61 books like Fer-de-lance

By Rex Stout,

Here are 61 books that Fer-de-lance fans have personally recommended if you like Fer-de-lance. 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 Death Comes for the Archbishop

Ernest Hebert Author Of Whirlybird Island

From my list on creating empathy and self-knowledge in readers.

Why am I passionate about this?

For me, writing novels is an attempt in metaphor to clear the ledger of unfinished business in my crazy, contradictory, sometimes funny, sometimes sad, and always messy mind. All the books I've written have long and often intensely personal backstories. All of us live two lives, a life in the world of things, relationships, and time (needs), and a life in the world we create in our minds (wants). When needs and wants come into conflict we have the elements that make a novel. I see my job as a novelist to provide an exciting story and plot that carries a reader through the material world.

Ernest's book list on creating empathy and self-knowledge in readers

Ernest Hebert Why did Ernest love this book?

I read Death Comes for the Archbishop when I was fifteen. It was my first encounter with literary prose that was not assigned by a teacher, and it changed my life for the better by giving me a better understanding of myself and the human drama. I thought at the time: This is the best book I ever read. I re-read the novel in 2017 and thought: This is the best book I ever read. There’s no sex in it, but it’s a love story between two men. Cather’s novel has guided my work as a writer for more than sixty-five years.

By Willa Cather,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Death Comes for the Archbishop as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

From one of the most highly acclaimed novelists of the twentieth century—"a truly remarkable book" (The New York Times),an epic—almost mythic—story of a single human life lived simply in the silence of the southwestern desert.

In 1851 Father Jean Marie Latour comes to serve as the Apostolic Vicar to New Mexico. What he finds is a vast territory of red hills and tortuous arroyos, American by law but Mexican and Indian in custom and belief. In the almost forty years that follow, Latour spreads his faith in the only way he knows—gently, all the while contending with an unforgiving landscape,…


Book cover of Remembrance of Things Past

Ernest Hebert Author Of Whirlybird Island

From my list on creating empathy and self-knowledge in readers.

Why am I passionate about this?

For me, writing novels is an attempt in metaphor to clear the ledger of unfinished business in my crazy, contradictory, sometimes funny, sometimes sad, and always messy mind. All the books I've written have long and often intensely personal backstories. All of us live two lives, a life in the world of things, relationships, and time (needs), and a life in the world we create in our minds (wants). When needs and wants come into conflict we have the elements that make a novel. I see my job as a novelist to provide an exciting story and plot that carries a reader through the material world.

Ernest's book list on creating empathy and self-knowledge in readers

Ernest Hebert Why did Ernest love this book?

I didn’t come into contact with Remembrance of Things Past until I was in my late twenties—and was immediately turned off. I thought, what a windbag and slammed the book shut. Later, I gave it another try. Then another. I never did finish Swann's Way and the other novels in Remembrance of Things Past. And yet Proust remains not only a powerful influence on my writing, but a guide in the practice of good prose. What has stayed with me were Proust’s long gorgeous sentences. Any time my writing slackens, or my vision falters, I pick up Proust. I read those long long sentences with my lips moving. They inspire me. They make me pay attention to the most important craft element in the writer’s tool kit—the sentence.

By Marcel Proust, CK Scott Moncrieff (translator), Terence Kilmartin (translator)

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

From the French intellectual, novelist, essayist, and one of the greatest writers of the twentieth century: The first two volumes of his monumental achievement, Swann’s Way and Within a Budding Grove.  

The famous overture to Swann's Way sets down the grand themes that govern In Search of Lost Time: as the narrator recalls his childhood in Paris and Combray, exquisite memories, long since passed—his mother’s good-night kiss, the water lilies on the Vivonne, his love for Swann’s daughter Gilberte—spring vividly into being. In Within a Budding Grove—which won the Prix Goncourt in 1919, bringing the author instant fame—the narrator turns…


Book cover of Enduring Vietnam: An American Generation and Its War

Ernest Hebert Author Of Whirlybird Island

From my list on creating empathy and self-knowledge in readers.

Why am I passionate about this?

For me, writing novels is an attempt in metaphor to clear the ledger of unfinished business in my crazy, contradictory, sometimes funny, sometimes sad, and always messy mind. All the books I've written have long and often intensely personal backstories. All of us live two lives, a life in the world of things, relationships, and time (needs), and a life in the world we create in our minds (wants). When needs and wants come into conflict we have the elements that make a novel. I see my job as a novelist to provide an exciting story and plot that carries a reader through the material world.

Ernest's book list on creating empathy and self-knowledge in readers

Ernest Hebert Why did Ernest love this book?

My book is a story about what often happens to some soldiers after a war, in today's lingo, PTSD. As one who is a veteran himself, I’ve always been conflicted about soldiering, war, the aftermath of war, and the American penchant for war. One book put it all into perspective for me, Enduring Vietnam by historian James Wright. Wright gives you the historical context that brought about the war; the politics that influenced the war; and the battles fought during the war. But he tells it all from the perspective of the soldiers who fought the war, from our fellow Americans and allies in South Vietnam, but also from the perspective of the enemy soldiers, the Vietcong and North Vietnamese.

By James Wright,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The Vietnam War is largely recalled as a mistake, either in the decision to engage there or in the nature of the engagement. Orboth. Veterans of the war remain largely anonymous figures, accomplices in the mistake. Critically recounting the steps that led to the war, this book does not excuse the mistakes, but it brings those who served out of the shadows. Enduring Vietnam recounts the experiences of the young Americans who fought in Vietnam and of families who grieved those who did not return. By 1969 nearly half of the junior enlisted men who died in Vietnam were draftees.…


Book cover of The First Man-Made Man: The Story of Two Sex Changes, One Love Affair, and a Twentieth-Century Medical Revolution

Ernest Hebert Author Of Whirlybird Island

From my list on creating empathy and self-knowledge in readers.

Why am I passionate about this?

For me, writing novels is an attempt in metaphor to clear the ledger of unfinished business in my crazy, contradictory, sometimes funny, sometimes sad, and always messy mind. All the books I've written have long and often intensely personal backstories. All of us live two lives, a life in the world of things, relationships, and time (needs), and a life in the world we create in our minds (wants). When needs and wants come into conflict we have the elements that make a novel. I see my job as a novelist to provide an exciting story and plot that carries a reader through the material world.

Ernest's book list on creating empathy and self-knowledge in readers

Ernest Hebert Why did Ernest love this book?

The First Man-Made Man: The Story of Two Sex Changes, One Love Affair, and a Twentieth-Century Medical Revolution has haunted me since I read it fifteen or so years ago. The book is about a woman, never comfortable in her skin, who participated in an experiment in the 1920s to turn her into a man. Kennedy informs us in dispassionate and informative language about the early technology that eventually led to today's transsexual revolution. But the part of the book that moved me more deeply was Kennedy's ability to report the huge emotional toll that Laura (later, Michael) Dillon paid as a pioneer in the movement. My own friendship with a gutsy coed who became a gutsy man along with Pagan Kennedy's book led me to create Trinity Landrieu, the larger-than-life detective in my book. That's how it goes with me: my writing is a homage to my experiences in…

By Pagan Kennedy,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In the 1920s, when Laura Dillon felt like a man trapped in a woman's body, there were no words to describe her condition; transsexual had yet to enter common usage. And there was no known solution to being stuck between the sexes. In a desperate bid to feel comfortable in her own skin, she experimented with breakthrough technologies that ultimately transformed the human body and revolutionized medicine.
Michael Dillon's incredible story, from upper-class orphan girl to Buddhist monk, reveals the struggles of early transsexuals and challenges conventional notions of what gender really means.


Book cover of A Connecticut Yankee in Criminal Court: The Mark Twain Mysteries #2

Fedora Amis Author Of Have Your Ticket Punched by Frank James

From my list on that bring a touch of humor to the Old West.

Why am I passionate about this?

I love history and I love to laugh. That’s why I brand myself as a writer of Victorian Whodunits with a touch of humor. I’ve spent decades learning about 1800s America. I began sharing that knowledge by performing in costume as real women of history. But I couldn’t be on stage all the time so I began writing the books I want to read, books that entertain while sticking to the basic facts of history and giving the flavor of an earlier time. I seek that great marriage of words that brings readers to a new understanding. As Albert Einstein said, “Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted.” 

Fedora's book list on that bring a touch of humor to the Old West

Fedora Amis Why did Fedora love this book?

I admire chutzpah. Of all the authors who channel Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Jane Austen, and countless others, I admire Peter Heck the most. He takes on the Herculean task of matching historical humor with our national treasure Mark Twain. Oddly enough, his example gave me courage, or at least permission, to try something other than historical whodunits. I wrote book-length magic realism and am seeking a publisher.

By Peter J. Heck,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked A Connecticut Yankee in Criminal Court as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Beneath the charm of New Orleans lay a mix of corruption and racism that had a black man set to hang for a murder he didn't commit. "Detective" Mark Twain, together with travelling secretary Wentworth Cabot, set about the dangerous business of finding out the truth that some wished to keep hidden.


Book cover of The Mark of the King

Jennifer Deibel Author Of The Lady of Galway Manor

From my list on to scratch your travel itch.

Why am I passionate about this?

After living in Europe for nearly 10 years, I’ve spent more time in planes, trains, and cars than I could ever count. I was able to travel more in that time than I ever dreamed possible, making trips ranging from Gibraltar to Romania to the Isle of Skye. Most of my time was spent all around Ireland where I took tour groups around to help them get beyond Blarney and experience the real Ireland.

Jennifer's book list on to scratch your travel itch

Jennifer Deibel Why did Jennifer love this book?

Travel back in time to 18th century France, then Louisiana in this sweeping historical romance Christy Award-winning novel. This epic story will not only fill your travel void, but also touch your heart with its uplifting story of faith, survival, and redemption. This is a multi-re-read for me because of Green’s masterful writing, making me feel as though I was right there with the characters.

By Jocelyn Green,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Sweeping Historical Fiction Set at the Edge of the Continent

After being imprisoned and branded for the death of her client, twenty-five-year-old midwife Julianne Chevalier trades her life sentence for exile to the fledgling 1720s French colony of Louisiana, where she hopes to be reunited with her brother, serving there as a soldier. To make the journey, though, women must be married, and Julianne is forced to wed a fellow convict.

When they arrive in New Orleans, there is no news of Benjamin, Julianne's brother, and searching for answers proves dangerous. What is behind the mystery, and does military officer…


Book cover of New Orleans Mourning

Jen Pitts Author Of The Key to Murder

From my list on getting to know mysterious New Orleans.

Why am I passionate about this?

My love of mysteries began with Nancy Drew books. As I read more mysteries over the years, I finally decided it was time for me to write my own. A setting came to me immediately—New Orleans. I fell in love with the city through the Anne Rice and Julie Smith’s books. To write my cozy mystery series, I read all kinds of books. I read them for pleasure, but to make sure the details are correct in my books, The French Quarter Mysteries. I’m able to enjoy New Orleans through my sleuth, Samantha. It’s the next best thing to being there myself.

Jen's book list on getting to know mysterious New Orleans

Jen Pitts Why did Jen love this book?

My love of New Orleans started with Anne Rice and my love of mysteries began with Nancy Drew books.

So when I found New Orleans Mourning by Julie Smith, my obsession with both was satisfied. Skip Langdon is a New Orleans native and police detective.

With wonderful details about the city and its residents, and great mysteries, I read through the series as fast as I could.

By Julie Smith,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In New Orleans, police detective Skip Langdon searches for the killer of Rex, King of Carnival for this year's Mardi Gras, a member of the powerful but tragic St. Amant family


Book cover of One Dead Jazzman

Phyllis R. Dixon Author Of Intermission

From my list on Books on musicians for those fascinated with musical history.

Why am I passionate about this?

I love music and books about the music industry. Fiction or nonfiction–the drama of a musician’s rise and efforts to sustain a career never gets old to me. I can relate to their determination to make a living doing something they love. Also, as a resident of Memphis, Tennessee, I’m fascinated by the musical history here and often meet people that had ties to the music industry and are now “regular people.” My latest novel Intermission is about a singing group. I’ve read numerous books in this genre, from Motown bios to the five listed. What a great way to combine my two favorite things–music and books!

Phyllis' book list on Books on musicians for those fascinated with musical history

Phyllis R. Dixon Why did Phyllis love this book?

This is a mystery set in the gritty side of New Orleans, back alleys of the French Quarter and neighborhoods that tourists don’t see.

The murder setup is well-written and the author keeps the reader guessing about the outcome. Music lovers will appreciate the references to real singers and musicians that are woven into the story.

This is the 7th book in the Sleepy Carter detective series. There are a few references to previous books, but if you have not previously read any in this series, you won’t be lost. Fans of Walter Mosely will enjoy. I love New Orleans, (there are many mouth-watering food references in the story) and this book takes me there.

Book cover of Fanny Newcomb and the Irish Channel Ripper

Sharon E. Cathcart Author Of Bayou Fire

From my list on set in New Orleans.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been fascinated by New Orleans ever since hearing Bobby Bare’s novelty record “Marie Laveau” when I was a child. I had wanted to visit for ages, and Hurricane Katrina made me despair of ever getting there. Now that I’ve been there, New Orleans owns a piece of my heart. When I set out to write Bayou Fire, I was determined to do it right. I read everything I could get my hands on, fiction and non-fiction, about 1830s New Orleans. I wanted not only the facts but the atmosphere. Furthermore, I made several research trips, not only to Crescent City but to the plantations. I immersed myself in the period and the culture to the greatest degree possible to bring an authentic tale to light.

Sharon's book list on set in New Orleans

Sharon E. Cathcart Why did Sharon love this book?

Fanny Newcomb is the daughter of a New Orleans lawyer. Having shunned a marriage proposal from her late father's partner, she comes to work at the Settlement House. There, she teaches reading, accounting, and other skills to young immigrant women in Crescent City. When her most promising student is murdered, Fanny starts looking into matters herself. Why?

One of the other women at Wisdom House, Olive Giddings, is a physician -- she was first on the scene and knows that Nora was strangled. Soon, though, the papers are claiming that Nora is the victim of the Irish Channel Ripper. And then, the House's German carpenter is arrested for the crime. So, Fanny has a vested interest in finding the real assailant and proving Karl innocent.

What I love about this book is the rich historical detail. We not only get a look at women’s roles but also at New Orleans’…

By Ana Brazil,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Fanny Newcomb and the Irish Channel Ripper as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"...a promising start from a new author" —Historical Novel Review.Winner of 2018 IPPY Gold Ben Franklin in Historical Fiction. Gilded Age New Orleans is overrun with prostitutes, pornographers, and a malicious Jack the Ripper copycat. As threatening letters to newspaper editors proclaim, no woman is safe from his blade.
Desperate to know who murdered her favorite student, ambitious typewriting teacher Fanny Newcomb launches into a hunt for the self-proclaimed Irish Channel Ripper.
Fanny quickly enlists the help of her well-connected employers—Principal Sylvia Giddings and her sister Dr. Olive—and together the women forge through saloons, cemeteries, slums, and houses of prostitution.…


Book cover of A Free Man of Color

Eleanor Kuhns Author Of Murder on Principle

From my list on historical mysteries with a dash of social commentary.

Why am I passionate about this?

I love the mysteriousness of the past. Learning dates or the importance of battles does not yield understanding. Skillfully written historical fiction can make a reader live history—in a twelfth-century abbey or nursing in WWI. The characters I find the most gripping are outsiders: a Black man always in danger of capture and slavery, and investigating the murders of the marginalized; a monk, once a crusader, who sees human frailties clearly; or a Victorian lady, restless under the constraints of her time, who marries beneath her. Why murder mysteries? Because, although murder is forbidden in almost every culture and every religion, we still kill each other. 

Eleanor's book list on historical mysteries with a dash of social commentary

Eleanor Kuhns Why did Eleanor love this book?

Benjamin January is a rarity in New Orleans 1830s; a free Black man. He is free because his mother is a place, the mistress of a wealthy white planter. Ben is educated and smart, but the casual racism of the times means he makes a living as a musician instead of a surgeon.

Despite his papers, he is always afraid of being kidnapped and sold into slavery, and that fear casts a shadow over his life.

When a beautiful quadroon is murdered, and no one cares, Ben’s sense of justice inspires him to investigate, despite risking his own freedom.

I love the exotic setting and reread every few years. I marvel at the way Hambly threads the mystery through this unusual culture.

By Barbara Hambly,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked A Free Man of Color as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This lush and haunting novel tells of a city steeped in decadent pleasures and of a man, proud and defiant, caught in a web of murder and betrayal.

It is 1833. In the midst of Mardi Gras, Benjamin January, a Creole physician and music teacher, is playing piano at the Salle d'Orléans when the evening's festivities are interrupted--by murder.

The ravishing Angelique Crozat, a notorious octoroon who travels in the city's finest company, has been strangled to death. With the authorities reluctant to become involved, Ben begins his own inquiry, which will take him through the seamy haunts of riverboatmen…


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