34 books like In Strangers' Houses

By Elizabeth Mundy,

Here are 34 books that In Strangers' Houses fans have personally recommended if you like In Strangers' Houses. 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 A Quiet Life in the Country

Emily J. Edwards Author Of Viviana Valentine Gets Her Man

From my list on mysteries set in the perfect time and place.

Why am I passionate about this?

Of course, every mystery needs a perfect crime, but what about the perfect setting? I’m fascinated by how authors manipulate time and place to add to the heightened emotions of their murders, thefts, blackmail, and frauds. It’s the juxtaposition of truth and fantasy—what we believe times were like and how they actually were—that makes setting such an essential detail of every whodunnit. Doing research on my own novel, I wrenched apart the facts and fictions of Post-War America, and grew even more ravenous for mysteries that leveraged their settings for the utmost entertainment. 

Emily's book list on mysteries set in the perfect time and place

Emily J. Edwards Why did Emily love this book?

Try as I might, I can’t get into Marple. But T.E. Kinsey’s Lady Hardcastle series, beginning with the debut A Quiet Life in The Country turns the cozy genre on its head. In this case, the dithering, older busybody is Lady Emily Hardcastle, with her trusty ladies’ maid, Florence Armstrong. As the book and series progress, we find that neither woman is quite the helpless Edwardian female the neighbors believe. Come for the murder mystery and stay for the… knife throwing? 

By T E Kinsey,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked A Quiet Life in the Country as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Lady Emily Hardcastle is an eccentric widow with a secret past. Florence Armstrong, her maid and confidante, is an expert in martial arts. The year is 1908 and they've just moved from London to the country, hoping for a quiet life.

But it is not long before Lady Hardcastle is forced out of her self-imposed retirement. There's a dead body in the woods, and the police are on the wrong scent. Lady Hardcastle makes some enquiries of her own, and it seems she knows a surprising amount about crime investigation...

As Lady Hardcastle and Flo delve deeper into rural rivalries…

Book cover of The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle

Adam Oyebanji Author Of A Quiet Teacher

From my list on fair play murder mysteries that are actually fair.

Why am I passionate about this?

I was born in Coatbridge, in the West of Scotland, more years ago than I care to remember. I recently took the big step of moving east to Edinburgh, by way of Birmingham, London, Lagos, Nigeria, Chicago, Pittsburgh, and New York: a necessary detour because traffic on the direct route is really, really bad. I’m a graduate of Birmingham University and Harvard Law School, and work in the field of counter-terrorist financing, which sounds way cooler than it is.  Basically, I write emails, fill in forms, and use spreadsheets to help choke off the money supply that builds weapons of mass destruction, narcotics empires, and human trafficking networks. And sometimes I write murder mysteries.

Adam's book list on fair play murder mysteries that are actually fair

Adam Oyebanji Why did Adam love this book?

Agatha Christie meets Groundhog Day meets Rashomon in this country house murder mystery where the narrator is as much a puzzle as the murder itself. The narrator lurches into the novel as a witness to a killing so dreadful they’ve lost their memory. Then awakes the next morning to live the same day again as a different character with a different viewpoint: a bizarre twist that repeats itself until we have, as the title suggests, seven different versions of what happened, and enough information, finally, to get to the “truth.” Come for the strange, mind-bending trip, leave with a beautifully constructed conclusion.

By Stuart Turton,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Can you solve the mystery of Evelyn Hardcastle?


Gosford Park meets Groundhog Day by way of Agatha Christie and Black Mirror - the most inventive story you'll read

Tonight, Evelyn Hardcastle will be killed ... Again

It is meant to be a celebration but it ends in tragedy. As fireworks…

Book cover of Full Dark House

Diane M. Dickson Author Of Body in the Canal

From my list on when you want to dabble in crime with no risk.

Why am I passionate about this?

My fascination with crime fiction has come from reading about it. I have no idea how many novels I have read focused on baddies and the catching of them, but it’s numbering now in the many hundreds. I think the fact that a crime novel can incorporate elements of all other genres – horror, history, romance, the supernatural, etc. are what make them so appealing and add to the joy of writing them. Untangling the threads that make up a crime novel is very satisfying. Maybe in another reality, I would be a detective – I love that idea, but for now, in this bit of the multiverse, I’ll just carry on making them up.  

Diane's book list on when you want to dabble in crime with no risk

Diane M. Dickson Why did Diane love this book?

Another series. I really enjoy getting to know characters and look forward to watching them develop over the time that I read about them. Bryant and May are so very unusual. Quirky, and a little bit mad, it has to be said, as are the whole of the Peculiar Crime Unit. The back stories are expertly woven into the narrative and the detail and relating of little-known facts about London are absolutely fascinating. Again I have read the whole series, though as these two elderly detectives grow older and more frail I found them harder to read, but this book – the first in the series was a delight. 

By Christopher Fowler,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

When a bomb devastates the office of London's most unusual police unit and claims the life of its oldest detective, Arthur Bryant, his surviving partner John May searches for clues to the bomber's identity. His search takes him back to the day the detectives first met as young men in 1940.

In Blitz-ravaged London, a beautiful dancer rehearsing for a sexy, sinister production of 'Orpheus In The Underworld' is found without her feet. Bryant & May's investigation plunges them into a bizarre gothic mystery, where a faceless man stalks terrified actors and death strikes in darkness. Tracking their quarry through…

Book cover of Sorry for the Dead

Fliss Chester Author Of Death Among the Diamonds

From my list on amateur sleuths with a difference.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a writer of cosy crimes and unapologetic in my love for the genre! There’s nothing better, in my opinion than a well-thumbed Agatha Christie or a foxed, old copy of Dorothy L Sayers. And it’s the role of the amateur sleuth that I love the best; that happy accident that brings a person with a sharp mind and perhaps a particular skill set together with a murderous villain, and we, the lucky reader, get to ride alongside them and work out the mystery for ourselves. Pour that tea, snuggle up and settle in with these five brilliant examples of amateur sleuths with just something a little different to offer…

Fliss' book list on amateur sleuths with a difference

Fliss Chester Why did Fliss love this book?

I have to admit I saw the cover of this book and was smitten… then I discovered what makes this crime novel and its amateur sleuth a little bit different. Josephine Tey revisits the scene of a death at Charleston Farmhouse in 1915, and now, twenty years later, she realises that it might have been more sinister than ‘just’ an accidentand she, who was there at the time, might be implicated in the murder herself. Josephine Tey, as well as being the book’s protagonist, was also the real-life pen name of Elizabeth MacKintosh, who wrote eight murder mysteries as Tey. That Upson has so cleverly fictionalised the real-life Tey is what makes this book, and the others in the series, so differentbrilliantly so, in my opinion.

By Nicola Upson,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

** Longlisted for the CWA Sapere Books Historial Dagger 2020 **

'Haunting . . . Superlative.' Sunday Times Crime Book of the Month

'A terrific novel.' A. N. Wilson

Summer, 1915: a young woman falls to her death at Charleston Farmhouse on the Sussex Downs. But was it an accident?

Twenty years later, Josephine Tey is faced with the accusation that it was murder, and that she was complicit in the crime. Can she clear her name and uncover the truth, exposing the darkest secrets of that apparently idyllic summer?

Book cover of Lola Lago, Detective: Lejos de Casa

Patricia Lorente Author Of 100 Entertaining Short Stories to Practice Your Spanish in Present Tense

From my list on improving your Spanish.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a writer and a Spanish teacher. Creative and a little crazy. I love teaching people who arrive in my city (Madrid) to live for a while. I love writing fiction, specially novels, but also poetry and little stories. Sometimes I mix both skills and create texts as the one below. I dream about winning the lottery but I never buy tickets, and I also love to sing with my guitar when I’m alone. Pleased to meet you.

Patricia's book list on improving your Spanish

Patricia Lorente Why did Patricia love this book?

I guess I’s not a coincidence that this series of fiction books are written by the same writers as the previous one, since both of them have the same high quality in their content and are grammatically so well focused. 

The protagonist is Lola Lago, a detective who will solve a case per book.

The books range from level A1 to level B1 and come with an audiobook. The length of the stores is perfect (45-60 pages) and the format light enough to feel that you can do it. Every one of them is well focused on its level, and you can find, at the end, lovely explanation notes and light and fun comprehension exercises.

By Lourdes Miquel López, Neus Sans,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Lola Lago, Detective as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Humberto, un joven colombiano, es acusado de herir gravemente al “Tigre”, un skinhead con el que había discutido. Humberto desaparece y la asociación de vecinos contrata a Lola para que lo encuentre y demuestre su inocencia.

Book cover of The Dark Winter

Nick Quantrill Author Of Sound of the Sinners

From my list on crime set in the North of England.

Why am I passionate about this?

The North of England is home. I was born here, I work here and it’s where I will see out my days. It’s a place with its own character, a place largely forged on hard industrial work and one trying to find a new purpose after decades of financial neglect. My home city of Hull captures this in miniature as we’ve shared a journey over the last decade via my novels from 'UK Crap Town of the Year’ to ‘UK City of Culture.’ Tied in with my background in studying Social Policy and Criminology, I’ll continue to map the city and the region’s trials and tribulations.

Nick's book list on crime set in the North of England

Nick Quantrill Why did Nick love this book?

It’s always strange when another writer tackles the same city you’re mapping, but it’s also a reminder that we see places in fundamentally different ways. I write about Hull as an insider looking out with David taking the opposite approach, arriving in the city as a journalist. In the debut outing for DI Aector McAvoy, it may be his writing background that allows him to look the place in the eye and draw a fantastically vivid city dealing with multiple social issues, but also one in which he finds its heart packed with spirit and hope.

By David Mark,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The New York Times hails David Mark's work as "in the honorable tradition of Joseph Wambaugh and Ed McBain." DARK WINTER is the first book in the internationally acclaimed Detective Sergeant Aector McAvoy series.

A series of suspicious deaths have rocked Hull, a port city in England as old and mysterious as its bordering sea. They have captured the attention of Detective Sergeant Aector McAvoy. He notices a pattern missed by his fellow officers, who would rather get a quick arrest than bother themselves with finding the true killer. Torn between his police duties and his aching desire to spend…

Book cover of Pierre the Maze Detective: The Mystery of the Empire Maze Tower: (Maze Book for Kids, Adventure Puzzle Book, Seek and Find Book)

Scott Bedford Author Of Mega-Maze Adventure!: A Journey Through the World's Longest Maze in a Book

From my list on maze books for children.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am an author, illustrator, and award-winning creative director. I have loved to draw and make things since a young age, mostly wacky contraptions (inspired by my love of the Hanna-Barbera Wacky Races cartoons). I’m also passionate about mazes, having spent many family holidays drawing mazes on a small whiteboard for my two boys to complete.

Scott's book list on maze books for children

Scott Bedford Why did Scott love this book?

Pierre the Maze Detective is a series of books, that, unlike my four other recommendations, combines maze solving with a narrative. I could have picked any book from the series, but I particularly liked the Mystery of the Empire Maze Tower. Each spread is a beautifully detailed illustration, somewhat similar to Where’s Waldo?, at first glance, the maze is not obvious, but on closer inspection, through the busyness, you can spy a series of paths subtlety woven into the illustration. I think this book (and the others in the series) offers a wonderful extra dimension to a slightly older solver, someone who can immerse themselves in the story, solve the mazes, and solve the crime!

By Hiro Kamigaki (illustrator), Ic4design (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Pierre the Maze Detective as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Mr X the Phantom Thief is back, with a new evil plan! He wants to steal the shining light from the top of the Empire Maze Tower, New Maze City's greatest treasure.

Pierre and Carmen are called to New Maze City, along with others of the world's best Maze Detectives, to help solve the puzzles, protect the treasure and stop Mr X. But can you help them make it in time?

A thrilling new maze challenge adventure for Pierre the Maze Detective, for all detectives aged 8+.

Book cover of Project Chartreuse

Christopher Church Author Of The Mythical Blond

From my list on LA detectives with complex emotional lives.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a longtime Angeleno, I’ve read a lot about the dark underbelly of our dysfunctional metropolis, both in the news and in fiction. I try to incorporate the City of Angels as a strong presence in my writing, and when I read other writers who have put Los Angeles at the center, it gives me a sense of things the way they really are, a glimpse at a deeper reality. I see the detectives in LA noir and crime fiction as inextricably intertwined with the city, their weaknesses, and their emotional quandaries emerging from this place.

Christopher's book list on LA detectives with complex emotional lives

Christopher Church Why did Christopher love this book?

I’d be afraid to meet this detective, Slater, in a dark alley, as he’s unpredictable and has a quick temper. At the same time I have to admit he’s the kind of guy I’d want to date. Smart and competent in his investigative work, Slater is a mass of contradictions, a textbook sex addict and in complete denial about it, plus he drinks too much. His pugilistic approach to the world evolves through the series, and in this book his slightly warped moral compass has him working to outsmart the cops to track down a violent conspiracy theorist.

By George Bixley,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Don’t mess with the hothead—or he might just mess with you. Slater Ibáñez is only interested in two kinds of guys: the ones he wants to punch, and the ones he sleeps with. Things get interesting when they start to overlap. A freelance investigator, Slater trolls the dark side of Los Angeles, rooting out insurance fraud, not afraid to use whatever means necessary to get things done, and not about to hold back with his fists. A queer antihero for a new age, Slater walks the line between ordinary life and the frayed fringes of society, keeping his balance with…

Book cover of The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie

Yvonne Kjorlien Author Of Memoirs of a Reluctant Archaeologist

From my list on kick-ass women come from screwed up families.

Why am I passionate about this?

On the surface, my childhood was characterized by 1980s unsupervised country freedom in rural Alberta. Deeper in, my history involved emotional abuse and neglect. I wanted nothing more than to be seen and loved for my true self. The library was a refuge, but the fiction section allowed me to find the community I so greatly desired. I was seen and loved by the characters I read. They showed me it was possible to be myself–loudly and audaciously–and still be accepted. I read and now write books that delve into themes of identity, autonomy, and acceptance because I still struggle with these themes today. 

Yvonne's book list on kick-ass women come from screwed up families

Yvonne Kjorlien Why did Yvonne love this book?

I admit it: I underestimated Flavia de Luce.

She is 11 years old, self-schooled, and lives outside a small English town in the 1950s. She is overlooked and underestimated by everyone. Deep inside, I’m still 11 years old, underestimated, and overlooked. I had an insatiable desire to learn about my environment, and I often saw things others didn’t. Flavia also reminds me of my childhood living in the country in the 1980s. I ran unchecked, safe, and constantly delighted in discovering new things about my corner of the world. I wince at the de Luce family politics. I cheer Flavia’s investigations and her fearlessness. I want nothing more than to stay in Flavia’s 11-year-old world forever. She is the kick-ass kid I wanted to be. 

By Alan Bradley,

Why should I read it?

9 authors picked The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Meet Flavia: Mystery Solver. Master Poisoner. 11 Years Old.

England 1950. At Buckshaw, the crumbling country seat of the de Luce family, very-nearly-eleven-year-old Flavia is plotting revenge on her older sisters.

Then a dead bird is left on the doorstep, which has an extraordinary effect on Flavia's eccentric father, and a body is found in the garden. As the police descend on Buckshaw, Flavia decides to do some investigating of her own.

Praise for the historical Flavia de Luce mysteries:
'The Flavia de Luce novels are now a cult favourite' Mail on Sunday

'A cross between Dodie Smith's I Capture…

Book cover of Personal

Edmond Gagnon Author Of Trafficking Chen

From my list on crime from a retired police detective.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a retired police officer who worked the streets and conducted criminal investigations for over thirty-one years in a busy city with Detroit as a neighbor. I handled everything from narcotics to arson and murder. Having lived the life, I truly enjoy a well-written crime novel, especially those inspired by real events. That is what I also write. I prefer crime stories where the protagonist is truer to life and doesn’t possess superpowers.  

Edmond's book list on crime from a retired police detective

Edmond Gagnon Why did Edmond love this book?

I've read a few of Lee Child's Jack Reacher novels and I have to say this was probably my favorite. I found Reacher’s humor a little drier in this one, and there was a lot less of Child's sometimes painfully slow narrative.

I liked the characters and the plot moved well, with a couple of cool twists to keep you guessing right until the end. For me, it was a fun read!

By Lee Child,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

"Consistently pulse-raising. . .an exhilarating ride. . .Personal wrests back the sheer gusto of the earlier novels; it's the best Reacher adventure in some considerable time." (Independent)

Jack Reacher walks alone.

Once a go-to hard man in the US military police, now he's a drifter of no fixed abode. But the army tracks him down. Because someone has taken a long-range shot at the French president.

Only one man could have done it. And Reacher is the one man who can find him.

This new heartstopping, nailbiting book in Lee Child's number-one bestselling series takes Reacher across the Atlantic to…

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