70 books like Buzz Killer

By Tom Straw,

Here are 70 books that Buzz Killer fans have personally recommended if you like Buzz Killer. 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 Carolina Moonset

Charles Salzberg Author Of Second Story Man

From my list on memorable, morally complicated characters.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a former magazine journalist and nonfiction book writer who now only writes crime novels. I try to write about a world that exists in varying degrees and shades of black and white. The characters in my books are flawed, sometimes deeply, trying their best to navigate a complex world while grappling with their own psychological and emotional scars. As a result, they often make decisions that wind up not being in their (or anyone else’s) best interest. In trying to breathe life into these characters, I get to know them better than I know myself, and it’s this I think allows me to admire the five books I’ve chosen.

Charles' book list on memorable, morally complicated characters

Charles Salzberg Why did Charles love this book?

Matt Goldman has led an interesting career. His roots are in comedy, having been a successful Hollywood TV writer on shows like Seinfeld, The New Adventures of Old Christine, and Ellen. But he made the unlikely career shift becoming a successful crime writer with his Nils Shapiro detective series. Carolina Moonset, his latest, is a standalone novel that tells the story of a young man who visits his family in his childhood home, Beaufort, South Carolina. His father suffers from Lewy Body dementia. He has trouble remembering what he had for breakfast but still connects to rich, childhood memories, some of which concern both a past and present-day crime.

Goldman is especially strong when it comes to depicting a family torn apart by the ravages of this insidious disease. But Goldman skillfully creates a mystery that grabs the reader and won’t let go. As someone who…

By Matt Goldman,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Both suspenseful and deeply moving, Carolina Moonset is an engrossing novel about family, memories both golden and terrible, and secrets too dangerous to stay hidden forever, from New York Times bestselling and Emmy Award-winning author, Matt Goldman.

Joey Green has returned to Beaufort, South Carolina, with its palmettos and shrimp boats, to look after his ailing father, who is succumbing to dementia, while his overstressed mother takes a break. Marshall Green’s short-term memory has all but evaporated, but, as if in compensation, his oldest memories are more vivid than ever. His mind keeps slipping backwards in time, retreating into long-ago…


Book cover of Where It Hurts

Charles Salzberg Author Of Second Story Man

From my list on memorable, morally complicated characters.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a former magazine journalist and nonfiction book writer who now only writes crime novels. I try to write about a world that exists in varying degrees and shades of black and white. The characters in my books are flawed, sometimes deeply, trying their best to navigate a complex world while grappling with their own psychological and emotional scars. As a result, they often make decisions that wind up not being in their (or anyone else’s) best interest. In trying to breathe life into these characters, I get to know them better than I know myself, and it’s this I think allows me to admire the five books I’ve chosen.

Charles' book list on memorable, morally complicated characters

Charles Salzberg Why did Charles love this book?

Reed Farrel Coleman, called “a hard-boiled poet,” and a “noir laureate” has written somewhere in the neighborhood of thirty crime novels, including a number of Robert B. Parker’s Jesse Stone novels. One of my favorites is Where it Hurts, which features divorced, retired cop Gus Murphy who’s picked up part-time work as a courtesy van driver for a run-down hotel. The only thing that interrupts his mindless routine comes when ex-con Tommy Delcamino asks Gus to investigate the mysterious death of his son. Coleman is particularly strong when it comes to character. This book especially resonates with me because of Coleman’s ability to dig deep inside his character’s psyche, not only examining how they tick but why they tick. His books, especially this one, are tightly plotted but for me the real attraction is his examination of personal, moral dilemmas. I’m especially attracted to and admiring of Coleman’s books,…

By Reed Farrel Coleman,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Where It Hurts as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Nominated for the 2017 Edgar Award for Best Novel

From the critically acclaimed and award-winning author comes a gritty, atmospheric new series about the other side of Long Island, far from the wealth of the Hamptons, where real people live—and die. 
 
Gus Murphy thought he had the world all figured out. A retired Suffolk County cop, Gus had everything a man could want: a great marriage, two kids, a nice house, and the rest of his life ahead of him. But when tragedy strikes, his life is thrown into complete disarray. In the course of a single deadly moment, his…


Book cover of Monument Road

Charles Salzberg Author Of Second Story Man

From my list on memorable, morally complicated characters.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a former magazine journalist and nonfiction book writer who now only writes crime novels. I try to write about a world that exists in varying degrees and shades of black and white. The characters in my books are flawed, sometimes deeply, trying their best to navigate a complex world while grappling with their own psychological and emotional scars. As a result, they often make decisions that wind up not being in their (or anyone else’s) best interest. In trying to breathe life into these characters, I get to know them better than I know myself, and it’s this I think allows me to admire the five books I’ve chosen.

Charles' book list on memorable, morally complicated characters

Charles Salzberg Why did Charles love this book?

This is the first in the Franky Dast series and it was nominated for a Shamus Award. Dast was convicted and sentenced to Death Row when he was 18, for the rape and murder of two adolescent boys. Eight years later, the verdict is overturned, in part as a result of the relationship Dast has established with the Justice Now Initiative, an organization specializing in cases of wrongful imprisonment. On his release, Dast joins the group and becomes involved in a case that hits close to home: the cop who arrested and coerced a confession from him is accused of shooting the son of a prominent judge. In Dast, Wiley has created the kind of complex character I’m drawn to, both as a writer and a reader. Wiley’s ability to dive deep into the psyche of complicated characters is something I’m always striving for.

By Michael Wiley,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Introducing former death-row inmate turned private investigator Franky Dast in the first of an intriguing new crime noir series. Having spent eight years on death row for a crime he didn't commit, Franky Dast now works as an investigator for the Justice Now Initiative, seeking to help others in the same situation. But when he learns that Bill Higby, the detective whose testimony helped convict him, is facing his own murder charge, Franky is torn. Should he help the man he hates more than any other, the man who remains convinced of Franky's guilt to this day? As Franky delves…


Book cover of The Line That Held Us

Charles Salzberg Author Of Second Story Man

From my list on memorable, morally complicated characters.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a former magazine journalist and nonfiction book writer who now only writes crime novels. I try to write about a world that exists in varying degrees and shades of black and white. The characters in my books are flawed, sometimes deeply, trying their best to navigate a complex world while grappling with their own psychological and emotional scars. As a result, they often make decisions that wind up not being in their (or anyone else’s) best interest. In trying to breathe life into these characters, I get to know them better than I know myself, and it’s this I think allows me to admire the five books I’ve chosen.

Charles' book list on memorable, morally complicated characters

Charles Salzberg Why did Charles love this book?

David Joy, an Edgar Award finalist for his first novel, Where All the Light Tends to Go, is a master of character, mood, and setting. This novel is set in Appalachia and immediately we’re pulled into a dangerous world that has its own set of fierce rules for survival. The novel opens with Darl Moody hunting for a monster buck which if snagged can mean the difference between meat for the winter and an empty freezer. Hunting for men like Moody is not about sport but survival. Unfortunately, he’s followed his prey onto private land, where not only shouldn’t he be but where he certainly be hunting. When he accidentally kills not a buck but a man—it turns out he’s killed a Brewer, a member of a family notorious for vengeance and violence—his life is turned upside down and it’s touch and go as to whether he’ll survive. From…

By David Joy,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Line That Held Us as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

An accidental death, and the cover-up that follows, sparks a dark series of events that reverberates through the lives of four people who will never be the same again.

When Darl Moody went hunting after a monster buck, a kill that could make the difference between meat for the winter and an empty freezer, he never expected he'd accidentally shoot a man digging ginseng. Worse yet, he's killed a Brewer, a family notorious for vengeance and violence. 

With nowhere to turn, Darl calls on the help of the only man he knows will answer, his best friend, Calvin Hooper. But…


Book cover of A Court of Mist and Fury

Jessica Disciacca Author Of Awakening the Dark Throne

From my list on books that will get you completely obsessed with the world of dark fantasy.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have been writing for years and reading forever. Fantasy books have always been my number one go to as far as genres. I loved how they would teleport me to a new world, allowing me to leave behind reality. The characters became my friends. The worlds became my homes. I couldn’t get enough and still can’t. As I got older, my imagination never stopped. I was constantly creating dreamworld and character plots in my head. Eventually, I started writing, needing the characters to stop talking. The only way to do that was to get them on paper. Since then, I haven’t been able to stop.

Jessica's book list on books that will get you completely obsessed with the world of dark fantasy

Jessica Disciacca Why did Jessica love this book?

I absolutely fell in love with this book. Its characters and the world took me on a journey I wish would have lasted a lifetime. Book one, A Court of Thornes and Roses, was okay, but this book set it over the top for me. I am a sucker for a good love story. Rhys, will forever and always be my book boyfriend.

Maas did such a great job building the characters one by one, creating a family you felt a part of and never wanted to say goodbye to. The different courts were also fun to experience. I also enjoyed the war politics, feeling that it added to the heart of the story. The banter between the characters was also something that helped me fall in love with this series. 

By Sarah J. Maas,

Why should I read it?

9 authors picked A Court of Mist and Fury as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

THE SECOND BOOK IN THE #1 BESTSELLING SERIES

'With bits of Buffy, Game Of Thrones and Outlander, this is a glorious series of total joy' - STYLIST
_____________________________
Feyre survived Amarantha's clutches to return to the Spring Court - but at a steep cost. Though she now possesses the powers of the High Fae, her heart remains human, and it can't forget the terrible deeds she performed to save Tamlin's people.

Nor has Feyre forgotten her bargain with Rhysand, the mesmerising High Lord of the feared Night Court. As Feyre navigates his dark web of political games and tantalising promises,…


Book cover of Crown of Shadows

JS Kennedy Author Of Green Gryphon

From my list on where females stay strong in the face of men.

Why am I passionate about this?

I got hooked on authors like Ilona Andrews, Patricia Briggs, and Nalini Singh. Where females are tough, men are alphas, and love is a complicated process that takes time and effort. When I tried to branch out, and find new authors, I was constantly disappointed by the puddles of goo. You know, those female characters who talk tough and kick ass, until the man comes into the picture and her ovaries start running the show. Suddenly staying hidden isn’t as important as spilling your deepest secrets to a stranger. Tired of not finding the books for me, I decided to try writing them.

JS's book list on where females stay strong in the face of men

JS Kennedy Why did JS love this book?

If you like something with a little less spice and a lot of spunk, you want to read KM Shea.

Crown of Shadows is the second trilogy in her Magiford world and in my humble opinion, the best. This world is wonderfully built, with wickedly funny characters and romances that don’t reduce the heroine into quivering limp puddles. Instead, she races around on hellish looking horses and demands to marry an assassin. What a woman. 

By K.M. Shea,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The fae of the Night Court are desperately searching for a new monarch to crown before the Court collapses.

I couldn’t care less.

I’ve done everything I can to bury my fae blood and embrace my human half. That changes when some fae nobles show up on my doorstep and announce that I’m the next Queen of the Night Court.

Becoming an unwilling fae queen? Check. Inheriting a terrible mess? Double check.

The Court is almost bankrupt, my citizens’ favorite hobby is backstabbing one another, and I don’t know who I can trust since someone keeps trying to assassinate me.…


Book cover of A Court of Silver Flames

Melissa McTernan Author Of Marked for Each Other: The Princess and The Barbarian

From my list on romance in which the heroine saves herself.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been a voracious reader my entire life, but it wasn’t until a few years ago that I discovered romance. How many times had I turned up my nose at those ridiculous books with half-naked men on the cover? Countless. Little did I know the absolute joy those books held inside. I love to read and write romance, especially stories with strong heroines and deliciously squishy-inside heroes. Not to mention all the amazing queer stories out there proving that love is love. These aren’t your grandmother’s bodice-rippers (I mean, they are a little bit, but only in the best ways). The genre is constantly growing, and I’m always eager to find new converts like me!

Melissa's book list on romance in which the heroine saves herself

Melissa McTernan Why did Melissa love this book?

I would classify this book as mainly fantasy, but it has a strong romantic subplot, so I’m counting it for this list! It is book 5 in the ACOTAR series and while it is told from a new character's POV it would definitely help in understanding the world to start at the beginning (you won’t regret it). Nesta, our heroine, starts this book broken and alone. She has pushed away everyone who loves her. Nesta’s character arc in this book is one of the best I’ve ever read. It is slow and painful, but watching her overcome her past trauma and emerge triumphant is amazing. In the end, Nesta saves herself by finally accepting help from her friends and family and especially the sexy warrior who loves her, Cassian. It would be a mistake to think a heroine needs to stand alone to save herself. Sometimes real strength means knowing…

By Sarah J. Maas,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked A Court of Silver Flames as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

THE LATEST BOOK IN THE #1 BESTSELLING SERIES 'With bits of Buffy, Game Of Thrones and Outlander, this is a glorious series of total joy' STYLIST ___________________________ Sarah J. Maas's sexy, richly imagined A Court of Thorns and Roses series continues with the journey of Feyre's fiery sister, Nesta... Nesta Archeron has always been prickly - proud, swift to anger and slow to forgive. And since the war - since being made High Fae against her will - she's struggled to forget the horrors she endured and find a place for herself within the strange and deadly Night Court. The…


Book cover of Disability and Theatre: A Practical Manual for Inclusion in the Arts

Meredith Eliassen Author Of Helen Keller: A Life in American History

From my list on disability and related inclusive movements.

Why am I passionate about this?

There have always been disabled people shaping my worldview and understanding, however, I am an expert only about my own disabilities. Disabled storytellers, including Helen Keller, sometimes utilize tactical silence to scream… I value that! However, barriers confronting the disabled require broad and sometimes loud collective action from many people in many communities and not just a marginalized few. Disability activism is a complex, tactical fight over time for self-determination that touches all of us at some point. COVID, world events, and experiencing some barriers disabled and marginalized groups face all the time have compelled me to share a few of my favorite reads related to disability and inclusion.

Meredith's book list on disability and related inclusive movements

Meredith Eliassen Why did Meredith love this book?

My personal creativity is not tidy… I believe nobody creates in a vacuum. The disabled contribute intelligence, perspective, and expression to all modes of creative production. Understanding how to utilize talent from any historically marginalized group means learning how to communicate with folks with diverse abilities and backgrounds. Utilizing respectful language and practices with diverse communities will draw and engage audiences with more vibrant storytelling in today’s world. This practical guide includes case studies designed to guide theater companies to create inclusive productions with the disabled in central and creative roles. Disability and Theatre illustrates how in the theater, where “all the world is a stage”, as in our own lives, creative processes emerge when people with different abilities work together… that is just good living.

By Stephanie Barton-Farcas,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Disability and Theatre: A Practical Manual for Inclusion in the Arts is a step-by step manual on how to create inclusive theatre, including how and where to find actors, how to publicize productions, run rehearsals, act intricate scenes like fights and battles, work with unions, contracts, and agents, and deal with technical issues. This practical information was born from the author's 16 years of running the first inclusive theatre company in New York City, and is applicable to any performance level: children's theatre, community theatre, regional theatre, touring companies, Broadway, and academic theatre. This book features anecdotal case studies that…


Book cover of Skyscraper Dreams: The Great Real Estate Dynasties of New York

Jason M. Barr Author Of Cities in the Sky: The Quest to Build the World's Tallest Skyscrapers

From my list on real estate titans built New York skyline.

Why am I passionate about this?

As an economics professor, I’ve spent the past twenty years researching why cities build upward. Though I mostly look at cities through the lens of statistics and data, every building has a personal and dramatic story that exists behind the numbers. And no matter where you go in the world, great cities with their towering skyscrapers all owe a debt to New York—every city wants its own version of the Empire State Building to signal its economic might. New York is the world’s metropolis. As the (now cliché) song line goes, “If I can make there, I’ll make it anywhere,” is a true today as a century ago.

Jason's book list on real estate titans built New York skyline

Jason M. Barr Why did Jason love this book?

When I walk through the streets of Manhattan, I’m constantly awed by the variety and density of its buildings. I wonder how such a city could have ever been built. New cities today lack the soul and character. But when you look at why these buildings exist, you see that they are there for a more mundane purpose: as shelter. The Garment District, for example, was created to house massive sweatshops to clothe America. Gotham’s apartment towers enclose the beds on which residents sleep. 

Many of these structures were built by a group of family-run development companies. The founders of these enterprises invariably began as immigrants trying to hustle their way up the economic ladder. They started as teenagers working in the sweatshops or hawking newspapers and, bit by bit, erected their own real estate empires. Tom Schactman’s book tells how entrepreneurial spirit, along with New York’s rapid economic growth,…

By Tom Shachtman,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A portrait of Manhattan real estate and of the multimillionaires who are its masters, describing a world of high risks and huge rewards. Skyscrapers embody the romance of our times. The inspired gamblers who built the structures that transformed not only Manhattan but also the world took great risks. Some of the most colourful failed, while others founded family dynasties among the wealthiest in America, from the Astors and Rockefellers to the Roses and Trumps. From penniless Russian Jewish immigrants to society patricians, from penthouses to tenements, real estate and its manipulations - the buildings, the strategies, even the disasters…


Book cover of Storms of the Heart

Lynn Crandall Author Of Then There Was You: Love in Dunes Bay Book One

From my list on romances in the wide world of romance.

Why am I passionate about this?

My first books were little Golden Books. I loved reading those stories of the sleepy little puppy and the engine that could. I moved on from there to all kinds of books and I remain a very happy reader. I have channeled my love for reading to a love of writing. My writing career started with a focus on journalism and writing for magazines, newspapers, and radio. About 18 years ago I began writing romance novels. I read all kinds of different genre but I thoroughly enjoy following the expanding relationships that make up the core element of all romances. That’s the thing about romance novels. There’s something for everyone.

Lynn's book list on romances in the wide world of romance

Lynn Crandall Why did Lynn love this book?

If you like small town settings with big old houses and hints of a ghost, intrigue, and simmering romance, you’ll love Storms of the Heart.

The story’s female main character, Emerson Lane, finds herself right in the middle of a raging thunderstorm at night on her way to her Uncle Wayne’s house in Twin Creeks, where she lived when her parents died in a car crash. She’s on a mission to reconnect with her uncle after leaving abruptly years ago to live in New York City. Trouble is waiting for her in the name of Sheriff Max Lomax, who she left behind.

Max has his own problems, but he is secretly but begrudgingly thrilled to see her, but questions whether this time she’ll stay. I liked the interesting characters in this story and the pleasant descriptions of Emerson’s hometown. The writing was so nice it felt like I could just…

5 book lists we think you will like!

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