46 books like Hollywood Homicide

By Kellye Garrett,

Here are 46 books that Hollywood Homicide fans have personally recommended if you like Hollywood Homicide. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

Shepherd is reader supported. When you buy books, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Book cover of Get Shorty

Marjorie McCown Author Of Final Cut

From my list on crime about Hollywood.

Why am I passionate about this?

I've been hooked on the magic of storytelling since childhood, always eager to go wherever imagination can take me. I think that early fascination led me to become a costume designer because costume design is about using clothing to help tell a story. I spent 27 years working on the costume design teams for films like Forrest Gump, Apollo 13, Angels & Demons, and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. When I decided to take what felt like a logical creative step, to write my own stories, I knew I wanted to write murder mysteries. And I thought the world behind the scenes of a movie would make the perfect setting.   

Marjorie's book list on crime about Hollywood

Marjorie McCown Why did Marjorie love this book?

Elmore Leonard knew the vagaries of the movie business back to front, and he serves them up on a platter of delicious satire in this story about an East Coast loan shark, Chili Palmer, who comes to Los Angeles chasing a deadbeat debtor and winds up in his own fractured fairy tale version of the Hollywood dream.

Chili’s an endearing character, street smart with a unique blend of humility and self-confidence. When his collection job throws him into company with a group of movie people, he sees them and their milieu with clear-eyed objectivity.

Talking to an underworld associate, he says, “The movie business, you can do anything you want because there’s nobody in charge.” Leonard’s mastery of dialogue and character, along with his wit and sly affection for the industry he’s skewering combine to make this book a complete delight. 

By Elmore Leonard,

Why should I read it?

7 authors picked Get Shorty as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A thriller filled with Leonard's signatures - scathing wit, crackling dialogue, twisted plot, mad scams - and set in the drug sodden world of Hollywood.


Book cover of Arsenic and Adobo

Amy Suiter Clarke Author Of Lay Your Body Down

From my list on amateur sleuths who have no idea what they’re doing.

Why am I passionate about this?

I like to write about everyday people who—whether by overconfidence or desperation—are motivated to solve crimes that hit close to home. My first novel Girl, 11 is about a true crime podcaster investigating a serial killer who terrorized her town decades earlier, and my newest book Lay Your Body Down is about an ex-fundamentalist Christian who returns to her insular community to expose the church’s secrets and uncover the truth of who killed the man she once loved. Normal people can and do solve mysteries before police—and even when detectives are involved, they rely on members of the community. Those are the stories I love to tell.

Amy's book list on amateur sleuths who have no idea what they’re doing

Amy Suiter Clarke Why did Amy love this book?

Oh my goodness, first of all: this book will make you so hungry. So, be prepared for that.

Taking place in a warm, intimate Filipino restaurant outside Chicago, Arsenic and Adobo forces recently dumped Lila Macapagal into action after a brutal restaurant critic (who just so happens to be her ex-boyfriend) drops dead while eating her aunt’s food.

She and Tita Rosie are the main suspects, so Lila has to put on her amateur sleuth hat and figure out what really happened to stay out of jail and save her aunt’s business. Arsenic and Adobo is funny, charming, and layered with enough sweetness and spice to keep you devouring it until the last crumb. 

By Mia P. Manansala,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Arsenic and Adobo as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A RUSA Award-winning novel!

The first book in a new culinary cozy series full of sharp humor and delectable dishes—one that might just be killer....

When Lila Macapagal moves back home to recover from a horrible breakup, her life seems to be following all the typical rom-com tropes. She's tasked with saving her Tita Rosie's failing restaurant, and she has to deal with a group of matchmaking aunties who shower her with love and judgment. But when a notoriously nasty food critic (who happens to be her ex-boyfriend) drops dead moments after a confrontation with Lila, her life quickly swerves…


Book cover of The Maltese Falcon

T.R. Napper Author Of 36 Streets

From my list on broken heroes.

Why am I passionate about this?

Not only am I a cyberpunk writer, I’m officially a Doctor of Cyberpunk. My Ph.D. thesis, The Dark Century: 1946–2046, looked at hardboiled fiction, film noir, and tech-noir (AKA cyberpunk) traditions across the past, the present, and an imagined future. It was a radical break from my previous career as an aid worker, where I ran poverty alleviation programs throughout Southeast Asia. And yet, I’ve drawn on that experience in my prose, using the experience of the cultures that I lived and worked in to breathe life into the settings for my short stories and novels. 

T.R.'s book list on broken heroes

T.R. Napper Why did T.R. love this book?

Dashiell Hammett, more than any other author, created the hardboiled anti-hero. He’s also a damn fine prose writer. I re-read one of his books every year because of this, hoping perhaps to absorb his spare, elegant style. Each sentence is brutally trimmed of any excess and yet resonates with layered meaning. 

Dashiell Hammett himself was a broken hero. He fought in two World Wars for his country and yet was sent to jail by the committee for un-American activities for refusing to name names. He was a communist, who yet, as a young man, worked for the fascist, union-busting Pinkertons.

A complex, troubled individual who created dark and cynical worlds, and none more cynical than that of The Maltese Falcon. Here, we have a femme fatale, a hardboiled detective, gangsters, and conmen, all vying for the titular prize. It is a mean-streets masterpiece. 

By Dashiell Hammett,

Why should I read it?

8 authors picked The Maltese Falcon as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

One of the greatest crime novels of the 20th century.

'His name remains one of the most important and recognisable in the crime fiction genre. Hammett set the standard for much of the work that would follow' Independent

Sam Spade is hired by the fragrant Miss Wonderley to track down her sister, who has eloped with a louse called Floyd Thursby. But Miss Wonderley is in fact the beautiful and treacherous Brigid O'Shaughnessy, and when Spade's partner Miles Archer is shot while on Thursby's trail, Spade finds himself both hunter and hunted: can he track down the jewel-encrusted bird, a…


Book cover of Looking for Rachel Wallace

Gary Earl Ross Author Of Nickel City Blues

From my list on mysteries that make characters of cities.

Why am I passionate about this?

Our home was full of books. My mother routinely passed books to her firstborn, me. While she read widely, she loved mysteries, so I grew up devouring both classics and lesser-known whodunnits. Many of those novels had strong enough descriptions of their cities that I felt like a visitor. But most were set in places like New York and Los Angeles, never my home town, Buffalo, and never with an African-American hero. After my 2013 retirement from an English professorship, I began writing the Nickel City mysteries to add a new hero to the PI pantheon and showcase my birthplace, nicknamed for the buffalo head nickel.

Gary's book list on mysteries that make characters of cities

Gary Earl Ross Why did Gary love this book?

Street names, the Charles River, bridges, the Back Bay, the Public Gardens, actual hotels and restaurants—Robert B. Parker’s forty Spenser novels make Boston so much a character that Parker wrote Spenser’s Boston. The sixth novel in the series, published in 1980, has Spenser searching for a missing lesbian activist who’s been kidnapped by an anti-gay group. Like Buffalo, Boston sometimes gets a lot of snow. Unlike Buffalo, which is not the snowiest city in New York but is depicted as such, Boston is not known as a snow capital. That Spenser must search during a blizzard is a welcome dose of realism.

By Robert B. Parker,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Looking for Rachel Wallace as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

“Crackling dialogue, plenty of action, and expert writing.”—The New York Times

Rachel Wallace is a tough young woman with a lot of enemies. 

Spenser is a tough guy with a macho code of honor, hired to protect a woman who thinks that kind of code is obsolete. Privately, they will never see eye to eye.

But when Rachel vanishes. Spenser is ready to lay his life on the line—to find Rachel Wallace.

“A rare kind of book.”—Chicago Sun-Times


Book cover of Deadlock

Catyana Skory Falsetti Author Of Facing Death: A Julia Rawson Mystery

From my list on solve mysteries & learn something at the same time.

Why am I passionate about this?

I've always wanted to be a detective. I remember writing stories on my mom's old typewriter and playing pretend investigator with my childhood friend. I have had an appetite for stories and mysteries for as long as I remember. I was intrigued by human behavior and had the desire to find justice. This led me to study forensics and use my fine art ability and critical mind to get answers for victims and their families. I have a Master's Degree in Forensic Science and years of government and experience as a forensic artist and investigator, making my writing as authentic as possible. My story and personal struggles, and life's discoveries are highlighted by my stories.

Catyana's book list on solve mysteries & learn something at the same time

Catyana Skory Falsetti Why did Catyana love this book?

As someone who has never been to Chicago and knew nothing about the Great Lakes shipping industry, the book was fascinating in so many ways. Sara Paretsky has a compelling, strong female lead but also takes us places we never conceived of. Paretsky’s murder investigation is thrilling, and the characters are well crafted and ones that the reader will care about. It is an excellent book that has stayed in my memory for decades.

By Sara Paretsky,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

'Who're you working for then, Warshawski?' 'My cousin.' 'Boom Boom? He's dead.' 'I know. That's why I'm working for him.'

Boom Boom's body was found floating near the docks, chewed up and spat out by a ship's propeller. More like brother and sister than cousins, Vic and Boom Boom looked out for each other. Boom Boom grew up to be an ice hockey hero, and Vic a private eye. And now V.I. Warshawski would like to know how, exactly, her cousin died . . .


Book cover of The Long Fall

Gary Earl Ross Author Of Nickel City Blues

From my list on mysteries that make characters of cities.

Why am I passionate about this?

Our home was full of books. My mother routinely passed books to her firstborn, me. While she read widely, she loved mysteries, so I grew up devouring both classics and lesser-known whodunnits. Many of those novels had strong enough descriptions of their cities that I felt like a visitor. But most were set in places like New York and Los Angeles, never my home town, Buffalo, and never with an African-American hero. After my 2013 retirement from an English professorship, I began writing the Nickel City mysteries to add a new hero to the PI pantheon and showcase my birthplace, nicknamed for the buffalo head nickel.

Gary's book list on mysteries that make characters of cities

Gary Earl Ross Why did Gary love this book?

In 2009, after years of writing Easy Rawlins novels set in a past Los Angeles, Walter Mosley began a new series set in contemporary New York. African-American Leonid McGill is a hard PI, with a complex seamy past who aspires to become a better person, despite the pressures of being a husband and family man caught in a near-loveless marriage. The New York in which McGill lives and struggles is the upscale but still gritty descendant of earlier versions of the city in the Mike Hammer novels of Mickey Spillane and the Matthew Scudder novels of Buffalo-born Lawrence Block. It is a land of wealth and culture but danger and deceit.

By Walter Mosley,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The widely praised New York Times bestseller, and Mosley's first new series since his acclaimed Easy Rawlins novels...

Leonid McGill is an ex-boxer and a hard drinker looking to clean up his act. He's an old-school P.I. working a New York City that's gotten a little too fancy all around him. But it's still full of dirty secrets, and as McGill unearths them, his commitment to the straight and narrow is going to be tested to the limit...


Book cover of Last Looks

Marjorie McCown Author Of Final Cut

From my list on crime about Hollywood.

Why am I passionate about this?

I've been hooked on the magic of storytelling since childhood, always eager to go wherever imagination can take me. I think that early fascination led me to become a costume designer because costume design is about using clothing to help tell a story. I spent 27 years working on the costume design teams for films like Forrest Gump, Apollo 13, Angels & Demons, and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. When I decided to take what felt like a logical creative step, to write my own stories, I knew I wanted to write murder mysteries. And I thought the world behind the scenes of a movie would make the perfect setting.   

Marjorie's book list on crime about Hollywood

Marjorie McCown Why did Marjorie love this book?

Charlie Waldo, the reluctant hero of this debut novel by a former TV writer, lives in self-imposed exile in the San Jacinto Mountains with a flock of chickens and the one hundred things he allows himself to own – a conundrum he continually struggles with (is a pair of socks one thing or two?).

Waldo is doing penance for his former life as a hotshot LAPD detective when his aggressive tactics put an innocent man in prison for life.

But Charlie’s world is upended when his ex-girlfriend, private investigator Lorena Nascimento, embroils him in a murder investigation involving TV star Alastair Pinch who may or may not have killed his wife. Alastair, a blackout drunk, can’t remember.

Charlie is complicated, funny, empathetic, and (it turns out) still a dogged and skillful investigator. The story is entertaining and unexpected – well worth a read!

By Howard Michael Gould,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

NOW A MAJOR MOTION PICTURE!

A razor-sharp, exquisitely paced, madly fun debut thriller that gleefully lampoons Hollywood culture and introduces the highly eccentric yet brilliant ex-detective gone rogue: Charlie Waldo

There are run-of-the-mill eccentric Californians, and then there's former detective Charlie Waldo.

Waldo, a onetime LAPD superstar, now lives in solitude deep in the woods, pathologically committed to owning no more than one hundred possessions. He has left behind his career and his girlfriend, Lorena, to pay self-imposed penance for an awful misstep on a pivotal murder case. But the old ghosts are about to come roaring back.

There are…


Book cover of Lost Light

Marjorie McCown Author Of Final Cut

From my list on crime about Hollywood.

Why am I passionate about this?

I've been hooked on the magic of storytelling since childhood, always eager to go wherever imagination can take me. I think that early fascination led me to become a costume designer because costume design is about using clothing to help tell a story. I spent 27 years working on the costume design teams for films like Forrest Gump, Apollo 13, Angels & Demons, and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. When I decided to take what felt like a logical creative step, to write my own stories, I knew I wanted to write murder mysteries. And I thought the world behind the scenes of a movie would make the perfect setting.   

Marjorie's book list on crime about Hollywood

Marjorie McCown Why did Marjorie love this book?

In the ninth book featuring Connelly’s iconic character, (now retired) LAPD detective Harry Bosch, the quintessential modern knight errant is working a case that’s haunted him for years – the murder of Angella Benton.

Her death might be linked to a bold and bloody robbery of 2 million dollars from a movie set where she worked as a production assistant, but neither crime was ever solved. Now Harry is intent on finding Angella’s killer.

The story is set against the backdrop of the movie industry and the celebrity-obsessed culture of Hollywood. Unimpressed by the trappings of power, Harry follows his instincts, led only by his guiding principle, “Everybody counts or nobody counts.”

But this time, he’s on his own without a badge or backup, and when his investigation hits very close to home, Harry finds himself facing brutal enemies determined to strike him down. 

By Michael Connelly,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Award-winning No.1 bestselling author Michael Connelly's ninth Bosch book. Hieronymus (Harry) Bosch has retired from the Los Angeles Police Department - but the discovery of a startling unsolved murder among his old case files means he cannot rest until he finds the killer.

When he left the LAPD, Bosch took a file with him: the case of a production assistant murdered four years earlier during a movie set robbery. The LAPD thinks the stolen money was used to finance a terrorist training camp. Thoughts of the original murder victim were lost in the federal zeal, and when Bosch decides to…


Book cover of The Barbarous Coast

Marjorie McCown Author Of Final Cut

From my list on crime about Hollywood.

Why am I passionate about this?

I've been hooked on the magic of storytelling since childhood, always eager to go wherever imagination can take me. I think that early fascination led me to become a costume designer because costume design is about using clothing to help tell a story. I spent 27 years working on the costume design teams for films like Forrest Gump, Apollo 13, Angels & Demons, and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. When I decided to take what felt like a logical creative step, to write my own stories, I knew I wanted to write murder mysteries. And I thought the world behind the scenes of a movie would make the perfect setting.   

Marjorie's book list on crime about Hollywood

Marjorie McCown Why did Marjorie love this book?

This twisty, hypnotic story by the great Ross Macdonald focuses on the dark side of the Hollywood dream.

Private detective Lew Archer is drawn into the search for a missing woman, Hester Campbell-Wall, who seemed poised on the cusp of success via an oblique connection to Helio-Graff Studios when she vanished after a frantic phone call to her estranged husband.

Against his better judgment Archer agrees to look for Hester, a quest that pits him against the powerful and corrupt studio head, Simon Graff. The book is full of complex characters who are neither all good nor all bad, despite their acts of betrayal, deceit, and even murder.

That’s what makes them so poignant and believable: in various ways, they are all broken by dreams that didn’t come true. 

By Ross Macdonald,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The beautiful, high-diving blonde had Hollywood dreams and stars in her eyes but now she seems to have disappeared without a trace. Hired by her hotheaded husband and her rummy “uncle,” Lew Archer sniffs around Malibu and finds the stink of blackmail, blood-money, and murder on every pricey silk shirt. Beset by dirty cops, a bumptious boxer turned silver screen pretty boy and a Hollywood mogul with a dark past, Archer discovers the secret of a grisly murder that just won't stay hidden.Lew Archer navigates through the watery, violent world of wealth and privilege, in this electrifying story of obsession…


Book cover of Scot Mist

Rob Osler Author Of Devil's Chew Toy

From my list on whodunits with highly entertaining amateur sleuths.

Why am I passionate about this?

My first book love was Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None. The game between author and reader that centers a whodunit has always delighted me. The breadcrumb trail of clues, the misdirection, the inevitable I should have seen it! are my jam. Now an author of whodunits—I have one series published and a second on the way, along with several short stories – I read mysteries with greater scrutiny—in admiration and with a selfish desire to learn from other authors’ envious talents. Each of the books on my list excited me for their excellent storytelling. In the end, I found them just plain entertaining. I hope you do too!

Rob's book list on whodunits with highly entertaining amateur sleuths

Rob Osler Why did Rob love this book?

A flat-out clinic on how to infuse humor in mystery! Author Catriona McPherson is hilarious, both in person and on the page.

I am continually amazed by her ability to create fully realized characters, like series star Lexy Campbell, who read so true on the page while being laugh-out-loud funny. Oh! And I also greatly admire the plotting of each terrific installment in this long-running Last Ditch Mystery series.

To me, the discovery of a top-notch series is a gift that keeps on giving. I hope this one keeps it up for a long time.

By Catriona McPherson,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Despite efforts to create a safe environment to see out the pandemic, the residents of the Last Ditch Motel face more dangers than they imagined possible in this hilarious yet claustrophobic mystery.

March 2020 and Operation Cocker is a go! The owners of the Last Ditch Motel, with a little help from their friend Lexy Campbell, are preparing to support one another through the oncoming lockdown, offering the motel's spare rooms to a select few from the local area in need of sanctuary.

While the newbies are settling in, an ambiguous banner appears demanding one of them return home. But…


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in private investigators, murder, and murder mystery?

10,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about private investigators, murder, and murder mystery.

Private Investigators Explore 293 books about private investigators
Murder Explore 940 books about murder
Murder Mystery Explore 495 books about murder mystery