100 books like Hot and Sour Suspects

By Vivien Chien,

Here are 100 books that Hot and Sour Suspects fans have personally recommended if you like Hot and Sour Suspects. 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 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 A Deadly Inside Scoop

Andrea J. Johnson Author Of Poetic Justice

From my list on cozy mysteries for readers who love culinary crimes.

Why am I passionate about this?

Cozy mysteries are one of the most misunderstood subgenres in fiction, so I’ve been advocating for their promotion for nearly a decade. Even going to far as getting my M.F.A. in the subject and writing a book, How to Craft a Killer Cozy Mystery. These stories focus on the puzzle or whodunit aspect of mystery and present any deaths in a bloodless manner. The focus typically centers on an amateur sleuth and their community rather than law enforcement or villains. My picks are all by female authors of color and have heroines whose culinary inclinations not only help them solve the crime but also leave audiences hungry for another helping.  

Andrea's book list on cozy mysteries for readers who love culinary crimes

Andrea J. Johnson Why did Andrea love this book?

If you love creamy desserts, downhome recipes, and close-knit communities, you’ll love the first entry in Abby Collette’s Ice Cream Parlor Mystery Series. Like all of the protagonists on this list, the story centers on a woman who has inherited a family eatery. In this instance, recent MBA grad Bronwyn Crewse isn’t able to get her new business off the ground when an early snow and a deadly confrontation with a family adversary put her plans in cold storage and her life in jeopardy.

By Abby Collette,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked A Deadly Inside Scoop as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This book kicks off a charming cozy mystery series set in an ice cream shop—with a fabulous cast of quirky characters.

Recent MBA grad Bronwyn Crewse has just taken over her family's ice cream shop in Chagrin Falls, Ohio, and she's going back to basics. Win is renovating Crewse Creamery to restore its former glory, and filling the menu with delicious, homemade ice cream flavors—many from her grandmother’s original recipes. But unexpected construction delays mean she misses the summer season, and the shop has a literal cold opening: the day she opens her doors an early first snow descends on…

Book cover of Two Parts Sugar, One Part Murder

Judy Alter Author Of Saving Irene: A Culinary Mystery

From my list on outrageous cozy mysteries.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a lifelong fan of cozy mysteries, starting with Nancy Drew. Although I have written primarily about women of the 19th-century American West, I always longed to write mysteries. The Irene in Chicago Culinary Mysteries is my fourth series but the first outrageous one. The books combine my love of all things culinary (I’ve even written cookbooks) and my love of Chicago, my hometown. What makes them outrageous? Irene’s diva-like deceptions and Henny’s snarky commentary.

Judy's book list on outrageous cozy mysteries

Judy Alter Why did Judy love this book?

Social media expert Maddy Montgomery, left standing at the altar, is #StartingOver in small-town Michigan after inheriting her great-aunt’s bakery and a 200-pound English Mastiff named Baby. Her plan to sell the bakery and go back to her sophisticated life is spoiled by a restriction in the will requiring her to spend a year in New Bison. Maddy doesn’t bake, and her Louboutins aren’t made for walking giant dogs, but the locals are friendly, and Lake Michigan is beautiful. Maddy feels ready to take on the challenge—until New Bison’s mayor is fatally stabbed, and her fingerprints are on the knife. When there’s another murder, she even begins to suspect the one person she has trusted. Maddy’s snarky dialog and clever use of hashtags, along with the irresistible Baby, make this a stand-out.

By Valerie Burns,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked Two Parts Sugar, One Part Murder as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

“Snappy dialogue, a well-drawn supporting cast and an irresistible canine companion all add delicious flavor. Gulp this book down or savor it, but consuming it will guarantee a sustained sugar high.”– The New York Times Book Review

In a brand-new culinary cozy series with a fresh edge and a delightful small-town setting, the acclaimed author introduces Maddy Montgomery, a social media expert who’s #StartingOver in small town Michigan after inheriting her great-aunt’s bakery…and a 200-pound English Mastiff named Baby.

A CrimeReads Most Anticipated Book Of 2022

When Maddy Montgomery’s groom is a no-show to their livestream wedding, it’s a disaster…

Book cover of Death by Bubble Tea

Paula Charles Author Of Hammers And Homicide

From my list on cozy mysteries with strong family ties.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a cozy mystery writer and reader who loves to suss out family dynamics in the books I’m devouring. My love of genealogy and turning family stories into fiction played a large role while writing my first book, Hammers and Homicide. Wherever my husband and I travel, we search for ancestors in ancient cemeteries and try to find out more about their stories. You’ll find a few of them between the pages of my books. I hope you’ll enjoy these books, all featuring some level of family ties, as much as I did! 

Paula's book list on cozy mysteries with strong family ties

Paula Charles Why did Paula love this book?

In this book by Jennifer J. Chow, I loved how the differences between Yale Yee, the sleuth, and her cousin, Celine, not only created tension throughout the book but ultimately played on each of their strengths to solve the mystery. 

The two cousins are thrown together when quiet Yale is tapped by her dad to run the family bubble tea stand at L.A.’s night market. Loud and flamboyant Celine, a social media influencer, arrives in L.A. and gets tasked with helping Yale out.

Chow does a great job of showing the two girls' very different personalities and adding in that family tension. On top of that, the L.A. night market is fascinating! I hope this will be a long-running series!  

By Jennifer J. Chow,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Death by Bubble Tea as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Two cousins who start a food stall at their local night market get a serving of murder in this first novel of a delicious new cozy mystery series by Jennifer J. Chow, bestselling author of Mimi Lee Gets a Clue.

When Yale Yee discovers her cousin Celine is visiting from Hong Kong, she is obliged to play tour guide to a relative she hasn’t seen in twenty years. Not only that, but her father thinks it’s a wonderful idea for them to bond by running a food stall together at the Eastwood Village Night Market. Yale hasn’t cooked in years,…

Book cover of Quirkology: How We Discover the Big Truths in Small Things

Karen C. Murdarasi Author Of Why Everything You Know about Robin Hood Is Wrong: Featuring a pirate monk, a French maid, and a surprising number of morris dancers

From my list on challenging your preconceptions.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a writer and historian, I’m all about rabbit holes. When something I’ve never heard about before catches my interest, I have to find out more—and sometimes I end up writing whole books on the subject! I have a head full of bizarre little nuggets of information, and I love reading books, like the ones here, that tell me something new and change my way of thinking. 

Karen's book list on challenging your preconceptions

Karen C. Murdarasi Why did Karen love this book?

Quirkology has a whole chapter on jokes, and the search for the funniest one. I listened to this as an audiobook and did a lot of chortling while I was out walking. (Fortunately there weren’t too many people around.) 

But there’s also plenty of serious and handy stuff, about whether you can tell when you are being lied to, what makes some people “luckier” than others, and what to talk about during speed dating. (Men should talk about travel, not films, if they want to make a connection with the opposite sex.) 

There’s also a section on nominative determinism (your name defining your destiny), and the irony was not lost on author and researcher, Dr. Wiseman. 

By Richard Wiseman,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

For over twenty years, psychologist Professor Richard Wiseman has examined the quirky science of everyday life. In Quirkology, he navigates the backwaters of human behavior, discovering the tell-tale signs that give away a liar, the secret science behind speed-dating and personal ads, and what a persons sense of humor reveals about the innermost workings of their mind- all along paying tribute to others who have carried out similarly weird and wonderful work. Wisemans research has involved secretly observing people as they go about their daily business, conducting unusual experiments in art exhibitions and music concerts, and even staging fake sances…

Book cover of Sam the Man & the Chicken Plan

Laurie Calkhoven Author Of Roosevelt Banks and the Attic of Doom

From my list on laugh-out-loud chapters.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a former book publishing professional turned full-time children’s book author. I’ve never swallowed a frog, battled imaginary bears, or had a slime war with ghosts like my character, Roosevelt Banks, but I have written more than fifty books for children. These range from beginning readers (You Should Meet Misty Copeland) and chapter books (Roosevelt Banks, Good-Kid-in-Training) to middle grade historical novels (Daniel at the Siege of Boston, 1775).

Laurie's book list on laugh-out-loud chapters

Laurie Calkhoven Why did Laurie love this book?

Sam the Man wants a job. His next-door neighbor will pay him a whole dollar each time he can convince her dad, Mr. Stockfish, to join him for a daily walk. But getting Mr. Stockfish to leave the living room isn’t easy. So when another neighbor asks if Sam would like to watch her chickens, he jumps at the chance. Chicken-sitting is way more fun than he expects, and soon Sam the Man is watching a chicken of his very own. The story is satisfying and funny and readers will want to learn all about Sam’s adventures in the rest of the series. Sam’s creative problem-solving skills had me laughing out loud.

By Frances O'Roark Dowell, Amy June Bates (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Sam the Man & the Chicken Plan as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 6, 7, 8, and 9.

What is this book about?

Sam the Man wants to earn some money and he’s got a cluck-worthy plan in this endearing chapter book that’s the first in a new series from Frances O’Roark Dowell.

Sam the Man needs a job. His sister gets twenty bucks a pop for mowing people’s lawns. But seven-year-olds aren’t allowed to mow lawns, so Sam decides to ask his next door neighbor if she needs help doing other chores. It turns out she’ll pay him a whole dollar each time he can convince her dad, Mr. Stockfish, to join him for a daily walk. But it turns out that…

Book cover of Noodle & Lou

Carmen Oliver Author Of Bears Make the Best Writing Buddies

From my list on picture books about bears, buddies, and writing.

Why am I passionate about this?

I once spotted a mama black bear and her cubs on a camping trip in Manitoba, Canada. I kept a safe distance watching in awe as the cubs climbed trees. I’ve been fascinated with bears ever since. Most of the books I publish center around strong themes of family, friendship, making a difference in the world, and many have a bear as a secondary character. I think there’s always room for more bear stories in the world, don’t you?

Carmen's book list on picture books about bears, buddies, and writing

Carmen Oliver Why did Carmen love this book?

I adore friendships stories that showcase buddies who have each other’s back and who are the cheerleaders in our life. Noodles and Lou, told in rollicking rhyme, is that kind of story. In the opening pages of the book, we understand Noodle is having an off-putting start to his day.

Some days don’t go well, right from the start

Noodle woke up with a rain-cloudy heart.

But before the story ends, Noodle is cheered up by his best buddy and sees his many wonderful strengths through his friend’s eyes.

By Liz Garton Scanlon, Arthur Howard (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Noodle and Lou are unlikely friends. One is a worm and one is a bird. When Noodle is having a bad day, Lou knows just what to say to cheer up his wormy friend and help him see what it means to be liked just the way you are.

Book cover of A Dark-Adapted Eye

Emilia Bernhard Author Of Designs on the Dead

From my list on subtle cruelty.

Why am I passionate about this?

As someone who’s had a lifelong interest in psychology, especially abnormal psychology, I’ve always been fascinated the small destructions some people inflict on others – sometimes even on themselves. For me the greatest crime is not to kill someone but to reduce them by making their life uncomfortable or unwelcome. The ability to do this is what I would call a “negative skill.” It’s not easy, but some people do it uncannily well, and without caring. Perhaps because this is so alien to me, I remain riveted by stories that portray it, and some cases attempt to explain it. These are a few of those stories.

Emilia's book list on subtle cruelty

Emilia Bernhard Why did Emilia love this book?

Vera and Eden are devoted sisters. One of them has an illegitimate baby.

The book is allegedly devoted to telling the story of how Vera came to kill Eden, but in telling this story it also attempts to determine which one of them is the baby’s mother.

In doing both of these, however, it also details the ways in which people, even people who seem to be devoted to each other, can make each other’s lives miserable, and can choose to make their own lives miserable. 

Vine (aka. Ruth Rendell) is, of course the mistress of psychological suspense, and for me this is the best book she ever wrote.

By Barbara Vine,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked A Dark-Adapted Eye as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"Dazzling...writing at her formidable best, Barbara Vine taps the poetry as well as the pain of her characters' clamorous declarations of their need for love." -New York Times Book Review

"When the best mystery writer in the English-speaking world launched a second byline, she actually stepped up her writing a level." -TIME

Faith Severn has grown up with the dark cloud of murder looming over her family. Her aunt Vera Hillyard, a rigidly respectable woman, was convicted and hanged for the crime, but the reason for her desperate deed died with her. Thirty years later, a probing journalist pushes Faith…

Book cover of The Mountains Sing

Betty Bolte Author Of Becoming Lady Washington

From my list on historical fiction about emotionally strong women.

Why am I passionate about this?

I “discovered” historical fiction when a teen and have devoured it ever since. When my parents took me to the Cowpens National Battlefield in South Carolina in 9th grade, I realized just how much I enjoyed learning about history in real life. I found that reading historical fiction breathed life into what can be a very dull read, so I wanted to bring history to life with my own words. Visiting historical properties has become a big passion of mine! Every trip I take includes a visit to some historical site or another. I’ve been writing historical fiction/romance/fantasy since the late 1990s.

Betty's book list on historical fiction about emotionally strong women

Betty Bolte Why did Betty love this book?

This story is set in Việt Nam and paints a clear picture of the people who lived there in the 1930-1980 timeframe of the story. The family faced hardships and tragedies, including being separated for several months when they were forced to flee for their lives. One thing I really appreciated was seeing the impact and impressions of the Việt Nam war on the people of that country. My brother fought over there—he was a Ranger in the Army—during that conflict and came home very different. In fact, he’s estranged himself from the family for the past 30+ years. Reading about the conflict from the other side gives me a clearer idea of what he might have seen or done that he never would tell me about.

By Nguyễn Phan Quế Mai,

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked The Mountains Sing as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Years later in Ha Noi, her young granddaughter, Huong, comes of age as her parents and uncles head off down the Ho Chi Minh Trail to fight in a conflict that tore not just her beloved country, but her family apart.

Vivid, gripping, and steeped in the language and traditions of Viet Nam, The Mountains Sing brings to life the human costs of this conflict from the point of view of the Vietnamese people themselves, while showing us the true power of kindness and hope.

The Mountains Sing is celebrated Vietnamese poet Nguyen Phan Que Mai's first novel in English.

Book cover of Because Our Fathers Lied: A Memoir of Truth and Family, from Vietnam to Today

Dan Morain Author Of Kamala's Way: An American Life

From my list on California-themed stories that matter.

Why am I passionate about this?

Visiting journalists regularly misinterpret California. Outside politicians twist it into bizarre caricatures. I know because I have worked as a journalist in all parts of the state. I covered crime for the LA Herald Examiner, spent 27 years at the LA Times, was a columnist and editorial page editor at the Sacramento Bee and, finally, was senior editor of the nonprofit news organization, CalMatters. I’ve covered governors, wildfires, a major earthquake, politics, mass incarceration, mass shootings, an execution, and all manner of policy. There are many great nonfiction books about California, including Jim Newton’s biographies of Earl Warren and Jerry Brown, Randy Shilts’s The Mayor of Castro Street, and Gladwin Hill’s Dancing Bear.

Dan's book list on California-themed stories that matter

Dan Morain Why did Dan love this book?

Craig McNamara has written a beautiful memoir about his complex father and the ugly war that split our country in the 1960s and beyond, his involvement in the anti-Vietnam War movement, and a rich and impactful life as a walnut farmer outside the California town of Winters. I’ve been to his farm and have gotten to know Craig bit. His story is authentic and from the heart. His anecdote about the chair his father occupied is powerful. I was too young to be drafted, but grew up in the Bay Area and was very much affected by the tumultuous times. Craig McNamara offers a unique perspective and one well worth reading

By Craig McNamara,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Because Our Fathers Lied as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This unforgettable father and son story confronts the legacy of the Vietnam War across two generations; “an important book that should be read by every American” (Ron Kovic, Vietnam Veteran and author of Born on the Fourth of July).

Craig McNamara came of age in the political tumult and upheaval of the late 60s. While Craig McNamara would grow up to take part in anti-war demonstrations, his father, Robert McNamara, served as John F. Kennedy's Secretary of Defense and the architect of the Vietnam War. This searching and revealing memoir offers an intimate picture of one father and son at…

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