The School of Night

Readers like me who've become quietly addicted to Louis Bayard's historical novels of suspense—the first, Mr. Timothy, imagined Dickens's Tiny Tim as a Victorian-era sleuth; the second, The Pale Blue Eye, detailed the adventures of Edgar Allan Poe as a West Point cadet—will welcome this new one, about a disgraced scholar in modern-day Washington, D.C., who follows the trail of a missing letter into the secretive world of Elizabethan intrigue, with perilous results.

April 17: "In less than three years, both GM and Chrysler would be bankrupt, and a resurgent Ford would wow Wall Street..."

Donna Tartt's The Goldfinch is the winner of the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. James Parker calls this Dickensian coming-of-age novel "an enveloping…