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Top Hist Fic Picks for April 2023

By Linda Ulleseit
April 7, 2023

April is a busy time in my family. Both my sons have birthdays in April, as do a collection of other relatives. Easter usually falls during this month, too, and this year my one-year-old grandson will be with us. Chocolate bunnies and Easter basket time! This year, I can also look forward to a new release from Paper Lantern Alina Rubin.

SHE SAILED AGAINST THE CURRENT.


No Job for a Woman, the second book in the Hearts and Sails series, follows Ella Parker as she becomes a shipboard surgeon in her desperation to practice medicine. In the first book, A Girl With a Knife, Ella fought hard to get her medical degree, dressing as a man to attend school. After all, it’s early in the 19th century and women couldn’t be doctors. Don’t tell Ella.  (April 2)

BEST COVER

Promises of the Runes by Christina Courtenay (April 13)

“Brimming with romance, adventure and vivid historical detail, Christina Courtenay does for the Vikings what Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander and Clanlans does for Scottish history.” ~from the book description

The golds and blues in this cover immediately drew my eye. Runes in the title, and the Viking ship in the central focus point, place the setting in time. The tagline “He travelled though time to capture her heart” echoes Outlander, one of my favorite series.

BEST TITLE

Fifth Avenue Glamour Girl by Renee Rosen (April 25)

“It’s 1938, and a young woman selling face cream out of a New York City beauty parlor is determined to prove she can have it all. Her name is Estée Lauder, and she’s about to take the world by storm, in this dazzling new novel from the USA Today bestselling author of The Social Graces and Park Avenue Summer.” ~book description

This one also has a gorgeous cover. The title, though, grabs me. Who doesn’t love glamour? I initially thought it was a biographical novel, but that’s not quite it. This novel is the story of a girl who is friends with Estee Lauder before she becomes a household name. The two powerful women take over New York City, but not without a struggle. 

MOST INTRIGUING

Mastering the Art of French Murder by Colleen Cambridge (April 25)

“Julia Child has mastered the kitchen, but it’s up to her friend Tabitha Knight to whip up the truth and solve a mystery before things go sour.” — book description

This could also be a contender for best title and even best cover! It’s the whole package. Similar to Fifth Avenue Glamour Girl, this novel is not a biographical retelling of the main character (in this case Julia Child), but rather told from the point of view of a fictional friend. Tabitha must solve a mystery where the murder weapon is one of Julia Child’s knives.

MOST ANTICIPATED

Heir of Uncertain Magic by Charlie Holmberg (April 11)

“Marrying a delicate love story with an addictive mystery, this cozy fantasy is sure to please.” —Publishers Weekly

I fell in love with Charlie Holmberg’s books with her Paper Magician series. Now she is one of those authors I immediately buy. This new one is a second book in the Whimbrel House series. I know it will be a fun read, with history and fantasy mixed together. In the first book, the enchanted house has been tamed. Now, the inheritor of the estate is struggling with his own magical powers and Hulda has a mystery to solve.

PRE WWII AMERICA

The Trackers by Charles Frazier (April 11)

Only the Beautiful by Susan Meissner (April 18)

AMERICAN WEST

Where Coyotes Howl by Sandra Dallas (April 18)

The Good Time Girls by K. T. Blakemore (April 4)

Shining Mountains by Alix Christie (April 1)

CULTURAL

The Cuban Heiress by Chanel Cleeton (April 11)

We Are a Haunting by Tyriek White (April 25)

WORLD WAR II

The Swiss Nurse by Mario Escobar (April 18)

The American Wife by Chrystyna Lucyk-Berger (April 14)

POST WWII

The Hidden Life of Aster Kelly by Katherine A. Sherbrooke (April 4)

The Audrey Hepburn Estate by Brenda Janowitz (April 18)

19TH CENTURY FAMILY SAGA

House is on Fire by Rachel Beanland (April 4)

Out of Ireland by Marian O’Shea Wernicke (April 25)

20TH CENTURY

The Shadows We Carry by Meryl Ain (April 25)

Coronation Year by Jennifer Robson (April 4)

The View From Half Dome by Jill Caugherty (April 20)

ROMANCE

The Secret of Tea and Treason by India Holton (April 18)

Return to Satterthwaite Court by Mimi Matthews (April  11)

Ana Maria and the Fox by Liana de la Rosa (April 4)

The Unassuming Curator by Sian Ann Bessey (April  11)

The Runaway Daughter by Libby Ashworth (April 27)

The King’s Jewel by Elizabeth Chadwick (April 18)

FANTASY

The Last Heir to Blackwood Library by Hester Fox (April 4)

BIOGRAPHICAL

The Lioness of Boston by Emily Franklin (April 11)

An American Beauty by Shana Abe (April 25)

MYSTERY

The Golden Doves by Martha Hall Kelly (April 18)

Homecoming by Kate Morton (April 4)

Borgia Rose by K.D. Allbaugh (April 10)



Need more books on your TBR? See more new release titles at Historical Novel Society.

Linda Ulleseit is the award-winning author of The Aloha Spirit and Under the Almond Trees. Her next historical novel, The River Remembers, will be published in 2023. To interact with her and other historical fiction authors and readers, join PLW’s Facebook group SHINE.

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Linda Ulleseit
Written by Linda Ulleseit

Linda Ulleseit writes award-winning heritage fiction set in the United States. She is a member of Historical Novel Society, Women’s Fiction Writers Association, and Women Writing the West as well as a founding member of Paper Lantern Writers. Get in touch with her on Instagram (lulleseit) and Facebook (Linda Ulleseit or SHINE with Paper Lantern Writers).

View Linda’s PLW Profile

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