The historical novel is a perennial fixture in the book business, a nimble genre that works its way into all corners of the storytelling ecosystem: bestseller lists, hot new subgenres, movie adaptations and, of course, the literary canon. Historicals make up more than half of the just-released longlist for the UK's Orange Prize for woman-penned fiction, and scripted historicals are in full force on TV (Downton Abbey, Mad Men) and at the movies (2011 Best Picture winner The Artist was one of four historicals nominated for the honor—five, if you count Midnight in Paris). This week, they’re also all over the On-Sale Calendar. Here’s a look at six of them, complete with a blurb from the PW review:

Among our Picks, we’ve got Tim Powers’s Hide Me Among the Graves (Morrow), a supernatural thriller that takes place in an 1862 London haunted by author, suicide, and possible vampire John Polidori, the man who introduced vampires to the world with The Vampyre: A Tale. “An impressively original variation on the vampire theme.”

Vampires also turn up in revolution-era France in Chelsea Quinn Yarbo’s 30th—yes, 30th—historical horror novel Commedia della Morte (Tor). This one’s for those who like their history detailed, their series entries heavily interconnected, and their eroticism “highly literate.” “A strong entry in a series that has been showing its age.”

Another series entry: Rhys Bowen’s Hush Now, Don’t You Cry (Minotaur), the 11th case for her turn-of-the-century amateur sleuth Molly Murphy. This time, Murphy’s honeymooning with her husband when their host turns up dead. It sounds like a standard whodunit setup, but an “unusually tricky solution makes this one of the better entries in the series.”

Margaret Brownley, on the other hand, starts a brand new series of historical romances this week with Dawn Comes Early (Thomas Nelson), featuring the “formulaic but sprightly” tale of a controversial dime-novelist who, in 1895, leaves Boston for a new life in the Arizona Territory. “It’s not a dime novel, but just like that genre will find readers interested in light diversion.”

Another Pick: Lynsday Faye follows up her Sherlock Holmes-v-Jack the Ripper debut Dust and Shadow with The Gods of Gotham (Putnam/Amy Einhorn), starring a beat cop in the newly-formed police force of 1845 New York, tracking down a murderer of children who has a thing for spleens. “A blockbuster of a twisty plot.”

And for the historical-loving young reader, there’s the latest from Michael Morpugo, the former British children’s laureate and author of bestseller-turned-hit-play-turned-Stephen-Spielberg best-picture-nominee War Horse. Called Kaspar the Titanic Cat (Harper), and timed for the one hundreth anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic, this novel for young adults concerns two teenagers, the cat they take in, and the doomed ocean-liner they all end up on. “A sweet, touching historical novel that balances sentimentality with humor and action.”

For the record, here’s the list of this year’s Orange Award nominees that fall into the historical genre, listed chronologically by setting:

Island of Wings by Karin Altenberg (Penguin) 1830

The Sealed Letter by Emma Donoghue (Picador) 1864

Gillespie And I by Jane Harris (Harper Perennial) 1888

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern (Doubleday) 1900s

Half Blood Blues by Esi Edugyan (Picador) 1939-1952

Lord Of Misrule by Jaimy Gordon (McPherson) 1970s

On The Floor by Aifric Campbell (Serpents Tail) 1991

Oh, and for those who prefer their history straight-up, there’s plenty to choose from in nonfiction, including presidential bios James Madison by Jeff Broadwater, Island of Vice by Richard Zacks, Indomitable Will by Mark Updegrove, and When General Grant Expelled the Jews by Jonathan D. Sarna; sports histories Summer of ’68 by Tim Wendel, American Triumvirate by James Dodson, and Joe Paterno by the editors of Sports Illustrated; anthropological investigation Lone Survivors by Chris Stringer; accordions-in-America history Squeeze This! by Marion Jacobson; holocaust crime investigation Justice Before Nuremberg by Greg Dawson; Titanic tragedy recap LIFE Titanic from the editors of Life magazine; and even a historical cookbook in The Pioneer Woman Cooks by Ree Drummond—plus far too many more!