100 books like Fletch

By Gregory McDonald,

Here are 100 books that Fletch fans have personally recommended if you like Fletch. 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 Deep Blue Good-By

Danny Ray Author Of Serial Justice

From my list on when the long arm of the law isn’t long enough.

Who am I?

I have a lifelong respect for the true sociopaths among us who just happen to side with the good rather than the bad element in society. From Sherlock Holmes’ disregard for the shackles of Scotland Yard and the totally criminal world of Don Pendleton’s Mack Bolan I have cheered on my champions for half a century. My heroes share a common trait – the willingness to break the law to uphold the law. The 21st century has brought an entire new set of protagonists whom I consider to be arbiters of justice. While I believe in jurisprudence, I also subscribe to the tenet that most often the end justifies the means.

Danny's book list on when the long arm of the law isn’t long enough

Danny Ray Why did Danny love this book?

The first Travis Magee novel hooked me. The image of a beach bum, living on a houseboat won in a poker game was enough. But when that bum transformed into a more modern version of Don Quixote all MacDonald had to do was to play me, gaff me, and pull me on board for the remainder of the series. Magee takes his retirement in chunks, righting wrongs and recovering that which was stolen. His life is full of brawling, babes, and bodies. All good stuff for the reader. 

By John D. MacDonald,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked The Deep Blue Good-By as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Travis McGee, beach bum and 'salvage expert' (he'll retrieve what you've lost for 50 per cent), lives on a houseboat in Fort Lauderdale.Instead of taking retirement at sixty, he takes it in chunks as he goes along. If he likes you he'll help you, and he likes Cathy Kerr, who has been robbed of everything but her dignity ...the first in the series establishes the fast-talking, wisecracking standard MacDonald maintained for over 20 years.


Book cover of A Time to Kill

David Rohlfing Author Of Cold Consequences

From my list on murder mysteries to keep you entertained and guessing.

Who am I?

I have always been a voracious reader of murder mysteries and thrillers. My business career took me to all but one continent and countless countries, mostly living and working in large metropolitan areas. After retiring, I moved to a small Midwest city and found it an excellent setting for a murder mystery when I sat down to write. Since I started, I've written two books in the Detective Sasha Frank Mystery Series, and I'm currently writing the third. The first book, Deliberate Duplicity, won a 2021 American Fiction Award. The second book in the series is Cold Consequences. I've been pleased with the reviews on Goodreads and other platforms.

David's book list on murder mysteries to keep you entertained and guessing

David Rohlfing Why did David love this book?

A Time to Kill is the first book of a four-book fiction series written by world-renowned author John Grisham featuring Clanton, Mississippi, lawyer Jake Brigance. Grisham is one of my favorite authors, and although the titles in this series may not be as well known as many of his other books, A Time to Kill is an exciting introduction to this young lawyer. Set in a  time in the South that endured blatant racial injustice, Jake fights tirelessly for his client accused of avenging the rape of his daughter. Grisham's extraordinary storytelling shines through and takes you on a journey that defines his main character in this first book, which you'll enjoy reading in his subsequent books. I highly recommend A Time to Kill.

By John Grisham,

Why should I read it?

8 authors picked A Time to Kill as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

______________________________
THE MULTI-MILLION COPY BESTSELLER

John Grisham's first and most shocking novel, adapted as a film starring Samuel L. Jackson and Matthew McConaughey

When Carl Lee Hailey guns down the violent racists who raped his ten-year-old daughter, the people of the small town of Clanton, Mississippi see it as justice done, and call for his acquittal.

But when extremists outside Clanton - including the KKK - hear that a black man has killed two white men, they invade the town, determined to destroy anything and anyone that opposes their sense of justice. A national media circus descends on Clanton.

As…


Book cover of Ten Plus One

Deon Meyer Author Of The Dark Flood

From my list on old-school crime fiction standing the test of time.

Who am I?

I’m a South African crime fiction author. My books are published in 27 languages in more than 40 countries worldwide. Two of my books were turned into international TV series. Accolades for my books include Le Grand Prix de Littérature Policière from France, the Deutsche Krimi Preis, the Swedish Martin Beck Award, and the Barry Award for Best Thriller in the USA.

Deon's book list on old-school crime fiction standing the test of time

Deon Meyer Why did Deon love this book?

The late, great Ed McBain inspired a whole generation of crime fiction authors (including me) and influenced television too. Hill Street Blues was based on his character-driven novels and changed cop shows forever.

Ten Plus One is just one of the many in the 87th Precinct series, and as close to the perfect crime fiction novel that a mere mortal can get.

By Ed McBain,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

When Anthony Forrest walked out of the office building, the only thoughts on his mind were of an impending birthday and a meeting with his wife for dinner. And a deadly bullet saw to it that they were the last thoughts on his mind.

The problem for Detectives Steve Carella and Meyer Meyer of the 87th Precinct is that Forrest isn’t alone. An anonymous sniper is unofficially holding the city hostage, frustrating the police as one by one the denizens of Isola drop like flies. With fear gripping the citizenry and the pressure on the 87th mounting, finding a killer…


Book cover of Early Autumn

Gayleen Froese Author Of The Girl Whose Luck Ran Out

From my list on hard-boiled comfort reads for a disappointing world.

Who am I?

When I was nine years old, I joined a book club. The members were me and my dad. He’d throw detective books into my room when he was done with them, and I’d read them. We’d never discuss them. But that’s why hard-boiled detective fiction is comfort food for me and how I know it so well. I’ve been binging on it most of my life and learning everything the shamus-philosophers had to teach me. Now I write my own, the Ben Ames series, for the joy of paying it forward.

Gayleen's book list on hard-boiled comfort reads for a disappointing world

Gayleen Froese Why did Gayleen love this book?

Early Autumn made me cry from two directions. As a tween, reading about Spenser’s rescue of Paul, a shut-down, emotionally neglected boy that Spenser first assesses as “an unlovely little bastard”, I cried in sympathy and relief for Paul.

Over a summer, Spenser taught him skills, built up his strength and gave him the confidence to find his own dreams, before leaving him at the doorway to the life he now knew he wanted. As an adult, I cried with joy for Spenser, who connected with a stranger, taught what he had to teach, and changed a life.

Really helping someone in a lasting way is rarely so easy as it was in this book, but it’s a worthwhile dream and this Cinderella story gets me every time.

By Robert B. Parker,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked Early Autumn as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

“[Robert B.] Parker's brilliance is in his simple dialogue, and in Spenser.”—The Philadelphia Inquirer

A bitter divorce is only the beginning. First the father hires thugs to kidnap his son. Then the mother hires Spenser to get the boy back. But as soon as Spenser senses the lay of the land, he decides to do some kidnapping of his own.

With a contract out on his life, he heads for the Maine woods, determined to give a puny 15 year old a crash course in survival and to beat his dangerous opponents at their own brutal game.


Book cover of The Anderson Tapes

Deon Meyer Author Of The Dark Flood

From my list on old-school crime fiction standing the test of time.

Who am I?

I’m a South African crime fiction author. My books are published in 27 languages in more than 40 countries worldwide. Two of my books were turned into international TV series. Accolades for my books include Le Grand Prix de Littérature Policière from France, the Deutsche Krimi Preis, the Swedish Martin Beck Award, and the Barry Award for Best Thriller in the USA.

Deon's book list on old-school crime fiction standing the test of time

Deon Meyer Why did Deon love this book?

Sanders’ protagonist, the delightful New York Police Department Captain Edward X. Delaney, had the wonderful habit of building delicious sandwiches that he ate over the kitchen basin. From him, I learnt that crime fiction characters can be quirky. And what they ate said as much about them as what they said.

By Lawrence Sanders,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The explosive Edgar Award–winning debut novel—told entirely through surveillance recordings, eyewitness reports, and other “official” documents—by New York Times bestselling author Lawrence Sanders

New York City. Summer 1968.Newly sprung from prison, professional burglar John Anderson is preparing for the biggest heist of his criminal career. The mark is a Manhattan luxury apartment building with the tony address of 535 East Seventy-Third Street. Enlisting a crew of scouts, con artists, and a getaway driver, Anderson orchestrates what he believes to be a foolproof plan. To pull off the big score, he needs one last thing: the permission of the local mafia,…


Book cover of The Gold Coast

Joe Hamilton Author Of Right Place, Wrong Time

From my list on funny mysteries that'll keep you up at night.

Who am I?

I am a Canadian author of eleven mystery/thriller novels that combine suspense and humor, featuring unorthodox private detective Gabriel Ross. Pick a book from the series to step back in time to Biloxi, Mississippi, in the late '70s and early '80s. You'll get caught up in a fast-paced plot driven by compelling and unusual characters. There are elements of my books that I can directly attribute to the five books I've chosen.  

Joe's book list on funny mysteries that'll keep you up at night

Joe Hamilton Why did Joe love this book?

This is the 1st of two books by DeMille featuring wise-cracking lawyer John Sutton. Set on the ultra-affluent Gold coast of Long Island, DeMille masterfully plays up the romantic tension between Sutton and his wife while dealing with a mafia don who moves in next door. Lots of snappy dialogue and intrigue will keep you turning the pages. 

By Nelson DeMille,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The Great Gatsby meets The Godfather in this #1 New York Times bestselling story of friendship and seduction, love and betrayal.

"[Demille is] a true master." - Dan Brown, #1 bestselling author of The Da Vinci Code

Welcome to the fabled Gold Coast, that stretch on the North Shore of Long Island that once held the greatest concentration of wealth and power in America. Here two men are destined for an explosive collision: John Sutter, Wall Street lawyer, holding fast to a fading aristocratic legacy; and Frank Bellarosa, the Mafia don who seizes his piece of the staid and unprepared…


Book cover of Falling Angel

Gayleen Froese Author Of The Girl Whose Luck Ran Out

From my list on hard-boiled comfort reads for a disappointing world.

Who am I?

When I was nine years old, I joined a book club. The members were me and my dad. He’d throw detective books into my room when he was done with them, and I’d read them. We’d never discuss them. But that’s why hard-boiled detective fiction is comfort food for me and how I know it so well. I’ve been binging on it most of my life and learning everything the shamus-philosophers had to teach me. Now I write my own, the Ben Ames series, for the joy of paying it forward.

Gayleen's book list on hard-boiled comfort reads for a disappointing world

Gayleen Froese Why did Gayleen love this book?

Falling Angel reminds me of an end of the night dream—a hazy and disjointed story, with music I can barely hear and a puzzle I know I’ve solved before though, at the moment, I can’t remember how.

It shouldn’t be comforting, since it comes from a terrible place and goes to a worse one, but there’s beauty and mystery in the in-between and I want to bask there, like someone forever adding hot water to a bath to keep it warm. It’s a relatively cozy spot despite the clouds gathering outside and it feels like life to me, existing in a between place where I can’t stay forever.

An ending comes for everyone. But, for now, there’s still time and it’s okay.

By William Hjortsberg,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Filmed as Angel Heart by Alan Parker

An outstanding, spellbinding novel of murder, mystery and the occult, Falling Angel pits a tough New York private eye, Harry Angel against the most fearsome adversary a detective ever faced - one Louis Cyphre. For Angel a routine missing-persons case turns into a fiendish nightmare of voodoo and black magic, of dizzying peril and violent death - a world in which the shadow he chases seems to be the shadow he casts.


Book cover of Rules of Prey

Mike Lawson Author Of Alligator Alley: A Joe DeMarco Thriller

From my list on crime from authors who never disappoint readers.

Who am I?

I’m the Edgar and Barry Award nominated author of twenty novels, sixteen in my Joe DeMarco series, three in my Kay Hamilton Series, and my standalone, Redemption. Prior to becoming a writer, I was a senior civilian executive working in the U.S. Navy’s nuclear propulsion program.  My books are mostly set in and involve characters in Washington, D.C., because Washington is a target-rich environment for a writer—and now more so than ever.

Mike's book list on crime from authors who never disappoint readers

Mike Lawson Why did Mike love this book?

John Sandford’s books aren’t as “literary” as those written by Mick Herron or Richard Price, but I love his books for their pacing—they always start out with a bang—and for Sandford’s sense of humor. I also admire the way he’s aged the recurring characters in the Prey books, taking Lucas Davenport from a young man in his thirties to the age of almost sixty in the last book. You can’t go wrong with any of the thirty-plus books in the Prey series, and I’m holding my breath for the next one. 

By John Sandford,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked Rules of Prey as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

**Don't miss John Sandford's brand-new thriller Ocean Prey - out now**

#1 New York Times bestselling author John Sandford's 'haunting, unforgettable, ice-blooded thriller' - first in the Lucas Davenport series!

The killer was mad but brilliant.

He left notes with every woman he killed. Rules of murder: Never have a motive. Never follow a discernible pattern. Never carry a weapon after it has been used...So many rules to his sick, violent games of death.

But Lucas Davenport, the cop who's out to get him, isn't playing by the rules.

***Praise for RULES OF PREY***

'Terrifying... Sandford has crafted the kind…


Book cover of The League of Frightened Men

Gayleen Froese Author Of The Girl Whose Luck Ran Out

From my list on hard-boiled comfort reads for a disappointing world.

Who am I?

When I was nine years old, I joined a book club. The members were me and my dad. He’d throw detective books into my room when he was done with them, and I’d read them. We’d never discuss them. But that’s why hard-boiled detective fiction is comfort food for me and how I know it so well. I’ve been binging on it most of my life and learning everything the shamus-philosophers had to teach me. Now I write my own, the Ben Ames series, for the joy of paying it forward.

Gayleen's book list on hard-boiled comfort reads for a disappointing world

Gayleen Froese Why did Gayleen love this book?

As a kid, I didn’t want to be a princess. I wanted to be Archie Goodwin.

Archie’s the legman to genius detective Nero Wolfe, and he’s the most self-possessed guy I know. “I’m always at home,” he says, “wherever I am.” I grew up wanting to be that go-to person, given the tough jobs because I’m capable, and trusted because I’m decent and fair. I wanted a boss who said things like “I can dodge folly without backing into fear.”

In my real life, I muddle and compromise and results are tough to parse. In this book, and any Nero Wolfe book, it’s a better world. Things don’t work out perfectly, but they do work out brilliantly and Archie knows his work has been, in Wolfe’s highest praise, “Satisfactory.”

By Rex Stout,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Paul Chapin’s college cronies never quite forgave themselves for instigating the tragic prank that left their friend a twisted cripple. Yet with their hazing days at Harvard far behind them, they had every reason to believe that Paul himself had forgiven them—until a class reunion ends in a fatal fall, and the poems, swearing deadly retribution, begin to arrive. Now this league of frightened men is desperate for Nero Wolfe’s help. But are Wolfe’s brilliance and Archie’s tenacity enough to outwit a killer so cunning he can plot and execute in plain sight?
 
Introduction by Robert Goldsborough
 
“It is always…


Book cover of Ice Blues

Gayleen Froese Author Of The Girl Whose Luck Ran Out

From my list on hard-boiled comfort reads for a disappointing world.

Who am I?

When I was nine years old, I joined a book club. The members were me and my dad. He’d throw detective books into my room when he was done with them, and I’d read them. We’d never discuss them. But that’s why hard-boiled detective fiction is comfort food for me and how I know it so well. I’ve been binging on it most of my life and learning everything the shamus-philosophers had to teach me. Now I write my own, the Ben Ames series, for the joy of paying it forward.

Gayleen's book list on hard-boiled comfort reads for a disappointing world

Gayleen Froese Why did Gayleen love this book?

You know what I like about Donald Strachey? His boyfriend. I’m kidding—Strachey’s fine.

He’s a smart, tough detective in the hard-boiled tradition so of course I like him, but do you ever think way more of someone because they had the good taste to pick the partner they did? Timothy Callahan is a Jesuit-educated political aide, former Peace Corps volunteer and one of those characters who gets called a “moral centre” because they are one.

I was half in love with him before he (accurately) dissed Mother Teresa but I adored him after that. I came to the Strachey books for canny, realistic and never twee gay detective fiction but I’ve stayed for Timmy. He’s a soothing, reaffirming, hilarious wonder and you never know—he might smack-talk Gandhi next.

By Richard Stevenson,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Shocked to discover the body of the grandson of the godfather of Albany's political machine in his car, P.I. Donald Strachey knows he is in for trouble. But when he learns that the murder victim left a $2.5 million legacy with instructions that it be used to destroy that machine, along with a personal letter to Strachey asking for his help, his suspicions are confirmed. Faced with power-brokers at all levels, Albany's only gay P.I. tries to fulfill the dead man's mission-with his own survival at stake.


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