10 new historical fiction books by beloved authors

Add these buzzy historical novels from perennially popular historical novelists to your To Be Read list

With an abundance of new and much-anticipated historical fiction books gracing the shelves, how’s a reader to choose what to read next?

Avid readers read LOTS of historical fiction, and summertime is when many of the genre’s biggest books of the year are released. If you’re looking to fill your beach bag (or nightstand!) with lush settings from the past, pulse-pounding plots, or juicy literary mysteries, skip the #bookstagram scroll and reach for one of these new releases from our community’s most beloved authors.

We’ve featured all of these authors on the blog, in our book club selections, and on the What Should I Read Next podcast. Not only do these all-star authors provide unputdownable reads, they also stand out on the shelves for their detailed research, unique story structures, and powerful prose. They’re popular among our readers, beloved by booksellers, and adored by book clubs.

As you peruse today’s titles, I hope you find a memorable read—or more!—to sweep you away to a different time and place.

10 historical fiction novels from your favorite authors

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The Magnolia Palace

The Magnolia Palace

Author:
Fiona Davis builds intriguing novels based on true stories, with rich detail about the iconic buildings around which they take place. Our readers adored The Lions of Fifth Avenue and continue to gush about Davis’s absorbing historical settings with each new release. If you’ve ever visited the Frick Museum and gaped at the opulent rooms filled with Gilded Age art, you’ll want to pick up her latest story revolving around the Frick family and their high stakes drama. Weaving secret messages, murder, and museum curation together in dual timelines from 1919 and the 1960s, this book is a historical mystery lover’s dream. More info →
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Violeta

Violeta

Author:
Allende is prolific: her earliest works might be considered modern classics, yet her recent releases feel fresh. This sweeping epic begins on a stormy day in 1920. The titular heroine is born in the midst of the Spanish Flu—and tumultuous times have just begun for her family. Told in epistolary form, this novel almost reads like a juicy autobiography, following Violeta’s love affairs, heartbreaks, and responses to historical events. If you’ve never read any Allende, you can absolutely start here, then work your way back to see how she’s influenced the historical fiction genre. More info →
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Her Hidden Genius

Her Hidden Genius

Author:
Former lawyer Marie Benedict quit her prestigious firm to investigate a different kind of case: the hidden histories of remarkable heroines. She writes about women who quietly contributed to some of history’s greatest discoveries and victories, sharing stories of librarians, scientists, politician’s wives, and movie stars. Her recent research brought her to Rosalind Franklin, a brilliant scientist whose work revealed essential information about the double helix and our DNA. There’s no need for a background in biology to enjoy this read: an interest in history and the course of humankind is enough for Benedict to hook you with her expert storytelling. More info →
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Devotion

Devotion

Author:
Burial Rites author Kent crafts a poetic coming of age story, a meditation on nature and religion, and a sweeping setting in her latest novel based on the historical emigration of German Lutherans to Austalia. Fifteen year old Hanne loves nothing more than exploring the Prussian wilderness with her friends, but her world is upended when her family is forced to flee. After years of worshiping in secret, her Old Lutheran community finds new life in Australia, where they can openly follow their religious traditions. While her village rejoices, Hanne and her dearest friend experience tensions on the long journey away from home. Told in exquisite prose, this quiet novel weaves a touch of magical realism into a tale of freedom and friendship. More info →
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Booth

Booth

I’m still recommending Karen Joy Fowler’s 2013 novel We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves for lovers of compulsively readable literary fiction, so I can’t wait to sample her newest work, an epic exploration of John Wilkes Booth (yes, THAT Booth!) and his fascinating family. Fathered by a formerly celebrated and now reclusive Shakespearean actor, John and his siblings grow up in rural Maryland as the Civil War approaches. Later, the Booths leave farm life behind for theatrical fame—and eventually, the shameful notoriety of their brother’s actions. This new historical novel is richly detailed and darkly observant, perfect for fans of Hamnet by Maggie O’Farrell. More info →
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Fencing with the King

Fencing with the King

Author:
We love a literary mystery here at Modern Mrs Darcy! This novel begins when recently divorced poet Amani finds a curious poem tucked between the pages of her father’s book. Written by her grandmother, the lines spark Amani’s curiosity and send her on a journey to her family's homeland of Jordan, where her Uncle, a royal advisor, still resides. Once there, Amani and her father encounter increasing danger as they uncover lost secrets and royal intrigue, while Amani also attempts to learn more about the origins of her grandmother's mysterious poem. The plot, which is loosely based on King Lear and Arthurian legends, is intriguing, but the backdrop of 1990s politics even more so. Abu-Jaber’s most recent novel pairs well with her 2005 food memoir: The Language of Baklava. More info →
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The Diamond Eye

The Diamond Eye

Author:
Every time I think I’ve read enough WWII fiction, Kate Quinn drops another novel—and I can't resist! In this new novel, a bookish single mother turns deadly sniper. Known as Lady Death, main character Mila travels from the battlefields of Ukraine to the shiny political hub of Washington DC on a goodwill, post-war tour. Despite grappling with trauma, Mila makes new friends—including Eleanor Roosevelt—but her comfort is short-lived when a deadly enemy emerges and sends her back to battle. I have a bookmark in my print copy but I intend to shift to audio; this is how I've enjoyed Quinn's books in the past as Saskia Maarleveld does a fantastic job narrating the unputdownable stories rooted in historical fact. More info →
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Sister Stardust

Sister Stardust

Author:
You might recognize Jane Green’s name from over 20 contemporary fiction titles; this is her first book based on a true story, and it’s perfect for fans of Taylor Jenkins Reid. I’d never heard of the book’s subject before now: Talitha Getty was a Dutch actress and socialite in the 1960s who dazzled expats in London and Morocco with salons full of art, music, and new ideas. Enter fictional character Claire, who crosses paths with Talitha and finds herself in a swirl of counterculture, glamor, and friendship. But Talitha’s charmed life isn’t all it seems, and the closer Claire gets to the stunning icon, the more she sees a darkness beneath the beautiful exterior. Friendship gone wrong, dangerous secrets, and a transportive setting set this up to be an essential summer escape. More info →
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The Good Left Undone

The Good Left Undone

Isn't this cover begging for a spot on a beach house bookshelf or a summertime library display? In this multigenerational family saga, Trigiani introduces us to the hardworking Cabrelli family, who have lived for generations in an Italian coastal town. A poignant epigraph introduces the first part of the family story: "Let whoever longs to attain eternal life in heaven heed these warnings: When considering the past, contemplate these things: The evil done; The good left undone; The time wasted." Its meaning is slowly revealed over the course of the novel, which employs an interesting structure to portray a series of strong women and the choices they made—or chose to avoid—through the decades. Aside from the gorgeous cover, well-drawn characters and a stunning seaside setting makes this an attractive summer read for those interested in its themes of identity, legacy, and redemption. More info →
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The Lioness

The Lioness

Author:
Last year Bohjalian's historical novel Hour of the Witch was a delightful surprise. I didn't know I was longing for a novel about the Puritans until I picked it up—and couldn't put it down! Bohjalian delivers another atmospheric story laden with danger and mystery in his new historical thriller set in the Serengeti, where Hollywood starlet Katie Barstow and her husband have invited a crowd of A-list friends to join them on an African safari for their honeymoon. The guests expect to enjoy pampering, glamour, and exploits that will make delicious cocktail conversation at Hollywood parties, but their lavish getaway becomes a waking nightmare when they're kidnapped by Russian emissaries. This stylish mystery has serious Agatha Christie vibes, but I can't say I found the ending satisfying. More info →
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What buzzy new titles are on your TBR? Share your highly anticipated historical fiction in the comments.

P.S. Find more of our community’s favorite authors among these 33 historical fiction books avid readers can’t get enough of, learn about 15 overlooked events in immersive historical novels, or select a new read from 13 young adult historical novels for readers of any age.

10 new historical fiction books by beloved authors

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33 comments

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  1. Adrienne says:

    Great list! I read and enjoyed Her Hidden Genius a couple of months ago, and I just finished The Good Left Undone last night! The first half of the book was a bit slow to develop, but the second half of the book is so compelling and powerful; it is probably going to be one of my favorite reads of 2022. I have Diamond Eye on my TBR shelf, and will be adding a couple more of these!

  2. Joanne says:

    Here are two titles I have enjoyed, by author Rachel McMillan: The London Restoration and The Mozart Code. Post WWII Historical fiction with threads of a love story!

  3. Julia Reesor says:

    What a great list you’ve compiled. I have only read 2 of them and am anxious to start on the other 8! Historical fiction is one of my favourite genres. Happy summer, happy reading!

  4. Katherine B says:

    Have you read anything by British Author Lissa Evans? I loved “Their Finest” and “Old Baggage” particularly but they are all good.

  5. Kate Cricco says:

    Loved both Violeta and The Diamond Eye- can’t wait to read the other 8. Thanks for this list and the summer book list- you’ll be keeping me quite busy!

  6. Amberly says:

    I’m so excited to hear that Saskia Maarleveld narrates the Diamond Eye! I’m re-listening to the Rose Code right now (one of my all-time favorites, ever) and love her! I had already bought the hardback of this one … but now I’ll be looking for the audio too. 🙂

  7. Caroline TeSelle says:

    Thanks for adding to my TBR pile! Historical fiction is one of my favorite genres. So far this year, my favorite historical fiction read is Kelli Stuart’s, The Master Craftsman.

  8. Sandy says:

    My TBR-soon list:
    Lynda Rutlege’s West with Giraffes;
    Sarah Polley’s Run Towards the Danger
    Bryan Washington’s Lot (stories)
    Gene Weingarten’s One Day

    • Adrienne says:

      Hi Sarah – It is a fictionalized account of a actual events, based on research by the author. It does read like a novel though…

  9. Susan says:

    In Marie Benedict’s backlist, I just finished “Carnegie’s Maid”. “The Other Einstein” is a social read in June.
    I also recently completed “The Glass Ocean” by Beatriz Williams et al, about the sinking of the Lusitania in 1915.
    I am currently reading “Murder at Kensington Palace” by Andrea Panrose. Wrexford and Sloane historical mysteries, outstanding Regency-era series, set in London.

  10. Laura says:

    I just recently finished The Lost Book of Eleanor Dare by Kimberly Brock. Wonderful story about mothers and daughters, the effects of decisions made, and the legacy created.

  11. Jennice says:

    Fencing With The King sounds pretty good! Coincidentally, my daughter’s name is Amani and she was very close to her grandmother. I can’t wait to read that. Also, The Good Left Undone sounds good too. Sounds a little like Pachinko.

  12. Lana says:

    First, THANK YOU for specifying that Mila was on the Ukrainian battlefield in The Diamond Eye, language is important.
    Second, I absolutely loved the books I’ve read from this list. Violeta and The Good Left Undone, are the stories I’ve never read before. The Good Left Undone is an amazing family saga, perfect for summer reading.
    The Diamond Eye is another amazing book from Kate Quinn, if you read it make sure you read an author’s note as well.

  13. Monica says:

    The Summer Before the War by Helen Simonson is one of my all-time historical fiction favorites. It’s the story of Beatrice Nash, a young teacher who accepts a position in a coastal English village after her father dies. Like every small town, there are interesting characters and lots of drama. The audiobook narration by Fiona Hardingham was excellent.

  14. Suzanne Lambremont says:

    I always pick up any Chris Bohjalian novel I find on my library’s shelf and loved The Hour of the Witch. But his Skeletons at the Feast is not to be missed! I read it after Midwives but got so much more involved and moved by Skeletons. Glad that Ann has Bohjalian on her radar. I’m currently reading The Lioness. Dynamic start and character study, disappointing end? Humm, I’ll see…

  15. Lynette says:

    Well, this pretty much takes care of my summer TBRs!! Oh, where to begin? Are any on this list particularly good on audio?

  16. Edwina Blair says:

    Thanks for these regular recommendations! Is there any chance you can add a Goodreads button so we can add them to our library easily? I appreciate the Amazone buttons etc., but I am often not ready to buy but rather add them to my ever-growing To Read list 🙂

  17. Cara says:

    Best historical novel this year is The Island Queen which is story about famous Slave turned business woman from the 1700s. It is written by a STEM university professor & is AMAZING! A must read. It was also a Reese Witherspoon book club pick.

  18. Debra says:

    Those look really good. And only one from WWII. It seems like that is the only historical fiction I see anymore. Great to see some good variety.

  19. Ann says:

    I love historical fiction.

    Thanks for this list!

    I have only read Violeta and sad to say, I found it to be a disappointment.

    I’ve read several Allende books and this one was forgettable.

    I loved her The House of the Spirits and Paula: A Memoir.

    I have been on and off a wait list at my library for The Lioness. It has not been too much in demand. So I jump on and off if I have met my request limit. I do hope to get it eventually.

    A favorite historical fiction was Ahab’s Wife by Sena Jeter Naslund. Someone recommended that to me a long time ago. So long ago, that if I reread it, it will be like new again.

  20. Margaret says:

    Just finished and enjoyed audio of The Last Bookshop in London by Madeline Martin (WWII novel). Thank you to everyone for the recommendations! Looking forward to listening to The Diamond Eye 😀

  21. Katy says:

    Always a favourite historical fiction author is Canadian Author Genevieve Graham, I haven’t read one I don’t enjoy! Along with Jennifer Robson, I’ve been in need of re-
    reading her Goodnight from London as I feel like I miss the characters. Thanks for the great list, looking forward to enjoying them.

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