All 15+ Marie Benedict Books in Order [Ultimate Guide]

The Marie Benedict books in order blend fact and fiction with vivid detail. Benedict chooses a female figure from history and through her research she recreates their life. But she injects hopes, dreams, and fears into their perspective.

There is one exception to this method, which is her second novel: Carnegie’s Maid. This book doesn’t follow a female figure from history. Instead, it follows a fictional character that embodies the story and struggle of many immigrant women.

About Marie Benedict

Marie Benedict is the popular pseudonym for Heather Terrell. The fame she has found writing novels as Marie Benedict has surpassed the success of her first books under her own name. Now she prefers using the Benedict name.

The reason she chose to use a pen name was because of a genre shift. The Marie Benedict books in order are historical fiction that focus on the stories of women who have made significant contributions to the world.

However, these women have not gotten the credit they deserve. Benedict is trying to rectify this through her writing.

Each book, except the aforementioned Carnegie’s Maid, plucks a female figure from the pages of history and extrapolates on their story. As a fiction writer, Benedict says, she has a certain amount of freedom that historians lack. That is how she was able to create the fictional Irish immigrant maid in Carnegie’s orbit.

But it is also how she is able to shine such a bright light on every woman she writes about. Benedict writes her books in the first person because she says it helps readers form a more intimate attachment and connection with the women.

Benedict then surmises through her research about the era and the women’s lives about how they likely would have been feeling and the thoughts that would guide them. She voices their frustrations, hopes, fears, and dreams.

Carnegie’s Maid was partially inspired by Benedict’s own family and heritage. It takes places in Pittsburgh, where Benedict grew up and still lives. The book tells the story of a bright immigrant woman, who very easily could have been one of Benedict’s ancestors.

Before she became a bestselling author, Benedict was a lawyer in New York City for a major law firm.

Marie Benedict Books in Order

Standalone Books

All the Marie Benedict books in order are standalone historical fiction novels, which means you can absolutely read them in whatever order you wish. Most take place in the twentieth century, or the very end of the nineteenth century. Depending on the main character, the subject matter varies as well.

If you enjoy reading about science, then The Other Einstein, The Only Woman in the Room, and Her Hidden Genius will be perfect for you. If you enjoy political reads, then Lady Clementine or The First Ladies might be a good place to begin.

However, if you do wish to read the books in an order, then following the publication order will depict Benedict’s growth and evolution as an author.

  1. The Other Einstein (2016)
  2. Carnegie’s Maid (2018)
  3. The Only Woman in the Room (2019)
  4. Lady Clementine (2020)
  5. The Mystery of Mrs. Christie (2021)
  6. The Personal Librarian (2021) (With Victoria Christopher Murray)
  7. Her Hidden Genius (2022)
  8. The Mitford Affair (2023)
  9. The First Ladies (2023) (With Victoria Christopher Murray)

Short Stories/Novellas

Marie Benedict has also written two short stories with her pen name. This includes a collaboration with fellow historical fiction novelist Kate Quinn.

  1. Agent 355 (2020)
  2. Smoke (2021) (With Kate Quinn)

Books as Heather Terrell

Mara Coyne Books

The first books that Marie Benedict ever published were under her own name. The Maya Coyne books are a blend of historical fiction and mystery with expansive timelines that take place over centuries and continents. Maya Coyne is the main character in the present day and she connects the two books in this duology.

In the first book, she works at a powerful Manhattan law firm and has just received the case that will make her a partner. However, as she learns more about the case concerning a seventeenth-century Dutch painting, the more she begins to believe that the case may be built on a lie.

  1. The Chrysalis (2008)
  2. The Map Thief (2008)

Standalone Book

The only standalone book that Heather Terrell published under her own name is also a split perspective historical fiction that takes place in different timelines.

Brigid of Kildare tells the story of Saint Brigid in fifth-century Ireland. It also follows Alexandra Patterson in the modern day as she discovers the oldest illuminated manuscript found in Saint Brigid’s reliquary box. The manuscript has the potential to rewrite the origins of Christianity.

  1. Brigid of Kildare (2009)

Fallen Angel Books

Heather Terrell also wrote a young adult fantasy duology. The first book follows Ellie and Michael as they both discover they have otherworldly powers. With this discovery the pair become embroiled in an ancient conflict and it’s soon unclear whether they will remain on the same side.

  1. Fallen Angel (2010)
  2. Eternity (2011)

Books of Eva Books

Finally, Heather Terrell also wrote one young adult dystopian duology and a short story. The series introduces the world of Aerie and Boundary, existing in New North after the flooding of The Healing destroyed the previous corrupt civilization.

But Relics from that era still exist out in the icy wastelands with Testors searching for them. Eva unexpectedly volunteers for that role in her brother’s place after his untimely death.

  1. Relic (2013)
  2. Chronicle (2013) (Prequel Novella) (Out of Print)
  3. Boundary (2014)

A Summary of Marie Benedict Books in Order

While she has written books under her own name, the Marie Benedict books in order are all standalone novels. If you’d like to learn a little bit more about how Benedict blends fact and fiction with her historical novels, then keep reading for the summaries for each of her books.

The Other Einstein Marie Benedict Books in Order

1. The Other Einstein

This is the story of Einstein’s first wife, a brilliant physicist in her own right. Her contribution to the special theory of relativity is hotly debated. It may have been inspired by her own profound and very personal insight.

Mitza Maric has always been different, which is evident by her decision to pursue studying physics at an elite Zurich university with only male students trying to outdo her calculations. Mitza knows, however, that math is an easier path for her than marriage.

But that’s when her fellow student Albert Einstein takes an interest in her, and the world turns sideways. They become partners in mind and of heart, but there may only be room for one genius in their marriage.

Carnegie’s Maid Book Cover

2. Carnegie’s Maid

Clara Kelley is not who they think she is. The Carnegies hired an experienced Irish maid to work in their grand Pittsburgh household. Clara, meanwhile, is a poor farmer’s daughter with nowhere to go, but the woman the Carnegies hired has vanished and pretending to be her might let Clara send some money back home.

But only if she can keep up the ruse. She may not have the practical skills, but she does have a resolve as strong as the famous Pittsburgh steel and an uncanny understanding of business. The latter sees Andrew Carnegie begin to rely on her, even though Clara can’t let her guard down, even as Andrew becomes something more than her employer.

The Only Woman in the Room Marie Benedict

3. The Only Woman in the Room

Hedy Kiesler is lucky. Her beauty leads to a starring role in a controversial film and marriage to a powerful Austrian arms dealer, which allows her to evade Nazi persecution despite her Jewish heritage. Hedy is also brilliant.

She overhears the Third Reich’s plans at lavish dinner parties in Vienna and then one night in 1936 she flees, desperate to escape from her controlling husband and the rise of the Nazis. She ends up in Hollywood, which is where she becomes Hedy Lemarr, a famous screen star.

But Hedy is keeping a secret even more shocking than her Jewish heritage. She is a scientist. She also has an idea that might help the country and might ease her guilt for escaping alone — if anyone will listen to her.

Lady Clementine Book Cover

4. Lady Clementine

In 1909, Clementine Churchill steps off a train with her new husband, Winston. An angry woman emerges from the crowd to attack and shoves him in the direction of an oncoming train.

Just before he stumbles, Clementine grabs him by his suit jacket. This will not be the last time Clementine Churchill will save her husband.

The Mystery of Mrs Christie Marie Benedict Books in Order

5. The Mystery of Mrs. Christie

In December 1926, Agatha Christie went missing for eleven days. Investigators found her car on the edge of a deep pond with sparse clues as to where she might have gone on that cold night. Her husband and daughter had no clue where she disappeared to and a hunt began all across England to track her down.

Christie reappeared after eleven days claiming amnesia and without providing an explanation for her disappearance. The mystery of those missing days has persisted ever since and with this novel, Benedict imagines the circumstances and motivations surrounding Christie’s disappearance.

The Personal Librarian Marie Benedict

6. The Personal Librarian

Belle da Costa Greene was first hired by J.P. Morgan when she was in her twenties to curate a collection for his new Pierpont Morgan Library. She then becomes a fixture on the New York society scene and one of the most powerful people in the art and book world. Belle becomes known for her impeccable taste and shrewd negotiating for critical pieces as she helps to build a world-class collection.

But she is also harboring a secret that she must protect at all costs. That’s because she was born Belle Marion Greener, the daughter of the first Black graduate of Harvard. Belle says her complexion is dark because of alleged Portuguese heritage and it lets her pass as white, but her complexion is actually dark because she is African American.

The Personal Librarian is written with Victoria Christopher Murray.

Her Hidden Genius Book Cover

7. Her Hidden Genius

Rosalind Franklin has always been an outsider. She has always felt closest to science whether she is working at the laboratory in Paris or attending university in London. The unchanging laws of physics and chemistry that guide her experiments bring her comfort.

When she is assigned to work on DNA, she believes she can unearth its secrets. The building blocks of life are within the X-ray pictures she takes, she just needs to find it and then she won’t have to listen to her colleagues complain about her ever again.

Then the double helix structure of DNA reveals itself to her with perfect clarity, but Rosalind could never have predicted what happened next.

The Mitford Affair Marie Benedict

8. The Mitford Affair

Between the World Wars, the six Mitford sisters dominate English political, literary, and social scenes. They’ve weathered scandals before, but the family falls into disarray when Diana divorces her husband to marry a fascist leader and Unity follows her sister’s lead, inciting rumors that she’s become Hitler’s own mistress.

Novelist Nancy Mitford is the only one to stay in touch with her sisters after their desertion. So when they become spies for the Nazi party, it is up to her to choose between loyalty to her sisters or to her country.

The First Ladies Marie Benedict Books in Order

9. The First Ladies

Mary McLeod Bethune is the daughter of formerly enslaved parents and she refuses to back down as white supremacists try to thwart her work. She marches as an activist and an educator as her reputation grows and she attracts the attention of business titans and U.S. Presidents.

Eleanor Roosevelt is awestruck and eager to make her acquaintance. They share beliefs in women’s rights and the power of education, but Mary and Eleanor become fast friends that goes beyond professional ambition and share secrets, hopes, and dreams. They hold hands through tragedy and triumph.

When Franklin Delano Roosevelt is elected president, the two women begin to collaborate more closely, particularly as Eleanor moves toward her own agenda, a consequence of finding out about her husband’s secret affair. Eleanor becomes a controversial First Lady for her outspokenness, especially on civil rights. When she receives threats because of her strong ties to Mary, it only fuels the women’s desire to fight together for justice and equality.

The First Ladies is also written with Victoria Christopher Murray.

Final thoughts

The Marie Benedict books in order are fantastic books for anyone who loves historical fiction but wants more from a female perspective. Benedict, in collaboration with Victoria Christopher Murray occasionally, plucks characters from the pages of history and imagines their lived reality with vivid detail. She brings motivations, fears, hopes, and dreams to her characters.

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