69 books like Chicken Scratch

By Becki Willis,

Here are 69 books that Chicken Scratch fans have personally recommended if you like Chicken Scratch. 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 Interview with a Dead Editor

Tiffany Seitz Author Of And They Danced

From my list on mystery and suspense that are based in Texas.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have enjoyed mysteries since childhood. Nancy Drew, Trixie Belton, and others filled my bookshelves. Mysteries continue to be one of my favorite genres, and I particularly love the way Texas is represented in these stories. Texas has a rich and unique history, culture, topography, and climate that stimulates the creative spirit but is rarely represented accurately in most genres. As a native Texan, I enjoy reading others’ take on my favorite state, and it’s where I chose to base my writings. The added benefit is that these are female authors who have inspired my own work.

Tiffany's book list on mystery and suspense that are based in Texas

Tiffany Seitz Why did Tiffany love this book?

Based in the fictional town of Stirling Mills, Texas, Lexie Lincoln’s history of being in the right place at the right time served her well as a journalist until she is laid-off. When she arrives for an interview at a small town newspaper, she finds the editor murdered and herself as the suspect. To get to the bottom of the mystery and clear her name, Lexie uncovers not only the town’s unusual history but the reality that her luck stems from ghostly interactions.

After thoroughly enjoying Ms. Swendon’s Enchanted, Inc series, I was pleased to hear she was writing a cozy series. With seven books to date in the Lucky Lexie series, the quirky town of Stirling Mills is a great place to visit.

Book cover of Deadly Keepsakes: A Tori Winters Mystery

Tiffany Seitz Author Of And They Danced

From my list on mystery and suspense that are based in Texas.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have enjoyed mysteries since childhood. Nancy Drew, Trixie Belton, and others filled my bookshelves. Mysteries continue to be one of my favorite genres, and I particularly love the way Texas is represented in these stories. Texas has a rich and unique history, culture, topography, and climate that stimulates the creative spirit but is rarely represented accurately in most genres. As a native Texan, I enjoy reading others’ take on my favorite state, and it’s where I chose to base my writings. The added benefit is that these are female authors who have inspired my own work.

Tiffany's book list on mystery and suspense that are based in Texas

Tiffany Seitz Why did Tiffany love this book?

Tori Winters learns she has inherited a house in Granbury, Texas, and the timing is perfect. As a hospice nurse, she is the primary witness in a homicide. To escape the threats, she packs up and heads to Texas, where she finds a house and a family history that she never expected.

Ms. Dickason is a retired Dallas police officer who wove a little-known part of Dallas’ prohibition history into this novel. The characters and plot are believable and well-written. I am looking forward to the second book.

By Anita Dickason,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The past becomes a deadly future.

When Tori Winters becomes the star witness in a murder trial, someone tries to kill her. Terrified, she’s not giving the killer a second chance. With all her worldly possessions packed in her car, Tori is on the run. A mysterious phone call about an inheritance leads her to Granbury. After all, who would look for her in a small, quaint Texas town?

Instead, Tori’s life is about to spin into an existence where nothing is as it seems. The historic house she inherits is steeped in secrets from the past. Secrets that may…


Book cover of The Preacher's First Murder

Tiffany Seitz Author Of And They Danced

From my list on mystery and suspense that are based in Texas.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have enjoyed mysteries since childhood. Nancy Drew, Trixie Belton, and others filled my bookshelves. Mysteries continue to be one of my favorite genres, and I particularly love the way Texas is represented in these stories. Texas has a rich and unique history, culture, topography, and climate that stimulates the creative spirit but is rarely represented accurately in most genres. As a native Texan, I enjoy reading others’ take on my favorite state, and it’s where I chose to base my writings. The added benefit is that these are female authors who have inspired my own work.

Tiffany's book list on mystery and suspense that are based in Texas

Tiffany Seitz Why did Tiffany love this book?

Pastor Matt Hayden is trying to make a new life in the small town of Wilks, Texas, but he has a secret. Once a Miami detective, he is now in hiding from the people who destroyed his family. He can no longer be an officer, but he can assist the local sheriff in uncovering the town’s best-kept secrets.

I’ve truly enjoyed the Pastor Matt series as it’s easy for me to visualize the small Texas town and its people. Rooting for Matt and Angie, as well as the other characters, to find a little faith and happiness in the darkest parts of life keeps the pages turning. This is a series with four books, and the fifth is forthcoming.

By K.P. Gresham,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Preacher's First Murder as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The Preacher’s First MurderHe was a good cop until he ran into a bad one. Then, to save what was left of his family and his sanity, Michael Hogan, Jr., entered the Fed's Witness Protection Program and became Pastor Matthew Hayden.Just out of seminary, Matt takes a church in rural Texas, expecting peace, quiet and a good dose of humility. What he finds is a town ruled by the past and an old woman murdered. To make matters worse, the dead woman's daughter, Angie O'Day, runs the town's Ice House and is truly an angel by day and a devil…


Book cover of Ghost Agents

Tiffany Seitz Author Of And They Danced

From my list on mystery and suspense that are based in Texas.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have enjoyed mysteries since childhood. Nancy Drew, Trixie Belton, and others filled my bookshelves. Mysteries continue to be one of my favorite genres, and I particularly love the way Texas is represented in these stories. Texas has a rich and unique history, culture, topography, and climate that stimulates the creative spirit but is rarely represented accurately in most genres. As a native Texan, I enjoy reading others’ take on my favorite state, and it’s where I chose to base my writings. The added benefit is that these are female authors who have inspired my own work.

Tiffany's book list on mystery and suspense that are based in Texas

Tiffany Seitz Why did Tiffany love this book?

Based in Galveston, Texas, Claire Abelard works as a ghost tour guide as a cover for her real job for The Bureau of Historical Preservation. As a high-level sensitive, her responsibilities are to protect the projections (ghosts) under her care, although she frequently answers the call of rogue projections. While assigned to give a private tour to a ghost-hunting group, she receives reports that rogue projections are disappearing.

Ghost Agents and the subsequent two books were page-turners. I don’t normally subscribe to newsletters for additional materials, but I especially wanted to discover more once the series ended. The projections (ghosts) are entertaining, the historical elements are well-researched and support the plot. I particularly enjoyed the family dynamics and the romance that develops for the main character.

By Nita DeBorde,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

An organization that has operated in secret for centuries... a mystery that threatens to burn it all to the ground... and she's the only agent who can stop it... To the residents and tourists of Galveston Island, Claire Abelard is the friendly young woman who works at the local candy store by day and leads ghost tours of the island's haunted locations by night. They don't realize this persona is a cover for Claire's real job as an agent of the Bureau for Historical Preservation, a clandestine organization that monitors and assists energy projections, or the entities more commonly known…


Book cover of The Final Country

Scott Montgomery Author Of Austin Noir

From my list on crime with a whole lot of Texas.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have spent over twenty years over (fifteen in Texas) recommending crime fiction as a bookseller in a couple of prominent stores. Texas and its writers have always fascinated me. Now that I get to call myself one, I am connected more to the genre literature of my adopted state and have an insider's view as both writer and resident.

Scott's book list on crime with a whole lot of Texas

Scott Montgomery Why did Scott love this book?

Crumley used his PI Milo Milodragovich to look at the state “with more guns than cows” in all its colorful insanity.

The search for a runaway pool shark wife puts Milo in the middle of plot involving firearms, drugs, and crimes in various forms as Crumley draws from two of his favorite writers, Raymond Chandler and Warren Zevon.

I got to know Jim near the end of his life and see his broad, loving, cynical personality, and the feelings of his birth state when I read this.

By James Crumley,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A NEW YORK TIMES Notable Book

It's business as usual for Milo Milodragovitch, watching a relationship go sour and running a bar whose real business is cleaning some dirty money, until he gets sent off to hunt a drug dealer’s killer. Prodded by the twin motivations of his prickly conscience and his tight finances, Milo sets off on a trip to find the promised land. The end of the road will be where he first began: Montana, where a beautiful woman, a dangerous man, and a motherlode of truth are waiting for their favorite son to come home—bringing with him…


Book cover of The Two-Bear Mambo

Nick Kolakowski Author Of Hell of a Mess

From my list on read during a fierce, possibly city-destroying storm.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a crime and horror author based in New York City. I’ve lived through a couple of direct hits from mega-storms and other natural disasters, including Hurricane Sandy, which plowed through my neighborhood in 2012. Those kinds of experiences leave a psychological mark I’ve tried to process through both fiction and non-fiction. This writing has also allowed me to explore how people and cities could potentially survive the calamities that await us, especially in coastal regions vulnerable to climate change.  

Nick's book list on read during a fierce, possibly city-destroying storm

Nick Kolakowski Why did Nick love this book?

Whenever someone asks me to recommend a funny mystery/thriller series, I always do my best to steer them toward Lansdale’s Hap and Leonard series. Hap Collins is a wisecracking good ol’ boy with liberal leanings, while his best friend Leonard is a Black, gay, conservative war veteran. They bumble and punch their way through mysteries that usually involve long-buried, lethal secrets.

The Two-Bear Mambo is arguably the most cinematic of the Hap and Leonard books, and that’s because the two are searching a small Texas town for Hap’s ex-girlfriend—a town at risk of serious flooding. The climactic fight in a graveyard is an over-the-top melee of rushing water, bones, and death. Solving mysteries is even harder when you have to prevent yourself from drowning in the biggest natural disaster to hit Texas in years. 

By Joe R. Lansdale,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Two-Bear Mambo as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Florida Grange, Leonard's gorgeous lawyer and Hap's former lover, has vanished while in pursuit of the real story behind the jailhouse death of a bluesman's son. Hap and Leonard investigate and end up in a part of East Texas that has Klan wannabes, an exhumation in a voodoo graveyard, and murder.


Book cover of Sugar Daddy

Savannah Kade Author Of Crash & Burn

From my list on steamy romantic suspense for savvy readers.

Why am I passionate about this?

I'm a contemporary romance writer who does some series in paranormal romance and some in romantic suspense. I know lots of romance is about the fantasy and I write to that, but I want each of my romances to have you walking away believing in real-life love, too. I want heroes and heroines who could walk right off the page! I want to acknowledge smart women finding men who love a snappy comeback and a sharp brain. My favorite stories come together when our heroine is the only one who could solve this crime or mystery. I was first invited to write RS in the Dark Falls series and I shockingly won a Maggie for my first book. I loved the genre so much that I went on to build a whole series of my own!

Savannah's book list on steamy romantic suspense for savvy readers

Savannah Kade Why did Savannah love this book?

Kleypas is better known for her historical fiction, but her contemporary series knocks it out of the park. There’s never been a better enemies to lovers pair than Gabe and Liberty. This book also has wrong side of the tracks vibes as well as rags-to-riches gold. Their reasons for hating each other are sound—not the kind of ridiculous drivel we sometimes get served. Secrets abound, and when these two finally feel like they’re finding their footing, Liberty’s first love comes back… and then it really heats up! Sugar Daddy isn’t what you expect when you open the book, it’s so much better!

By Lisa Kleypas,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Two men. One woman. A choice that can make her or break her. A love story you'll never forget.

Liberty Jones fell in love with Hardy Cates when she was just fourteen-and-three-quarters. But at seventeen, the ambitious Hardy craves a life bigger and better than their parochial hometown of Welcome, Texas, can offer. While he's fond of Liberty and feels a responsibility to protect her, her crush is a complication he doesn't need.

Yet something continues to draws Hardy and Liberty to each other, especially when she blossoms into a proper beauty. So when he chooses to follow his head…


Book cover of Thyme of Death

Elizabeth Amber Love Author Of Full Body Manslaughter: A Farrah Wethers Mystery

From my list on women starting over.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve spent my life recreating myself as many times as Madonna. If things aren’t working, I move on to something new. I’ll go to classes, learn something else, change careers, and struggle the whole way as I look for pieces of life that fit the puzzle of me. It takes me a lot longer to read so when I try to diversify my bookshelf and don’t always stick to my genre (as the professionals tell an author to do). What I “stick to” is finding female characters who struggle and want to give up, but somehow, something deep inside them makes them move forward one step at a time.

Elizabeth's book list on women starting over

Elizabeth Amber Love Why did Elizabeth love this book?

The China Bayles series by Susan Wittig-Albert introduced me to characters who are brave without being superpowered.

China Bayles is a female protagonist who is strong-willed and intelligent. The stories about her never emphasize her looks other than describing things that would be overlooked on television.

She’s left her job as a Texas attorney and runs an herb shop (it expands in later books). She’s more likely to have dirt under her nails and sneakers on her feet rather than a fresh mani-pedi with stilettos for superhero-style espionage.

China is surrounded by a tight group of loved ones. These are characters that go through troubles. They support each other. The series gives middle-aged people something to embrace when typical pop culture never lets anyone age.

After reading some China Bayles stories, I noticed myself doing new things like planting small porch pots of pansies and herbs. With small steps come…

By Susan Wittig Albert,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Nominated for both an Agatha and an Anthony Award, Susan Wittig Albert's novels featuring ex-lawyer and herb-shop proprietor China Bayles have won acclaim for their rich characterization and witty, suspenseful stories of crime and passion in small-town Texas.

Now, when China's friend Jo dies of an apparent suicide, China looks behind the quaint facade of Pecan Springs and takes a suspicious look at everyone. And though she finds lots of friendly faces, China is sure that one of them hides the heart of a killer.


Book cover of The Last Picture Show

David Hight Author Of An Unlikely Messiah

From my list on fiction that examine the human condition.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m just a guy, a normal guy who enjoys thinking and writing about things that can nudge humanity along towards peace. If everybody thought just a little bit about it, we’d have it.

David's book list on fiction that examine the human condition

David Hight Why did David love this book?

I love this story! It’s a wonderful romp through the lives of the characters, characters who are like everyday people that we could know.

It’s at once bizarre yet relatable, imaginative yet real, and just all-around fantastic. This is a story that I thoroughly enjoyed reading the first time and one that I would read again.

By Larry McMurtry,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

This is one of McMurtry's most memorable novels - the basis for the film of the same name. Set in a small, dusty Texas town, it introduces Jacy, Duane and Sonny, teenagers stumbling towards adulthood, discovering the beguiling mysteries of sex and the even more baffling mysteries of love.


Book cover of Track of the Cat

Tina O’Hailey Author Of Dark Drink

From my list on unconventional, stubborn, loyal characters with explorer’s hearts.

Why am I passionate about this?

I chose my favorite books, and through careful psyche analysis, I see a theme in them: stubborn characters who persevere through miserable elements. I cave, hike, kayak, motorcycle, etc. A lot of it is not comfortable. It starts with having an explorer’s heart. It isn’t glamorous. It is 90% talking yourself into the fact that you can do something you at first don’t believe you can do. The similar-minded friends that one finds along the way are lifelong, and there’s a bond that forms from crazy people like this. That comes through in my writing – companionship against a backdrop of stubborn exploration in an indifferent environment.

Tina's book list on unconventional, stubborn, loyal characters with explorer’s hearts

Tina O’Hailey Why did Tina love this book?

It’s the love and respect of nature that gets me. First, the main character is a park ranger who is often out in the field alone. I wish I had known that was a career option as a kid. Second, she is courageous, headstrong, and dangerously stubborn—all my favorite traits.

I love a thriller that keeps the pace moving and ends each chapter with a sharp stab to the soul.

By Nevada Barr,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Track of the Cat as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

THE FIRST ANNA PIGEON NOVEL-WINNER OF THE AGATHA AWARD.

The fascinating hero of Nevada Barr's award-winning series-park ranger Anna Pigeon-has brought an unyielding love of nature and sense of fair play to the mystery genre. Track of the Cat is the acclaimed novel that first introduced readers to Anna, as a woman looking for peace in the wilderness-and finding murder instead...

Patrolling the remote West Texas backcountry, Anna's first job as a national park ranger is marred by violence she thought she had left behind: the brutal death of a fellow ranger. When the cause of death is chalked up…


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