Karen Maitland's A COMPANY OF LIARS, set in England in 1348, as the plague is spreading and a band of misfits are trying to outrun it, including a scar-faced trader in holy relics, a minstrel from Venice, an itinerant painter of church frescoes, a deformed storyteller wanted by the law, a strange albino child, a healer, and a bad-tempered magician traveling with an embalmed mermaid, and THE OWL KILLERS, also set in the middle ages, to Kate Miciak for Dial and Bantam, in a major deal, by Kathleen Anderson at Anderson Literary Management, on behalf of Victoria Hobbs at A.M. Heath (NA).
I said earlier I'd do an end-of-the-year Top 10 list, but there are so many historical novels from 2006 I haven't read that it's almost silly. But disclaimers aside, here they are, in alphabetical order by author:
Gretchen Craig, Always and Forever (Louisiana, 1823-37)
Margaret Ball, Duchess of Aquitaine (Aquitaine and Paris, France, 1137-49)
Charles Frazier, Thirteen Moons (Great Smoky Mountains, North Carolina, 1830s)
Margaret George, Helen of Troy (ancient Greece)
Sally Gunning, The Widow's War (Cape Cod, Massachusetts, 1761)
Jane Harris, The Observations (Scotland, 1863)
Amy Hassinger, The Priest's Madonna (Rennes-le-Château, France, 1890s)
Jaime Manriquez, Our Lives Are the Rivers (Ecuador and Peru, 1820s)
James Morrow, The Last Witchfinder (England, Massachusetts, and Pennsylvania, 1688)
Mary Sharratt, The Vanishing Point (Maryland, 1689)
Where reviews that I've written exist on the free web, I've linked them. For the Amazon reviews, look for the Booklist mentions.
As for what I'm reading now, I'm nearly done with Ann Waldron's The Princeton Imposter, part of the "Death is Academic" murder mystery series set on the Princeton campus. It showed up in yesterday's UPS mail, and I got sucked in after reading the first couple pages.