I'll be offering more previews in the next little while, and if you'd like an even longer list, check out the Historical Novel Society's forthcoming titles for 2015, which I've been busily updating.
I'd buy this one for the cover alone. (I've been trying to figure out if it's a reworking of this painting by Joseph Stieler, from Ludwig I of Bavaria's Gallery of Beauties.) Berg's latest novel will take an intimate look at unconventional, mold-breaking 19th-century French writer George Sand, who was born with the name Aurore Dupin. Ballantine, April 2015.
The saga of three sisters from a family of glassblowers in a small village in late 19th-century Germany, not a setting you see much of. I bought this as a Kindle First title earlier this month. AmazonCrossing, November 2014.
It's about time a publisher saw the wisdom of republishing Valerie Fitzgerald's only novel, a classic epic of love and war set in India during the British Raj. It won the Historical Novel Prize in Memory of Georgette Heyer back in 1981, and back in 2010, I said it was a "prime candidate for reissue." It has a gorgeous new cover design, and since this is a massive (800pp) trade paperback, I hope they've enlarged the typeface. Head of Zeus, January 2015 (the date keeps shifting, but this is what Amazon UK has now).
Here is another novel whose enticing cover says buy me, and Kearsley's name on a new novel has the same effect for many readers. It's a romantic time-slip novel that moves between the 1700s and today, the two periods linked by the journal of a woman holding Jacobite beliefs. Sourcebooks, April 2015.
Sarah Lark is the pseudonym for a German writer whose epic historical "landscape novels" are bestsellers in Spain. I own three books in her New Zealand series and have always meant to get to them. Her newest English-language translation takes place in tropical Jamaica in the early 18th century and features a young Englishwoman hoping to improve conditions for her sugar-planter husband's slaves. Bastei Entertainment, October 2014 (ebook only).
To my mind, few writers combine a homey setting and bone-chilling creepiness like Rett MacPherson. Her Torie O'Shea genealogical mysteries set in a present-day Missouri river town were auto-buys for me in hardcover. Her newest book is a true historical about an old crime resurfacing in 1950s West Virginia. It may be a departure from Torie, but I can't wait to read it. Word Posse, October 2014.
Michelle Moran always chooses intriguing subjects that few other writers have touched. Her upcoming Rebel Queen looks at the famed military exploits of Lakshmi, the Rani of Jhansi, who fights to defend her people against the British in the mid-19th century. Touchstone, March 2015.
The Siege Winter (US) or The Winter Siege (UK) – whichever title you go by, what you need to know is that this is brilliant historical writer Diana Norman/Ariana Franklin's final novel, completed by her daughter after her death. It's a standalone set in the English Fens in the 12th century, a setting Franklin has made her own many times over. I'll be reading this soon for review. It's out in the UK now from Bantam, but the US publisher is William Morrow, February 2015.
Because the author is Charles Todd (a mother-son writing team), we know this is a twisty historical crime novel, which makes the title a bit unsettling. Which is great. This prequel of sorts to Todd's long-running series brings readers back to 1914 and Scotland Yard detective Ian Rutledge's past, before the traumatic wartime service that will leave him a shell-shocked veteran. I'm reading this now on Edelweiss. William Morrow, January 2015.
This debut novel piqued my interest from the original Publishers Marketplace blurb since it promised to bring the traditional family saga (my favorite type of novel) to a less familiar setting. Moving from 19th-century China to 1960s Hawaii, this multi-generational novel features a Chinese-Hawaiian shipping family with a multitude of secrets. Harper, April 2015.