20 Historical Fiction Novels to Read in 2024

A collage of the covers included in this article

Take a journey to the past—no time travel required! Whether you’re looking to go undercover with the first female Pinkerton detective, hit the high seas with a pirate captain, or be dazzled by old Hollywood glamour, we’ve got a book for you. Below you’ll find 20 historical fiction novels—many of which you can request now on NetGalley. If you were approved for any of these books, you can read them directly in your NetGalley Shelf app. Don’t forget to leave a review!

The Seventh Veil of Salome by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

Is there anything better than a new Silvia Moreno-Garcia book? This one takes readers to Hollywood where an unknown actress has been cast in a leading role, driving jealousy into the heart of a costar.

The Mistress Experience by Scarlett Peckham

An earl bids on the services of the most well-known courtesan in London to help him learn the art of pleasing a woman before he marries in the newest installment in the Society of Sirens historical romance series.

The Widow Spy by Megan Campisi

Megan Campisi’s latest draws inspiration from the real life of the first female Pinkerton detective. The story follows Kate Warner in 1861, as she works as a Union spy in the hope of helping end the Civil War.

Kill Her Twice by Stacey Lee

This YA noir is set in 1930s Los Angeles’s Chinatown. When the police and the press dismiss movie star Lulu Wong’s murder, it’s up to her neighbors (the Chow sisters) to solve the crime.

A Bluestocking’s Guide to Decadence by Jess Everlee

A bluestocking and a bookshop owner find love in 1885 London. Dr. Emily Clarke lives a respectable life, but when she meets Jo Smith, who frequents secret sapphic societies, she’s tempted to step outside of her comfort zone.

The Briar Club by Kate Quinn

A new arrival at a women’s boarding house in 1950 Washington, DC turns neighbors into unlikely friends. But everything changes when a violent act leaves them wondering who in their group can be trusted.

Medici Heist by Caitlin Schneiderhan

Caitlin Schneiderhan’s YA debut stars Rosa Cellini, who puts together a group of teenage outcasts to pull off a near-impossible heist against a corrupt pope in Renaissance Italy.

The Ballad of Jacquotte Delahaye by Briony Cameron

One of our team’s most-anticipated books of 2024, this historical novel features a queer woman on her path from fleeing her home in Santo Domingo to becoming a legendary pirate captain.

A Ruse of Shadows by Sherry Thomas

Sherry Thomas returns with another installment in the bestselling Lady Sherlock series. In this entry, Charlotte is suspected of murder and must race against the clock to find the real killer and prove her innocence.

This Ravenous Fate by Hayley Dennings

A new YA fantasy duology is launching this summer and taking readers to Jazz Age Harlem, where a vampire and a vampire hunter must team up to investigate a string of murders.

The Future Was Color by Patrick Nathan

Travel to 1950s Hollywood to explore McCarthy-era filmmaking and reinvention through the lens of a gay Hungarian immigrant who wants to move from writing monster movies to writing about politics.

Wake Me Most Wickedly by Felicia Grossman

Felicia Grossman reimagines “Snow White” in this historical romance. Solomon Weiss is on the hunt for a respectable wife, but when he meets pawnshop owner Hannah Moses, he can’t help but be drawn to her.

The Final Curse of Ophelia Cray by Christine Calella

No one trusts Ophelia once they learn of her mother—an infamous pirate queen. But she’s determined to remake herself by enlisting in the navy under her sister’s name. It’s a grand plan until her sister shows up looking for her.

The Monstrous Misses Mai by Van Hoang

Looking for a touch of fantasy with your historical fiction? Van Hoang has you covered. In 1950s Los Angeles, a landlord offers a fashion designer the key to her dreams—for a price, of course.

Isabel and The Rogue by Liana De la Rosa

The Luna Sisters series continues this summer with a romance between a Mexican heiress determined to help her country during the French Occupation and an agent for the British Home Office.

The Assassin of Venice by Alyssa Palombo

In this 16th-century mystery, courtesan and assassin Valentina Riccardi is tasked with killing the man she’s fallen in love with and it drives her to question the purpose of the council she’s loyally served.

Daughter of Fire by Sofia Robleda

Sofia Robleda transports readers to 1551 Guatemala, where Catalina de Cerrato is fighting to honor her late mother’s dying wish of preserving the history of the K’iche’ people.

A Gamble at Sunset by Vanessa Riley

Vanessa Riley kicks off a new Regency romance trilogy with a scandalous tale of a musically gifted wallflower accidentally caught in a compromising position with an introverted composer.

Secrets of Rose Briar Hall by Kelsey James

Inspired by the movie Gaslight starring Ingrid Bergman, this gothic Gilded Age novel follows a young woman who begins to question her sanity after she marries a wealthy New York stockbroker.

Eyes Open by Lyn Miller-Lachmann

In this YA novel set in 1967, Sónia and her boyfriend Zé Miguel dream of a future where they can follow their artistic passions. But their plans go up in smoke when Zé Miguel is arrested by the Portuguese government.

What’s the last historical fiction book you read?

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Stuff Your Shelves

Kelly Gallucci

Kelly Gallucci is the Executive Editor of We Are Bookish, where she oversees the editorial content, offers book recommendations, and interviews authors and NetGalley members. When she's not working, Kelly can be found color coordinating her bookshelves, eating Chipotle, and watching way too many baking shows.

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