100 books like A Pocket Full of Rye

By Agatha Christie,

Here are 100 books that A Pocket Full of Rye fans have personally recommended if you like A Pocket Full of Rye. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency

Susan McCormick Author Of The Fog Ladies

From my list on mysteries with senior sleuths and older characters.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a doctor, an award-winning writer, and lifelong lover of mysteries. Many mysteries feature smart characters. I prefer those with wise characters, who can teach me something about a life well-lived. Or not. Sometimes the mistakes are more instructive and more fun. Stories with older characters offer a plethora of life experience and wisdom, and usually poignancy and humor as well. From my life as a doctor and my daily visits to my mother’s retirement community dinner table, I see seniors who are strong, wise, vital, and often overlooked. I love stories that give voice to this robust and rich generation who have so much to offer.

Susan's book list on mysteries with senior sleuths and older characters

Susan McCormick Why did Susan love this book?

Some might consider this cheating, as Mma Ramotswe’s age is not obvious as the books progress, but after 23 adventures, I will count her tending toward middle if not old age.

If she is not, the gentle mannerisms and thoughtful concerns of her and her husband, Mr. J.L.B. Matekoni, definitely put the books into this category of wise and poignant characters.

There may still be a mystery to each book, but these stories offer marriage advice, friendship advice, life advice in as joyful and tranquil a way possible.

By Alexander McCall Smith,

Why should I read it?

8 authors picked The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Precious Ramotswe, a cheerful woman of traditional build, is the founder of Botswana's first and only ladies' detective agency. Here is a gentle interpretation of the detective role: solving her cases through her innate wisdom and understanding of human nature, she 'helps people with problems in their lives'. With a tone that is as elegant as that which is unfailingly used by his protagonist, Alexander McCall Smith tenderly unfolds a picture of life in Gaborone with a mastery of comic understatement and an evident sympathy for his subjects and their milieu. In the background of all this is Botswana, a…


Book cover of The Thursday Murder Club

Ben Forta Author Of Captain Code: Unleash Your Coding Superpower with Python

From my list on when you really need to get away, without actually getting away.

Why am I passionate about this?

I read and write lots and love doing so. So when I need a break, the last thing I want is another book, right? Wrong! I take a break with books, and I love fun books that are an escape from the normal day-to-day, ones that won’t lull you to sleep, ones that end too quickly. It’s a sickness, I know, and I’ll deal with it as soon as I have worked through this pile of books on my desk.

Ben's book list on when you really need to get away, without actually getting away

Ben Forta Why did Ben love this book?

It’s a whodunnit with a twist; the heroes are retiring community residents. This is a smart, funny, fast-paced, good old British humor.

I picked this up in Heathrow airport to read on the plane, and judging by the looks from fellow passengers I think I may have been literally laughing out loud. This is upscale guilty pleasure, and it’s being turned into a movie so now is the time to read it.

By Richard Osman,

Why should I read it?

22 authors picked The Thursday Murder Club as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A New York Times bestseller | Soon to be a major motion picture from Steven Spielberg at Amblin Entertainment

"Witty, endearing and greatly entertaining." -Wall Street Journal

"Don't trust anyone, including the four septuagenarian sleuths in Osman's own laugh-out-loud whodunit." -Parade

Four septuagenarians with a few tricks up their sleeves
A female cop with her first big case
A brutal murder
Welcome to...
THE THURSDAY MURDER CLUB

In a peaceful retirement village, four unlikely friends meet weekly in the Jigsaw Room to discuss unsolved crimes; together they call themselves the Thursday Murder Club.

When a local developer is found dead…


Book cover of And Then There Were None

Kaeleb LD Appleby Author Of Steele's Eden: Part One

From my list on crime dramas that keep you hooked.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve always loved a good crime drama/suspense thriller novel–the way they keep you glued to the pages, and you think you’ll just sit down for a quick couple of chapters before dinner, and the next thing you realize, it's 12am, and you’re on the last chapter. The depth of the character studies that you get with this genre is the other reason I enjoy it so much, there’s nothing worse than having main characters that are one dimensional and unreachable as a reader. I have always tried to create this kind of character depth and gripping narrative in my own books.

Kaeleb's book list on crime dramas that keep you hooked

Kaeleb LD Appleby Why did Kaeleb love this book?

I like how Agatha Christie takes a darker turn in this book. Most of the time, I associate her works with a comfortable crime mystery, but that is not the case with this title. The mind games and mystery created within these pages made for an enthralling read that kept me guessing to the end.

The other aspect I loved was how the environment and setting were really a character all of their own and had a profound effect on the characters there on the island, as well as the reader.

By Agatha Christie,

Why should I read it?

16 authors picked And Then There Were None as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Agatha Christie's world-famous mystery thriller, reissued with a striking new cover designed to appeal to the latest generation of Agatha Christie fans and book lovers.

Ten strangers, apparently with little in common, are lured to an island mansion off the coast of Devon by the mysterious U.N.Owen. Over dinner, a record begins to play, and the voice of an unseen host accuses each person of hiding a guilty secret. That evening, former reckless driver Tony Marston is found murdered by a deadly dose of cyanide.

The tension escalates as the survivors realise the killer is not only among them but…


Book cover of The Spanish Diplomat's Secret

Nev March Author Of The Spanish Diplomat's Secret

New book alert!

Why am I passionate about this?

Author History lover Scriptwriter Reader Nature lover

Nev's 3 favorite reads in 2023

What is my book about?

An entertaining mystery on a 1894 trans-Atlantic steamship with an varied array of suspects, and a detective who must solve his case in six days to prevent international conflict.

Retired from the British Indian army, Captain Jim is taking his wife Diana to Liverpool from New York, when their pleasant cruise turns deadly. Just hours after meeting him, a foreign diplomat is brutally murdered onboard their ship. Captain Jim must find the killer before they dock in six days, or there could be war! Aboard the beleaguered luxury liner are a thousand suspects, but no witnesses to the locked-cabin crime.

Fortunately, his wife Diana knows her way around first-class accommodations and Gilded Age society. But something has been troubling her, too, something she won’t tell him. Together, using tricks gleaned from their favorite fictional sleuth, Sherlock Holmes, Captain Jim, and Diana must learn why one man’s life came to a murderous end.

By Nev March,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Spanish Diplomat's Secret as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In The Spanish Diplomat's Secret, award-winning author Nev March explores the vivid nineteenth-century world of the transatlantic voyage, one passenger’s secret at a time.

Captain Jim Agnihotri and his wife Lady Diana Framji are embarking to England in the summer of 1894. Jim is hopeful the cruise will help Diana open up to him. Something is troubling her, and Jim is concerned.

On their first evening, Jim meets an intriguing Spaniard, a fellow soldier with whom he finds an instant kinship. But within twenty-four hours, Don Juan Nepomuceno is murdered, his body discovered shortly after he asks rather urgently to…


Book cover of The Postscript Murders

Susan McCormick Author Of The Fog Ladies

From my list on mysteries with senior sleuths and older characters.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a doctor, an award-winning writer, and lifelong lover of mysteries. Many mysteries feature smart characters. I prefer those with wise characters, who can teach me something about a life well-lived. Or not. Sometimes the mistakes are more instructive and more fun. Stories with older characters offer a plethora of life experience and wisdom, and usually poignancy and humor as well. From my life as a doctor and my daily visits to my mother’s retirement community dinner table, I see seniors who are strong, wise, vital, and often overlooked. I love stories that give voice to this robust and rich generation who have so much to offer.

Susan's book list on mysteries with senior sleuths and older characters

Susan McCormick Why did Susan love this book?

This is Book 2 in a series but can easily be read alone.

It introduces several older characters, including the page one murder victim, each of whom is so well-sketched they could be your friend or neighbor. The story has an excellent murder, a twist, wonderful characters, and humor.

The best is that the unlikely sleuths are a mixture of old and young, male and female, many backgrounds, yet all best of friends and all very funny yet sometimes heartbreaking.

By Elly Griffiths,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Postscript Murders as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

INVENTING CRIME STORIES CAN GET YOU KILLED

'A LOVE LETTER TO MURDER MYSTERIES' SUNDAY MIRROR

The ultimate gripping murder mystery to curl up with, from the bestselling author of The Stranger Diaries and the Dr Ruth Galloway Mysteries

The death of a ninety-year-old woman with a heart condition should absolutely not be suspicious. DS Harbinder Kaur certainly sees nothing to concern her in carer Natalka's account of Peggy Smith's death.

But when Natalka reveals that Peggy lied about her heart condition and that she had been sure someone was following her...

And that Peggy Smith had been a 'murder consultant'…


Book cover of The Murder of Roger Ackroyd

Gabriella Lepore Author Of Bad Like Us

From my list on whodunit mystery books from a huge mystery fan.

Why am I passionate about this?

Gabriella Lepore is a YA author from Wales in the UK. When she isn’t reading or writing, she can usually be found exploring the coastline or perusing a bookstore. She enjoys autumn days and cups of tea and is always searching for the next mystery!

Gabriella's book list on whodunit mystery books from a huge mystery fan

Gabriella Lepore Why did Gabriella love this book?

I love this 1926 Agatha Christie standout, famed for pioneering the use of red herrings and misdirection.

With Hercule Poirot at the helm, Agatha Christie's renowned detective delves into a case investigating a series of murders linked to the mysterious Roger Ackroyd.

As always, Christie delivers a captivating and confounding mystery that kept me on my toes throughout!

By Agatha Christie,

Why should I read it?

8 authors picked The Murder of Roger Ackroyd as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The classic "The Murder of Roger Ackroyd", finally at a fair price!The Murder of Roger Ackroyd is a work of detective fiction by British writer Agatha Christie, first published in June 1926 in the United Kingdom. It is the third novel to feature Hercule Poirot as the lead detective.

In 2013, the British Crime Writers' Association voted it the best crime novel ever.


Book cover of Murder on Memory Lake

Susan McCormick Author Of The Fog Ladies

From my list on mysteries with senior sleuths and older characters.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a doctor, an award-winning writer, and lifelong lover of mysteries. Many mysteries feature smart characters. I prefer those with wise characters, who can teach me something about a life well-lived. Or not. Sometimes the mistakes are more instructive and more fun. Stories with older characters offer a plethora of life experience and wisdom, and usually poignancy and humor as well. From my life as a doctor and my daily visits to my mother’s retirement community dinner table, I see seniors who are strong, wise, vital, and often overlooked. I love stories that give voice to this robust and rich generation who have so much to offer.

Susan's book list on mysteries with senior sleuths and older characters

Susan McCormick Why did Susan love this book?

A widow with a new lease on life thanks to her secretly wealthy aunt becomes involved in a murder.

Multigenerational, with the Italian grandma, her newbie journalist granddaughter, plus an ex-nun sister and an ex-sister-in-law.

This story involves food, jokes, and family love, albeit with much more brashness and outspokenness than any of the other books I listed, and also a lot more Italian, though the book is set in New Jersey.

By J.D. Griffo,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Murder on Memory Lake as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

For Alberta Scaglione, her golden years are turning out much more differently than she expected—and much more deadly . . .
 
Alberta Scaglione’ s spinster aunt had some secrets—like the fortune she squirreled away and a secret lake house in Tranquility, New Jersey. More surprising: she’s left it all to Alberta. Alberta, a widow, is no spring chicken and she’s gotten used to disappointment. So having a beautiful view, surrounded by hydrangeas, honeysuckle, and her cat, Lola, sounds blissful after years of yelling and bickering and cooking countless lasagnas.
 
But Tranquility isn’t as peaceful as it sounds. There’s a body…


Book cover of The Mysterious Affair at Styles

J.J. Cagney Author Of Bayou Venom

From my list on Agatha Christie books you should definitely read.

Why am I passionate about this?

I read my first mystery in second grade, and the genre has captivated me ever since. My mother loves jigsaw puzzles—without the picture, so it’s a challenge—while I prefer to work through clues in books from Agatha Christie to Stephen King, to C. J. Box…no matter the author, my goal is to find the answer before the author reveals it. Seven of my books fall under the mystery, suspense, and thriller categories, and I want to pen many more as I enjoy the thrill of perfectly plotted prose. I hold a bachelor’s degree from TCU, and I’ve spent twenty-plus years immersed in psychology and behavioral science.

J.J.'s book list on Agatha Christie books you should definitely read

J.J. Cagney Why did J.J. love this book?

This book is signature Christie: well-plotted and paced, full of exciting characters, all of whom had motive and potential to kill…and we meet her most beloved character, Poirot. What’s not to like?

I hadn’t read any Christie books in decades, and this was the one that rekindled my love affair with her craft.

Captain Hastings narrates these books (a la Watson’s retellings of Holmes’s brilliance) and points out Poirot’s eccentricity and fastidiousness from the initial introduction. Poirot seems so silly and stuffy…until those little gray cells kick in, and we get some keen insights.

Someone pointed out to me that Christie’s work is now considered historical. This book is also a classic mystery worth reading.

By Agatha Christie,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Mysterious Affair at Styles as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

One morning at Styles Court, an Essex country manor, the elderly owner is found dead of strychnine poisoning. Arthur Hastings, a soldier staying there on sick leave from the Western Front, ventures out to the nearby village of Styles St. Mary to ask help from his friend Hercule Poirot, an eccentric Belgian inspector. Thus, in this classic whodunit, one of the most famous characters in detective fiction makes his debut on the world stage. With a half dozen suspects who all harbor secrets, it takes all of Poirot’s prodigious sleuthing skills to untangle the mystery—but not before the inquiry undergoes…


Book cover of Sparkling Cyanide

J.J. Cagney Author Of Bayou Venom

From my list on Agatha Christie books you should definitely read.

Why am I passionate about this?

I read my first mystery in second grade, and the genre has captivated me ever since. My mother loves jigsaw puzzles—without the picture, so it’s a challenge—while I prefer to work through clues in books from Agatha Christie to Stephen King, to C. J. Box…no matter the author, my goal is to find the answer before the author reveals it. Seven of my books fall under the mystery, suspense, and thriller categories, and I want to pen many more as I enjoy the thrill of perfectly plotted prose. I hold a bachelor’s degree from TCU, and I’ve spent twenty-plus years immersed in psychology and behavioral science.

J.J.'s book list on Agatha Christie books you should definitely read

J.J. Cagney Why did J.J. love this book?

This book is not a typical sleuth novel. The story is from each suspect’s point of view, all unreliable.

I loved that my perspective of Rosemary Barton shifted with each retelling of the night that she supposedly committed suicide by drinking a glass full of cyanide-laced champagne. Was Rosemary actually a doting sister? Perhaps she was a happy, lovely younger wife. Maybe she was a rival or a schemer.

I read the novel because of its irresistible title and intriguing questions. Although I’m familiar with most Poirot and Marple books, I wasn’t as familiar with the Colonel Race mysteries. By this, Ms. Christie’s thirty-sixth book, she’d honed her craft to such a degree that I still think about it often. 

By Agatha Christie,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Sparkling Cyanide as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A beautiful heiress is fatally poisoned in a West End restaurant...

Six people sit down to dinner at a table laid for seven. In front of the empty place is a sprig of rosemary - in solemn memory of Rosemary Barton who died at the same table exactly one year previously.

No one present on that fateful night would ever forget the woman's face, contorted beyond recognition - or what they remembered about her astonishing life.


Book cover of The Murder at the Vicarage

Susan McBride Author Of To Helen Back

From my list on small town mysteries with sleuths who aren’t Spring chickens.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve loved mysteries since I gobbled up Nancy Drew and the Encyclopedia Brown books in grade school. As I grew older, I got hooked on Agatha Christie’s Miss Marple, Sue Grafton’s Kinsey Milhone, and Sara Paretsky’s VI Warshawski. Besides being a diehard fan of female sleuths, I have a B.S. in Journalism, which drummed the importance of “who-what-when-where-and-why” into my brain. I definitely take a reporter’s mindset into my story-telling, particularly when it comes to the “who.” Breathing life into characters is crucial. Maybe that’s why I used bits and pieces of my grandma Helen in order to create my fictional Helen. Plus, it gives me a chance to spend time with her again, if only in my imagination.

Susan's book list on small town mysteries with sleuths who aren’t Spring chickens

Susan McBride Why did Susan love this book?

Christie’s Jane Marple inspired me to write mysteries. As Miss Marple made her starring debut in Murder at the Vicarage, it holds a dear place in my heart.

In quaint St. Mary’s Mead, a man named Colonel Protheroe meets with foul play, and it’s Miss Marple’s keen insights that prove invaluable. Jane Marple may be “of a certain age,” but she’s as sharp as a tack. I admire how Christie plunks the reader right into the story, introducing would-be suspects at a rapid pace, particularly Miss Marple, who takes tea with the Vicar’s younger wife and spills plenty of tea in the process.

This one’s a classic for lovers of traditional mysteries like me!

By Agatha Christie,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked The Murder at the Vicarage as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The Murder at the Vicarage is Agatha Christie’s first mystery to feature the beloved investigator Miss Marple—as a dead body in a clergyman’s study proves to the indomitable sleuth that no place, holy or otherwise, is a sanctuary from homicide.

Miss Marple encounters a compelling murder mystery in the sleepy little village of St. Mary Mead, where under the seemingly peaceful exterior of an English country village lurks intrigue, guilt, deception and death.

Colonel Protheroe, local magistrate and overbearing land-owner is the most detested man in the village. Everyone--even in the vicar--wishes he were dead. And very soon he is--shot…


Book cover of The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie

Yvonne Kjorlien Author Of Memoirs of a Reluctant Archaeologist

From my list on kick-ass women come from screwed up families.

Why am I passionate about this?

On the surface, my childhood was characterized by 1980s unsupervised country freedom in rural Alberta. Deeper in, my history involved emotional abuse and neglect. I wanted nothing more than to be seen and loved for my true self. The library was a refuge, but the fiction section allowed me to find the community I so greatly desired. I was seen and loved by the characters I read. They showed me it was possible to be myself–loudly and audaciously–and still be accepted. I read and now write books that delve into themes of identity, autonomy, and acceptance because I still struggle with these themes today. 

Yvonne's book list on kick-ass women come from screwed up families

Yvonne Kjorlien Why did Yvonne love this book?

I admit it: I underestimated Flavia de Luce.

She is 11 years old, self-schooled, and lives outside a small English town in the 1950s. She is overlooked and underestimated by everyone. Deep inside, I’m still 11 years old, underestimated, and overlooked. I had an insatiable desire to learn about my environment, and I often saw things others didn’t. Flavia also reminds me of my childhood living in the country in the 1980s. I ran unchecked, safe, and constantly delighted in discovering new things about my corner of the world. I wince at the de Luce family politics. I cheer Flavia’s investigations and her fearlessness. I want nothing more than to stay in Flavia’s 11-year-old world forever. She is the kick-ass kid I wanted to be. 

By Alan Bradley,

Why should I read it?

9 authors picked The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Meet Flavia: Mystery Solver. Master Poisoner. 11 Years Old.

England 1950. At Buckshaw, the crumbling country seat of the de Luce family, very-nearly-eleven-year-old Flavia is plotting revenge on her older sisters.

Then a dead bird is left on the doorstep, which has an extraordinary effect on Flavia's eccentric father, and a body is found in the garden. As the police descend on Buckshaw, Flavia decides to do some investigating of her own.

Praise for the historical Flavia de Luce mysteries:
'The Flavia de Luce novels are now a cult favourite' Mail on Sunday

'A cross between Dodie Smith's I Capture…


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