100 books like Escape from Sunset Grove

By Minna Lindgren,

Here are 100 books that Escape from Sunset Grove fans have personally recommended if you like Escape from Sunset Grove. Shepherd is a community of 11,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of One for the Money

Mike Player Author Of Hyperloop To Hell

From my list on funny stories (not just barely amusing).

Why am I passionate about this?

I used to make my grandmother laugh at the dinner table, to the annoyance of my mother. My grandmother had a great laugh I can hear to this day. In high school forensics I won the humorous interpretation trophy (first place) for a National Lampoon Parody I performed of the Hardy Boys, beating out 100 other contestants. I knew then, I could do standup, and later, improv. My comedy group in New York was called “wonderful…refreshingly different!” by the NY Post. I produced “The Outlaugh Festival On Wisecrack” years later for MTV’s LOGO network. When we’re all laughing is when we are truly together.

Mike's book list on funny stories (not just barely amusing)

Mike Player Why did Mike love this book?

Okay, Evanovich has written seven million Stephanie Plum mysteries, but they are truly funny. Best start with the first one, when we were all young and had golden hair (highlights?).

The humor is smart and not sophomoric. I’m an improv comic and there is a difference between being juvenile and crude, and being clever. Check her clever Plum series out if you want to laugh. There are so many of them you could also use them to build that upstairs addition you’ve been planning.

By Janet Evanovich,

Why should I read it?

12 authors picked One for the Money as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Stephanie Plum is down on her luck. She's lost her job, her car's on the brink of repossession, and her apartment is fast becoming furniture-free.

Enter Cousin Vinnie, a low-life who runs a bail-bond company. If Stephanie can bring in vice cop turned outlaw Joe Morelli, she stands to pick up $10,000. But tracking down a cop wanted for murder isn't easy . . .

And when Benito Ramirez, a prize-fighter with more menace than mentality, wants to be her friend Stephanie soon knows what it's like to be pursued. Unfortunately the best person to protect her just happens to…


Book cover of The Shortest Way to Hades

Kate Darroch Author Of Death in Paris

From my list on humorous murder mysteries.

Why am I passionate about this?

Living on Devon's gorgeous coast, I'm melding my lifelong love of reading Cozy Sleuths with my love of writing and years of living in foreign climes to write Travel Cozies. I also have a Vella Heist serial Found Money starting on Vella soon, and a Cozy Spy series They Call Him Gimlet coming out in the Autumn.

Kate's book list on humorous murder mysteries

Kate Darroch Why did Kate love this book?

Narrator Professor Hilary Tamar’s habits and character traits invite non-stop laughter; and yet amazingly the three young barrister characters are every bit as funny in an entirely different way. One of the barristers always carries the action; but Hilary is no Dr. Watson gasping at their brilliance; in every book, her perspicacity and specialist knowledge enable the murder motive to be unravelled and the murderer brought to justice.

These books are rich in comic dialogue, often given as indirect speech. Caudwell’s unique spin on technical legal language will have you laughing out loud. 

The storyline is enchanting. Without Hilary’s specialist knowledge of ancient Greek texts, there might well have been many more murders! And yet so cleverly is this charming novel plotted, that we almost feel her esoteric expertise is only what might be expected of any amateur sleuth worthy of the name.  

By Sarah Caudwell,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Shortest Way to Hades as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Everyone in the family had decided that changing the trust arrangement seemed the perfect way to avoid three million in taxes. However, when dreary cousin Deirdre has a mysterious accident after demanding a fee for her signature, the young London barristers handling the trust seek advice from mentor Hilary Tamar.

Julia believes it's murder; whilst Hilary wonders why the raven-haired heir did not die. But with more deadly accidents occurring, it is Hilary who is given the perilous quest of unmasking the killer.


Book cover of Getting Rid of Bradley

Kate Darroch Author Of Death in Paris

From my list on humorous murder mysteries.

Why am I passionate about this?

Living on Devon's gorgeous coast, I'm melding my lifelong love of reading Cozy Sleuths with my love of writing and years of living in foreign climes to write Travel Cozies. I also have a Vella Heist serial Found Money starting on Vella soon, and a Cozy Spy series They Call Him Gimlet coming out in the Autumn.

Kate's book list on humorous murder mysteries

Kate Darroch Why did Kate love this book?

Do you like some romance with your murder mystery? Then you will love Getting Rid of Bradley by Jennifer Crusie. Better known for her many bestselling romantic comedies, twice RITA winner Crusie had been writing laugh out loud love scenes for years before she turned to murder mystery. And boy does it show!

The pace is lightning fast, the dialogue a delight, the snazzy sister talk and keep your hair on cop talk metamorphose swiftly into a laugh-a-minute embezzlement and attempted murder romp. Does true love win? Ask Jake or Lucy. Or perhaps Lucy’s sister Tina, who will always take the opposite view. A well-plotted story that satisfies yet still leaves you wanting more!

By Jennifer Crusie,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Lucy Savage is not having a good week. Her cheating husband, Bradley, lobbed the final insult when he stood her up in divorce court. A dye job gone wrong has left her hair green. And someone is trying to kill her. To top it off, sexy cop Zack Warren is certain that the very same man Lucy is trying to wash right out of her hair is the same Bradley he wants to arrest for embezzlement.

When someone shoots at her and then her car blows up, Zack decides she needs twenty-four-hour police protection. Next thing Lucy knows, Zack has…


Book cover of He Do the Time Police in Different Voices

Kate Darroch Author Of Death in Paris

From my list on humorous murder mysteries.

Why am I passionate about this?

Living on Devon's gorgeous coast, I'm melding my lifelong love of reading Cozy Sleuths with my love of writing and years of living in foreign climes to write Travel Cozies. I also have a Vella Heist serial Found Money starting on Vella soon, and a Cozy Spy series They Call Him Gimlet coming out in the Autumn.

Kate's book list on humorous murder mysteries

Kate Darroch Why did Kate love this book?

My all time fav Humorous Murder Mystery (now out of print but still available currently in the anthology He Do The Time Police In Different Voices) British author David Langford's The Spear of he Sun is set on a spaceship. This gem is simultaneously a terrific Locked Room murder mystery; the best Father Brown story I have ever read (and I've been a Father Brown fan for decades); a wonderful cozy mystery; and a fantastic parody-pastiche of GK Chesterton, The Roman Catholic Church imprints, and Isaac Asimov's SF Magazine, all three at the same time. It's tears-of-laughter-pouring-down-your-cheeks funny, and a Hall-of-Fame-Quality of murder mystery if read straight. Don't miss it.

By David Langford,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked He Do the Time Police in Different Voices as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A collection of Langford parodies and pastiches incorporating the whole of The Dragonhiker's Guide to Battlefield Covenant at Dune's Edge: Odyssey Two (1988, long out of print) plus some 40,000 words of additional material.


Book cover of House on Fire

Kayla Perrin Author Of We'll Never Tell

From my list on surprise suspense twists.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m absolutely passionate about suspense stories, especially ones with killer twists. Maybe it’s all the crime shows I watch, but the motives for crimes are so wide and varied, and I love when the unexpected is explored in fiction. I’m also intrigued by stories about missing people and the myriad of reasons behind why they go missing–especially when things aren’t always what they seem. Whether it’s the missing who return years later or hints of them suddenly appear, I can’t help but get wrapped up in a story that keeps you on the edge of your seat guessing what might happen next! I try for great twists in my novels.

Kayla's book list on surprise suspense twists

Kayla Perrin Why did Kayla love this book?

All of the authors I love do twists really well, twists that make sense and blow you away–no matter how much you try to guess them. This story is set in the world of addictive pharmaceuticals and the desire to make a corrupt company that’s hiding secrets pay for the deaths of innocent patients. A whistleblower is killed early in this story, and this sets everything off. It’s fast-paced with so much action, including bullets flying in the Caribbean as the main characters risk their lives to get incriminating evidence. The ending…oooh, it doesn’t get better than a Joseph Finder twist!

By Joseph Finder,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In New York Times bestselling author Joseph Finder's electrifying new thriller, private investigator Nick Heller infiltrates a powerful wealthy family hiding something sinister.

Nick Heller is at the top of his game when he receives some devastating news: his old army buddy Sean has died of an overdose. Sean, who once saved Nick’s life, got addicted to opioids after returning home wounded from war. 

Then at Sean’s funeral, a stranger approaches Nick with a job, and maybe also a way for Nick to hold someone accountable.

The woman is the daughter of a pharmaceutical kingpin worth billions. Now she wants…


Book cover of The Watchman

K.D. Richards Author Of Pursuit of the Truth

From my list on big city private eyes.

Why am I passionate about this?

I write the West Investigations series, a romantic thriller series, centered around the men and women running a private investigations firm. When I began the series I knew I wanted it to be set in an urban city, not just because I’m a city girl at heart, but because of the eclectic nature, diversity, and color that can be found in the big city. Each of the books I’ve recommended below features a big city PI that jumps off the page, grabs you, and doesn’t let go for 200+ pages. 

K.D.'s book list on big city private eyes

K.D. Richards Why did K.D. love this book?

Joe Pike may live in the City of Angels, but he is as far away from angelic as a man can get.

The ex-mercenary turned sometimes PI is tasked with protecting a spoiled Hollywood princess in this gritty, fast-moving novel. Joe has little patience for doing things the conventional way and no compunction about using violence to get what he wants.

Even though his investigatory methods can be destructive, to both him and others, he’s a man you find yourself rooting for…and wondering about. A compelling PI who anyone would want on their team when it really hits the fan. 

By Robert Crais,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

'Packed with whiplash plot twists and taut dialogue...THE WATCHMAN is as good a psychological test case as it is a thriller' ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY

A long time ago, Joe Pike asked for help. In return, he would, one day, be called upon to return the favour, no questions asked. That day has come.

Joe Pike is asked to protect the life of Larkin Conner Barkley, a spoiled rich girl who happens to be a federal witness in a major case. But someone is leaking information about their whereabouts, and the killers are getting all too close. So Pike hatches a plan:…


Book cover of The Wanted

John L. DeBoer Author Of The Girl from Belgrade

From my list on thrillers that don’t skimp on character development.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a retired surgeon and have no expertise in espionage, law enforcement, or the legal system. But I enjoy thriller novels that feature these things, and I follow the adage, “Write what you like to read.” But I do have medical/surgical expertise and have followed another adage: “Write what you know,” so I have inserted medical situations into many of my stories and one of my published books is a medical thriller. What I like about thrillers is the ability to show each side of the conflict. The good guys against the bad guys, neither side knowing what the other is doing. But the reader knows, and this adds to the suspense.

John's book list on thrillers that don’t skimp on character development

John L. DeBoer Why did John love this book?

There isn’t a Robert Crais novel I haven’t thoroughly enjoyed, but I especially like the ones featuring PI Elvis Cole and his no-nonsense, stoic buddy Joe Pike. What is especially good about this novel is the character development of the two antagonists. Their personalities, often clashing with each other, make them more than one-dimensional killers, adding spice to the story—something I try to do in my own books.

By Robert Crais,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

'Just keeps getting better and better' Evening Standard
As addictive as Lee Child and as explosive as Michael Connelly - THE WANTED is the new thriller from Robert Crais, and a NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

Seventeen-year-old Tyson is a normal teenaged boy - he's socially awkward, obsessed with video games, and always hungry. But his mother is worried that her sweet, nerdy son has started to change... and she's just found a $40,000 Rolex watch under his bed. Suddenly very frightened that Tyson has gotten involved in something illegal, his mother gets in touch with a private investigator named Elvis…


Book cover of The Informationist

Julie C. Gilbert Author Of Money Makes It Deadlier

From my list on sassy or determined female leads.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a multi-genre writer who loves hearing the characters’ voices and getting their stories out there in the world. A lot of my characters are shaped by their gifts, whether they have supernatural ones or not. The things that happen to them shape who they are and how they react to future events. I exist on sarcasm, sass, and hot tea, so many of my characters do too.

Julie's book list on sassy or determined female leads

Julie C. Gilbert Why did Julie love this book?

It’s been a while since I read this book, but I remember thinking every place described felt real. It hits all the right notes of thriller with a fallible yet strong heroine who gets the job done, sometimes at great personal cost. Michael is as close to a shapeshifter as normal humans can be. She can become anybody. (Content warning – contains strong language)

By Taylor Stevens,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Governments pay her.
Criminals fear her.
Nobody sees her coming.

Vanessa “Michael” Munroe deals in information—expensive information—working for corporations, heads of state, private clients, and anyone else who can pay for her unique brand of expertise. Born to missionary parents in lawless central Africa, Munroe took up with an infamous gunrunner and his mercenary crew when she was just fourteen. As his protégé, she earned the respect of the jungle's most dangerous men, cultivating her own reputation for years until something sent her running. After almost a decade building a new life and lucrative career from her home base in…


Book cover of Hemlock

L.M. Jorden Author Of Belladonna

From my list on mysteries with poison plants to please a gardener.

Why am I passionate about this?

As the author of the Dr. Josephine Plantae Paradoxes, a historical mystery series based on my grandmother, an early trailblazing woman doctor, I stay true to the facts. I remember entering her apothecary filled with strange bottles of little homeopathic white pills, giant stills, and finding poisonous plants in her atrium. In my novels, Dr. Josephine Reva fights for woman’s equality and practices a mix of botanical and modern medicine, and moonlights as a sleuth to solve paradoxical ‘poison cure’ crimes. An award-winning journalist, author, and former professor with an MS from Columbia University, I studied botany. I currently live between France and New England with my family, furry friends, and lots of plants.

L.M.'s book list on mysteries with poison plants to please a gardener

L.M. Jorden Why did L.M. love this book?

Hemlock contains much information about this poisonous botanical, famous for killing Socrates.

The mystery revolves around the disappearance of a rare and valuable volume of A Curious Herbal by the botanist Elizabeth Blackwell.

There’s a novel within a novel framework, and the second novel concerns the difficult life of Mrs. Blackwell as she attempts to save her family from debtor’s prison by publishing her botanical treatise.

Interestingly, Sussan Wittig Albert is a successful self-published author, and very original. Hemlock is sure to please for its exciting dual-arc stories, both concerning poisonous plants.

By Susan Wittig Albert,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

From Susan Wittig Albert, the New York Times bestselling author of A Plain Vanilla Murder, comes a tightly crafted novel that juxtaposes the disappearance of a rare, remarkably illustrated 18th-century herbal with the true and all-too-human story of its gifted creator, Elizabeth Blackwell.

Herbalist China Bayles' latest adventure takes her to the mountains of North Carolina, where her friend Dorothea Harper serves as the director and curator of the Hemlock House Library, a priceless collection of rare gardening books housed in a haunted mountainside mansion that once belonged to Sunny Carswell, a reclusive heiress. But the most valuable book-A Curious…


Book cover of A Suitable Job for a Woman: Inside the World of Private Eyes

Ellen McGarrahan Author Of Two Truths and a Lie: A Murder, a Private Investigator, and Her Search for Justice

From my list on what it’s like to be a real-life private eye.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a private eye. No, I don’t carry a gun. Or trail around after cheating spouses. In fact, the job is way more interesting than that, in a truth-is-stranger-than-fiction way. So it’s a pleasure to recommend these books that tell private eye life as it really is. One is written by a private eye, three others are written about us, and one more is a remarkable investigation itself, but they all ring true about the mystery that is private detective work. On days when even I can’t believe my job, I turn to these books for inspiration, information, and reality checks too. I hope you enjoy them as I do.

Ellen's book list on what it’s like to be a real-life private eye

Ellen McGarrahan Why did Ellen love this book?

Fictional lady detectives are sexy and fascinating, we can all agree. But what about real life? That’s the question asked and answered in this non-fiction book by brilliant crime writer Val McDermid, who lavishes her attention and experience over nearly 300 interview-packed pages to explore all the ways in which private investigation is – thank you – a very suitable job for a woman indeed. “Smart, strong and sure of themselves, they walk the mean streets to their own beat,” Val concludes. When I think of my friends who, like me, are real-life women PIs, I have to say Val McDermid has done her detective work because that sounds exactly right.

By Val McDermid,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked A Suitable Job for a Woman as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

""But down these mean streets must go a man who is not himself mean, who is neither tarnished or afraid."" When Raymond Chandler wrote these words in his classic The Simple Art of Murder, he drew a blueprint for the male private eyes who descend from Philip Marlowe to populate the world of crime fiction.
But what if the private eye is a woman? And what if she is not a character in a novel but a real, working investigator testing not only the meanness but the absurdity of life on seamy streets? Who will tell her story?


Enter Manchester's…


5 book lists we think you will like!

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