Historical Fiction

The Butcher’s Block

The Butcher's Block
Title: The Butcher's Block
Publisher:
Published: August 1, 2017
During a routine patrol, police arrest two men in possession of human body parts intended for sale to the dissecting rooms of a London teaching hospital. Bow Street Runner and amateur pugilist Dan Foster makes the grisly discovery that they are the remains of fellow officer George Kean. The arrested men are charged with Kean’s murder, but Dan is not convinced that they are the killers. In pursuit of the real murderer, he investigates the unhallowed activities of the resurrection men – bodysnatchers. The bodysnatching racket soon leads Dan to something bigger and much more dangerous. In a treacherous underworld of vicious pugilists, ruthless murderers, British spymasters and French agents, Dan must tread carefully…or meet the same terrible fate as Kean. 'The Butcher’s Block' is the second Dan Foster Mystery. 'Bloodie Bones', the first in the series, was joint winner of the Historical Novel Society Indie Award 2016.

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Nazi Saboteurs on the Bayou

Nazi Saboteurs on the Bayou
Title: Nazi Saboteurs on the Bayou
Published: November 15, 2016
Author's Twitter: @steven_burgauer
Nazi Saboteurs on the Bayou intertwines historic persons, events and locales of World War II with a fictional Nazi plot to disrupt the manufacture of Higgins boats, the Allied landing craft which won the war.  Spanning the globe from amphibious landings at Gavutu and Guadalcanal, to the Navajo code talker school near San Diego, to the exotic environs of New Orleans, to the secret world of Bletchley Park, England, to the Allied invasion of North Africa, this tautly written thriller, covering two weeks during the summer of 1942, combines an intriguing cast of characters with the historically important Andrew Jackson Higgins, Admiral John Godfrey of British Intelligence, Navajo code talker Chester Nez, Colonel “Wild Bill” Donovan of the OSS (later the CIA), Commander Ian Fleming of MI6, along with a Polish intelligence officer code-named “Rygor,” and Sylvestro “Silver Dollar Sam” Carolla, the crime boss of New Orleans.   A German dies in a New Orleans whorehouse.  He is carrying a mysterious notebook filled with hand-drawn maps, surveillance notes and cryptic codes.  As a result, Nazi Waffen SS conspirators ruthlessly search for that notebook, killing anyone, including two U.S. Marshals, who get in the way of their plans to disrupt the production of the Eureka steel-ramped landing crafts built by Higgins Industries.   Can this sabotage be stopped by a U.S. Navy intelligence officer, or a New Orleans Mafia don and his Cuban mistress with ties to British MI6, or the brilliant codebreakers of Bletchley Park?  The lives of U.S. Marines and Navajo code talkers in the Pacific and the Allied Forces of Operation Torch in North Africa are depending on their success in disrupting the plot.   The victory of Allied Forces hangs in the balance.

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Toru: Wayfarer Returns

Toru: Wayfarer Returns
Title: Toru: Wayfarer Returns
Publisher:
Published: February 16, 2016
A Japan that might have been... Revolutionary young samurai take on the West in this alternate history technofantasy set in 1850s samurai-era Japan. In Japan of 1852, the peace imposed by the Tokugawa Shoguns has lasted 250 years. Peace has turned to stagnation, however, as the commoners grow impoverished and their lords restless. Swords rust. Martial values decay. Foreign barbarians circle the island nation’s closed borders like vultures. Tōru, a shipwrecked young fisherman rescued by traders and taken to America, defies the Shogun’s ban on returning to Japan, determined to save his homeland from foreign invasion. Can he rouse his countrymen in time? Or will the cruel Shogun carry out his vow to execute all who set foot in Japan after traveling abroad? Armed only with his will, a few books, dirigible plans and dangerous ideas, Tōru must transform the Emperor’s realm before the Black Ships come. Tōru: Wayfarer Returns is the first book in the Sakura Steam Series, an alternate history of the tumultuous period from the opening of Japan in 1853 to the Meiji Restoration in 1868. This volume covers the year prior to the American Commodore Perry’s arrival in Japan and follows the hero and his young allies as they lead Japan through a massively compressed industrial revolution, dramatically altering that pivotal moment in history. While Tōru and his dirigibles are fictional, the story unfolds against the backdrop of the "real" Japan of that period, with historical figures and their political environment woven into the tale, staying true to their motivations and agendas even as the alternate history warps their actions, history and a few laws of physics. Underpinning the adventure plot is a young man's yearning for his father's approval and an honorable place in his world. Readers who enjoy steampunk alternate histories more typically set in Victorian England or the American Wild West may enjoy this steampunk story made fresh by the Japanese samurai setting, as well as readers who enjoy historical fiction set in Japan.

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Hosanna

Hosanna
Title: Hosanna
Publisher:
Published: May 8, 2016
The last thing Hosanna wants is a bucket, a dishrag, and a brush. After all, it’s been fifteen years. Her heart and knees have grown callous from years of scrubbing floors for her racist grandmother who’s disgusted over the unlawful deeds of Hosanna’s white mother and black father. But Hosanna is now tired. Tired of her grandmother who has cloaked the family’s shame for far too long. So tired, she has waxed in wrath, counted every injustice, and rebelled against all who obstruct her quest for truth. So will she ever find peace? This uniquely-crafted story transcends time and takes us from the racial animus of 1945 to the abiding power of grace that heals and binds divisive wounds.

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The Likeness

The Likeness
Title: The Likeness
Author:
Published: October 14, 2016
Author's Twitter: @carver26
Aberdeen, 1841. Woodcarver John Grant has an unusual new commission - creating a figurehead to feature onstage in the melodramas of a newly-arrived theatre group. Simultaneously, he’s also trying to unravel the mystery of the death of a young woman, whose body has been found in the filth behind the harbour’s fish sheds. His loving relationship with Helen Anderson, which began in The Figurehead, has grown stronger but, despite the fact that they both want to be together, she rejects the restrictions of conventional marriage, in which the woman is effectively the property of the husband. As John works on the figurehead, Helen persuades her father, a rich merchant, to let her get involved in his business, allowing her to challenge yet more conventions of a male-dominated society. The story weaves parallels between the stage fictions, Helen’s business dealings, a sea voyage, stage rehearsals, and John’s investigations. In the end, the mystery death and the romantic dilemma are both resolved, but in unexpected ways.

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Plaint for Provence : 1152 in Les Baux

Plaint for Provence : 1152 in Les Baux
Title: Plaint for Provence : 1152 in Les Baux
Author:
Publisher:
Published: November 29, 2015
Author's Twitter: @writerjeangill.
Summoned to the court of Les Baux, Estela and her lover, Dragonetz, are embroiled in two rival claims for power as their feuding liege lords gather in Provence. Although Estela is reluctant to leave her idyll with her young child Musca, and her pursuit of Arabic medicine, she welcomes the chance to show her musical skills and to support Dragonetz, who must use his swordsmanship to play peacemaker. Both of them must face their own personal demons as the storm-clouds gather over Provence. . In this third volume of the Troubadours Quartet, Jean Gill, the ‘master of historical intrigue’, continues to weave the gripping adventures of Dragonetz and Estela seamlessly into real historical events. Medieval France comes alive in all its facets, from healing with leeches to training a goshawk.

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Rosette: A Novel of Pioneer Michigan

Rosette: A Novel of Pioneer Michigan
Title: Rosette: A Novel of Pioneer Michigan
Published: January 22, 2016
Author's Twitter: @CindyRMarsch
We meet Rosette in 1888 as she revises the wedding-day page of her journal. In lush detail, in the voices of Rosette and others, the novel traces how we both choose and suffer our destiny, how hopes come to naught and sometimes rise from the wreckage. Why did she edit her wedding-day journal? Almost-spinster schoolteacher Rosette Cordelia Ramsdell married Otis Churchill on a Michigan farm in 1857. Her real-life journal recounts two years of homesteading, history hints at the next six decades, and the novel explores the truth. We meet Rosette in 1888 as she revises the wedding-day page of her journal. In lush detail, in the voices of Rosette and others, the novel traces how we both choose and suffer our destiny, how hopes come to naught and sometimes rise from the wreckage.  

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Penny for Them

Penny for Them
Title: Penny for Them
Published: January 14, 2014
Author's Twitter: @PhilipCatshill
After learning of her stepfather’s death, Penny reveals the secrets that have kept her in hiding for thirty years. Her account begins in 1982, when a jewel robbery brought mayhem and death to central England. The following day, secret agents persuaded Penny to pursue her father’s murderer, Sean Moran. Penny discovered her stepfather, who was a junior minister in the British Government, had conspired with Argentinian agents towards the occupation of the Falklands. While trying to warn the British Government, the adventure takes Penny and Sean to Argentina, where a colonel in the brutal military regime realised Sean had the diamonds from the robbery. After rescuing the badly injured Sean, Penny discovered how her stepfather had engineered the arrest. Having thwarted his plans, her stepfather promised not to rest until he sees her dead body. Penny escaped him, but underestimated the lengths he would go to ensure her death.

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Delivering Virtue

Delivering Virtue
Title: Delivering Virtue
Published: November 7, 2015
Author's Twitter: @briankindall
Poetic rogue Didier Rain is hired by The Church of the Restructured Truth to deliver a baby – Virtue – to be the bride of the Prophet Nehi at his church’s new settlement in the wilderness territories. A picaresque novel set in the American frontier of 1854. “It’s 1854 in the American West and Didier Rain – rogue, poet, and would-be entrepreneur – is hired by an upstart church to deliver a child bride to the sect’s prophet across a frontier fraught with perils.” Delivering Virtue is a picaresque novel set in the American frontier of 1854. A poetic rogue by the name of Didier Rain is hired by The Church of the Restructured Truth to fulfill a prophecy. He is to deliver a baby – Virtue – to be the bride of the Prophet Nehi at his church’s new settlement in the wilderness territories. The story is an account of the trials Rain endures on this journey, attempting to adhere to the contract he signed prescribing his sacrosanct behavior throughout, while wrestling with his more base animal inclinations. As he walks this precarious line between the sacred and the profane, Virtue remains Didier Rain’s guiding miracle, showing him the true meaning of salvation by journey’s end.

Assessed for Awesome Indies