89 books like Death's Detective

By Charlotte E. English,

Here are 89 books that Death's Detective fans have personally recommended if you like Death's Detective. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of The Little Stranger

Valentina Cano Repetto Author Of Sanctuary

From my list on horror books in which the setting is another character.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been a fanatic of horror, especially Gothic horror since I was about eight years old when I read all of Poe’s short stories. It’s the genre I read most often and the one I’m dedicated to writing about. For me, the most effective horror novels have a setting that is as rich and fully developed as any of the characters. You can battle vampires, zombies, and all of the other delightful monsters out there, but how do you battle what’s trapped in the walls around you? How do you fight a home that hates you? Or one that loves you too much to let you go? It’s endlessly fascinating.

Valentina's book list on horror books in which the setting is another character

Valentina Cano Repetto Why did Valentina love this book?

This book is a unique take on the haunted house trope that is just so striking. It has genuinely frightening scenes that don’t depend on anything but tension and careful pacing.

Sarah Waters’ writing is always a gut-punch of beauty but this novel, in particular, has roamed around my head for years. It’s so masterfully written. I feel like I’ve seen the house, lived in it, loved it just like the protagonist. 

By Sarah Waters,

Why should I read it?

6 authors picked The Little Stranger 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?

After her award-winning trilogy of Victorian novels, Sarah Waters turned to the 1940s and wrote THE NIGHT WATCH, a tender and tragic novel set against the backdrop of wartime Britain. Shortlisted for both the Orange and the Man Booker, it went straight to number one in the bestseller chart. In a dusty post-war summer in rural Warwickshire, a doctor is called to a patient at Hundreds Hall. Home to the Ayres family for over two centuries, the Georgian house, once grand and handsome, is now in decline, its masonry crumbling, its gardens choked with weeds, the clock in its stable…

Book cover of The Golem and the Jinni

Alison Levy Author Of Magic By Any Other Name

From my list on a mythical creature’s point of view.

Why am I passionate about this?

I love mythological creatures! I grew up gravitating toward fantasy books but because I have a narcissistic parent, I got teased for reading them. To avoid the teasing, I ended up reading a lot of mythology because that was a “safe” fantasy option; reading mythology was “educational” rather than “silly.”  When I got older, I discovered that there’s a whole category of fantasy books that retell myths from alternative points of view. This subgenre opened new doors of understanding and empathy for me. Reading old stories from new perspectives opens my eyes to a myriad of different types of people and broadens my view of the world. And I’ve been reading them ever since.

Alison's book list on a mythical creature’s point of view

Alison Levy Why did Alison love this book?

The story of two mystical creatures stuck in 1899 New York who have to make their own way in the world.  Despite their different natures, they become unlikely friends and have to work together to survive. 

While I enjoyed the perspective of both supernatural beings in this book, I found the golem especially engaging. Through her eyes, the reader gets an amazingly detailed view of turn-of-the-century New York as well as the intricacies of human behavior. 

The jinni faces different challenges—he’s lost a chunk of his memory—but he also has to adapt to life among people. Wrapped in a rich tapestry of historical details, the story walks us through their processes of acclimating to human society and facing the dangers of their pasts.

By Helene Wecker,

Why should I read it?

9 authors picked The Golem and the Jinni as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'One of only two novels I've ever loved whose main characters are not human' BARBARA KINGSOLVER

For fans of The Essex Serpent and The Mermaid and Mrs Hancock.

'By far my favourite book of of the year' Guardian

Chava is a golem, a creature made of clay, brought to life by a disgraced rabbi who dabbles in dark Kabbalistic magic. When her master, the husband who commissioned her, dies at sea on the voyage from Poland, she is unmoored and adrift as the ship arrives in New York in 1899.

Ahmad is a djinni, a being of fire, born in…

Book cover of Experimental Film

Paul Jessup Author Of Glass House

From my list on horror that will blow your mind (kaboom).

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve loved weird horror from a young age, and that passion only grew as the years went on. It all started when I was ten, and I got an anthology of classic horror for my birthday. Inside I read The White People by Machen, Cast the Runes by MR James, and The Colour Out of Space by Lovecraft, and I was hooked. Ever since then I chased that same thrill of the horror that is so out there and strange it just breaks your brain and changes you inside out. I have a feeling I’ll be chasing that obsession until the end of my days.

Paul's book list on horror that will blow your mind (kaboom)

Paul Jessup Why did Paul love this book?

Another fun bit of psychedelic folk horror, combined with a really cool history of the experimental films of Canada.

The narrator is compelling, and the whole time you feel the pull of her obsession to the film she’s looking into, even if it unsettles her and terrifies her at the same time. Love that pull of danger, wanting to look, to see, but knowing that doing so will probably kill you…

It's like horror novel catnip.

By Gemma Files,

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked Experimental Film as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The award-winning author of the Hexslinger Series "explores the world of film and horror in a way that will leave you reeling" (Jeff VanderMeer, author of the Southern Reach Trilogy).

Former film teacher Lois Cairns is struggling to raise her autistic son while freelancing as a critic when, at a screening, she happens upon a sampled piece of silver nitrate silent footage. She is able to connect it to the early work of Mrs. Iris Dunlopp Whitcomb, the spiritualist and collector of fairy tales who mysteriously disappeared from a train compartment in 1918.

Hoping to make her own mark on…

Book cover of The Girl in a Swing

Audrey Driscoll Author Of The Friendship of Mortals

From my list on giving reality a supernatural twist.

Why am I passionate about this?

In 1998, I met H.P. Lovecraft's corpse-reanimating doctor, Herbert West. I found him intriguing, but HPL's story didn't tell me enough about what lay behind his bizarre interests. Why did his friend help and support him? To answer those questions, I wrote four genre-blending novels, of which The Friendship of Mortals is the first. Through West's librarian friend, Charles Milburn, I explore their friendship, the choices they make, and how they deal with the consequences of those choices. The setting is a college town in early 20th century New England, but with a supernatural twist.

Audrey's book list on giving reality a supernatural twist

Audrey Driscoll Why did Audrey love this book?

I've re-read this book several times, trying to figure out if there was something I missed that would answer the questions raised in the final chapters. An English ceramics expert who values his orderly life meets a woman while on a business trip. He falls in love and marries her. Suddenly his life is delightfully disorderly, except for small, disturbing details. Strange things appear in or near the pleasant country home he's known all his life—a black dog, a child's toy, a voice on the telephone. All this builds up to a terrible revelation. I loved this book for its vivid evocation of atmosphere and emotion, from the idyllic to the erotic to terrifying.

By Richard Adams,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Girl in a Swing as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Alan Desland, who feels himself to be an ordinary and unremarkable man, falls passionately in love with the beautiful but mysterious German stenographer, Karin, who is sent to assist him during a business trip to Denmark. To his astounded joy, she returns his love - but their courtship and marriage will shake his life to its very foundations and test him to the limits of sanity.

About the Author
Richard George Adams (born 9 May, 1920) is an English novelist, author of Watership Down, Shardik, Maia, The Plague Dogs, Traveller, Tales from Watership Down and many other books.

When Watership…

Book cover of Jackaby

Amy Carol Reeves Author Of Ripper (A Ripper Novel)

From my list on to get your Sherlock Holmes fix.

Why am I passionate about this?

I think the lure of the detective novel lies in our human instinct to problem solve. There’s something satisfying about following a smart, observant, and even flawed character as they solve a crime. We’re working through a complicated puzzle, deciphering clues and theorizing, alongside the detective. Personally, I love detective novels set in richly drawn historical settings. I grew up addicted to Edgar Allan Poe and Sherlock Holmes stories. I remember reading The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins in a few days because I couldn’t put it down. The following books are a must-have for any Sherlock Holmes fans.

Amy's book list on to get your Sherlock Holmes fix

Amy Carol Reeves Why did Amy love this book?

This book has all my favorite detective fiction elements: a beautiful cover, an independent heroine, Abigail Rook, crime-solving alongside an elusive detective, R.F. Jackaby, and a solid plot that kept me guessing until the end. Set in late nineteenth-century New England, Rook teams up with Jackaby in a parallel to a Watson-Holmes relationship except this detective novel features the supernatural. Rook learns quickly that Jackaby stands out among detectives as he can see supernatural creatures. I love so much about this book, particularly the chemistry between Rook and Jackaby as co-investigators. This is a must-read not only for detective fiction fans, but for Dr. Who and Buffy the Vampire Slayer fans as well.  

By William Ritter,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Jackaby 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?

Alone and newly arrived in New Fiddleham. 1892, Abigail Rook finds work as the assistant to R. F. Jackaby, an investigator of the unexplained with the ability to see supernatural beings. On her first day, Abigail finds herself in the midst of a thrilling case: A serial killer is on the loose in New Fiddleham. The police are convinced it's an ordinary villain, but Jackaby is certain the foul deeds are the work of the kind of creature whose very existence the local police - with the exception of a handsome young detective named Charlie Cane - seem adamant to…

Book cover of The Revenant of Thraxton Hall

Sean Gibson Author Of The Camelot Shadow: A Novel

From my list on mix magic and mystery with history.

Why am I passionate about this?

I made the mistake of reading Dracula as an eight-year-old (thanks, Mom and Dad, for paying attention to what I brought home from school book fairs). Beyond disrupting my sleep pattern, there were two significant consequences to this decision: 1) I became enthralled with the intersection of historical detail, mystery, and magic, an enchantment that continues to this day; and 2) I ultimately majored in English literature, with a concentration in Victorian literature. To my professors’ chagrin, I put that education to use in concocting my own historically-based magical mysteries (sorry, Dr. Steinitz). But hey—I’ve always got good recommendations in this milieu.

Sean's book list on mix magic and mystery with history

Sean Gibson Why did Sean love this book?

While Sherlock Holmes famously debunked anything that had even a vague whiff of the supernatural (looking at you, Hound of the Baskervilles), the same can’t be said for his creator. Entwistle offers a brilliantly imaginative take on what might have happened if Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Oscar Wilde teamed up to solve mysteries in a world where the supernatural was very, very real. Atmospheric touches ranging from fog-shrouded, gaslit streets to mysterious moors are the perfect complement to witty dialogue, and Entwistle manages to weave in a fair bit of historical detail despite the rip-roaring pace of the story. 

By Vaughn Entwistle,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The Paranormal Casebooks of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle read like a volatile cocktail of Sherlock Holmes-meets-the-X-Files with a dash of steam punk and a whiff of London fog. Conan Doyle assumes the mantle of his fictional consulting detective and recruits a redoubtable Watson in the Irish playwright Oscar Wilde, who brings to the sleuthing duo a razor-keen mind, an effervescent wit, and an outrageous sense of fashion. Together, two of the greatest minds in Victorian England solve bizarre murders, unravel diabolical plots and unearth long-buried mysteries—each with a paranormal twist.“My murder will take place in a darkened séance room—shot twice…

Book cover of The Complete Sherlock Holmes Short Stories

Lauren Owen Author Of Small Angels

From my list on books to read in a haunted house.

Why am I passionate about this?

My interest in ghosts is partly due to growing up in York, which is one of the most haunted cities in the UK. In that city, I think that pretty much every pub has its own ghost, and if you’re unlucky (or lucky) enough, you stand a good chance of spotting long-dead Roman soldiers, plague victims, or ghostly dogs as you walk the streets. This atmosphere has seeped into my fiction; I have written two novels of the supernatural and am currently working on a third. I’ve also made a study of the grim and gothic in fiction; my Ph.D. thesis was largely about vampires (especially Dracula) but also strayed into other monsters and uncanny stories over the past two centuries. 

Lauren's book list on books to read in a haunted house

Lauren Owen Why did Lauren love this book?

When you’re jumping at shadows, Sherlock Holmes makes the perfect companion.

Real life, in the Holmes stories, has so many deliciously strange and romantic possibilities that there is no need to go chasing after the supernatural; even the oddest occurrence has a logical explanation. Maybe that spooky noise you just heard was just the house settling, after all. (Or maybe it was a swamp adder crawling into bed with you.) Either way, you can find comfort in echoing Holmes’s words: “The world is big enough for us. No ghosts need apply.”

By Arthur Conan Doyle,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Complete Sherlock Holmes Short Stories as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The Complete Sherlock Holmes Short Stories. This edition includes the five Sherlock Holmes Collections, bringing together the 56 short stories: The Adventures Of Sherlock Holmes, The Memoirs Of Sherlock Holmes, The Return Of Sherlock Holmes, His Last Bow and The Case-Book Of Sherlock Holmes. This book is a must have for any Sherlock Holmes lover.

Book cover of The Compleat Crow

William Meikle Author Of Carnacki: Heaven and Hell

From my list on occult detective collections.

Why am I passionate about this?

Even before I found Lovecraft and Stephen King and my world turned, I was raised on Doyle, Wells, Hodgson, and Robert Louis Stevenson which gave me both a love of the "gentleman detective" era and a deep love of the late Victorian/early Edwardian historical period in general. Once you merge that with my abiding interest in all things weird and spooky, you can see where a lot of my stories come from. There seems to be quite a burgeoning market for this kind of mixing of detection and supernatural, and I intend to write more... maybe even a lot more.

William's book list on occult detective collections

William Meikle Why did William love this book?

Lumley is steeped in both the occult detective and the Lovecraftian tradition, and it shows most clearly in this set of pulpy occult detective stories featuring his cerebral-yet-tough Titus Crow, and involving wild flights of fancy in time and space that also arguably show some influence from Doctor Who. We get a lovely creepy origin story here, and several vignettes, but the highlight is the longer tale of the mysteries of the wyrm, and festering, crawling things in an ancient manor house and its library. It fairly oozes supernatural evil and is one of my favorite things.

By Brian Lumley,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Titus Crow is an occult investigator, psychic sleuth and cosmic voyager. In this book 11 short stories featuring Crow are brought together. These stories were written before the "Cthulhu Mythos" novels and follow Crow as he explores beyond the frontiers where mortal man is not meant to tread.

Book cover of Snow So White: Urban Magick & Folklore

Bill Hiatt Author Of Haunted by the Devil

From my list on How bargaining with supernatural beings can ruin your whole day.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve loved reading ever since I learned how. Sometimes, that can be inconvenient. I now own over 8000 books, not including ebooks, so storage space is an issue. Fortunately, my heart space is not as constrained as my physical space. Anyway, given my keen interest in reading, it’s no surprise that I began to write. Though my reading tastes are wide, I mostly write in fantasy, my favorite genre. It’s an opportunity to explore new worlds and to use them to reflect upon our own. We may not make literal pacts with demons, but we all face temptation. Figuring out how to navigate our desires is a crucial part of life.

Bill's book list on How bargaining with supernatural beings can ruin your whole day

Bill Hiatt Why did Bill love this book?

I like how C. Gockel leads me to expect one type of story but then gives me another. I thought that Snow So White was going to be a retelling of a fairy tale. While the book does allude to the fairy tale, “Snow White” is just a nickname for Jack Frost, which in turn is a nickname for an identity the character himself can’t quite remember.

I’m also a big fan of the world-building. The story is set in a time when old technology has collapsed, replaced by a resurgence of magic. Other planes of existence now intersect with ours so that unwary travelers can meet anything from animal spirits to old gods.

The characters are equally diverse and include my personal favorite, a vampire who retains her humanity, likes to play with dogs, and reminisces about her long-dead family. It’s hard to make a vampire heartwarming, but Gockel…

Book cover of 666

Chuck W. Chapman Author Of Freak on a Moped

From my list on horror you’ve never heard of.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have been a fan of the horror genre since I was a kid. Even though sometimes I was so scared, I had to sleep with the light on or not sleep at all. Something about the darkness and the unknown has always seemed so alluring. I can't even count the number of horror movies I've watched or books I've read. That feel of the hair standing up on your arms or the back of your neck is a thrill like no other. 

Chuck's book list on horror you’ve never heard of

Chuck W. Chapman Why did Chuck love this book?

Most people know Anson from The Amityville Horror, but this is a whole other horror, and gratefully, totally fictional this time. A couple moves into their dream home (sound familiar?), soon, strange and frightening things begin to happen at the house with the ominous address. Things that have happened in the same house, at other locations, in other times. I read this book years ago and the imagery of the final chapters still unnerves me.

By Jay Anson,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked 666 as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

An innocent-looking but evil-filled house mysteriously appears at different times in different cities, each time waiting for the unwitting victim to rent it and then unleashing the terrifying force of the devil

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