Molly Caldwell Crosby tells in The Great Pearl Heist: London's Greatest Thief and Scotland Yard's Hunt for the World's Most Valuable Necklace (Berkley Books) gives crime reporting on a forgotten case.
For Liberty and Equality: The Life and Times of the Declaration of Independence (Oxford University Press) by Alexander Tsesis shows that declaring liberty was just the start of bigger things.
The Zimmermann Telegram: Intelligence, Diplomacy, and America's Entry into World War I (Naval Institute Press) by historian Thomas Boghardt brings new truth about a famous historic blunder.
The Lost Battles: Leonardo, Michelangelo, and the Artistic Duel That Defined the Renaissance (Knopf) by Jonathan Jones gives insight into a couple of lost monumental paintings.
Thornton Wilder: A Life (Harper) by Penelope Niven gives a life in superb detail.
In The Book of Barely Imagined Beings: A 21st Century Bestiary (Granta; to be published in America by the University of Chicago Press in April), Caspar Henderson tells us of fantastic beasts that are not fantasies.
Mighty Lewd Books: The Development of Pornography in Eighteenth Century England (Palgrave Macmillan) by Julie Peakman is a study of historic English pornography.
Carola Hicks gives art history and more in The King's Glass: A Story of Tudor Power and Secret Art (Pimlico).
The Universe Within: From Quantum to Cosmos (House of Anansi Press) by Neil Turok gives a history of physics and cosmology, and a hopeful look at what science can do for us.
The Sounds of Capitalism: Advertising, Music, and the Conquest of Culture (University of Chicago Press) by ethnomusicologist Timothy Taylor is a history of music in American advertising.