Enter Kate Ferrers, highwaywoman, the Wicked Lady of legend – brought gloriously to life in this take of infatuation, betrayal and survival.



WATCH THE LADY – Elizabeth Fremantle (in paperback, Penguin, Feb 11th)

Penelope Devereux arrives at Queen Elizabeth’s court where she and her brother, the Earl of Essex, are drawn into the aging Queen’s favor. Young and Naïve, Penelope, though promised elsewhere, falls in love with Philip Sidney who pours his heartbreak into the now classic sonnet series Astrophil and Stella. But Penelope is soon married off to a man who loathes her. Never fainthearted, she chooses her moment and strikes a deal with her husband: after she gives birth to two sons, she will be free to live as she chooses, with whom she chooses. But she is to discover that the course of true love is never smooth.

Meanwhile Robert Cecil, ever loyal to Elizabeth, has his eye on Penelope and her brother. Although it seems The Earl of Essex can do no wrong in the eyes of the Queen, as his influence grows, so his enemies gather. Penelope must draw on all her political savvy to save her brother from his own ballooning ambition and Cecil’s trap, while daring to plan for an event it is treason even to think about.

Unfolding over the course of two decades and told from the perspectives of Penelope and her greatest enemy, the devious politician Cecil, Watch the Lady chronicles the last gasps of Elizabeth’s reign, and the deadly scramble for power in a dying dynasty.


FAITH AND BEAUTY – Jane Thynne (in paperback, Simon & Schuster March 10th)

Berlin, on the eve of war…

As soldiers muster on the streets, spies circle in the shadows and Lotte Franke, a young woman from the Faith and Beauty Society – the elite finishing school for Nazi girls – is found in a shallow grave

Clara Vine, Anglo-German actress and spy, has been offered the most ambitious part she has ever played. And in her more secret life, British Intelligence has recalled her to London to probe reports that the Nazis and the Soviet Union are planning to make a pact.

Then Clara hears of Lotti's death, and is determined to discover what happened to her. But what she uncovers is something of infinite value to the Nazi regime - the object that led to Lotti's murder - and now she herself is in danger.

In a drama which traverses Berlin, Paris, Vienna and London, Clara Vine tries to keep her friends close, but finds her enemies are even closer.



DEATH IN BAYSWATER: A Frances Doughty Mystery – Linda Stratmann (History Press March10th)


London 1881: Bayswater is in the grip of panic as a ruthless murderer prowls the foggy streets of the nation's capital.

Residents live in fear, rumors and accusations abound, and vigilante groups patrol by night. It is not of course, a suitable case for a lady detective, but when a friend falls victim to the killer's knife, Frances Doughty cannot help but be drawn into a sinister new case. Myth and reality collide in another thrilling mystery, and Frances must untangle the truth from the lies in order to solve her most difficult case to date. 



THE LEGENDARY GARRETT GIRLS – Y S Lee in a new anthology of historical fiction and historical fantasy, A TYRANNY OF PETTICOATS (Candlewick Press, March 2016)

Crisscross America — on dogsleds and ships, stagecoaches and trains — from pirate ships off the coast of the Carolinas to the peace, love, and protests of 1960s Chicago. Join fifteen of today’s most talented writers of young adult literature on a thrill ride through history with American girls charting their own course. They are monsters and mediums, bodyguards and barkeeps, screenwriters and schoolteachers, heiresses and hobos. They're making their own way in often-hostile lands, using every weapon in their arsenals, facing down murderers and marriage proposals. And they all have a story to tell.


ALTAR OF BLOOD – Anthony Riches (Hodder & Stoughton, March 10th)


The Tungrians have no sooner returned to Rome than they find themselves tasked with a very different mission to their desperate exploits in Parthia.

Ordered to cross the river Rhenus into barbarian Germany and capture a tribal priestess who may be the most dangerous person on the empire's northern border, they are soon subject to the machinations of an old enemy who will stop at nothing to sabotage their plans before they have even set foot on the river's eastern bank.

But after their Roman enemy is neutralised they face a challenge greater still. With two of the Bructeri tribe's greatest treasures in their hands they must regain Roman territory by crossing the unforgiving wilderness that was the graveyard of Roman imperial strategy two hundred years before. And capture by the Bructeri's vengeful chieftain and his warband can only end in one way - a horrific sacrificial death on the tribe's altar of blood.

THE ENGLISH GIRL – Katherine Webb (Orion, March 24th)

Joan Seabrook, a fledgling archaeologist, has fulfilled a lifelong dream to visit Arabia by travelling from England to the ancient city of Muscat with her fiancé, Rory. Desperate to escape the pain of a personal tragedy, she longs to explore the desert fort of Jabrin, and unearth the treasures it is said to conceal. But Oman is a land lost in time - hard, secretive, and in the midst of a violent upheaval - and gaining permission to explore Jabrin could prove impossible. Joan's disappointment is only alleviated by the thrill of meeting her childhood heroine, pioneering explorer Maude Vickery, and hearing first-hand the stories that captured her imagination and fuelled her ambition as a child.

Joan's encounter with the extraordinary and reclusive Maude will change everything. Both women have things that they want, and secrets they must keep. As their friendship grows, Joan is seduced by Maude's stories, and the thrill of the adventure they hold, and only too late does she begin to question her actions - actions that will spark a wild, and potentially disastrous, chain of events.

Will the girl that left England for this beautiful but dangerous land ever find her way back?


THE HOUSE OF
DREAMS – Kate Lord Brown (Macmillan, April)

In 2000, Gabriel Lambert is a celebrated painter who hides a dark secret. Sophie Cass, a journalist struggling to begin her career and with a family connection to Lambert, is determined to find the truth about his past and the little known story of the real Casablanca.
In 1940, an international group of rescue workers, refugee intellectuals, and artists gather in the beautiful old Villa Air Bel just outside Marseilles. American journalist Varian Fry and his remarkable team at the American Relief Center are working to help them escape France, but "the greatest man-trap in history" is closing in on them. Despite their peril, true camaraderie and creativity flourishes - while love affairs spring up and secrets are hidden. At the House of Dreams, young refugee artist Gabriel Lambert changed the course of his life - and now, sixty years later at his home in the Hamptons, the truth is finally catching up with him.


SHAKESPEARE'S GHOST – Mary Hoffman (Greystone Press, April 23rd)


From A Midsummer Night’s Dream onwards, Shakespeare’s plays are often peopled by fairies, witches, ghosts and apparitions. In Shakespeare’s Ghost Mary Hoffman imagines why that might be, by giving the poet a familiar spirit who urges him to include more and more paranormal events and characters in his work.

Meanwhile, Ned Lambert, a boy player in Shakespeare’s own company, The King’s Men, is having inexplicable experiences of his own, with a beautiful and elusive woman in green, who is not of this world.

It is 1610 and Jacobean London is full of dangers, from the plague to plots and revolutions. And Ned – now a man on and off stage – is caught between fears and temptations. The poet is his friend, as is the popular young Prince of Wales, but is Faelinn friend or foe?


BACK HOME – Tom Williams (Accent, April)

In 1859, John Williamson returns from India, broken by his experiences in the Mutiny. England has become a country he hardly recognises.

Industrialisation at home and military expansion abroad have made Britain into a dynamic political and economic power that dominates the world. Yet, in London, he finds the same divide between the poor and the rich that he saw in the Far East. Once again, is caught between the machinations of the powerful and the resistance of the powerless. But now that he is back home, can he escape the cycle of violence that has dogged his life?




OPERATION GOODWOOD: The 5th Mirabelle Bevan Mystery – Sara Sheridan, (Constable and Robinson, April)

1950s Brighton. WWII is over but Mirabelle Bevan's time in the backrooms of Whitehall has made her the most stylish sleuth in Brighton.

When Mirabelle is rescued from a fire at her home on the Brighton seafront she's lucky to escape unharmed - but the blaze takes the life of her neighbour, Dougie Beaumont, a dashing and successful racing driver living in the flat above and it isn’t long before Mirabelle finds herself drawn into the mystery surrounding his death….


6 comments:

Linda said...

So little time . . . so many books here I simply cannot miss. 2016 is going to be a busy year!

Sue Purkiss said...

Mouthwatering!

Marjorie said...

So many books on this list that look fascinating!

Sally Zigmond said...

Heavens. So many fascinating books to read. So little time to read them. Eeny, meeny, miny, mo...

Melissa Marsh said...

Oh my goodness. Some fabulous new titles coming this year. I can't wait! Off to Goodreads now to put these on my TBR shelf. :)

carol drinkwater said...

Thank you so much for including me in this, Elizabeth. Due to travels and lack of internet access, I have only just seen it. Here's to all our pub dates, girls. Carol x