100 books like Charlotte Gray, The Massey Murder

By Charlotte Gray,

Here are 100 books that Charlotte Gray, The Massey Murder fans have personally recommended if you like Charlotte Gray, The Massey Murder. Shepherd is a community of 11,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

Shepherd is reader supported. When you buy books, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Book cover of By Persons Unknown: The Strange Death of Christine Demeter

Greg Marquis Author Of Truth & Honour: The Oland Family Murder Case That Shocked Canada

From my list on the history of murder.

Why am I passionate about this?

As an academic, I have been researching Canadian police and criminal justice history since the 1980s and I teach courses on the history of policing, crime, drugs and homicide, and capital punishment. In 2014 I began to cover a high-profile murder trial in my region of Canada and ended up writing a best-selling book on the case. The Oland case reinforced my interest in true crime, both as a research topic and a cultural phenomenon. True crime, whether set in the distant past or contemporary times, offers writers and readers alike fascinating forays into specific societies and communities as well as human nature.

Greg's book list on the history of murder

Greg Marquis Why did Greg love this book?

This book was written not as a work of history, but contemporary non-fiction by two reporters covering one of Canada’s highest-profile murder cases of the 1970s, the killing of Christine Demeter, a former model married to flamboyant Toronto businessman and Hungarian immigrant Peter Demeter. By Canadian standards, the authors had unprecedented access to lawyers and others involved in the 1974 trial of Demeter for the murder of his wife and benefited from evidence and a cast of characters straight out of a best-selling crime novel. Demeter was found guilty and while serving his sentence he was convicted of instigating two separate plots to have people kidnapped and murdered. By Persons Unknown broke new ground in Canadian true crime writing.   

By George Jonas,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked By Persons Unknown as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

By persons unknown: The strange death of Christine Demeter [Jan 01, 1977] Jonas, George


Book cover of The Invention of Murder: How the Victorians Revelled in Death and Detection and Created Modern Crime

Michael Mullin Author Of Gothic Revival

From my list on books that bring us closer to Frankenstein’s monster.

Why am I passionate about this?

Most people think of Mary Shelley’s masterpiece as horror, but the truth is – and I love this fact! – Frankenstein is widely considered to be the first science fiction novel. I’ve always been fascinated with the origin story of the novel: Lord Byron’s ghost-story writing competition proposed among friends at Geneva’s Villa Diodati in 1816. I’ve watched every movie version of that iconic gathering. (Most are bad. Oh well.) As a college professor, I taught Frankenstein in a writing class. (I was also a preschool teacher. Honest! Those kids read other books.)

Michael's book list on books that bring us closer to Frankenstein’s monster

Michael Mullin Why did Michael love this book?

Another meticulously researched work of nonfiction, this book opened my eyes to the connection between real-life murders in Victorian England and the start of the public’s obsession with detective fiction.

As a fan of mysteries and thrillers in which not all characters survive, I was fascinated to see how the genre literally began. I’ve read a bunch of the old serialized tales, the “Penny Dreadfuls” talked about in this book, and I loved seeing them placed into their larger historical and cultural context.

By Judith Flanders,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

'We are a trading community, a commercial people. Murder is doubtless a very shocking offence, nevertheless as what is done is not to be undone, let us make our money out of it.' Punch

Murder in the 19th century was rare. But murder as sensation and entertainment became ubiquitous - transformed into novels, into broadsides and ballads, into theatre and melodrama and opera - even into puppet shows and performing dog-acts.

In this meticulously researched and compelling book, Judith Flanders - author of 'The Victorian House' - retells the gruesome stories of many different types of murder - both famous…


Book cover of The Beautiful Cigar Girl: Mary Rogers, Edgar Allan Poe, and the Invention of Murder

Greg Marquis Author Of Truth & Honour: The Oland Family Murder Case That Shocked Canada

From my list on the history of murder.

Why am I passionate about this?

As an academic, I have been researching Canadian police and criminal justice history since the 1980s and I teach courses on the history of policing, crime, drugs and homicide, and capital punishment. In 2014 I began to cover a high-profile murder trial in my region of Canada and ended up writing a best-selling book on the case. The Oland case reinforced my interest in true crime, both as a research topic and a cultural phenomenon. True crime, whether set in the distant past or contemporary times, offers writers and readers alike fascinating forays into specific societies and communities as well as human nature.

Greg's book list on the history of murder

Greg Marquis Why did Greg love this book?

Similar to my second choice, this American study explores the impact of a sensational unsolved death on early Victorian New York and America in general. In 1841 Marie Rogers, an attractive young woman who worked in a tobacco shop, was found dead in the Hudson River, suspected to be a victim of murder. The case was well covered in the press and exposed weaknesses in the city’s system of policing.  The author details how Edgar Allen Poe furthered early detective fiction in his story The Mystery Marie Roger, which although set in Paris borrowed heavily from the New York events. An example of how the public can make a celebrity out of a murder victim who is not from the elite.     

By Daniel Stashower,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Beautiful Cigar Girl as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 14, 15, 16, and 17.

What is this book about?

On July 28, 1841, the body of Mary Rogers, a twenty-year-old cigar girl, was found floating in the Hudson-and New York's unregulated police force proved incapable of solving the crime. One year later, a struggling writer named Edgar Allan Poe decided to take on the case-and sent his fictional detective, C. Auguste Dupin, to solve the baffling murder of Mary Rogers in "The Mystery of Marie Rogt."


Book cover of The Innocent Man: Murder and Injustice in a Small Town

Greg Marquis Author Of Truth & Honour: The Oland Family Murder Case That Shocked Canada

From my list on the history of murder.

Why am I passionate about this?

As an academic, I have been researching Canadian police and criminal justice history since the 1980s and I teach courses on the history of policing, crime, drugs and homicide, and capital punishment. In 2014 I began to cover a high-profile murder trial in my region of Canada and ended up writing a best-selling book on the case. The Oland case reinforced my interest in true crime, both as a research topic and a cultural phenomenon. True crime, whether set in the distant past or contemporary times, offers writers and readers alike fascinating forays into specific societies and communities as well as human nature.

Greg's book list on the history of murder

Greg Marquis Why did Greg love this book?

We all know that Grisham writes best-selling fiction that has been turned into several Hollywood blockbusters. But the most frightening book by this former small-town defence lawyer is his only work of non-fiction, an account of the wrongful conviction of Ronald Keith Williamson of the 1982 sex murder of Debra Sue Carter. Williamson, who was low-hanging fruit for police and prosecutors in Ada, Oklahoma, languished in prison for 11 years before being exonerated by DNA evidence. This book should be mandatory reading for police, prosecutors, and judges and is a useful reminder that public opinion and justice are often mutually exclusive.

By John Grisham,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

__________________
***NOW A MAJOR NETFLIX SERIES***

A gripping true-crime story of a shocking miscarriage of justice, from international bestselling thriller author John Grisham.

In the baseball draft of 1971, Ron Williamson was the first player chosen from Oklahoma. Signing with Oakland, he said goodbye to his small home town and left for California to pursue his dreams of glory.

Six years later he was back, his dreams broken by a bad arm and bad habits - drinking, drugs and women. He began to show signs of mental illness. Unable to keep a job, he moved in with his mother and…


Book cover of Looking for X

Mary Jennifer Payne Author Of Enough

From my list on unforgettable protagonists in urban settings.

Why am I passionate about this?

Born the same year as Winona Ryder, Tupac Shakur, and Elon Musk, I’m a Toronto-based writer of novels, short fiction, graphic stories, nonfiction, and scripts for film and television. My YA books include the graphic novella The Lion of Africa, the supernatural, climate change-fuelled Daughters of Light trilogy, and the hard-hitting Since You’ve Been Gone. My writing gives voice to strong, diverse protagonists in urban settings who are dealing with seemingly insurmountable challenges. I’ve been a special education teacher for more than 20 years and my characters are often inspired by the amazing young people I’ve worked with. The cities in my work are living, breathing entities that shape the plot and the protagonist’s character.

Mary's book list on unforgettable protagonists in urban settings

Mary Jennifer Payne Why did Mary love this book?

The majority of my teaching career was in Regent Park, so the setting of Looking for X is particularly meaningful. Eleven-year-old Khyber is smart, savvy, and mature beyond her years. Told from Khyber’s POV, the story centers around the friendship she develops with X, a woman living in the parkette across from Khyber’s apartment building. When Khyber witnesses X being attacked a group of skinheads, the dangers faced by Toronto’s homeless population, especially those living with mental illness, become glaringly clear. The next day, Khyber is wrongly accused of vandalizing her school. X is the only person who can provide an alibi for Khyber, but she is nowhere to be found. In an effort to locate her friend, Khyber embarks on a a journey navigating the urban landscape of Toronto. 

By Deborah Ellis,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Looking for X as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 9, 10, 11, and 12.

What is this book about?

Winner of the Governor General's Literary Award

In this urban adventure story, Khyber, a smart, bold, eleven-year-old girl from a poor neighborhood, sets out to find her friend X, a mysterious homeless woman who has gone missing.

The desperate search takes Khyber on a long, all-night odyssey that proves to be wilder than any adventure she has ever imagined.


Book cover of A Life of Propriety: Anne Murray Powell and Her Family, 1755-1849

Ann Birch Author Of A Daughter Rebels

From my list on brave women who dared to challenge the norms.

Why am I passionate about this?

For a number of years, I was a historical interpreter at two of Toronto’s oldest and finest houses. While looking at the furniture, paintings, and below-stairs bells and open-hearth cooking in these upper-class mansions, I became immersed in the lives of the people who once lived in these places. I have always been interested in history, and I have a post-graduate degree in Canadian literature, but my schooling in history seemed confined to the Tudor period and Greek and Roman times. Working in Toronto’s fine homes led me to a deep understanding of the fascinating history we have right here on our doorstep!

Ann's book list on brave women who dared to challenge the norms

Ann Birch Why did Ann love this book?

Most of the information on Anne Powell’s life is written by men. They invariably find her to be eccentric, bizarre, or crazy. That’s why I was pleased to discover this book by a female professor. It contains detailed, well-researched information on the Powell family and the world they lived in. The book also directed me to useful letters written by the Powell family that I was able to research in the local archives. From this book and those letters, I was able to discover a new Anne Powell.

By Katherine Mary Jean McKenna,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

During this period the realms of the public and the private became increasingly separated, with increasingly separate roles for men and women. Changes in cultural values concerning gender, ideals about family relationships, and ideas of the appropriate role women brought uncertainty, confusion, and contradiction. Anne Powell's life embodied this shift in values and provides an example of how they were carried from the old world to the new. A Life of Propriety makes an innovative contribution to the literature on women in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, and will also be of interest to scholars in women's studies,…


Book cover of Wildfire

Estelle Pettersen Author Of Rainbow Desire

From my list on romance with a thrilling plot.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a big fan of romance books with thrilling plots. It’s partly how I remember the stories years later. When I wrote Flowers for Kate in the Rainbow Desire anthology, it started as a pure romance, but I added a supernatural thrill. One reader admitted checking over her shoulder in case a spectral being was there while reading the story. I love writing stories with twists and turns, and surprising readers. Maybe it comes from my childhood days of being a Scooby-Doo fan—I loved the thrill of guessing the mysteries behind each character and the villain being unmasked. I’m an ex-journalist who has published romance stories from erotic to sweet.

Estelle's book list on romance with a thrilling plot

Estelle Pettersen Why did Estelle love this book?

Wildfire starts with the protagonist Stephanie Fournier working as an assistant in a boring 9 to 5 job. Yet, this book is anything but boring. Things heat up very fast when gorgeous CEO Robert Quinlan notices her, and the two become passionate. There’s a catch…she’s a virgin. Will his sudden disinterest in Stephanie mean the end of a romance? Or, can experts be seduced by amateurs? And, there is trouble brewing when another woman’s jealousy bubbles over Quinlan. Wildfire is book one in the Smoke Chaser series. It’s packed with great dialogue, a ruthless female antagonist who drops nasty surprises in Stephanie’s path, and a fiery romance that honors the story’s title. 

By Annabel Allan,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Stephanie Fournier is an assistant at a law firm in Toronto, Ontario. Her boring 9 to 5 starts to heat up when Robert Quinlan, the gorgeous CEO of the company, takes a special interest in her. At first she responds to his obvious interest with glee... and then he finds out she's a virgin.

His sudden disinterest is not only embarrassing, but awkward around the workplace, especially with an undeniable heat still present between them. Stephanie sets out to prove she's unshaken, only to entice him back into her thrall. But can an amateur really win over an expert in…


Book cover of Living Underground

Susan E. Wadds Author Of What the Living Do

From my list on flip the script on women’s sexuality, pleasure, and cultural roles.

Why am I passionate about this?

In my writing and in my life, I look at life and relationships in terms of what is and isn’t expected or acceptable. I’ve been fascinated by how pleasure itself has become a dirty word and how it can be exploited and used. Women have so much more potential and are so much more complex than what is given to us by media and social constructs. I write to expose the underside of identity, beliefs, and especially how past encounters color and shape our ability to experience pleasure.

Susan's book list on flip the script on women’s sexuality, pleasure, and cultural roles

Susan E. Wadds Why did Susan love this book?

Again, I loved this book because it examines a young life from an unconventional point of view. How love and perceived romance can occur outside of acceptable cultural norms.

I love that music brings these people together. I love when a book makes me understand how what I might think is wrong or immoral is just another face of love and life.

By Ruth Walker,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A woman's lover from her youth resurfaces in her adult life, and she is drawn into the turmoil surrounding disturbing accusations about his Nazi past. From pre WWI Dresden, Germany to contemporary urban Toronto, the dual point of view narrative crosses continents and moves through time as it explores the ambiguity of human emotion, how our natures can embody both the ideals and delights of love alongside the most base and dispassionate sensibilities.


Book cover of Blood Price

Yvonne Rediger Author Of Condo Crazy

From my list on discovering which type of mystery fits you.

Why am I passionate about this?

I've read mysteries of all types since I was young. Unfortunately for my publishers, I like to write in several different genres too. Everyone loves a mystery, a puzzle, sussing out the hidden. If you think you don’t like mysteries, then I think you just haven’t found your genre yet. Reading a mystery is like treasure hunting, we all want to find the gold. I love clever dialogue, characters you want to meet in real life, and accompany them while solving a mystery. All the books I have recommended have an overarching mystery element. I write like that too, also, one element links all my books regardless of genre. Happy treasure hunting!

Yvonne's book list on discovering which type of mystery fits you

Yvonne Rediger Why did Yvonne love this book?

Set in Toronto, this novel features a hardboiled female detective Vicky Nelson, retired city police, now a private investigator and she is not happy about it. I like Vicky’s kick-ass and capable attitude, even with her failing eyesight. Imagine her surprise to run across a vampire, Henry Fitzroy, on the streets of Toronto, but that’s not all, something is stalking humans and Henry knows it’s supernatural. I am a fan of urban fantasy, the idea there are strange things going on right under our noses and all going undetected fascinates me. I’ve dabbled in this genre and will no doubt return to it. Still, all have a mystery to solve. Vicky doubts her old Toronto police partner will believe them. So it’s up to Vicky and Henry, they must team up, find the evil, and then figure out what to do about it to stop it. 

By Tanya Huff,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Blood Price as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The Blood Books are now available in "Blood Ties" TV tie-in editions. View our TV tie-in feature page here here.

Vicki Nelson, formerly of Toronto’s homicide unit and now a private detective, witnesses the first of many vicious attacks that are now plaguing the city of Toronto. As death follows unspeakable death, Vicki is forced to renew her tempestuous relationship with her former partner, Mike Celluci, to stop these forces of dark magic—along with another, unexpected ally…

Henry Fitzroy, the illegitimate son of King Henry VIII, has learned over the course of his long life how to blend with humans,…


Book cover of Carly's Voice: Breaking Through Autism

Annie Fox Author Of Teaching Kids to Be Good People: Progressive Parenting for the 21st Century

From my list on helping kids become themselves.

Why am I passionate about this?

In college, I majored in Human Development and Family Studies and found my calling – to work with kids and create SEL (Social and Emotional Learning) content for them. While still an undergrad, my first book was published (People Are Like Lollipops - a picture book celebrating diversity.) Throughout my career, I’ve continued writing books and creating multimedia content for kids and teens while helping parents support their kids’ character development in the digital age. I read a lot of parenting books, but I don’t always learn something new that opens my heart and mind. Each book I’ve recommended here did that for me. I hope the books on my list will help you on your parenting journey.

Annie's book list on helping kids become themselves

Annie Fox Why did Annie love this book?

Like the best memoirs, this one reads like a novel in that Arthur Fleischman and his wife and children are drawn with so much honesty and detail you’ll feel as if you know them, or know people like them. Daughter Carly, however, is less knowable, because her childhood diagnosis of autism, cognitive delay, and oral motor apraxia (difficulty easily coordinating and initiating movement of the jaw, lips, tongue, and soft palate) had left her unable to communicate.

Carly’s Voice was one of the early books to explore, first-hand, the challenges of living with autism for the autistic individual as well as her family. Through the determined efforts of her parents and therapists who refused to stop helping Carly reach her full potential, Carly learns to type! That changes everything. Readers are privileged to peek inside the thoughts, feelings, and quirky sense of humor of an inspiring young woman who…

By Arthur Fleischman, Carly Fleishman,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Carly's Voice as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In this international bestseller, father and advocate for Autism awareness Arthur Fleischmann blends his daughter Carly’s own words with his story of getting to know his remarkable daughter—after years of believing that she was unable to understand or communicate with him.

At the age of two, Carly Fleischmann was diagnosed with severe autism and an oral motor condition that prevented her from speaking. Doctors predicted that she would never intellectually develop beyond the abilities of a small child. Carly remained largely unreachable through the years. Then, at the age of ten, she had a breakthrough.

While working with her devoted…


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in Toronto, World War 1, and presidential biography?

11,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about Toronto, World War 1, and presidential biography.

Toronto Explore 62 books about Toronto
World War 1 Explore 897 books about World War 1
Presidential Biography Explore 19 books about presidential biography