98 books like Blood Grove

By Walter Mosley,

Here are 98 books that Blood Grove fans have personally recommended if you like Blood Grove. 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 Nickel Boys

Ginger Pinholster Author Of Snakes of St. Augustine

From my list on featuring Florida in a big way.

Why am I passionate about this?

My second novel, Snakes of St. Augustine, describes an unconventional love story served up with a large side of Florida weirdness. My first novel, City in a Forest, received a Gold Royal Palm Literary Award from the Florida Writers Association in 2020. My short fiction and essays have appeared in Pangyrus, Eckerd Review, Northern Virginia Review, Atticus Review, and elsewhere. I earned my bachelor’s degree in English from Eckerd College and the M.F.A. in Fiction from Queens University of Charlotte. Currently, I’m a writer for a university in Daytona Beach, Florida. A resident of Ponce Inlet, I began volunteering with the Volusia-Flagler Sea Turtle Patrol in 2018.

Ginger's book list on featuring Florida in a big way

Ginger Pinholster Why did Ginger love this book?

The devastating story of two boys unjustly sentenced to serve time in a nightmarish juvenile reform school, The Nickel Boys won a Pulitzer Prize and became a New York Times bestseller.

It is a must-read for anyone sampling literary works featuring Florida. The boys in the story, Elwood and Turner, endure and witness hellish abuse at the Nickel Academy. The boys’ haunting story, exquisitely told by Colson Whitehead, is based on Florida’s real-life Dozier school where thousands of children were tortured, raped, and murdered for more than a century.

Whitehead’s unflinching descriptions of terror and abuse can be tough to take, but they serve an important purpose, by forcing the reader to confront the hellish reality that was America under Jim Crow laws. Long after the last page is turned, if ever, this novel won’t leave you.

By Colson Whitehead,

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked The Nickel Boys as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

NATIONAL BESTSELLER • In this Pulitzer Prize-winning follow-up to The Underground Railroad, Colson Whitehead brilliantly dramatizes another strand of American history through the story of two boys unjustly sentenced to a hellish reform school in Jim Crow-era Florida.
 
When Elwood Curtis, a black boy growing up in 1960s Tallahassee, is unfairly sentenced to a juvenile reformatory called the Nickel Academy, he finds himself trapped in a grotesque chamber of horrors. Elwood’s only salvation is his friendship with fellow “delinquent” Turner, which deepens despite Turner’s conviction that Elwood is hopelessly naive, that the world is crooked, and that the only way…


Book cover of Fear No Evil

Michael R. Lane Author Of The Gem Connection

From my list on African American mysteries.

Why am I passionate about this?

As an avid reader, I read a wide variety of books. Of the fiction genre mystery and suspense remain my favorite. From the classics to the gritty, a well-told mystery is a literary gem. As my mystery palette has aged—like my taste in wine—so are my demands of what makes a good mystery novel. The best mysteries for me contain more than a serpentine journey toward the hidden truth. They have intriguing characters, crisp dialogue, interesting settings, formidable foes, and of course indispensable heroes or anti-heroes. My writing goal is aimed at achieving the same level of literary penmanship of the mysteries I enjoy reading so much.

Michael's book list on African American mysteries

Michael R. Lane Why did Michael love this book?

Dr. Alex Cross and Detective John Sampson are preparing to leave on their “manly trip” into the Montana wilderness when they receive a call from Metro PD. A dead CIA officer puts a pause on their plans. During his investigation, Alex receives an unnerving text from the criminal genius known as “M” who has terrorized Cross and his family for years. Alex and John eventually make it to Montana. Their vacation takes a treacherous 360-degree turn as they venture deep into the rugged Montana wilderness. Two rival teams of trained assassins are hunting them. One controlled by “M”. The other by the cartel. Cross and Sampson are isolated and cut off in a life-or-death struggle. I thoroughly enjoyed this novel. A thriller right up until the end.

By James Patterson,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Fear No Evil as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Alex Cross enters the final battle with the all-knowing genius who has stalked him and his family for years.

Dr. Alex Cross and Detective John Sampson venture into the rugged Montana wilderness—where they will be the prey.
 
They’re not on the job, but on a personal mission. 
 
Until they’re attacked by two rival teams of assassins, controlled by the same mastermind who has stalked Alex and his family for years. 
 
Darkness falls. The river churns into rapids. Shots ring out through the forest. 
 
No backup. No way out. Fear no evil.

Book cover of Palace Council

Michael R. Lane Author Of The Gem Connection

From my list on African American mysteries.

Why am I passionate about this?

As an avid reader, I read a wide variety of books. Of the fiction genre mystery and suspense remain my favorite. From the classics to the gritty, a well-told mystery is a literary gem. As my mystery palette has aged—like my taste in wine—so are my demands of what makes a good mystery novel. The best mysteries for me contain more than a serpentine journey toward the hidden truth. They have intriguing characters, crisp dialogue, interesting settings, formidable foes, and of course indispensable heroes or anti-heroes. My writing goal is aimed at achieving the same level of literary penmanship of the mysteries I enjoy reading so much.

Michael's book list on African American mysteries

Michael R. Lane Why did Michael love this book?

Twenty prominent men hold a secret meeting on Martha’s Vineyard in the summer of 1952 to formulate a plan to manipulate the President of the United States. A rising Harlem literary star, Eddie Wesley discovers the body of a famous lawyer Philmont Castle while leaving the engagement party of Kevin Garland and the woman he loves, Aurelia Treene. The mysterious disappearance of Eddie’s younger sister shortly thereafter sparks a twenty-year search by Eddie and Aurelia for the truth. Wesley and Aurelia uncoil secrets involving a conspiracy and murder that leads them to the Oval Office. One of the things I enjoy about this novel is Carter’s ability to dispense with stereotypes. A multifaceted, suspenseful, unique, captivating read. 

By Stephen L. Carter,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Summer, 1952. Twenty powerful men gather in secret and devise a plot to manipulate the President of the United States.

Soon after, writer Eddie Wesley leaves a party hosted by affluent and influential members of black society, and discovers a body. The murdered man had an unusual gold cross gripped between his hands and Eddie is determined to find out why he was killed and what the cross signifies.

But then Eddie's sister Junie becomes entangled in an underground movement and vanishes...

Is her disappearance connected to the conspiracy to control the President of the United States?


Book cover of One-Shot Harry

Michael R. Lane Author Of The Gem Connection

From my list on African American mysteries.

Why am I passionate about this?

As an avid reader, I read a wide variety of books. Of the fiction genre mystery and suspense remain my favorite. From the classics to the gritty, a well-told mystery is a literary gem. As my mystery palette has aged—like my taste in wine—so are my demands of what makes a good mystery novel. The best mysteries for me contain more than a serpentine journey toward the hidden truth. They have intriguing characters, crisp dialogue, interesting settings, formidable foes, and of course indispensable heroes or anti-heroes. My writing goal is aimed at achieving the same level of literary penmanship of the mysteries I enjoy reading so much.

Michael's book list on African American mysteries

Michael R. Lane Why did Michael love this book?

This historical novel takes place in 1963 Los Angeles. Harry Ingram is an African American Korean War veteran, news/forensic photographer, and process server. Ingram arrives at a scene to photograph a deadly automobile accident. He recognizes the vehicle. It belongs to an old army buddy. Ingram sees evidence of foul play when he develops his photos of the accident. He is compelled to investigate. With Martin Luther King Jr’s Freedom Rally just around the corner, racial tensions are running high. Ingram dives headlong into the sordid underbelly of LA. Armed primarily with his camera and wits Ingram tangles with gangsters, fanatics, racists, and blackmailers in an effort to weed out justice for his friend. The captivating content, distinctive characters, and crisp dialogue kept me on the edge of my seat. 

By Gary Phillips,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked One-Shot Harry as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Race and civil rights in 1963 Los Angeles provide a powerful backdrop in Gary Phillips’s riveting mystery about an African American crime scene photographer seeking justice for a friend—perfect for fans of Walter Mosley, James Ellroy, and George Pelecanos.

LOS ANGELES, 1963: Korean War veteran Harry Ingram earns a living as a news photographer and occasional process server: chasing police radio calls and dodging baseball bats. With racial tensions running high on the eve of Martin Luther King’s Freedom Rally, Ingram risks becoming a victim at every crime scene he photographs.

When Ingram hears about a deadly automobile accident on…


Book cover of Cinnamon Kiss

Paul Stoller Author Of Wisdom from the Edge: Writing Ethnography in Turbulent Times

From my list on writing about the wisdom of others.

Why am I passionate about this?

I was passionate about anthropology in the 1970s when I was in my twenties and am still passionate about anthropology in the 2020s in my seventies. Throughout the years I have expressed my passion for anthropology in university classrooms, in public lectures, and in the 16 books I have published. As my mind has matured, I understand more and more fully just how important it is to write powerfully, cogently, and accessibly about the wisdom of others. In all my books I have attempted to convey to the public this fundamental wisdom, none more so than in my latest book, Wisdom from the Edge: Writing Ethnography in Turbulent Times.   

Paul's book list on writing about the wisdom of others

Paul Stoller Why did Paul love this book?

Walter Mosely is one of my favorite fiction writers. His Easy Rollins mysteries, of which Cinnamon Kiss is a prime example, describe with great skill the cultural texture of street life among African Americans in Los Angeles. 

He does so through sensuous descriptions of LA neighborhoods, gripping dialogue, and creative construction of character.  In so doing he evokes the practical wisdom of urban street life—a model for writing about contemporary wisdom.

By Walter Mosley,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

New York Times bestseller Walter Mosley's sizzling new novel pits Easy Rawlins against his greatest ever challenge.

It is the Summer of Love as CINNAMON KISS opens, and Easy Rawlins is contemplating robbing an armoured car. It's further outside the law than Easy has ever travelled, but his daughter Feather needs a medical treatment that costs far more than Easy can earn or borrow in time. And his friend Mouse tells him it's a cinch.

Then another friend, Saul Lynx, offers a job that might solve Easy's problem without jail time. He has to track the disappearance of an eccentric,…


Book cover of Devil in a Blue Dress

Ashley Clifton Author Of Twice The Trouble

From my list on literary novels masquerading as crime novels.

Why am I passionate about this?

Flannery O’Connor once said that all fiction is ultimately about the “mystery of personality.” I agree. In fact, I have always suspected that all good novels, genre-based or otherwise, are secretly mystery novels, if only in the psychological sense. Conversely, many so-called genre novels have just as much depth, insight, and realism as any literary work. I have read a lot of genre and literary fiction in my time, and I have long been fascinated by works that blur the line between the two. My favorite kind of book is one that feels like a genre novel (that is, it has a great plot) but also has the depth and vividness of a literary novel.

Ashley's book list on literary novels masquerading as crime novels

Ashley Clifton Why did Ashley love this book?

What I really love about this novel is the voice of the main character, Ezekial “Easy” Rollins. Easy is not your typical P.I. A recently fired machinist in post-war Los Angeles, he’s just a guy trying to pay his bills. But he’s also a black man from the South trying to survive in a white, west-coast world. When a white gangster hires him to find a missing girl, Easy senses that he’s in extreme danger, but he has no choice but to take the job.

Told in the first-person, this book captures all of Easy’s doubt, dread, and defiance as he unravels the mystery.

By Walter Mosley,

Why should I read it?

9 authors picked Devil in a Blue Dress as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Devil in a Blue Dress honors the tradition of the classic American detective novel by bestowing on it a vivid social canvas and the freshest new voice in crime writing in years, mixing the hard-boiled poetry of Raymond Chandler with the racial realism of Richard Wright to explosive effect.


Book cover of In Case You Forgot

Hari Ziyad Author Of Black Boy Out of Time

From my list on loss and grief from a certified death doula.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a journalist, author and screenwriter, my work has always pondered loss and grief. I think this has something to do with the fact that of my mother’s religion; she was a convert to Hinduism and started conversations about the inevitability of death and how the soul and the body aren’t the same when us children were at a very young age. It probably also has something to do with the constant presence of death within my family and communities as a Black and queer person in a violently anti-Black and queerantagonistic world. I currently volunteer at a hospice, and provide community-building programming to death workers from diverse communities.

Hari's book list on loss and grief from a certified death doula

Hari Ziyad Why did Hari love this book?

This rare Black queer romance novel is a heartfelt exploration of friendship and second chances.

It doesn’t shy away from the complexities of maintaining relationships in the midst of grief, addressing head on one of the most difficult and underexplored aspects of loss. It’s a reminder that our past shapes us, but our present can redefine us, through the refreshing lens of Black queer characters just trying to figure out their lives.

By Frederick Smith, Chaz Lamar,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked In Case You Forgot as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Two newly single, Black, queer, and socially aware men have packed up to start again--in love, career, and life--in the West Hollywood neighborhood of LA.

Zaire James, on the cusp of 30, has decided marriage isn't all it's cracked up to be. Despite friends, family, and coworkers loving Zaire's "perfect" partner, divorce is a necessary step for finding himself and being free. If only it were that easy.

Kenny Kane has made a career of deferring dreams, lowering expectations, and chasing partners not on his level in hopes of finding a love to call his own. However, on the verge…


Book cover of Waiting to Exhale

Sheri Langer Author Of Love-Lines

From my list on novels about romance, rejection, and betrayal that pair well with tubs of ice cream.

Why am I passionate about this?

My parents split up when I was six. I escaped from my sadness by reading stories about love and relationships and exploring how others went about the business of living and coping. I married young for security and to have a big family of my own. I succeeded. I have four amazing kids, but after years of wedded chaos, I too was divorced. As a single mom, I set out in search of my own identity and went back to novels to help me find myself. Though I’ve since been fortunate to find my happily ever after, I still enjoy characters that feel like friends who offer warmth, hope, and comfort. 

Sheri's book list on novels about romance, rejection, and betrayal that pair well with tubs of ice cream

Sheri Langer Why did Sheri love this book?

As a white Jewish woman, I know I’m not the authority on the systemic issues inherent in romantic relationships in Black culture, but the good news is, this novel doesn’t require me to be. Bernadine, Savannah, Gloria, and Robin, four Black, thirty-something women navigating their way through love in the nineties, is a story that transcends race. 

As I read about their hopes and dreams, their disappointments and pain, I recognized myself. Through McMillan’s clear voice, I was able to step into each character’s shoes and feel my way through their experiences. I also learned that a cheating guy’s car is an easy target- memorable!

Flavor Pick: Cookies and Cream

By Terry McMillan,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Waiting to Exhale as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The story of four vibrant black women in their thirties. They draw on each other for support as they struggle with careers, divorce, motherhood and their relationships with men.


Book cover of Go Tell It on the Mountain

Elisabeth Åsbrink Author Of 1947: Where Now Begins

From my list on memory and oblivion.

Why am I passionate about this?

My Hungarian father was 7 years old when he almost got deported to Polen by the Nazis, but was miraculously saved by his mother. He came to Sweden, where I´m born, and never looked back, completely focused on the future. So I, his only child, focus on memory and oblivion. It´s like we stand back to back—or like I´m a seamstress, trying to stitch the past with the present. In my British mother´s family history is Salonica, the magical Jewish city in the Ottoman Empire. My Spanish-Jewish grandfather spoke the same Castillian dialect that Cervantes used to write Don Quijote. And I´m born in Sweden. These are my universes and where my writing is born.  

Elisabeth's book list on memory and oblivion

Elisabeth Åsbrink Why did Elisabeth love this book?

I only recently started to read James Baldwin and am blown away by his intensity and poetic language. In this first novel he describes the world of his childhood in Harlem, NY. It is American identity, history, and passion, it´s a portrait of a young man as well of the wounds of slavery hurting in every individual born into the American system. And it’s a beautiful story.

By James Baldwin,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Go Tell It on the Mountain as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'Go back to where you started, or as far back as you can, examine all of it, travel your road again and tell the truth about it. Sing or shout or testify or keep it to yourself: but know whence you came.'

Originally published in 1953, Go Tell it on the Mountain was James Baldwin's first major work, based in part on his own childhood in Harlem. With lyrical precision, psychological directness, resonating symbolic power and a rage that is at once unrelenting and compassionate, Baldwin chronicles a fourteen-year-old boy's discovery of the terms of his identity as the stepson…


Book cover of Invisible Man

Chris Harding Thornton Author Of Little Underworld

From my list on hilarious books that rip your heart from your chest.

Why am I passionate about this?

One of my favorite writers, Ralph Ellison, said art could "transform dismal sociological facts" through "tragi-comic transcendence." For me, finding humor in the horrific is a means of survival. It's a way of embracing life's tragedy and finding beauty. My two novels, Pickard County Atlas and Little Underworld, try to do that.

Chris' book list on hilarious books that rip your heart from your chest

Chris Harding Thornton Why did Chris love this book?

I’m pretty certain Invisible Man is The Great American Novel. Some lines make me laugh aloud: “I would remain and become a well-disciplined optimist and help them to go merrily to hell.” But the moments that really sing for me are those that ring with humor, horror, tragedy, and beauty all at once.

Near the end, during a moment when the nameless narrator hides and listens to some men telling a story, he aches with the urge to laugh while realizing what’s been said isn’t only funny: “It was funny and dangerous and sad.” The book reminds me that all of those things can be held in my head at once. 

By Ralph Ellison,

Why should I read it?

11 authors picked Invisible Man as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

NATIONAL BOOK AWARD WINNER • NATIONAL BESTSELLER • In this deeply compelling novel and epic milestone of American literature, a nameless narrator tells his story from the basement lair of the Invisible Man he imagines himself to be. 

He describes growing up in a Black community in the South, attending a Negro college from which he is expelled, moving to New York and becoming the chief spokesman of the Harlem branch of "the Brotherhood," before retreating amid violence and confusion.

Originally published in 1952 as the first novel by a then unknown author, it remained on the bestseller list for…


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