Brackston, Bradford, Steel & More: Historical Fiction, Nov. 2021, Pt. 3 | Prepub Alert

From 17th-century England to World War II: key historical fiction. 

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Brackston, Paula. City of Time and Magic. St. Martin’s. Nov. 2021. 320p. ISBN 9781250260697. $27.99. HISTORICAL

To find and follow her next mission in Brackston’s City of Time and Magic, fourth in the time-traveling “Found Things” series, Xanthe must choose between the songs sung to her by a mourning brooch, a writing slope, and gem-encrusted hatpin; she also hunts for the missing Liam and seeks to block the Visionary Society from using the Spinners maliciously (50,000-copy first printing).

Bradford, Barbara Taylor. A Man of Honor. St. Martin’s. Nov. 2021. 448p. ISBN 9781250187451. $29.99. CD. HISTORICAL

In A Man of Honor, prequel to the 1979 megahit A Woman of Substance, Bradford tells the story of Blackie O’Neill, who travels from County Kerry to England as a young orphan and begins his rise in the world while meeting Substance’s Emma Harte, still a kitchen maid (75,000-copy first printing).

Jago, Lucy. A Net for Small Fishes. Flatiron: Macmillan. Nov. 2021. 352p. ISBNcover of Brackston's City of Time and Magic 9781250261953. $26.99. HISTORICAL

Jago follows up The Northern Lights, winner of the National Biography Prize, with the 17th-century-set debut novel A Net for Small Fishes, drawing on real-life events: when Frances Howard, the miserable wife of the Earl of Essex, meets the widowed Anne Turner, they form a friendship that leads to something radical (35,000-copy first printing).

Steel, Danielle. Flying Angels. Delacorte. Nov. 2021. 288p. ISBN 9781984821553. $28.99. lrg. prnt. CD. HISTORICAL

Driven to act after Pearl Harbor, new Steel heroine Audrey Parker and friend Lizzie join the Medical Air Evacuation Transport Squadron, Flying Angels who regularly wing their way into enemy territory to rescue wounded soldiers from the battlefield.

Weiss, Elizabeth. The Sisters Sweet. Dial. Nov. 2021. 416p. ISBN 9781984801548. $27. Downloadable. HISTORICAL

Harriet Szász once appeared in vaudeville with sister Josie as The Sisters Sweet, posing as conjoined twins at their parents’ behest, but when Josie betrays the scam and runs off to Hollywood, Harriet must decide what to do with her life. In-house love for Weiss’s debut.

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Barbara Hoffert

Barbara Hoffert (, @BarbaraHoffert on Twitter) is Editor, LJ Book Review; past chair of the Materials Selection Committee of the RUSA (Reference and User Services Assn.) division of the American Library Association; and past president of the National Book Critics Circle, to which she has just been reelected.

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