In 1886, Ludwig II, the fairytale king of Bavaria, was deposed after being declared insane by doctors who had never met him. He died mysteriously soon thereafter, his eccentric and beautiful castles his only legacy.
When an encoded diary by one of Ludwig’s confidants falls into the hands of rare book dealer Steven Lukas, he soon realizes that the diary may bring him more misery than money. Others want the diary as well—and they will kill to get it. Believing the diary to contain the secret truth behind Ludwig’s death, Steven and the detective Sara Lengfeld go on the run, investigating each of Ludwig’s three famous castles for clues. Just what in the diary could be so explosive that Ludwig's deranged modern-day followers will do whatever it takes to keep it hidden?
Combining contemporary mystery and a gripping historical saga, putting computers and smartphones alongside derringers and palace intrigue, The Ludwig Conspiracy is a bold new thriller from the best-selling author of The Hangman’s Daughter series.
Behind the Shattered Glass by Tasha Alexander. US release September 15, 2013.
Anglemore Park is the ancestral home of Lady Emily Hargreave’s husband Colin.
But the stately calm of country life is destroyed when their neighbor, the Marquess of Montagu, bursts through the French doors from the garden and falls down dead in front of the shocked gathering. But who has a motive for murdering the young aristocrat? The lovely cousin who was threatened by his engagement, the Oxford friend he falsely accused of cheating, the scheming vicar’s daughter he shamelessly seduced or the relative no one knew existed who appears to claim the Montagu title? Who is the mysterious woman seen walking with him moments before he was brutally attacked?
The trail takes readers into the gilded world of a British manor house and below stairs to the servants who know all the secrets. One family’s hidden past and a forbidden passion are the clues to a puzzle only Lady Emily can solve.
Shadow of the Alchemist by Jeri Westerson. US release October 15, 2013.
Once a Knight of the Realm, Crispin Guest was stripped of his title and his lands and must now earn his meager living through his wits. With the help of his young apprentice, reformed thief Jack Tucker, Guest is known to certain populations as The Tracker, the man who can find anything—for a price. It is for that reason that Guest is sought out by Nicholas Flamel, an absent-minded alchemist. Both Flamel’s wife and his apprentice are missing, and he wants Guest to find them and bring them home.
Before he can even begin looking, Guest discovers that Flamel’s house has been ransacked. Then Flamel’s assistant turns up—dead, hanging from the rafters with a note pinned to his chest by a dagger. It is a ransom note that promises the safe return of his wife in exchange for the Philosopher’s Stone, which is reputed to turn lead into gold and create the elixir of life. And the kidnappers aren’t the only ones after it. From the highest nobility to Flamel’s fellow alchemists, everyone is seeking the stone for themselves. Guest must rescue the missing wife and find the stone before it falls into unworthy hands.
The Spanish Queen by Carolly Erickson. US and UK release Octobere 22, 2013.
When young Catherine of Aragon, proud daughter of King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella, is sent to England to marry the weak Prince Arthur, she is unprepared for all that awaits her: early widowhood, the challenge of warfare with the invading Scots, and the ultimately futile attempt to provide the realm with a prince to secure the succession. She marries Arthur’s energetic, athletic brother Henry, only to encounter fresh obstacles, chief among them Henry’s infatuation with the alluring but wayward Anne Boleyn.
In The Spanish Queen, bestselling novelist Carolly Erickson allows the strong-willed, redoubtable Queen Catherine to tell her won story – a tale that carries her from the scented gardens of Grenada to the craggy mountains of Wales to the conflict-ridden Tudor court. Surrounded by strong partisans among the English, and with the might of Spanish and imperial arms to defend her, Catherine soldiers on, until her union with King Henry is severed and she finds herself discarded – and tempted to take the most daring step of her life.
Carolly Erickson’s historical entertainments continue to succeed in creating a unique blend of historical authenticity and page-turning drama.
The Secret Daughter of the Tsar by Jennifer Laam. US and UK release October 22, 2013.
A compelling alternate history of the Romanov family in which a secret fifth daughter—smuggled out of Russia before the revolution—continues the royal lineage to dramatic consequences.
In her riveting debut novel, The Secret Daughter of the Tsar, Jennifer Laam seamlessly braids together the stories of three women: Veronica, Lena, and Charlotte. Veronica is an aspiring historian living in present-day Los Angeles when she meets a mysterious man who may be heir to the Russian throne. As she sets about investigating the legitimacy of his claim through a winding path of romance and deception, the ghosts of her own past begin to haunt her.
Lena, a servant in the imperial Russian court of 1902, is approached by the desperate Empress Alexandra. After conceiving four daughters, the Empress is determined to sire a son and believes Lena can help her. Once elevated to the Romanov’s treacherous inner circle, Lena finds herself under the watchful eye of the meddling Dowager Empress Marie. Charlotte, a former ballerina living in World War II occupied Paris, receives a surprise visit from a German officer.
Determined to protect her son from the Nazis, Charlotte escapes the city, but not before learning that the officer’s interest in her stems from his longstanding obsession with the fate of the Russian monarchy. Then as Veronica's passion intensifies, and her search for the true heir to the throne takes a dangerous turn, the reader learns just how these three vastly different women are connected. The Secret Daughter of the Tsar is thrilling from its first intense moments until its final, unexpected conclusion.
The Kings and Queens of Scotland by Timothy Venning. Non-fiction. UK release July 28, 2013.
A complete history of the Scottish rulers, from the heads of its early constituent states and the first King of Scots Kenneth MacAlpin, to Queen Anne and the union with England. Interest in Scottish kings and queens currently piqued by discussions over Scottish independence and the approaching 700th anniversary of the Battle of Bannockburn.
The kingdom of Scots was the last of the non-Anglo-Saxon states of Britain to survive as a political entity. Alone of the Celtic nations, it was not absorbed into England by conquest. James VI of Scotland came to the throne of England in 1603, and when union with England finally came in 1707 during the reign of Queen Anne, it was technically on equal terms. This success owed much to the abilities and tenacity of a succession of rulers, from the time that the multiplicity of states was merged into one kingdom. The story of the rulers of Scotland’|s constituent states and then of the united kingdom of Scots from Kenneth MacAlpin onwards is complex and often violent. It is full of rapid reversals of fortune, brilliant and incompetent leadership, family strife, and triumph and tragedy closely intertwined. The obscure earlier history is often as fascinating as the better-known stories of the Bruce and Queen Mary though less familiar. This saga of a thousand years bears tribute to the qualities of Scotland’|s rulers.
The Woodvilles: The Wars of the Roses and England's Most Infamous Family by Susan Higginbotham. Non-fiction. UK release October 1, 2013.
No summary available yet
The Tudor Bride by Joanna Hickson. UK release October 24, 2013.
No summary available, but this is the second of Hickson's books about Catherine of Valois (the first being The Agincourt Bride).