Night Flight to Paris by Cara BlackSeries alert: Night Flight to Paris is the sequel to Three Hours in Paris, which first introduced readers to retired spy and sharpshooter Kate Rees.
This time: Kate's relatively quiet new life as a shooting instructor in the Scottish Highlands is disrupted when her former handler returns with an assignment that seems too important not to take -- one that could finally end World War II.
Reviewers say: "The gritty, determined Kate is a heroine for the ages" (Publishers Weekly).
The Woman with the Cure by Lynn CullenWhat it is: a descriptive and character-driven biographical novel about Dr. Dorothy Horstmann, the pioneering epidemiologist whose work was a crucial part of the development of the polio vaccine.
Read it for: clever and determined Dorothy's dedication to her work and and courage in the face of discrimination from her male colleagues.
For fans of: Paula McLain and Marie Benedict.
Marvelous by Molly GreeleyInspired by: the life of Petrus Gonsalvus, whose marriage is cited as one of the possible inspirations for Beauty and the Beast.
What it's about: Born with a genetic condition that causes dark hair to grow all over his body, Pedro is kidnapped as a child and brought to the French court where the queen, Catherine de' Medici, has him educated and makes it her mission to find a bride for him.
Read it for: the emotional journey of Pedro and his eventual wife Catherine, taking them from strangers to unhappy newlyweds to stalwart allies in the struggle to maintain influence in the cutthroat French royal court.
Essex Dogs by Dan JonesHow it starts: with titular Essex Dogs -- a rough-and-tumble band of 10 mercenaries-- landing on the beaches of Normandy in 1346 to join up with King Edward III's invasion of France.
Read it for: the chance to get to know this engaging, ragtag bunch of men-at-arms, including a volatile priest, a brooding young archer, and their battle-hardened, world weary captain.
About the author: British historian Dan Jones is known for his well-researched and accessible books including The Templars, The Hollow Crown, and Magna Carta. Essex Dogs is his first novel.
The Perfumist of Paris by Alka JoshiSeries alert: The Perfumist of Paris is the final entry in Alka Joshi's Jaipur trilogy, which began with The Henna Artist and continued with The Secret Keeper of Jaipur.
This time: It's 1974, and talented Paris-based perfume maker Radha is returning to India at her employer's behest to search for inspiration for new fragrances. Unbeknownst to Radha, a young man is traveling in the opposite direction and his arrival in Paris could unravel the careful life she's built for herself.
Reviewers say: "Filled with the rich and evocative scents of India and Paris, this novel will transport readers to Radha's world as she deals with heartaches and triumphs on her journey to wholeness" (Library Journal).
The Last Russian Doll by Kristen LoeschWhat it is: a lush and lyrical debut novel that follows three generations of women in a Russian family, beginning in 1917.
Starring: Tonya, a young noblewoman who falls in love with an idealistic revolutionary while married to a wealthy factory owner; Tonya's granddaughter Rosie, an Oxford postgrad who takes a summer research job in Moscow during the twilight of the Soviet Union.
White Fox by Owen MatthewsSeries alert: White Fox is the final volume in the trilogy of Cold War novels starring KGB officer Alexander Vasin, beginning with Black Sun and its sequel Red Traitor.
This time: After a career setback, Vasin is assigned to a new post as the director of a remote Siberian gulag. When tensions at the camp boil over into a riot, Vasin quickly finds himself on the run with a mysterious ally -- a prisoner who might know one of the most dangerous secrets in the world.
Reviewers say: White Fox is "a surprising but oddly fitting finale to the saga of a reluctant rebel" (Booklist).
Night Angels by Weina Dai RandelWhat it is: the candid and inspiring story of a Chinese diplomatic couple and their efforts to protect Jewish people from Nazi persecution in 1938 Vienna.
Starring: Dr. Ho Fengshan, a consul general who, despite official instructions from his government not to rock the boat, risks his life to issue exit visas; his wife Grace, whose background as a Chinese American gives her a unique perspective; Lola, a Viennese Jew who Dr. Fengshan hires to help Grace learn to speak German.
For fans of: Pam Jenoff and Martha Hall Kelly.
Stealing by Margaret VerbleWhat it is: the heartwrenching, intricately plotted coming-of-age story of a half-Cherokee girl forced into a religious boarding school in the 1950s, where she and her fellow students endure harrowing abuse and indoctrination.
Read it for: narrator Kit Crockett's engaging and realistic youthful narrative voice.
Reviewers say: "Verble tells a memorable and sobering story about injustice, hypocrisy, and resilience" (Kirkus Reviews).
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