The Locksmith’s Daughter by Karen Brooks

Among the slew of Tudor-era historical fiction novels The Locksmith's Daughter stands out with an interesting premise: its protagonist is a female whose primary identity is not that of someone's wife or mistress. On the contrary, Mallory Bright has a trade - of sorts. She can pick any lock. This being the 16th century, Mallory... Continue Reading →

Highlights from HNS North America 2019

My second historical fiction conference, HNS North America, came and went, and it was quite a ride. It was held at the Gaylord Resort and Convention Center in Oxon Hill, Maryland, just across the Potomac from Washington, DC from June 20-22, 2019. With over 70 sessions, the panels ranged from discussions of craft to the... Continue Reading →

Shattered Drum by C. P. Lesley

So many historical novels set in the 16th century focus on Tudor England (and sometimes also France, with a smattering of Italy) that I get very excited whenever a story is set in other parts of Europe. C.P. Lesley is on one of the few historical fiction authors that I know of whose work brings... Continue Reading →

Silent Water, A Jagiellon Mystery #1

Prologue Bari, Kingdom of Naples March 1560 The nightmares did not start until my old age, when sleep becomes elusive for some, while for others it is burdened with images from their past they would rather not remember. The stone cellar, dank and malodorous; the glint of a blade; the killer’s cold eyes; the victim’s... Continue Reading →

The Huntress by Kate Quinn

Given the subject matter of Kate Quinn's latest novel The Huntress, it is difficult to use terms like "enjoyment" and "fun" to describe the reading experience. So I will limit myself to saying that it is among the best historical fiction I have read in a long, long time. The novel opens with a scene at... Continue Reading →

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