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Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group
Olive the Lionheart

Olive the Lionheart

Lost Love, Imperial Spies, and One Woman's Journey into the Heart of Africa

Brad Ricca

St. Martin's Press

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"Brad Ricca’s Olive MacLeod is my favorite sort of woman from history&mdashbold and unconventional, utterly unsinkable&mdashand her story is so full of adventure and acts of courage, it’s hard to believe she actually lived. And yet she did! Brad Ricca has found a heroine for the ages, and written her tale with a winning combination of accuracy and imagination."
&mdash Paula McLain, author of Love and Ruin and The Paris Wife

From the Edgar-nominated author of the bestselling Mrs. Sherlock Holmes comes the true story of a woman's quest to Africa in the 1900s to find her missing fiancé, and the adventure that ensues.

In 1910, Olive MacLeod, a thirty-year-old, redheaded Scottish aristocrat, received word that her fiancé, the famous naturalist Boyd Alexander, was missing in Africa.

So she went to find him.

Olive the Lionheart is the thrilling true story of her astonishing journey. In jungles, swamps, cities, and deserts, Olive and her two companions, the Talbots, come face-to-face with cobras and crocodiles, wise native chiefs, a murderous leopard cult, a haunted forest, and even two adorable lion cubs that she adopts as her own. Making her way in a pair of ill-fitting boots, Olive awakens to the many forces around her, from shadowy colonial powers to an invisible Islamic warlord who may hold the key to Boyd’s disappearance. As these secrets begin to unravel, all of Olive’s assumptions prove wrong and she is forced to confront the darkest, most shocking secret of all: why she really c… More…


"Brad Ricca’s Olive MacLeod is my favorite sort of woman from history&mdashbold and unconventional, utterly unsinkable&mdashand her story is so full of adventure and acts of courage, it’s hard to believe she actually lived. And yet she did! Brad Ricca has found a heroine for the ages, and written her tale with a winning combination of accuracy and imagination."
&mdash Paula McLain, author of Love and Ruin and The Paris Wife

From the Edgar-nominated author of the bestselling Mrs. Sherlock Holmes comes the true story of a woman's quest to Africa in the 1900s to find her missing fiancé, and the adventure that ensues.

In 1910, Olive MacLeod, a thirty-year-old, redheaded Scottish aristocrat, received word that her fiancé, the famous naturalist Boyd Alexander, was missing in Africa.

So she went to find him.

Olive the Lionheart is the thrilling true story of her astonishing journey. In jungles, swamps, cities, and deserts, Olive and her two companions, the Talbots, come face-to-face with cobras and crocodiles, wise native chiefs, a murderous leopard cult, a haunted forest, and even two adorable lion cubs that she adopts as her own. Making her way in a pair of ill-fitting boots, Olive awakens to the many forces around her, from shadowy colonial powers to an invisible Islamic warlord who may hold the key to Boyd’s disappearance. As these secrets begin to unravel, all of Olive’s assumptions prove wrong and she is forced to confront the darkest, most shocking secret of all: why she really came to Africa in the first place.

Drawing on Olive’s own letters and secret diaries, Olive the Lionheart is a love story that defies all boundaries, set against the backdrop of a beautiful, unconquerable Africa.

This book is not for sale in the United Kingdom.

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THE FAIRY FLAG



1893: A Girl Tells a Magical Story to Her Younger Sister

The fire crackled quietly inside the stone room. Olive, who was thirteen, had her knees pulled up under her chin. Her long red...

Praise for Olive the Lionheart

“Fans of women’s history and adventure stories will cheer this engrossing account.” —Publishers Weekly

Olive the Lionheart has it all – secret chambers, lost love, and the dwelling place of a devil. Ricca mines emotions and real fears in this incredible true story.” —Brad Meltzer, bestselling author of The First Conspiracy: The Secret Plot to Kill George Washington

"Brad Ricca’s Olive MacLeod is my favorite sort of woman from history—bold and unconventional, utterly unsinkable—and her story is so full of adventure and acts of courage, it’s hard to believe she actually lived. And yet she did! Brad Ricca has found a heroine for the ages, and written her tale with a winning combination of accuracy and imagination." —Paula McLain, author of Love and Ruin and The Paris Wife

"Ricca makes the most of this engaging story." —Booklist

"[Ricca] successfully conveys the powerful, nearly hallucinatory state of grief that MacLeod must have endured over the course of her journey. A swift-moving re-creation of an intrepid, rare spirit of her age." —Kirkus Reviews

"This incredible true story of one woman's quest to find her missing fiancé is the perfect summer adventure book. In 1910, Scottish aristocrat Olive MacLeod received word that her fiancé, the famed naturalist Boyd Alexander, was missing in Africa. So, she went to find him. Though there are wild animals to fight and inhospitable forests to whack through, MacLeod's incredible journey becomes even stran… More…

“Fans of women’s history and adventure stories will cheer this engrossing account.” —Publishers Weekly

Olive the Lionheart has it all – secret chambers, lost love, and the dwelling place of a devil. Ricca mines emotions and real fears in this incredible true story.” —Brad Meltzer, bestselling author of The First Conspiracy: The Secret Plot to Kill George Washington

"Brad Ricca’s Olive MacLeod is my favorite sort of woman from history—bold and unconventional, utterly unsinkable—and her story is so full of adventure and acts of courage, it’s hard to believe she actually lived. And yet she did! Brad Ricca has found a heroine for the ages, and written her tale with a winning combination of accuracy and imagination." —Paula McLain, author of Love and Ruin and The Paris Wife

"Ricca makes the most of this engaging story." —Booklist

"[Ricca] successfully conveys the powerful, nearly hallucinatory state of grief that MacLeod must have endured over the course of her journey. A swift-moving re-creation of an intrepid, rare spirit of her age." —Kirkus Reviews

"This incredible true story of one woman's quest to find her missing fiancé is the perfect summer adventure book. In 1910, Scottish aristocrat Olive MacLeod received word that her fiancé, the famed naturalist Boyd Alexander, was missing in Africa. So, she went to find him. Though there are wild animals to fight and inhospitable forests to whack through, MacLeod's incredible journey becomes even stranger as she goes on." —Town & Country

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Reviews from Goodreads

Brad Ricca

BRAD RICCA is the author of the Edgar Award-nominated Mrs. Sherlock Holmes and Super Boys, winner of the Ohioana Book Award for Nonfiction. He won the St. Lawrence Book Award for American Mastodon. Ricca lives and works in Cleveland.

image of Brad Riccao
Christopher M. Ricca

St. Martin's Press

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