Every week Tanzanite features upcoming historical fiction and history related non-fiction books that have come to her attention and may be of interest to others. Since she has an out of control TBR pile, so should everyone else!
Revenger by Rory Clements. UK release April 29, 2010; US release September 29, 2010. 1592. England and Spain are at war, yet there is peril at home, too. The death of her trusted spymaster Sir Francis Walsingham has left Queen Elizabeth vulnerable. Conspiracies multiply.
The quiet life of John Shakespeare is shattered by a summons from Robert Cecil, the cold but deadly young statesman who dominated the last years of the Queen’s long reign, insisting Shakespeare re-enter government service. His mission: to find vital papers, now in the possession of the Earl of Essex. Essex is the brightest star in the firmament, a man of ambition. He woos the Queen, thirty-three years his senior, as if she were a girl his age. She is flattered by him – despite her loathing for his mother, the beautiful, dangerous Lettice Knollys who presides over her own glittering court – a dazzling array of the mad, bad, dangerous and disaffected. When John Shakespeare infiltrates this dissolute world he discovers not only that the Queen herself is in danger – but that he and his family is also a target. With only his loyal footsoldier Boltfoot Cooper at his side, Shakespeare must face implacable forces who believe themselves above the law: men and women who kill without compunction. And in a world of shifting allegiances, just how far he can trust Robert Cecil, his devious new master?
31 Bond Street by Ellen Horan. US release March 30, 2010; UK release May 27, 2010. Based on a true story, mystery and intrigue in pre-Civil War New York The sensational murder of Dr. Harvey Burdell in his lower Manhattan home made front-page news across the United States in 1857. "Who killed Dr. Burdell?" was a question that gripped the nation. 31 Bond Street, a debut novel by Ellen Horan, interweaves fiction with actual events in a clever historical narrative that blends romance, politics, greed and sexual intrigue in a suspenseful drama. The story opens when an errand boy discovers Burdell's body in the bedroom of his posh Bond Street home. The novel's central characters are Dr. Harvey Burdell, a dentist and unscrupulous businessman; his lover, the ambitious, Brooklyn-born Emma Cunningham; the District Attorney, Abraham Oakey Hall (later to become mayor of New York); and Henry Clinton, a prominent defense lawyer. The enigmatic relationship between Emma and Dr. Burdell makes her the prime suspect, and her trial is nothing less than sensational. Will she hang? Were her teenaged daughters involved? What did the servants know? Who was the last person to see Burdell alive? During the trial, the two lawyers fight for truth, justice and their careers. This novel is set against the background of bustling, corrupt New York City, just four years before the Civil War. The author intertwines two main narratives: the trial through the perspective of the defense attorney Henry Clinton, and the story of the lovely young widow Emma Cunningham whose search for a husband brings her into the arms and home of Dr. Burdell.
I posted this one a few weeks ago, but here is the cover for it:
The Hostage Queen by Freda Lightfoot. UK release April 1, 2010; US release June 1, 2010. A brand-new historical novel from a well-loved storyteller - Marguerite de Valois, the most beautiful woman in the French Court, is the subject of great intrigue. She loves Henri of Guise, but is married off to Henry of Navarre, which – her mother hopes – will bring peace to the realm. But, within days, the streets of Paris are awash with blood, and Marguerite and her new husband are held hostage by her own family. Can they ever hope to escape alive? In a court rife with murder, jealousy and the hunger for power, it will not be an easy task.