That Summer in Berlin by Lecia CornwallStarring: Viviane Alden, a young British woman who travels to Berlin in 1936 under the guise of working as a photographer at the Olympics. Her true goal? To find evidence that Germany is rearming in defiance of the Treaty of Versailles.
What makes it unique: the high-stakes setting, which has extra layers of artifice for Viviane to parse since any country hosting the Olympics tries to put its best foot forward.
For fans of: the Miss Lily series by Jackie French; the Verity Kent series by Anna Lee Huber.
The Poison Machine by Robert J. LloydSeries alert: The Poison Machine is the sequel to The Bloodless Boy, which first introduced readers to Harry Hunt, a 17th-century gentleman scientist and amateur sleuth.
This time: Harry heads to Norfolkshire for a seemingly straightforward investigation that will eventually take him across the English Channel in pursuit of a former royal favorite from the days of Charles I.
Reviewers say: Author Robert J. Lloyd "skillfully combines an endearingly flawed lead, jaw-dropping twists, and the fraught, conspiracy-laden politics of the Stuart Restoration" (Publishers Weekly).
Marmee by Sarah MillerWhat it is: a heartwarming, leisurely paced reimagining of classic novel Little Women, from the perspective of the titular March family matriarch.
Read it for: a deeper understanding of the complexities of Margaret March's existence beyond the supporting role she played in the stories of her daughters Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy.
About the author: Sarah Miller writes juvenile nonfiction about historical topics and historical fiction for both children and adults. Her previous adult novel Caroline reimagined the story of the Caroline Ingalls of Little House on the Prairie fame.
In the Shadow of a Queen by Heather B. MooreWhat it's about: Princess Louise (one of Queen Victoria's younger daughters) is a strong-willed young woman with artistic and feminist inclinations who serves as her domineering mother's unofficial secretary until the possibility of marriage to a Scottish peer divides her family and forces her to decide what she really wants out of life.
For fans of: The People's Princess by Flora Harding; A Most English Princess by Clare McHugh.
Reviewers say: In the Shadow of a Queen is "a worthy portrait of a woman divided by duty and self-determination" (Publishers Weekly).
Miss Del Río by Bárbara Louise MujicaWhat it is: the dramatic, rags to riches story of Hollywood icon Dolores del Río, beginning with her days as an orphan in northern Mexico before the 1910 Revolution.
Appearances by: Marlene Dietrich, Orson Welles, and Frida Kahlo.
You might also like: Find Me in Havana by Serena Burdick.and The Only Woman in the Room by Marie Benedict.
Everything the Light Touches by Janice PariatStarring: Swedish scientist Carl Linnaeus during his 1732 Lapland expedition; German intellectual Johann Wolfgang von Goethe during a trip through Italy that would inspire one of his lesser-known books, The Metamorphosis of Plants; Edwardian era Cambridge student Evelyn, during a botany journey in India.
How it's told: in alternating perspectives, interspersed with reflections from modern Delhi resident Shai, whose travels in rural Assam parallel the respective journeys of the book's other three narrators.
For fans of: David Mitchell's nonlinear, stylistically complex, time-spanning novel Cloud Atlas.
Before All the World by Moriel Rothman-ZecherWhat it's about: Leyb Mireles and Gitti Khayeles haven't seen each other since narrowly escaping the pogrom that destroyed their village, but fate is about to pull them back together in Depression-era Philadelphia through the combined forces of an underground gay bar, a Yiddish manuscript, and the work of it unlikely translator.
Read it for: the charming but not-quite-masterful translation of sections of Gitti's memoirs, written by Leyb's American friend Charles Patterson. In addition to exploring how Charles, a Black man, became fluent in Yiddish, the text is full of thought-provoking notes that explore Charles as a character in his own right.
Is it for you? Author Moriel Rothman-Zecher takes great care with prose but Before All the World is a stylistically complex work most likely to appeal to fans of high-concept novels like Jonathan Safran Foer's Everything is Illuminated or Vladimir Nabokov's Pale Fire.
The Color Line by Igiaba ScegoWhat it is: the remarkable story of Lafanu Brown, an Afro-Chippewa woman who moves to Italy in the middle of the 19th century to escape American racism and pursue her dreams of being an artist.
How the story is told: through the eyes of a modern day Italian art curator of Somali origin who grows attached to Lafanu's art and story, seeing reflections of her own experience and that of her family.
Reviewers say: The Color Line is "fluid and refreshing" (Library Journal) and "an engrossing tale of ambition, survival, and love" (Publishers Weekly).
One Woman's War by Christine WellsWhat it's about: the wartime activities of Victoire Bennett, a British Naval Intelligence officer who some believe inspired James Bond mainstay Miss Moneypenny.
Read it for: the engagingly written characters including Victoire, a survival-driven Austrian double agent, and Ian Fleming himself.
For fans of: Kate Quinn's The Alice Network and Ariel Lawhon's Code Name Helene.
Contact your librarian for more great books!
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