The nation will celebrate Veterans Day on Wednesday. Originally known as Armistice Day to honor veterans of World War I, legislation replaced the word “Armistice” with “Veterans” in 1954, recognizing the day as a day to honor American veterans of all wars, not only those who served in World War I. Here are some novels centering on those who served in various wars throughout history as we acknowledge this day of remembrance.
Revolutionary War spy Ethan Saunders has come upon tough times by the end of the war in “The Whiskey Rebels” by David Liss. Accused of treason, he’s lost his true love, Cynthia Pearson, to a wealthy entrepreneur who prospered during the war. But when Cynthia’s husband disappears, Saunders is recruited to find him. The disappearance leads Saunders to Federalist Treasury Secretary Alexander Hamilton and the creation of the first national financial institution while the whiskey rebels are trying to bring down Hamilton and fiercely opposing the taxes on their goods. The plots are fascinatingly intertwined to a wild blend of historical fiction and action adventure.
Jacqueline Winspear’s debut series novel “Maisie Dobbs” takes place 10 years after the Great War. It’s a combination of accounts of the war, romance and mystery. In 1929 wartime nurse turned private investigator Maisie, finds herself sleuthing her first case in what seems to be an open and shut infidelity investigation. The case leads her to a working farm known as the Retreat, where traumatized soldiers go to recover, but do not return. The investigation draws her back to the Great War to confront memories she thought she’d buried in the past with the war.
During World War II, Wink Dutton is discharged from the service when he injures his hand in a shipboard accident. Wink heads to Chicago after leaving the service and rents a room from Sal Chesterton. He’s surprised to discover that Chesterton is augmenting her income from the family’s camera shop by creating pinup photos for girlie magazines and using herself as the model. Along with Chesterton’s good friend Reenie, the three join forces to make extra money during these tough times in this charming tale, “Nothing but a Smile” by Steve Amick.
A. L. Kennedy introduces former Royal Air Force tail gunner Alfred Day in the aptly named story “Day.” He becomes an extra on the set of a movie about prisoners of war. In a series of flashbacks, Day reflects back on his time fighting in World War II, while the movie is filming. He learns more about himself and the world that continues to go on around him even though he’s still reeling from events which happened in the past.
“Bringing Back the Dead” by Joe Domenici is a mystery set three decades after the Vietnam War. Veteran Captain Fred Custer enlists Ted Hickman, retired U.S. Army Special Forces, to track down one of their former unit members. Larry Yoder is the third member of their squadron to disappear in the Florida Everglades.
After Vietnam, Yoder found spirituality, which brought him to Belle Glade, Fla., where he became a minister. Belle Glade is a town with a hidden past and the prominent Cole family and their followers are bent on keeping the secrets within. Custer and Hickman initiate a full and action-packed investigation into the Cole family and the town, stopping at nothing to find out what happened to their comrade.
Visit the Newport Beach Public Library to check out any of these military fiction books and many more.
CHECK IT OUT is written by the staff of the Newport Beach Public Library. All titles may be reserved from home or office computers by accessing the catalog at www.newportbeachlibrary.org. For more information on the Central Library or any of the branches, please contact the Newport Beach Public Library at (949) 717-3800, option 2.