Three new historical novels offer fictional journeys to distant times and places.
Instruments of Darkness (Pamela Dorman/Viking) by Imogen Robertson sets its mystery in Sussex in 1780, with murders there and in London connected to a former Revolutionary War redcoat and a fallen family.
Madame Tussaud: A Novel of the French Revolution (Crown) by Michelle Moran goes to Paris in 1788 to explore the tensions between rich and poor and the life of the artist who was more than the inspiration for wax museums.
The Oracle of Stamboul (Harper) by Michael David Lukas is a debut novel about the Ottoman Empire in its twilight in the late 19th century, the tale of a young girl with unusual powers who becomes the confidant of the Sultan — and finds herself and her family in danger.
Colette Bancroft, Times book editor