A reimagining of the character of Alcestis, the devoted wife who descended to the underworld in her husband's place; there's more to her story than Greek mythology lets on. The ARC just went out on a list to Historical Novels Review reviewers, and this was the most popular pick. Soho, February.
It's been a little while since we've seen anything new from Morgan Llywelyn, chronicler of Irish history from ancient times through the end of the 20th century. Her Irish Century series, beginning with 1916, is a must-read for anyone interested in understanding the struggle for Irish independence. Her latest takes on the story of Brendan the Navigator, an early Irish saint who flourished in the 5th and 6th centuries AD. Forge, February.
A historical thriller based on the real-life massacre of Chinese gold miners in Hells Canyon, Idaho Territory, in 1887, a crime ignored by local media -- probably due to the ethnicity of the victims -- and which remains unsolved over a century later. (I notice a nonfiction book on the matter, R. Gregory Nokes's Massacred for Gold, was published by Oregon State Univ Press on October 1st.) "Dana Hand" is the pseudonym for two historians who collaborated on this, their first novel. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, February.
In the last preview, we saw one forthcoming historical novel set in colonial Louisiana; here's another. As you can guess, this is a novel-length interpretation of Longfellow's classic poem "Evangeline," in which the title character journeys from Acadia (Nova Scotia) to New Orleans in the mid-18th century in search of her lost fiancé. I'm not sure if this is the final cover, but it's the one in the print catalog. Overlook, March.
Elisabeth McNeill writes about fascinating topics from (mostly) Scottish history that other historical novelists, for some unknown reason, have neglected. Fantastic Fiction has a nice bibliography, with covers. Her earliest novels were British sagas, but her more recent works have used major historical events as backdrops. The Heartbreaker is a novel of Bonnie Prince Charlie and the woman who helped him escape, Flora MacDonald, and sees what happens to each in their later lives. Severn House, January.
Continuing the 16th-century trend, here's a historical thriller set on the Oxford campus during Elizabethan times, with Italian monk Giordano Bruno as an undercover detective spying for the Queen. Per the Euro Crime blog, Heresy is first in a trilogy written by British journalist and literary critic Stephanie Merritt under a pseudonym. It's aimed at fans of C.J. Sansom. Doubleday (US) and HarperCollins (UK), March.
Does anyone else remember the author's first novel, Grange House, an elegant gothic novel set in 19th-century Maine? (My review, nine years old now, is here, and if you go for novels about creepy haunted houses and family secrets, you'll likely enjoy it too.) The Postmistress is a novel of two women during World War II, a postmistress on Cape Cod and a radio broadcaster in London, and the long-held secrets that erupt when their lives intersect. Putnam, February.
Mitchell's Chateau of Echoes took me on a journey to a 15th-century chateau in Brittany, as seen in both medieval and modern times. Her next novel is set amidst the upper classes in the late 19th century, as a young debutante discovers the fickle nature of high society. Bethany House, April.
Inspired by a controversial court case found in records from 1899 California, Moran's debut novel dramatizes the unintentional bigamy of Henry Oades, having married his second wife after believing his first wife and their children had been killed back in New Zealand. The author's website has more details on the storyline and background. Ballantine, February; UK rights went to HarperCollins.