Category Archives: Historical Fiction

The Far Side of the World

At the end of Treason’s Harbor, the ninth installment in Patrick O’Brian’s Aubrey/Maturin series, Stephen Maturin sends a letter sharing his suspicions about a French spy in the upper ranks of the Royal Navy—to the actual French spy. On top … Continue reading

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The Living

It took me a long time to read this novel by Annie Dillard, not because it isn’t good, but because the prose demands a slow reading and there’s little driving action to propel the reader forward. (It didn’t help that … Continue reading

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A God in Ruins

I love seeing one of my favorite writers get the praise she deserves, but I’m missing the old Kate Atkinson, with her dark humor and goofy narrative voices. I miss having fun reading her books. A God in Ruins, like … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction, Historical Fiction | 14 Comments

Blood Meridian

I was astonished to learn recently that there are people who think Cormac McCarthy is an extremely realistic author, someone whose novels are “marked by intense natural observation.” While I suppose you could make an argument that the whole atmosphere … Continue reading

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Four Freedoms

John Crowley is probably best known for his speculative fiction — I think Little, Big may be the best American fantasy novel ever published, and his Aegypt tetralogy has a cult following for a very good reason. But Four Freedoms … Continue reading

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The Bones of Paris

I’ve been a fan of Laurie King’s Mary Russell/Sherlock Holmes mysteries, as well as her present-day Kate Martinelli series, since 1995. Enjoying those series as much as I do can sometimes mean that I’m initially disappointed when King writes something … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction, Historical Fiction, Mysteries | 8 Comments

Picnic at Hanging Rock

Tragedy has long fingers that often stretch far beyond those immediately affected by it. Joan Lindsay’s 1967 novel explores how those fingers touch a community when three girls disappear while on a St. Valentine’s Day picnic in 1900 at the … Continue reading

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The Toll-Gate

I needed something cheerful to read this weekend, so I decided to turn to one of the Georgette Heyer novels languishing on my bookshelves. I’d previously read A Civil Contract and Cotillion and found them utterly delightful. The Toll-Gate was … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction, Historical Fiction | 22 Comments

Dreaming Spies

The publication of a new Mary Russell novel is always a source of celebration. I’ve been following this series by Laurie King since its early days, shortly before the publication of the fifth book in 1999, and I remain impressed … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction, Historical Fiction, Mysteries | 13 Comments

Treason’s Harbour

I can’t believe I let a year and a half go by between Aubrey/Maturin books! But I read The Ionian Mission way back in May 2013 and am only just now getting around to this, the ninth book in Patrick … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction, Historical Fiction | 10 Comments