The best historical novels that bring history alive

Why am I passionate about this?

Charles Todd is part of the mother-and-son writing team who lives on the east coast of the United States. They are the New York Times best-selling authors of the Inspector Ian Rutledge Series and the Bess Crawford series. A Game of Fear (Ian Rutledge Mystery #24) 2-1-22 and The Cliffs Edge (Bess Crawford Mystery #13) 2-14-23. They have published forty titles including two stand-alone novels, an anthology of short stories, and over twenty short stories appearing in mystery magazines and anthologies worldwide. Their works have received the Mary Higgins Clark, Agatha, and Barry awards along with nominations for the Anthony, Edgar, and Dagger awards.   


I wrote...

Book cover of An Irish Hostage

What is my book about?

The Great War is over—but in Ireland, in the wake of the bloody 1916 Easter Rising, anyone who served in France is now considered a traitor, including nurse Eileen Flynn and former soldier Michael Sullivan. Even her grandmother is against it, and Eileen’s only protection is her cousin Terrence who was a hero of the Rising and is still being hunted by the British. 

Bess Crawford had promised to be there for the wedding. And in spite of the danger to her, she keeps that promise—only to be met with the shocking news that the groom has vanished. Eileen begs for her help, but how can Bess hope to find him when she doesn’t know the country, the people, or where to put her trust?

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The books I picked & why

Book cover of The King's General

Charles Todd Why did I love this book?

I love Daphne du Maurier and especially Cornwall. Her The King’s General, is truly historical, and covers the English Civil War, especially in Cornwall and associated with the house made memorable in Rebecca, Menebilly. I admire her other period books like Jamaica Inn, about smuggling, and probably one of the best mysteries, historical or otherwise, out there: My Cousin Rachel, set in Italy and England. Frenchman’s Creek, set in Cornwall, but not in the usual sense. A pirate tale, an account of a woman looking for adventure, and a sense of duty make it interesting.

By Daphne du Maurier,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The King's General as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Inspired by a grisly discovery in the nineteenth century, The King's General was the first of du Maurier's novels to be written at Menabilly, the model for Manderley in Rebecca. Set in the seventeenth century, it tells the story of a country and a family riven by civil war, and features one of fiction's most original heroines. Honor Harris is only eighteen when she first meets Richard Grenvile, proud, reckless - and utterly captivating. But following a riding accident, Honor must reconcile herself to a life alone. As Richard rises through the ranks of the army, marries and makes enemies,…


Book cover of Mr. Midshipman Hornblower

Charles Todd Why did I love this book?

I love sailing and the sea. It comes from a family heritage of sailing and why I love being at the ocean. The Napoleonic Wars and sea adventures were fundamental in our historical novel's journey, Horatio Hornblower’s career in the Royal Navy, as documented by C. S. Forester, is just as exciting today as they were when written. Hornblower’s rise through the ranks is as fascinating as the real-life stories of Admiral Nelson.

By C. S. Forester,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked Mr. Midshipman Hornblower as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Join young Horatio Hornblower in the thrilling naval adventure from the author of The Good Shepherd, now a major-motion picture starring Tom Hanks

'A joyous creation, a perfection in words. Young Hornblower is, simply, one of the most complete creations of character in fiction' Conn Iggulden, The Independent
_______

1793, the eve of the Napoleonic Wars, and Midshipman Horatio Hornblower receives his first command . . .

As a seventeen-year-old with a touch of sea sickness, young Horatio Hornblower hardly cuts a dash in His Majesty's navy.

Yet from the moment he is ordered to board a French merchant ship…


Book cover of Roanoke Hundred

Charles Todd Why did I love this book?

Caroline Todd was born and raised in North Carolina, and Charles lived much of his adult life there. We love the Tarheel state, and Ingles Fletcher exposed us to the history of our home! It, too, speaks to my love of the ocean and the Outer Banks. Inglis Fletcher wrote the almost-forgotten Carolina Series, an early history of the coast of North Carolina, carrying it from its development through the Revolutionary War, with such a wealth of rich detail and a mixture of real people and well-drawn characters that the reader knows them intimately. The story begins with Roanoke Hundred, continuing through Men of Albemarle and Raleigh’s Eden, to The Scotswoman, which tells the story of Flora MacDonald’s years in the state after the Stuart Rebellion. 

By Inglis Clark Fletcher,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Roanoke Hundred as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Roanoke Hundred is an historical novel about the very first attempt to found an English colony in North America in 1585. Although it is a fictional account, the story is based on the letters, diaries, and archives of the period. Every character is based on a real person. 

The entire adventure centers around one of England’s greatest heroes, Sir Richard Grenville. Grenville was lord of the manors of Stowe, Kilkhampton in Cornwall, and of Bideford in Devon. He was also a soldier, an armed merchant fleet owner, privateer, colonizer, and explorer. When queen Elizabeth chose Grenville to organize and lead…


Book cover of King Hereafter

Charles Todd Why did I love this book?

Dorothy Dunnett visited 107 countries in her lifetime, and I am catching up. We owe our love of travel in part to Dorothy Dunnett and her two series, the Lymond Chronicles and The House of Niccolo, that takes the reader all over the Medieval world, from Scotland to Istanbul, from Italy to Timbuctoo, and keep the reader on the edge of his or her seat while presenting a view of life in a time few of us know about. Her King Hereafter explores the real MacBeth in the life of Thorfinn, Earl of Orkney, and introduces the reader to a new period and extraordinarily fascinating.  Both of us traveled to many of those places, and Dorothy visited them all.

By Dorothy Dunnett,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked King Hereafter as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A novel about Macbeth, King of Scotland, by the author of the "Lymond" series. 11th-century Europe is full of young kings. Macbeth - part-Christian, part-Viking - has the imagination and determination to move himself and his people out of a barbarian past and into flowering nationhood.


Book cover of A Morbid Taste for Bones

Charles Todd Why did I love this book?

One of the original reasons we love Great Britain is the Cathedrals and Castles. Stories of Knights, Kings, Queens, and important Clergy are at the heart of the early history of this land. Edith Pargeter’s The Heaven Tree trilogy fits that category, where the building of a cathedral is the main theme, and the masons who worked on it are the main characters. She also wrote as Ellis Peters The Cadfael Mysteries, set in Shrewsbury Abbey. Cadfael had fought in the Crusades and become a monk who cultivated herbs and served as the abbey’s medical man, while solving crimes through his knowledge of people and of medicine. As an adult I became a Free Mason and the history of the cathedrals, their architecture, and the men who built them took on a new meaning for me.

By Ellis Peters,

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked A Morbid Taste for Bones as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In the gentle Shrewsbury spring of 1140 the midnight matins at the Benedictine abbey suddenly reverberates with an unholy sound - a hunt in full cry. Pursued by a drunken mob, the quarry is running for its life. When the frantic creature bursts into the nave to claim sanctuary, Brother Cadfael finds himself fighting off armed townsmen to save a terrified young man. Accused of robbery and murder is Liliwin, a wandering minstrel who performed at the wedding of the local goldsmith's son. But his supposed victim, the miserly craftsman, is still alive, although a strongbox lies empty. Brother Cadfael…


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Bailey and the CEO: A Corporate Love Story

By Amy Q. Barker,

Book cover of Bailey and the CEO: A Corporate Love Story

Amy Q. Barker Author Of Lap Baby

New book alert!

Why am I passionate about this?

Author Avid reader Nature lover Park ranger wanna be Best Nana ever

Amy's 3 favorite reads in 2023

What is my book about?

A contemporary romance novel about second chances, love in the workplace, and balancing single parenthood with a career. Bailey Grant and Fox Goodman have given up on love. They’re working hard, they’re raising kids—romance is the last thing on their minds. Until they get seated next to each other on a flight and realize they have more in common than just the company where they work.

But can a VP date the CEO? How will they make it work? Wait and see how sparks fly in this uplifting, feel-good, dual-narrative romantic read!

Bailey and the CEO: A Corporate Love Story

By Amy Q. Barker,

What is this book about?

Bailey
Even from afar, you could feel it: the man's ever-present, effortless charm, looks, and for lack of a better word, swagger.
Everyone—and by everyone, I meant every female at Havelin—had speculated about his personal life. We all knew he had two sons, but what about a wife?
Not that I cared.
I was VP of Quality, a widow, and a mother raising two teenage daughters. Love was the last thing on my mind.

Fox
She was staggeringly beautiful.
And she didn’t know it. Not even in the slightest. Not a clue.
I’d never felt like this before.
Even more…


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