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10 Best New Historical Fiction Audiobooks To Read In 2024

10 Best New Historical Fiction Audiobooks To Read In 2024

I set my first two books in the 1980s, but they are often described by readers and booksellers as historical fiction. I guess that’s correct when you consider the 1980s were almost half a century ago.

I’m actually proud to be considered part of that genre. At its best, historical fiction not only explores and illuminates the past, it provides a reflection on the times we live in now.

I also love listening to audiobooks of historical fiction. And I’m thrilled about how my novel, Florida Hustle, translated into audio, thanks to two great readers.

Below, I’m offering a list of top historical fiction audiobooks that can fuel your imagination and transport you through time.

Florida Hustle by Paul Wilborn, Narrated By Dan Levy & Abigail Reno

Since it’s my blog, why not start with my own book? After all, it earned a coveted “starred review” from Kirkus, and the well-respected review site also named Florida Hustle one of the “100 Best Indie Books” of the year.

I blended themes of fiction, humor, and history to craft the inspiring story of a young filmmaker, Michael Donnelly. He has two obsessions: the 1960s horror movies made by Mario Bava and 1980s vahas two obsessions: one from 1960 horror movies, while another is a teenage scream queen, Dawn Karston, star of a string of Friday the 13th slasher knockoffs.  

Michael, who shares a Palm Beach mansion with his defense contractor father, believes Dawn deserves better material and that he is just the man for the job. But obsession, like film-making, is a risky business. To Dawn and her LA manager, Michael’s comic book storyboards, rendered in blood-red ink and mailed to the actor’s home address, look more like death threats than movie pitches.

With Dawn’s new project, Swamp Fiend 2, about to shoot in the Florida Everglades—just an hour from Michael’s house—the producers convince Michael’s family that something must be done. When Michael gets wind of a plan to lock him up at a plush retreat for the rich and deranged, he flees to a sketchy motel in West Palm Beach. There, he enlists an aging con man and his fiercely ambitious teenage girlfriend to help him reach the set of Swamp Fiend 2. Michael doesn’t realize his new partners see him as an opportunity to satisfy their own obsessions.

Florida Hustle is set in 1982 when America was led by a celebrity president, when the phenomenal success of Friday the 13th helped spawn a string of slasher-film copycats, and when Florida was morphing from a low-rent vacation land into a mega-state famous for sprawling theme parks, bizarre crimes, and a flourishing B-movie industry.

The Romanov Legacy by Jenni Witz, narrated by Vanessa Moyen

Step into the fascinating world of imperial Russia in this novel, a complex web of mysteries, conspiracies and twists and turns. The main character, Natalie Brandom, suffers from schizophrenia, hallucinations and torture. Then, a spy kidnaps her for her treasure. And that’s just the beginning!

Blood And Beauty by Sarah Dunant, narrated by Edoardo Ballerini

By the end of the fifteenth century, the beauty and creativity of Italy is matched only by its brutality and corruption. When Cardinal Rodrigo Borgia buys his way into the papacy, he is defined not just by his wealth, charisma and power, but by his blood: a Spanish Pope in a city run by Italians. If he is to succeed, he must use his Machiavellian son and innocent daughter.

The Island of Sea Women by Lisa See, narrated by Jennifer Lim

The Island of Sea Women is a 2019 historical novel written by American author Lisa See. Set on the Korean island of Jeju, the novel tells the story of a friendship between Mi-ja, the daughter of a Japanese collaborator, and Young-Sook, the heir apparent in a family of haenyeo.

The Queen’s Secret by Karen Harper, narrated by Bianca Amato

In this audio novel, listeners are transported to 1939 Buckingham Palace. It’s all about the mother queen, Elizabeth, wife of King George VI, who stunned everyone with her supreme power and courage. She smartly hides damaging secrets from her past and plays powerful cards. Karen Harper inspiringly illustrated the royal secrets and unveiled the hidden truth behind the most dangerous chapters of history.

The Rose Code by Kate Quinn, narrated by Saskia Maarleveld

This novel focuses on three very different women who come together to help the British solve the codes that the Germans have been sending back and forth to their troops, leaders, etc. This novel isn’t short, at 656 pages, but Saskia’s narration will make you feel like you are actually present in that time of chaos and tension.

The Exiles by Christina Baker Kline, narrated by Caroline Lee

A powerful, emotionally resonant novel that captures the hardship, oppression, opportunity and hope of four women’s lives—three English convicts and an orphaned Aboriginal girl—in nineteenth-century Australia.

The Arctic Fury by Greer Macallister, narrated by Justine Eyre

A dozen women join a secret 1850s Arctic expedition—and a sensational murder trial unfolds when some of them don’t come back.Eccentric Lady Jane Franklin makes an outlandish offer to adventurer Virginia Reeve: take a dozen women, trek into the Arctic, and find her husband’s lost expedition.

The Windsor Knot by SJ Bennett, narrated by Jane Copland

After an event at Windsor castle, one of the guests is discovered dead. The queen is disappointed by the police’s line of enquiry so takes matters into her own hands to solve the case – and her secretary soon discovers, it’s not the first time she’s done such a thing. Copeland expertly conveys the charm, wit, and nuance of Elizabeth’s voice.

The Four Winds by Kristin Hannah, narrated by Julia Whelan

One of the darkest periods of the Great Depression, the Dust Bowl era, has arrived with a vengeance. In this uncertain and dangerous time, Elsa Martinelli—like so many of her neighbors—must make an agonizing choice: fight for the land she loves or go west, to California, in search of a better life.

Conclusion

Don’t stop by my recommendations; explore more because there is still a lot more yet to be discovered. Put on your headphones, choose any option from the list, and take a trip to another era through these amazing audiobooks.

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