93 books like Beloved Poison

By E. S. Thomson,

Here are 93 books that Beloved Poison fans have personally recommended if you like Beloved Poison. 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 Rebecca

S.R. Masters Author Of How to Kill with Kindness

From my list on books in which all that glitters is not gold.

Why am I passionate about this?

I've always been drawn to stories in which all that glitters isn't gold, and all three of my novels contain this theme. They are, at the bottom, tales of hubris, which is why I like them. A character strives to obtain some glittery thing, confident it will be better than what they have. Yet, ultimately, their confidence is misplaced, and their ambition brings about their downfall. Perhaps because I'm someone who's naturally quite risk-averse but also believes little good comes in life without taking chances, stories like this attract me. They allow me to safely hunt for the Aristotelian mean between being overly sensible and irrationally ambitious.  

S.R.'s book list on books in which all that glitters is not gold

S.R. Masters Why did S.R. love this book?

Daphne Du Maurier has made a permanent mark on my soul. Whether it was Hitchcock's adaptation of The Birds, which I watched when I was far too young, or the wrecked ships of Jamaica Inn, her imagery and ideas are unforgettable. 

And like the titular character of Rebecca, part of me still roams the halls and grounds of Manderley. I first encountered the story at a transitional moment in early adulthood. Having been a child drawn to spooky stories about ghouls and spectres, this book marked the moment I came to understand that not every haunted house has a ghost. 

By Daphne du Maurier,

Why should I read it?

41 authors picked Rebecca as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

* 'The greatest psychological thriller of all time' ERIN KELLY
* 'One of the most influential novels of the twentieth century' SARAH WATERS
* 'It's the book every writer wishes they'd written' CLARE MACKINTOSH

'Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again . . .'

Working as a lady's companion, our heroine's outlook is bleak until, on a trip to the south of France, she meets a handsome widower whose proposal takes her by surprise. She accepts but, whisked from glamorous Monte Carlo to brooding Manderley, the new Mrs de Winter finds Max a changed man. And the memory…


Book cover of Things in Jars

Tonya Mitchell Author Of The Arsenic Eater's Wife

From my list on historical fiction books with gothic vibes that will give you the creeps.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve loved Gothic fiction since I was a teen, though back then, I didn’t know it was Gothic. I just liked the creepiness, the often-isolated heroine, and the things-aren’t-what-they-seem murkiness of the stories. One of my first reads was Jane Eyre, which has remained a favorite. Though I didn’t like history in school (too much memorization!), I read several historical fiction books from different eras that fascinated me. These things, combined with another genre favorite—mystery/thriller, led to my first book. It turns out that all those things I’d gravitated to in my decades of reading became the things I most wanted to write about - mystery/thriller historical fiction with elements of Gothic. 

Tonya's book list on historical fiction books with gothic vibes that will give you the creeps

Tonya Mitchell Why did Tonya love this book?

Nobody does characters like Jess Kidd. Every person in this story is bizarre—a monster, misfit, or malefactor—yet not one feels contrived. I adored Bridie Devine, a small, rotund, pipe-smoking detective who begins to see the same ghost everywhere she goes.

Bridie’s quarry is a strange girl who’s been kidnapped and might (depending on who you ask) have supernatural powers or be a “lovely grotesque” who’s caught the eye of collectors. I fell in love with Kidd’s imaginative Victorian London, where nothing is as it seems, and evil lurks around every bend.

By Jess Kidd,

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked Things in Jars as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

London, 1863. Bridie Devine, the finest female detective of her age, is taking on her toughest case yet. Reeling from her last job and with her reputation in tatters, a remarkable puzzle has come her way. Christabel Berwick has been kidnapped. But Christabel is no ordinary child. She is not supposed to exist.

As Bridie fights to recover the stolen child she enters a world of fanatical anatomists, crooked surgeons and mercenary showmen. Anomalies are in fashion, curiosities are the thing, and fortunes are won and lost in the name of entertainment. The public love a spectacle and Christabel may…


Book cover of See What I Have Done

Michelle Bennington Author Of Widow's Blush: A Widows & Shadows Mystery

From my list on traveling back in time.

Why am I passionate about this?

I was an English major in college. In pursuing my love of books and language, I fell into a love of history. The passion for history began with author biographies as I tried to understand how the culture affected various authors’ writings. This is why my history strength resides in European history, because most of my favorite authors come from Europe. The more I read of the biographies, I often came across historical events I wasn’t knowledgeable about and so fell down a rabbit hole of historical research. The more I learn, the more I love history! 

Michelle's book list on traveling back in time

Michelle Bennington Why did Michelle love this book?

I love true crime and I love history. This book combined the two in an enthralling, often poetic read.

It’s about the case of Lizzie Borden. In this multi-POV story, Schmidt gets into the characters of Lizzie, her sister, a housemaid, and Lizzie’s uncle to explore how the crime unfolded.

It leans literary in its narration style, but I personally like that. The details used in the story really make the reader feel present in the scenes and get into the minds of the characters.

By Sarah Schmidt,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked See What I Have Done as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Haunting, gripping and gorgeously written, SEE WHAT I HAVE DONE by Sarah Schmidt is a re-imagining of the unsolved American true crime case of the Lizzie Borden murders, for fans of BURIAL RITES and MAKING A MURDERER.

'Eerie and compelling' Paula Hawkins
'Stunning' Sunday Times
'Gripping... outstanding' Observer
'Glittering' Irish Times

Just after 11am on 4th August 1892, the bodies of Andrew and Abby Borden are discovered. He's found on the sitting room sofa, she upstairs on the bedroom floor, both murdered with an axe.

It is younger daughter Lizzie who is first on the scene, so it is Lizzie…


Book cover of The Cicada Tree

Jeffrey Dale Lofton Author Of Red Clay Suzie

From my list on the unique life of outsider children in the South.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a child of the South, hailing as I do from Warm Springs, Georgia, best known for Roosevelt’s Little White House. My family, indeed the entire community as far as I can tell, were in the thrall of conservative Christian values that had no room for people like me—gay (although I had no word for it for a long time) and physically misshapen (something to be hidden under layers of clothing). I was a boy and then teenager living on the fringes, always on the outside looking in, seeking approval or defiantly hiding to process the uniquely Southern dysfunction around me. I know these protagonists. They’re my people.

Jeffrey's book list on the unique life of outsider children in the South

Jeffrey Dale Lofton Why did Jeffrey love this book?

The Cicada Tree is a wonderful Southern Gothic magical realism mash-up leavened with humor and illuminating reflections on the human condition told in voices that drip with authentic Southernisms. Analeise Newell, this novel’s protagonist, is a complex, not-as-kind-as-she-knows-she-should-be eleven-year-old who drinks whiskey and is a piano prodigy. Her close friendship with Etta Mae, a budding coloratura soprano, sheds light on accepted racial inequities in the Deep South of the 1950s, building to (in the author’s words) a “chain of cataclysmic events with life-altering consequences-all of it unfolding to the maddening whir of a cicada song.” 

By Robert Gwaltney,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked The Cicada Tree as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

WHEN AN ELEVEN-YEAR-OLD, WHISKY DRINKING, PIANO PRODIGY ENCOUNTERS A WEALTHY FAMILY POSSESSING SUPERNATURAL BEAUTY, HER ENSUING OBSESSION UNLEASHES FAMILY SECRETS AND A CATACLYSMIC PLAGUE OF CICADAS. The summer of 1956, a brood of cicadas descends upon Providence, Georgia, a natural event with supernatural repercussions, unhinging the life of Analeise Newell, an eleven-year-old piano prodigy. Amidst this emergence, dark obsessions are stirred, uncanny gifts provoked, and secrets unearthed.
During a visit to Mistletoe, a plantation owned by the wealthy Mayfield family, Analeise encounters Cordelia Mayfield and her daughter Marlissa, both of whom possess an otherworldly beauty, a lineal trait regarded as…


Book cover of The Silent Companions

Tonya Mitchell Author Of The Arsenic Eater's Wife

From my list on historical fiction books with gothic vibes that will give you the creeps.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve loved Gothic fiction since I was a teen, though back then, I didn’t know it was Gothic. I just liked the creepiness, the often-isolated heroine, and the things-aren’t-what-they-seem murkiness of the stories. One of my first reads was Jane Eyre, which has remained a favorite. Though I didn’t like history in school (too much memorization!), I read several historical fiction books from different eras that fascinated me. These things, combined with another genre favorite—mystery/thriller, led to my first book. It turns out that all those things I’d gravitated to in my decades of reading became the things I most wanted to write about - mystery/thriller historical fiction with elements of Gothic. 

Tonya's book list on historical fiction books with gothic vibes that will give you the creeps

Tonya Mitchell Why did Tonya love this book?

When I first read the back of this book I thought, "How frightening can wooden, life-sized figures tucked away in a remote mansion be?" Answer: A lot.

When the book opens, Elsie Bainbridge’s husband has died (mysteriously). When she discovers the strange totems the servants are terrified of locked away in the attic, something is definitely…not right. Once the figures’ eyes appear to move and Elsie finds them in different places in the house as if they move of their own accord, her piece of mine starts to unravel. And so did mine.

By Laura Purcell,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked The Silent Companions as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"[An] extraordinary, memorable and truly haunting book." -Jojo Moyes, #1 New York Times bestselling author

Laura Purcell's THE SHAPE OF DARKNESS is now out from Penguin!

Some doors are locked for a reason.

When Elsie married handsome young heir Rupert Bainbridge, she believed she was destined for a life of luxury. But pregnant and widowed just weeks after their wedding, with her new servants resentful and the local villagers actively hostile, Elsie has only her late husband's awkward cousin for company. Or so she thinks. Inside her new home lies a locked door, beyond which is a painted wooden figure-a…


Book cover of Sin Eater

Tonya Mitchell Author Of The Arsenic Eater's Wife

From my list on historical fiction books with gothic vibes that will give you the creeps.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve loved Gothic fiction since I was a teen, though back then, I didn’t know it was Gothic. I just liked the creepiness, the often-isolated heroine, and the things-aren’t-what-they-seem murkiness of the stories. One of my first reads was Jane Eyre, which has remained a favorite. Though I didn’t like history in school (too much memorization!), I read several historical fiction books from different eras that fascinated me. These things, combined with another genre favorite—mystery/thriller, led to my first book. It turns out that all those things I’d gravitated to in my decades of reading became the things I most wanted to write about - mystery/thriller historical fiction with elements of Gothic. 

Tonya's book list on historical fiction books with gothic vibes that will give you the creeps

Tonya Mitchell Why did Tonya love this book?

This book, quite frankly, blew my mind. That women in times past were forced into the role of sin eaters to take on the transgressions of the dying so the latter could ascend to heaven was disturbing, to say the least.

I felt for May, a fourteen-year-old girl who is newly sentenced to the fate of a sin eater—a job in which she is to remain poor, mute, and bear the ostracization of her community. But what kept me turning pages is the chilling mystery at its center. In the alternate Elizabethan court in which the book is set, someone is poisoning those close to the Queen and hiding a long-buried secret. May must stay one step ahead of the killer if she’s to navigate a corrupt, vicious court and a fiend who wants her dead.

By Megan Campisi,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

An old adage says there are really only two stories: a man goes on a voyage, and a stranger arrives in town. This is the third: a woman breaks the rules . . .

Can you uncover the truth when you're forbidden from speaking it?

A Sin Eater's duty is a necessary evil: she hears the confessions of the dying, eats their sins as a funeral rite. Stained by these sins, she is shunned and silenced, doomed to live in exile at the edge of town.

Recently orphaned May Owens is just fourteen, only concerned with where her next meal…


Book cover of The Doll Factory

Tonya Mitchell Author Of The Arsenic Eater's Wife

From my list on historical fiction books with gothic vibes that will give you the creeps.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve loved Gothic fiction since I was a teen, though back then, I didn’t know it was Gothic. I just liked the creepiness, the often-isolated heroine, and the things-aren’t-what-they-seem murkiness of the stories. One of my first reads was Jane Eyre, which has remained a favorite. Though I didn’t like history in school (too much memorization!), I read several historical fiction books from different eras that fascinated me. These things, combined with another genre favorite—mystery/thriller, led to my first book. It turns out that all those things I’d gravitated to in my decades of reading became the things I most wanted to write about - mystery/thriller historical fiction with elements of Gothic. 

Tonya's book list on historical fiction books with gothic vibes that will give you the creeps

Tonya Mitchell Why did Tonya love this book?

Macneal is a go-to for me when it comes to grim reads set in the Victorian era. I found her writing so superb and her grasp of Victorian London and the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood so enthralling, it was hard for me to believe The Doll Factory was her debut.

The book is about art and collecting, but the obsession of the book’s villain is what makes this beating heart of a story thrum.

By Elizabeth MacNeal,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Doll Factory as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.


Book cover of Jane and the Unpleasantness at Scargrave Manor

Laura C. Stevenson Author Of All Men Glad and Wise: A Mystery

From my list on mysteries that make a time and place come alive.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m an historian who writes novels, and an avid reader of historical murder mysteries—especially ones whose characters are affected by social, religious, and political change. Lately, I’ve been fascinated by the breakup of rural British estates between 1880 and 1925, when, in a single generation, the amount of British land owned by the aristocracy fell from 66% to perhaps 15%. I thought it might be interesting to set a “country house” mystery on one of the failing estates, with a narrator influenced by the other great change of the period: from horses to automobiles. “Interesting” was an understatement; writing it was eye-opening.  

Laura's book list on mysteries that make a time and place come alive

Laura C. Stevenson Why did Laura love this book?

Jane and the Unpleasantness at Scargrave Manor is the first of Stephanie Barron’s 14 Jane Austen mysteries, based on Austen’s “discovered” diaries about her adventures as a sleuth.  The series’ witty tone is true to Austen’s, and portrayals of Austen’s family are based in fact. In this opening volume, Jane is visiting a friend “of more fashion than means” newly married a middle aged earl—who dies, poisoned, after a celebratory party. His will divides his estate between his countess and an heir known to be too fond of her, making the pair obvious suspects. As Jane works to prove her friend innocent, the descriptions of aristocratic Regency life, dress, manners, and law are superb. 

By Stephanie Barron,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Jane and the Unpleasantness at Scargrave Manor as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

For everyone who loves Jane Austen...a marvelously entertaining new series that turns the incomparable author into an extraordinary sleuth!

On a visit to the estate of her friend, the young and beautiful Isobel Payne, Countess of Scargrave, Jane bears witness to a tragedy. Isobel's husband—a gentleman of mature years—is felled by a mysterious and agonizing ailment. The Earl's death seems a cruel blow of fate for the newly married Isobel. Yet the bereaved widow soon finds that it's only the beginning of her misfortune...as she receives a sinister missive accusing her and the Earl's nephew of adultery—and murder. Desperately afraid…


Book cover of An Appetite for Violets: A Novel

Karen Charlton Author Of The Heiress of Linn Hagh

From my list on Georgian and Regency mysteries.

Why am I passionate about this?

As the best-selling author of The Detective Lavender Mysteries, which feature Stephen Lavender, a principal officer with the Bow Street Runners, I’ve always been fascinated with the Georgian Era and the Regency. Despite the crime and the grime and the incessant warfare across Europe and the Americas, this was the last era of fun and frolics before the respectable Victorians choked the life and licentiousness out of society. What’s not to love about a world full of dashing soldiers, duels at dawn, white muslin gowns, and ostrich feathers? This was also the era of the clever, amateur sleuths who cracked the case long before the police force was founded. The books I recommend are full of those likable amateurs. 

Karen's book list on Georgian and Regency mysteries

Karen Charlton Why did Karen love this book?

Martine Bailey brings the Georgian period vividly to life and creates brilliant characters. An Appetite for Violets is set in 18th century Italy while The Penny Heart whisks us through the stench and horror of Newgate Gaol; the drawing rooms of the landed gentry and the fledgling penal colony in Botany Bay. Historical suspense at its best, these novels also have a delicious culinary twist. I'm now reading her third novel, The Almanack

By Martine Bailey,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked An Appetite for Violets as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

That's how it is for us servants. No one pays you much heed; mostly you're invisible as furniture. Yet you overhear a conversation here, and add a little gossip there. A writing desk lies open and you cannot help but read a paper. Then you find something, something you should not have found.

Irrepressible Biddy Leigh, under-cook at the foreboding Mawton Hall, only wants to marry her childhood sweetheart and set up her own tavern. But when her elderly master marries the young Lady Carinna, Biddy is unwittingly swept up in a world of scheming, secrets and lies.

Forced to…


Book cover of Confessions of the Fox

Morgan Thomas Author Of Manywhere

From my list on folks seeking genderqueer ancestry.

Why am I passionate about this?

I came to genderqueer histories searching for a reflection of myself that I couldn’t find in my immediate environment (the rural American South). Early on, I thought I’d found it—historical figures, both real and fictional, who shared my gender identity. But as I’ve continued to research, I’ve realized that the reflections of history are less a mirror image, more a reflection in water—fluid and distorting. Genderqueer people throughout history use different language for their identities, navigate different social and family systems, and express their gender in different ways. In the space created by this difference, I’ve begun to understand my gender as a thing that changes, too, across space and time.

Morgan's book list on folks seeking genderqueer ancestry

Morgan Thomas Why did Morgan love this book?

I read this book early in my exploration of genderqueer identity, and I found Professor Voth’s defiant joy in uncovering and sharing the historical story of Jack Sheppard, and in his own trans identity, permission-giving. This playful book dramatizes the search for trans histories and ancestries, ultimately transforming this search into a celebration of chosen family.

By Jordy Rosenberg,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked Confessions of the Fox as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Finalist for the Lambda Literary Award, 2019
Finalist for the Publishing Triangle Award, 2019

A New Yorker Book of the Year, 2018
A Huffington Post Book of the Year, 2018
A Buzzfeed Book of the Year, 2018

'Quite simply extraordinary... Imagine if Maggie Nelson, Daphne du Maurier and Daniel Defoe collaborated.' Sarah Perry, author of The Essex Serpent

Jack Sheppard - a transgender carpenter's apprentice - has fled his master's house to become a notorious prison break artist, and Bess Khan has escaped the draining of the fenlands to become a revolutionary mastermind. Together, they find themselves at the center…


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