Historical Fiction Novels We’re Excited About This Season

From stories of forgotten queens to mysteries set during World War II, Forge has a historical fiction novel for every reader coming out this season. If you’ve been thinking of picking up a page-turning novel set in the past, read our team’s recommendations below!

The Widow Queen by Elzbieta Cherezinska

First published in Polish, and now to be released in English, Elzbieta Cherezinska’s historical novel The Widow Queen follows the epic life of a real Polish queen that history forgot. Swietoslawa is one of three daughters to the great duke of Poland, who has his eyes set on creating advantageous matches for the sisters. But Swietoslawa, who’s nickname is The Bold One (as she is too bold for most) wants no part in her father’s plans, wants to be queen and rule alone – with no king attached. The Widow Queen comes out on April 6th.

—Lizzy Hosty, Marketing Intern

The Eagle & The Viper by Loren D. Estleman

Is there anything Loren D. Estleman can’t write? Renowned for both his mystery books and his western books, in The Eagle and the Viper, he takes on a Christmas Eve plot to kill Napoleon in 1800. It has all the page-turning suspense you would expect from this master writer as well as a thrilling new take on a moment in history that would have repercussions for years to come.

—Jennifer, Senior Marketing Manager

The Paradise Affair by Bill Pronzini

For those of you who love a good historical mystery series, look no further! Bill Pronzini’s Carpenter and Quincannon Mystery series follows detective partners Sabrina Carpenter and John Quincannon as they solve a variety of “whodunit” mysteries. The books are all set around the late 19th century and typically take place in San Francisco. The ninth and newest book in the series is The Paradise Affair, and it follows our two detectives as they chase down two con men who have fled to Hawaii. Each of the books in the series can be read as a standalone, so you can go ahead and dive into The Paradise Affair and take a trip to Hawaii with Carpenter and Quincannon now! If you’re a fan of the Netflix show Peaky Blinders, then this series is definitely for you.

—Sarah, Digital Marketing Coordinator

Comes the War by Ed Ruggero

If you’re looking for a gripping book set against the heroism and heartbreak of WWII, then look no further than former Army officer Ed Ruggero’s Comes the War. The main character, Lieutenant Eddie Harkins, is assigned to investigate the murder of Helen Batcheller, an OSS analyst. Harkins is paired with a British driver, Private Pamela Lowell, to aid in the investigation. Soon ​after, ​a suspect is quickly arrested and Harkins is ​told to stop his search for answers. ​Yet the swift arrest causes him to become ​suspicious,​ so, against orders,​ he ​decides to ​​press on with ​the investigation​. ​​But the deeper he digs, the further he gets himself entangled ​​in a web of deadly Soviet secrets. As bombs ​drop and war rages on, ​​​​Harkins must ​rush to ​solve the murder and ​expose the spies​…​all before it​’s ​too late. Comes the War brilliantly captures the timeless stories of ordinary people swept up in extraordinary circumstances and it’s a perfect read for all historical fiction lovers!​

—Ariana, Marketing Coordinator

Finn Mac Cool by Morgan Llywelyn

In college, we read Flann O’Brien’s masterpiece, At Swim Two Birds, which heavily features the Irish folk hero, Finn Mac Cool. Even though I’m Irish American, I had never heard of him, but my interest was piqued. So, I was delighted when Forge reissued Morgan Llywelyn’s novel, Finn Mac Cool. Historians aren’t sure how much of Mac Cool is real, and how much is legend, but Llywelyn is an expert at both Irish history and mythology, so she handles walking the line between both worlds beautifully.

—Julia, Associate Marketing Manager