81 books like I Only Read Murder

By Ian Ferguson, Will Ferguson,

Here are 81 books that I Only Read Murder fans have personally recommended if you like I Only Read Murder. 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 Thursday Murder Club

Keith Hartman Author Of The Gumshoe, the Witch, and the Virtual Corpse

From my list on unique settings for a mystery novel.

Why am I passionate about this?

I love mysteries, but I find that after a while, a lot of them tend to run together in my head. So I just love it when I find a book with a setting so unique that it sticks in my mind forever. And it’s even better when the author uses that setting to show me something new about human nature, history, or society while still delivering me a plot that keeps me turning pages.

Keith's book list on unique settings for a mystery novel

Keith Hartman Why did Keith love this book?

This was a book that I picked up because my Mom recommended it. And she struck gold with this one. The book is set in a British retirement community, where a group of old-timers spend their time trying to solve cold cases. But over the course of the book, they get themselves caught up in one very hot case. 

The POV shifts between different characters, who all have interesting voices and skill sets.

By Richard Osman,

Why should I read it?

21 authors picked The Thursday Murder Club as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A New York Times bestseller | Soon to be a major motion picture from Steven Spielberg at Amblin Entertainment

"Witty, endearing and greatly entertaining." -Wall Street Journal

"Don't trust anyone, including the four septuagenarian sleuths in Osman's own laugh-out-loud whodunit." -Parade

Four septuagenarians with a few tricks up their sleeves
A female cop with her first big case
A brutal murder
Welcome to...
THE THURSDAY MURDER CLUB

In a peaceful retirement village, four unlikely friends meet weekly in the Jigsaw Room to discuss unsolved crimes; together they call themselves the Thursday Murder Club.

When a local developer is found dead…


Book cover of Magpie Murders

Kate Hilton Author Of Bury the Lead

From my list on amateur detective novels that keep you laughing while they keep you guessing.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve loved murder mysteries since childhood, and during the pandemic–when reading became a challenge–I returned to my first literary love, binging on one mystery series after another. Eventually, I decided to write one with my friend Elizabeth Renzetti. It’s been the most enjoyable writing experience either of us has had. I’ve written three other published novels, and I have a day job as a therapist (I like to think this helps with realistic characterization, but it also pays the bills). I write humor because I like to have fun at work, and I appreciate a good laugh when I’m reading.

Kate's book list on amateur detective novels that keep you laughing while they keep you guessing

Kate Hilton Why did Kate love this book?

I adored this love letter to classic crime fiction, which is a marvelously clever novel within a novel.

As a writer and former editor, I couldn’t help but cheer for Susan Ryeland, the beleaguered editor trying to manage her bestselling author (and all-around dislikable human being), Alan Conway.

If you love a twist like I do, this book has a doozy, which turns the first half of the book into a code that Susan (and readers) must break to solve the murder in the second half of the book. Ingenious.  

By Anthony Horowitz,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

'Want to read a great whodunnit? Anthony Horowitz has one for you: MAGPIE MURDERS. It's as good as an Agatha Christie. Better, in some ways. Cleverer.' Stephen King

'The finest crime novel of the year' Daily Mail

*****

Seven for a mystery that needs to be solved . . .
Editor Susan Ryland has worked with bestselling crime writer Alan Conway for years. Readers love his detective, Atticus Pund, a celebrated solver of crimes in the sleepy English villages of the 1950s.
But Conway's latest tale of murder at Pye Hall is not quite what it seems. Yes, there are…


Book cover of The Antique Hunter's Guide to Murder

Kate Hilton Author Of Bury the Lead

From my list on amateur detective novels that keep you laughing while they keep you guessing.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve loved murder mysteries since childhood, and during the pandemic–when reading became a challenge–I returned to my first literary love, binging on one mystery series after another. Eventually, I decided to write one with my friend Elizabeth Renzetti. It’s been the most enjoyable writing experience either of us has had. I’ve written three other published novels, and I have a day job as a therapist (I like to think this helps with realistic characterization, but it also pays the bills). I write humor because I like to have fun at work, and I appreciate a good laugh when I’m reading.

Kate's book list on amateur detective novels that keep you laughing while they keep you guessing

Kate Hilton Why did Kate love this book?

Freya Lockwood is one relatable sleuth–middle-aged, divorced, empty-nesting, and wondering how her dreams for herself have vanished after passing through the meat grinder of adulthood.

I love the themes of estrangement from oneself and others in this debut cozy mystery, as well as the deep dive into the shadowy world of antiques trading from an author with significant personal experience in the field. 

By C. L. Miller,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Antique Hunter's Guide to Murder as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'A bold, bright and delightful jaunt back to the golden age of detective fiction' Janice Hallett

'A delicious read - who could resist a treasure hunt with murder at its core?' SJ Bennett

'It's a delight!' Katie Fforde

What antique would you kill for?
Freya, it's down to you to finish what I started . . .

Freya Lockwood has avoided the quaint English village in which she grew up for the last 20 years. That is until news arrives that Arthur Crockleford, antiques dealer and Freya's estranged mentor, has died . . . and the circumstances seem suspicious.

You…


Book cover of Mindful of Murder

Kate Hilton Author Of Bury the Lead

From my list on amateur detective novels that keep you laughing while they keep you guessing.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve loved murder mysteries since childhood, and during the pandemic–when reading became a challenge–I returned to my first literary love, binging on one mystery series after another. Eventually, I decided to write one with my friend Elizabeth Renzetti. It’s been the most enjoyable writing experience either of us has had. I’ve written three other published novels, and I have a day job as a therapist (I like to think this helps with realistic characterization, but it also pays the bills). I write humor because I like to have fun at work, and I appreciate a good laugh when I’m reading.

Kate's book list on amateur detective novels that keep you laughing while they keep you guessing

Kate Hilton Why did Kate love this book?

I’ve studied mindfulness over the years, with varying degrees of success, so I loved spending time with Helen Thorpe, ex-Buddhist nun-turned-butler-turned amateur sleuth.

In this book, Helen is tasked with deciding which of her former employer’s distant relatives deserves to assume control of her retreat centre–a particular challenge since it appears that one of them may have murdered her. 

By Susan Juby,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Meet Helen Thorpe. She’s smart, preternaturally calm, deeply insightful and a freshly trained butler. On the day she is supposed to start her career as an unusually equanimous domestic professional serving one of the wealthiest families in the world, she is called back to a spiritual retreat where she used to work, the Yatra Institute, on one of British Columbia’s gulf islands. The owner of the lodge, Helen’s former employer Edna, has died while on a three-month silent self-retreat, leaving Helen instructions to settle her affairs.

But Edna’s will is more detailed than most, and getting things in order means…


Book cover of A Stroke Of Malice

J L Wilson Author Of Heir

From my list on mystery with first person narration.

Why am I passionate about this?

I've read mystery books since I was a kid in a small Iowa town and my mother was on the library board and in charge of reviewing books for purchase. She would bring home mysteries and I grew up reading about James Bond, The Saint, Miss Marple, and many, many other 'classic' detectives. I wrote my first mystery 'novel' when I was ten and it took me forty more years to finally decide to get serious about it. I found I wanted to write about an older demographic—my heroes and heroines are usually in their 40s or 50s. I try to make my characters believable and down-to-earth—except they get involved in the occasional murder!

J's book list on mystery with first person narration

J L Wilson Why did J love this book?

I enjoy reading historical fiction, especially when I'm in the middle of writing my next mystery story. I like to read outside my genre so historical mysteries satisfy that desire for me to learn about the past while still studying how other mystery authors craft their stories.

This book features a heroine who is an artist and who was also initially ostracized by society because of her first husband. Her current husband is an 'investigative agent' in the 19th century and she's frequently drawn into his cases.

I like her because she's not afraid to speak her mind but she also knows when to keep quiet – a talent she had to acquire when dealing with some of the high-and-mighty people she meets.

By Anna Lee Huber,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked A Stroke Of Malice as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Lady Kiera Darby and her husband Sebastian Gage are looking forward to celebrating with new friends at an exciting yearly soiree, but they soon learn that murder never takes a holiday in the latest riveting installment in this national bestselling series.

January 1832. After enjoying a delightful few weeks with her family, expectant mother Kiera and Sebastian Gage have been invited to the Duchess of Bowmontʼs Twelfth Night party in Traquair, Scotland. Though she normally avoids such fashionable, rambunctious events, Kiera is ready to join in the festive merrymaking. But upon their arrival at the opulent estate, it becomes obvious…


Book cover of Class Reunions Are Murder

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?

I can’t even tell you how much I love Aunt Ginny in Libby Klein’s Poppy McAllister Mystery series! She is an absolute hoot. While I love the whole series, the first introduction to Aunt Ginny in this book remains my favorite. 

Poppy is newly widowed and a grief-stricken disaster when she receives an invitation to her high school reunion. She heads home to Cape May and her eccentric Great Aunt Ginny’s house. As they do in cozy mysteries, a murder happens, and Poppy and Aunt Ginny are on the case.

Poppy and her aunt’s relationship, paired with Aunt Ginny’s crazy antics, always leaves me wiping tears of mirth out of my eyes. Such a fun read!

By Libby Klein,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Class Reunions Are Murder as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Fans of Jana DeLeon and Joanne Fluke will love Libby Klein! For fortysomething Poppy McAllister, taking a stroll down memory lane in Cape May, New Jersey, isn't just awkward--it's deadly.
 
Newly widowed and stuck in a middle-aged funk, Poppy has been running on cookies, infomercials, and one-sided chats with her cat for months. There's no way on earth she's attending her twenty-five-year class reunion--especially after receiving a very bizarre letter from Barbie, the popular cheerleader who taunted her all through high school. At least, not until Poppy's best friend practically drags her to the event . . .
 
Using the…


Book cover of Design for Dying

Laini Giles Author Of The Forgotten Flapper

From my list on capturing the magic of old Hollywood.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am an old movie fan and a novelist who has been writing historical fiction about show business since 2010. As a stickler for detail, I use oodles of old Hollywood biographies and other research sources to learn everything I can about my subjects and weave as accurate a tale as I can. My Forgotten Actresses series is up to four books, with plenty more under construction. 

Laini's book list on capturing the magic of old Hollywood

Laini Giles Why did Laini love this book?

I gotta love any mystery that features costume mistress extraordinaire Edith Head as a detective! 

I love this book for the frothy, fun adventures (and, of course, the clothes!) of the plucky lady investigators, Lillian and Edith. 

Also, I loved meeting Bob Hope, director Preston Sturges, Barbara Stanwyck, and costume designer Travis Banton over the course of the book!

By Renee Patrick,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Los Angeles, 1937. Lillian Frost has traded dreams of stardom for security as a department store salesgirl . . . until she discovers she's a suspect in the murder of her former roommate, Ruby Carroll. Party girl Ruby died wearing a gown she stole from the wardrobe department at Paramount Pictures, domain of Edith Head.

Edith has yet to win the first of her eight Academy Awards; right now she's barely hanging on to her job, and a scandal is the last thing she needs. To clear Lillian's name and save Edith's career, the two women join forces.

Unraveling the…


Book cover of Vigilante Assassin

Why am I passionate about this?

I wanted to write an action crime book, and it turned into a vigilante book. With military skills (West Pointer/Infantry & Aviation Officer) and lots of cop friends, I was able to draw on real experiences. I also read about 80 novels a year and write crime thriller novels. I’ve won more than a few awards and keep studying my craft. It makes me feel young. I love stories with action that make you think and are a little different and unique. I want to make a reader cry and laugh, which is what I look for in a good novel. So, when I write about vigilantes, I try to keep it real. 

Mike's book list on vigilante novels that are unique, thought-provoking, action-filled, and you won't forget

Mike Slavin Why did Mike love this book?

I love the war dog, Cody. He has PTSD that makes his rear leg shake, but he is otherwise brilliant with a big personality. He’s not the main character, but he steals the show. Jake (the main character) takes Cody everywhere.

What happens?

Electronic murder, regular murder, Mob wars, kidnapping, police brutality, deadly drones, terrorists, and tons of action. And then there’s the Italian mob, the Russian mob, the FBI, the U.S. Marshalls Service, the Secret Service, the CIA, and the San Francisco PD and the stories about the hero, Jake, a former CIA assassin pulled back into service. Plus, the ladies are everywhere, good girls, bad girls, and victims.

Exciting story, and you’ll never forget the dog.

By Mark Nolan,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

When Jake Wolfe and his adopted war dog are asked to do a K-9 search for a missing person, they uncover a shocking conspiracy, are targeted for death, and must fight for their lives against a gang of cold-blooded killers.

The threat begins when wealthy socialite Lauren Stephens awakens to find her husband, Gene, has vanished from their mansion during the night, leaving his luxury car behind. Cody searches the estate and the dog uncovers a frightening secret that shocks a trusting wife to the core. Gene has enemies, and now they want something from Lauren. Her world is about…


Book cover of The Yiddish Policemen's Union

Rod Kackley Author Of Empty Minute: A Murder Mystery

From my list on cops and reporters bringing bad guys to justice.

Why am I passionate about this?

Crime fiction, true crime, mystery, and suspense books allow us to brush up against the worst society has to offer without getting hurt. There’s a lot to be said for vicarious thrills, isn’t there. I am just a simple man telling simple stories about good vs. evil. And sometimes, in my stories, fiction or not, the bad guys win. But I do love telling stories, and when I find a good one, I can’t wait to tell you aboutit. That’s what I have done here.

Rod's book list on cops and reporters bringing bad guys to justice

Rod Kackley Why did Rod love this book?

I’ve read this book so many times that I had to buy a hardcover edition to replace the paperback I wore out.

Michael Chabon creates an alternative world where the Jewish people didn’t last long in Israel after World War Two. They wound up in the Federal District of Sitka, Alaska, with a lease for the land from the U.S. government, but now the lease is up, and they have to move. Somewhere. Almost anywhere.

Good story if it ends there, right?

But wait, this one doesn’t.

In the middle of this political conundrum, homicide detective Meyer Landsman finds a neighbor in the fleabag hotel he calls home murdered. And get this; the dead man might be the Messiah the Jewish people have been waiting for.

Good story, End it here? Nope.

Guess who shows up unexpectedly. Meyer’s ex-wife! And now she’s his boss. Awkward!

And it’s also a hell…

By Michael Chabon,

Why should I read it?

6 authors picked The Yiddish Policemen's Union as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The brilliantly original new novel from Michael Chabon, author of THE ADVENTURES OF KAVALIER & CLAY and WONDER BOYS.

What if, as Franklin Roosevelt once proposed, Alaska - and not Israel - had become the homeland for the Jews after the Second World War? In Michael Chabon's Yiddish-speaking 'Alyeska', Orthodox gangs in side-curls and knee breeches roam the streets of Sitka, where Detective Meyer Landsman discovers the corpse of a heroin-addled chess prodigy in the flophouse Meyer calls home. Marionette strings stretch back to the hands of charismatic Rebbe Gold, leader of a sect that seems to have drawn its…


Book cover of Why Didn't They Ask Evans?

Clare Broyles Author Of In Sunshine or in Shadow

From my list on spunky women in historical mayhem who nevertheless persisted.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have been known to read a book a day, and I read widely: all the classics, mystery and suspense, science fiction, future fiction, and fantasy. My favorite novels in any genre take me to a place or time far away. My favorite characters are like hobbits; they are caught up in big adventures but fun to have a beer with and don’t take themselves too seriously. And all the protagonists in the novels I have chosen are women, because women my age have spent enough time reading about men who have adventures. 

Clare's book list on spunky women in historical mayhem who nevertheless persisted

Clare Broyles Why did Clare love this book?

This Agatha Christie doesn’t feature her famous Hercule Poirot or Miss Marple. Instead, it introduces a likable young couple, Bobby and Frankie, who fall into adventure by accident.

This book has the best one-line denouement of all mystery novels. It is a line that will give you chills when you read it. (Or re-read it. This mystery is so good that I have reread it many times in my life, and I get chills each time.)

One question ties the whole mystery together. As a mystery writer, I wish I could find that turning point question for each of my novels. But, alas, Agatha Christie was the queen. 

By Agatha Christie,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Why Didn't They Ask Evans? as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

When a man plunges down a cliff, two adventurous friends decide to find his killer...

While playing an erratic round of golf, Bobby Jones slices his ball over the edge of a cliff. His ball is lost, but on the rocks below he finds the crumpled body of a dying man. With his final breath the man opens his eyes and says, 'Why didn't they ask Evans?'

Haunted by these words, Bobby and his vivacious companion, Frankie, set out to solve a mystery that will bring them into mortal danger...


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