26 books like City of Bones

By Michael Connelly,

Here are 26 books that City of Bones fans have personally recommended if you like City of Bones. 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 Farewell, My Lovely

Ray C Doyle Author Of The Defector's Diary

From my list on mystery thrillers ripped from news headlines.

Why am I passionate about this?

I guess my real interest in writing about the good and bad in crime and politics and the good and bad characters involved started with my first job as a junior in a local newspaper. The 60s was a time of great change. I was in the right place at the right time and got involved in reporting local government politics. I graduated later to cover Britain’s role within the EU in Brussels. I was fascinated, not so much by the politics but by the politicians and fellow news reporters involved. They inspired the creation of my fictional character, Pete West, a hardboiled political columnist. 

Ray's book list on mystery thrillers ripped from news headlines

Ray C Doyle Why did Ray love this book?

“I needed a drink, I needed a lot of life insurance, I needed a vacation, I needed a home in the country. What I had was a coat, a hat, and a gun.” The first line of one of the great Phillip Marlowe books that I fell in love with. 

As a young man, I often went to work with a Raymond Chandler paperback in my pocket. I couldn't put him down. I wanted to be Marlowe and talk like him. Chandler created a hero who taught me American slang language and how to talk the talk. The book follows Marlowe as he looks for the lost girlfriend of a guy just released from prison.

This is a wonderful noir work about a hard-boiled private detective. 

By Raymond Chandler,

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked Farewell, My Lovely as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The renowned novel from crime fiction master Raymond Chandler, with the "quintessential urban private eye" (Los Angeles Times), Philip Marlowe • Featuring the iconic character that inspired the forthcoming film Marlowe, starring Liam Neeson

Philip Marlowe's about to give up on a completely routine case when he finds himself in the wrong place at the right time to get caught up in a murder that leads to a ring of jewel thieves, another murder, a fortune-teller, a couple more murders, and more corruption than your average graveyard.


Book cover of Project Chartreuse

Christopher Church Author Of The Mythical Blond

From my list on LA detectives with complex emotional lives.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a longtime Angeleno, I’ve read a lot about the dark underbelly of our dysfunctional metropolis, both in the news and in fiction. I try to incorporate the City of Angels as a strong presence in my writing, and when I read other writers who have put Los Angeles at the center, it gives me a sense of things the way they really are, a glimpse at a deeper reality. I see the detectives in LA noir and crime fiction as inextricably intertwined with the city, their weaknesses, and their emotional quandaries emerging from this place.

Christopher's book list on LA detectives with complex emotional lives

Christopher Church Why did Christopher love this book?

I’d be afraid to meet this detective, Slater, in a dark alley, as he’s unpredictable and has a quick temper. At the same time I have to admit he’s the kind of guy I’d want to date. Smart and competent in his investigative work, Slater is a mass of contradictions, a textbook sex addict and in complete denial about it, plus he drinks too much. His pugilistic approach to the world evolves through the series, and in this book his slightly warped moral compass has him working to outsmart the cops to track down a violent conspiracy theorist.

By George Bixley,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Don’t mess with the hothead—or he might just mess with you. Slater Ibáñez is only interested in two kinds of guys: the ones he wants to punch, and the ones he sleeps with. Things get interesting when they start to overlap. A freelance investigator, Slater trolls the dark side of Los Angeles, rooting out insurance fraud, not afraid to use whatever means necessary to get things done, and not about to hold back with his fists. A queer antihero for a new age, Slater walks the line between ordinary life and the frayed fringes of society, keeping his balance with…


Book cover of Chiseler with a Glass Jaw

Christopher Church Author Of The Mythical Blond

From my list on LA detectives with complex emotional lives.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a longtime Angeleno, I’ve read a lot about the dark underbelly of our dysfunctional metropolis, both in the news and in fiction. I try to incorporate the City of Angels as a strong presence in my writing, and when I read other writers who have put Los Angeles at the center, it gives me a sense of things the way they really are, a glimpse at a deeper reality. I see the detectives in LA noir and crime fiction as inextricably intertwined with the city, their weaknesses, and their emotional quandaries emerging from this place.

Christopher's book list on LA detectives with complex emotional lives

Christopher Church Why did Christopher love this book?

I found this mystery unusual because there are two protagonists, the fledgling detective Truman and his reluctant friend Celeste. I grew up with a canny mother and sisters, and seeing Celeste tacitly guide Truman in his new career, using her broader understanding of the world, feels familiar. The pair confront a blackmailing bully and try to shut down his operation. Their hedonistic approach to life, even in the most intense moments, is lighthearted and fun, and any woman who’s had a gay best friend or vice versa will recognize the humor in the pair of them chasing the same guys.

By Chester Henry,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Chiseler with a Glass Jaw as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Never one to let a bully get away with harassing someone, Celeste intervenes with a knockout punch, and in the melee Truman winds up in possession of the bully’s cell phone. Through Truman’s inventive online stalking and Celeste tracking down the victim, they uncover a seedy nest of grifters bent on profiting from human misery. Truman gets involved with Isaac, a closeted lawyer with a quick temper, but how does he fit into the scam? Running down leads at hotel bars, hip boutiques, and a grimy body shop, Truman and Celeste go all in, posing undercover at a night club…


A House on Liberty Street

By Neil Turner,

Book cover of A House on Liberty Street

Neil Turner Author Of A House on Liberty Street

New book alert!

Why am I passionate about this?

Author Reader Traveler Inquisitive Family guy Writer

Neil's 3 favorite reads in 2023

What is my book about?

Meet Tony Valenti. His high-flying corporate law career just cratered. His society marriage blew up in a bitter divorce. He's returned to the Chicago suburbs to lick his wounds and regroup in the haven of the Valenti family home. But time to heal isn't in the cards.

Tony's elderly father inexplicably shoots a sheriff's deputy on their front porch. Nobody knows why, and Papa isn't talking. Then their house becomes an unlikely target for condemnation and expropriation by corrupt local officials and their cronies.

With money and hope dwindling, Tony steps up to defend his father and take to city hall, and quickly finds himself in peril when he unearths sinister connections between the cases. The audacity of the plot against them fuels a gritty determination to get to the bottom of what really happened—regardless of the risks and ultimate cost to himself. To win, Tony must earn his father's trust and outwit his wily opponents.

A House on Liberty Street

By Neil Turner,

What is this book about?

A father. A son. A murder.

Meet Tony Valenti. His high-flying corporate law career just cratered. His society marriage blew up in a bitter divorce. He’s returned to the Chicago suburbs to lick his wounds and regroup in the haven of the Valenti family home. But time to heal isn’t in the cards.

Tony’s elderly father inexplicably shoots a sheriff’s deputy on their front porch. Nobody knows why, and Papa isn’t talking. Then their house becomes an unlikely target for condemnation and expropriation by corrupt local officials and their cronies.

With money and hope dwindling, Tony steps up to defend…


Book cover of Bunker Noir! True Crime on Los Angeles's Bunker Hill

Christopher Church Author Of The Mythical Blond

From my list on LA detectives with complex emotional lives.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a longtime Angeleno, I’ve read a lot about the dark underbelly of our dysfunctional metropolis, both in the news and in fiction. I try to incorporate the City of Angels as a strong presence in my writing, and when I read other writers who have put Los Angeles at the center, it gives me a sense of things the way they really are, a glimpse at a deeper reality. I see the detectives in LA noir and crime fiction as inextricably intertwined with the city, their weaknesses, and their emotional quandaries emerging from this place.

Christopher's book list on LA detectives with complex emotional lives

Christopher Church Why did Christopher love this book?

As a nonfiction book this doesn’t involve a specific detective, but it covers an array of dark crimes that happened on Bunker Hill, a dense residential neighborhood of downtown LA that was razed in the 1950s. I’m always amazed when true crime stories read as more far-fetched than the cases worked by fictional detectives: bodies in trunks, drunken rampages, shootings, stabbings, dismemberments. So much mayhem happened in those twenty blocks in the few decades the neighborhood existed. If you ever get the wrongheaded idea that the past was more idyllic and innocent than our messed-up era, thumb through Bunker Noir—you’ll see how shockingly violent our predecessors really were.

By Nathan Marsak,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Bunker Noir! True Crime on Los Angeles's Bunker Hill as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Bunker Noir! True Crime on Los Angeles's Bunker Hill! Bunker Hill, that mysterious suburb of downtown Los Angeles, covered by ramshackle Victorian mansions, populated by an permanent underclass, hated by City Hall. Bunker Hill was immortalized by pulp crime writers (Chandler, Cain) and in film noir pictures (Criss Cross, Kiss Me Deadly) until City Hall had enough, and wiped the whole thing clean like a stain from a countertop. In its great grand noir years of twisted alleyways and long shadows, crime flourished. We here at Bunker Hill Publishing and Fishmongers, Inc. captured that historic crime in a magazine recalling…


Book cover of Plum Island

Janet Fix Author Of The Broken Soul

From my list on intriguing whodunits.

Why am I passionate about this?

Writer, reader, editor, reviewer, publisher… those are all parts of me. With a lifetime of experience in the “words” industry, I have a pretty good handle on what makes a book not just good, but hot. I say this with the understanding that each reader brings their own histories to the reading experience, and what one person may like, another may not. Nonetheless, I offer you my professional and personal favorites in the mystery/thriller/suspense categories. It is my sincere hope that you find these books as addictive as I’d found them. Superb and clever writing, engaging characters, unpredictable plots—yes, please! Though I occasionally step outside my comfort zone, I'm consistently drawn back to these categories. 

Janet's book list on intriguing whodunits

Janet Fix Why did Janet love this book?

Two words for this absolutely primo mystery: John Corey. Corey is the main character in this series by the same name, and Plum Island is the first book in that series by the amazing Nelson DeMille. This is one of those books where I will always remember the actual reading experience. Why? I often read into the wee hours of the night and the entire household was fast asleep. I hit a particular scene (I won’t spoil it), and I simply burst out laughing hysterically. I couldn’t stop, thereby waking everyone up. Turned out, there was a lot of good humor still to come, and the plot was absolutely high intrigue! I always recommend this book to anyone who likes their mysteries with a dash of humor. 

By Nelson DeMille,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

'...a page turning, high octane novel that's firing on all cylinders,' - EDINBURGH EVENING NEWS

'...a good old-fashioned murder mystery which keeps you enthralled till the very last page.' - YORKSHIP EVENING PRESS

NYPD homicide detective John Corey has moved to Long Island, restlessly recuperating from wounds received in the line of duty when he's hired to consult on the murder of Tom and Judy Gordon, biologists who worked on Plum Island, the site of animal disease research for the Department of Agriculture.

Were the Gordons murdered because they'd stolen some valuable new vaccine, or even a dreaded virus? They'd…


Book cover of Cover Her Face

H L Marsay Author Of A Long Shadow

From my list on classic English murder mysteries.

Why am I passionate about this?

I grew up binge-reading murder mysteries and promised myself that some day, I would write one too. A Long Shadow is the first book in my Chief Inspector Shadow series set in York. Luckily, living in a city so full of history, dark corners, and hidden snickelways, I am never short of inspiration. When I’m not coming up with new ways to bump people off, I enjoy red wine, dark chocolate, and blue cheese—not necessarily together! 

H L's book list on classic English murder mysteries

H L Marsay Why did H L love this book?

This is another murder mystery set in a quintessential English village and where we meet detective Adam Dalgleish for the first time. The day after the church fete, Sally Jupp is found dead in her bedroom, the door locked from the inside. I loved the way tension gradually builds through the story and how expertly each character is drawn. Nobody is who they seem, including the victim.

By P. D. James,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The first in the series of scintillating mysteries to feature cunning Scotland Yard detective, Adam Dalgliesh from P.D. James, the bestselling author hailed by People magazine as “the greatest living mystery writer.”

Sally Jupp was a sly and sensuous young woman who used her body and her brains to make her way up the social ladder. Now she lies across her bed with dark bruises from a strangler’s fingers forever marring her lily-white throat. Someone has decided that the wages of sin should be death...and it is up to Chief Inspector Adam Dalgliesh to find who that someone is.

Cover…


Book cover of Light Thickens

R. J. Koreto Author Of Death at the Emerald

From my list on mysteries in the theatre world.

Why am I passionate about this?

I grew up in New York City, practically within walking distance of the Broadway theatre district. My first show was the original production of 1776. Everything grabbed my attention: Ian McKellan in Amadeus, Patrick Stewart in Macbeth, Richard Dreyfuss in Julius Caesar, and Rex Harrison in My Fair Lady. In high school, I was an eager, if not especially talented, member of the theatre club. I became curious about the whole theatre scene, and what could be a better place for a mystery, where actors, directors, and scene designers are already creating an alternate world.

R. J.'s book list on mysteries in the theatre world

R. J. Koreto Why did R. J. love this book?

Marsh was one of the great mystery novelists, but her great love was theatre, and in this book, they come together. Few mysteries delve so deeply into the details of the theatre world. In this case, the play is Macbeth, and the murders behind the scenes eerily echo the violent play itself. The scene and setting are so gripping that it's impossible to stop reading and the ending is both surprising and satisfying. 

By Ngaio Marsh,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The bad news: This is the last in Ngaio Marsh's marvelous Inspector Alleyn" series. The good: It's one of her very best. The secret to Light Thickens' success may lie in its combination of some of Marsh's greatest passions, including her native New Zealand -in the person of, unusually, a Maori character - and the theater. Indeed, the plot centers on a production of...well, let's skirt disaster by calling it the Scottish play," a play that Dame Ngaio produced and directed several times. Among theater folk, the Scottish play is considered unlucky, so much so that tradition requires anyone who…


Book cover of The Invisible Code

Jacqueline Diamond Author Of The Case of the Questionable Quadruplet

From my list on unusual and heartwarming mysteries.

Why am I passionate about this?

Half a century ago (hard to believe!), as a young newspaper reporter, I began every day at a police station, reading the log and talking to the watch commander. Occasionally, I was able to contact the detectives as well. For me, the way crimes and criminal investigations unfolded, and the personalities of the officers involved, were multi-dimensional and touched with surprising, and often unexpected, moments of humor. In my reading as well as my writing, I seek a balance between authenticity and a sense of the absurd, without which the experience of solving murders—real or fictional—could become emotionally crushing. 

Jacqueline's book list on unusual and heartwarming mysteries

Jacqueline Diamond Why did Jacqueline love this book?

Although this isn’t the first entry in the Peculiar Crimes Unit series, it’s the first that I read, and it hooked me. What a great idea for an offbeat police series, cleverly handled and featuring two eccentric London detectives, Arthur Bryant and John May. In this mystery, two cases initially appear unrelated, and it takes quite a bit of sleuthing before the links emerge. Bryant and May must unravel encrypted codes and symbols, discover secret rooms and dig through baffling clues as danger mounts. While this series has a darker tone than some of my preferences, it’s engaging and rewarding.

By Christopher Fowler,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Winner of CrimeFest 2013's 'eDunnit Award' for 'the best crime fiction ebook published in 2012 in both hardcopy and in electronic format'.

Two small children are playing a game called 'Witch-Hunter'. They place a curse on a young woman taking lunch in a church courtyard and wait for her to die. An hour later the woman is indeed found dead inside St Bride's Church - a building that no-one else has entered.

Unfortunately Bryant & May are refused the case. Instead, there are hired by their greatest enemy to find out why his wife has suddenly started behaving strangely. She's…


Book cover of Artists in Crime

Caron Allan Author Of Night and Day

From my list on classic mysteries you still haven’t read.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have been reading cozy mysteries since I was 8 years old. That’s over fifty years now, and I love, love, love them. Partly it’s the history: the setting and era so different from my own, and partly it’s the mystery element, I love to try to get to the answer before the sleuth, so that I can nod sagely and say, ‘I thought so.’ It’s also about people going through tough times, and seeing how those times can make or break them. I relate so much to their struggles with everyday life, and trying to fit an investigation around romance or vice versa, often during wartime.

Caron's book list on classic mysteries you still haven’t read

Caron Allan Why did Caron love this book?

I always like to get in at the beginning of an ongoing romance/relationship and this is the one where Alleyn meets Troy, the artist and his future wife. Actually, no I take that back, it’s a spoiler, don’t pay any attention. What if she’s the killer? Then where would the rest of these books be? 

You might think Marsh’s characters seem no different than Sayers’, Christie’s, etc well-to-do detectives and their privileged suspects, but there is a difference here. There is tension between Alleyn, his traditional outlook, his job, and Troy’s more liberal leanings. But like any great couple, together they make a great, if not very romantic, combination. 

By Ngaio Marsh,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

One of Ngaio Marsh's most famous murder mysteries, which introduces Inspector Alleyn to his future wife, the irrepressible Agatha Troy.

It started as a student exercise, the knife under the drape, the model's pose chalked in place. But before Agatha Troy, artist and instructor, returns to the class, the pose has been re-enacted in earnest: the model is dead, fixed for ever in one of the most dramatic poses Troy has ever seen.

It's a difficult case for Chief Detective Inspector Alleyn. How can he believe that the woman he loves is a murderess? And yet no one can be…


Book cover of The Night Hunter

Rebecca Nolen Author Of Deadly Thyme

From my list on British suspense to keep you up reading all night.

Why am I passionate about this?

At twelve, my favorite thing to read were the tattered, dog-eared Ellery Queen, or Alfred Hitchcock Mystery magazines my aunt let me borrow. From there I read every Agatha Christie novel available, and so began a lifetime of reading British authors. I love suspense these days, and of course, every British detective series I can find to stream. To research my books I’ve traveled to Britain, and have visited with my cousins, my family never lost touch with, in Scotland and in Yorkshire. You’ve heard “write what you know”. I love to write what I love. That’s why I wrote Deadly Thyme set in Cornwall, England.

Rebecca's book list on British suspense to keep you up reading all night

Rebecca Nolen Why did Rebecca love this book?

In this book, the author uses a new character Elvira (her character reappears in subsequent books) who leads the reader forward in the first person, a breakaway from the usual (close) third person in the other books in the series. Her voice is so clear, you can’t help but fall in love with her strange quirks. She is a medical student and trained in body combat. Elvira’s sister has been missing for 59 days and she can’t get the police interested enough to take her seriously. Her sister was an adult after all and left with a packed bag. Anderson and Costello eventually do get involved as more and more young women disappear.

The action in this novel is fast and furious. It left me breathless at times. I had to put the book down and walk away a few times near the end it was that intense.

By Caro Ramsay,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Elvie McCulloch's sister Sophie has been missing for 57 days. She went out for a run - and never came home. Several young woman in the area have disappeared in similar circumstances, and Elvie's family fears the worst.

As Elvie is driving to her new job late at night, the naked, emaciated body of a young woman crashes from high above onto an oncoming car. Elvie recognises her as Lorna Lennox, who has been missing for weeks. But why was she up there? Where had she been all this time? And why was she running for her life?

Teaming up…


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