The crime at the core of “Murder by the Book” by Claire Harman stunned London for months. Yet Harman’s book is not so much focused on the uncovering of a murderer as it is on dissecting the London not only of Queen Victoria, but the London of Charles Dickens and William Makepeace Thackeray as well.

A dozen stand-alone essays come together to turn “Black Is the Body,” the new book from scholar Emily Bernard, into a most exquisitely written and poignant memoir, a memoir that questions identity, race and what it is to be a woman in America.

Let’s just get this out of the way as soon as possible. It is highly unlikely that “‘Broadsword Calling Danny Boy’: Watching ‘Where Eagles Dare,’” Geoff Dyer’s new book, resembles any book that anyone has ever come across.

To read “Elsey Come Home,” the new novel from Susan Conley, is to come into contact with any search for self that any individual might ever have experienced. The novel is an intimate declaration of independence. It’s a story told many times over, true, but Conley tells it with such understan…

The essence of “A Ladder to the Sky,” the new novel for adults from Irish author John Boyne, is an old proverb. Late in the novel, Maurice Swift, the amoral writer at the novel’s center, tells a much younger writer: “And you’ve heard the old proverb about ambition, haven’t you? … That it’s l…

The “Winters” in this new work from Tom Barbash are the members of the Winters family who live in the Dakota, the famous residence in the heart of New York City. “The Dakota Winters” is a novel populated by characters both fictional and actual, and it is a novel that is very much about the l…

First of all, there’s the cover art. Against a bright, red-orange background are Joe Biden at the wheel of a Dodge Charger, safety belt harnessing him in, while Barack Obama stands through the car’s sunroof with an absolute sense of urgency, pointing ahead while his tie flaps over his should…