38 books like Lies, Spies, and the Baker's Surprise

By Terry Ambrose,

Here are 38 books that Lies, Spies, and the Baker's Surprise fans have personally recommended if you like Lies, Spies, and the Baker's Surprise. 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 The Thursday Murder Club

Why am I passionate about this?

During a time of turmoil in my life, I discovered the soul-calming world of the cozy when I happened upon the Thrush Green series by Miss Read (Doris Saint). A former fan of thrillers, my time spent in these rural British villages was a revelation. Who knew how peaceful the mundane could be when seasoned with a pinch of humor and common sense? I expanded my reading to include cozy mysteries like the ones I’ve recommended. Having reached the age of many of the ladies in these books, I appreciate even more their determination to continue to make a difference by using their unique experiences and skills.

J.B.'s book list on mature amateur sleuths who use their years of experience and wisdom to help solve crimes with aplomb

J.B. Hawker Why did J.B. love this book?

As a confirmed Anglophile, I became aware of Richard Osman’s wit and unique humor from watching British game shows where he appears as either a panelist or presenter. When I learned he had authored a book, I couldn’t wait to read it and had high expectations. The Thursday Murder Club did not disappoint.

The eclectic group of characters, from the Old Age Pensioners of the retirement village to the detectives they encounter (and frustrate), are engaging and richly developed. Even the evil-doers are written with more than the usual depth.

The plot is rich, with unexpected twists. I love a good, clean mystery that respects both the characters and the readers. Richard Osman has created a delightful series. I can’t wait for his next installment. 

By Richard Osman,

Why should I read it?

24 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 Fortune and Glory

Lois Winston Author Of Guilty as Framed

From my list on cozy & amateur sleuth mysteries when you need a laugh.

Why am I passionate about this?

I started out my writing career in romance and romantic suspense but discovered my humor gene when I wrote my first chick lit novel. Who knew I could write humor? Certainly not me! I bungle every joke I’ve ever tried to tell. But suddenly humor was flowing from my fingertips onto my computer screen. Seeing this new side to my writing, my agent suggested I try my hand at a humorous cozy mystery. Suddenly I found my true calling. I left the world of romance behind and settled into the world of murder and mayhem, complete with a large dollop of laughter.

Lois' book list on cozy & amateur sleuth mysteries when you need a laugh

Lois Winston Why did Lois love this book?

Technically, Stephanie Plum isn’t an amateur sleuth because she works as a bounty hunter, but since she was never trained and tends to succeed despite her bungling and ineptitude, I consider her an amateur sleuth. Besides, when you’re sorely in need of a good laugh to release some endorphins, you can’t go wrong spending a few hours with Stephanie and her colorful cohorts. This twenty-seventh outing in the long-running series is one of the best when it comes not only to the humor, but it offers up a well-plotted story, and lots of red herrings. Plus, there’s plenty of Grandma Masur in this one. What more could you ask for?

By Janet Evanovich,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

From “the most popular mystery writer alive” (The New York Times), the twenty-seventh thrilling entry in the #1 New York Times bestselling series isn’t just the biggest case of Stephanie Plum’s career. It’s the adventure of a lifetime.

When Stephanie’s beloved Grandma Mazur’s new husband died on their wedding night, the only thing he left her was a beat-up old easy chair…and the keys to a life-changing fortune.

But as Stephanie and Grandma Mazur search for Jimmy Rosolli’s treasure, they discover that they’re not the only ones on the hunt. Two dangerous enemies from the past stand in their way—along…


Book cover of Undertaking Irene

Lois Winston Author Of Guilty as Framed

From my list on cozy & amateur sleuth mysteries when you need a laugh.

Why am I passionate about this?

I started out my writing career in romance and romantic suspense but discovered my humor gene when I wrote my first chick lit novel. Who knew I could write humor? Certainly not me! I bungle every joke I’ve ever tried to tell. But suddenly humor was flowing from my fingertips onto my computer screen. Seeing this new side to my writing, my agent suggested I try my hand at a humorous cozy mystery. Suddenly I found my true calling. I left the world of romance behind and settled into the world of murder and mayhem, complete with a large dollop of laughter.

Lois' book list on cozy & amateur sleuth mysteries when you need a laugh

Lois Winston Why did Lois love this book?

When it comes to absurdist humor, this book is a standout. I couldn’t stop laughing, beginning with the first page. Jane Delaney is known as the Death Diva. Her freelance business provides services that range from scattering loved one’s ashes to tasks that…well, let’s just say she’s got the oddest profession of any amateur sleuth I’ve ever come across, not to mention the most unusual sidekick, a neurotic poodle named Sexy Beast who plays Watson to Jane’s Sherlock. The first-person narrative comes alive with Jane’s delicious self-deprecating sense of humor and makes for the absolute best in escapist reading as Jane takes you on a hilarious journey on the road to whodunnit. 

By Pamela Burford,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Jane Delaney does things her paying customers can’t do, don’t want to do, don’t want to be seen doing, can’t bring themselves to do, and/or don’t want it to be known they’d paid someone to do. To dead people.

Life gets complicated for Jane and her Death Diva business when she’s hired to liberate a gaudy mermaid brooch from the corpse during a wake—on behalf of the rightful owner, supposedly. Well, a girl’s got to make a living, and this assignment pays better than scattering ashes, placing flowers on graves, or bawling her eyes out as a hired mourner. Unfortunately…


Book cover of Ask Me No Questions

Lois Winston Author Of Guilty as Framed

From my list on cozy & amateur sleuth mysteries when you need a laugh.

Why am I passionate about this?

I started out my writing career in romance and romantic suspense but discovered my humor gene when I wrote my first chick lit novel. Who knew I could write humor? Certainly not me! I bungle every joke I’ve ever tried to tell. But suddenly humor was flowing from my fingertips onto my computer screen. Seeing this new side to my writing, my agent suggested I try my hand at a humorous cozy mystery. Suddenly I found my true calling. I left the world of romance behind and settled into the world of murder and mayhem, complete with a large dollop of laughter.

Lois' book list on cozy & amateur sleuth mysteries when you need a laugh

Lois Winston Why did Lois love this book?

When twenty-six-year-old Lady Philomena Dunbridge solves a murder that has stymied the police, she scandalizes Edwardian England. Rather than lead a dowager’s life, she escapes to America—and immediately stumbles upon another murder in need of solving. I absolutely love Lady Phil’s unique outlook on life, which had me chuckling from chapter to chapter. The verbal sparring between her and her butler, the detective assigned to the case, and the mysterious Mr. X often made me shout, “You go, girl!” And she not only excels at dropping perfect bon mots, but she goes about unraveling whodunnit with absolute panache.

By Shelley Noble,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Ask Me No Questions as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A modern woman, Lady Dunbridge is not about to let a little thing like the death of her husband ruin her social life. She's ready to take the dazzling world of Gilded Age Manhattan by storm.

From the decadence of high society balls, to the underbelly of Belmont horse racing, romance, murder, and scandals abound. Someone simply must do something. And Lady Dunbridge is happy to oblige.


Book cover of Abby Cooper

Kris Neri Author Of Magical Alienation

From my list on magic to make you feel happy and even enchanted.

Why am I passionate about this?

Having heard Celtic legends as a kid made me want to either become a leprechaun or a goddess with the power to remake the world’s worst parts. Although I didn’t achieve either, I write about both, as well as other quirky people who march to the rhythm of delightfully offbeat drummers. I so adore eccentric people and jaunty environments, I’ve built a career out of writing them. That has allowed me to capture the sassy voice of the daughter of madcap Hollywood stars, the outrageous garments worn by a cheerfully fake psychic, and the journey of a brokenhearted chef who can’t quote an adage normally to save her life.

Kris' book list on magic to make you feel happy and even enchanted

Kris Neri Why did Kris love this book?

I’ve loved mysteries since Nancy Drew led me into a life of crime. Mixing in magic adds such zing to the mystery puzzle.

I especially enjoyed the charming Abby Cooper: Psychic Eye. A series of misadventures with a guy cause Abby to become entangled with the local PD, which allows her to bring some pretty bad guys to justice. I love Abby’s engaging voice and her spirited outlook. Especially appealing is that she believes herself to be different from others, someone who doesn’t fit in. Yet she also sees herself as shockingly normal compared to the oddballs who come to her for readings. Yet Abby finds humor in the irony of her situation.

If you like your magic mixed with mysteries, you’ll find this book fun.

By Victoria Laurie,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Abby Cooper is a P.I., psychic intuitive. But her insight failed her when she didn't foresee the death of one of her clients-or that the lead investigator for the case is the gorgeous blind date she just met. Now, with the police suspicious of her abilities and a killer on the loose, Abby's future looks more uncertain than ever.

 


Book cover of Lazarus

Candice Marley Conner Author Of The Existence of Bea Pearl

From my list on YA mysteries to channel your inner Nancy Drew.

Why am I passionate about this?

I grew up reading Nancy Drew books creekside in an Alabama swamp and developed a deep adoration of mysteries with atmospheric, creepy settings. I love the idea of strong female protagonists who take matters into their own hands and don’t sit idly by, so not only do I read books that have them as main characters, but I write them too. In addition to writing, I’m lucky enough to be a kidlit haint at a haunted indie bookshop, so reading and recommending the books I enjoy is literally my job!

Candice's book list on YA mysteries to channel your inner Nancy Drew

Candice Marley Conner Why did Candice love this book?

Another good small-town mystery, I recommend Lazarus if you prefer your whodunits full of heart and humor. Margo and Hank are the sweetest teen detective couple since Nancy Drew and Ned Nickerson. Only problem is Hank’s dead. 

The book is a dual POV, and their love for each other comes out of the pages as they grapple with what haunts them. In Margo's situation, the cold case death of her mother, and in Hank's, his accidental murderers plotting something nefarious, and wondering what's best for Margo--stay with her to protect her, or move on so she can too.

Every time I thought I figured out who the killer could be, Hank or Margo brought another neighbor’s secrets to light. The cornfield-filled, rural Nebraska setting lent creepy vibes.

By Maryanne Melloan Woods,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Lazarus as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 13, 14, 15, and 16.

What is this book about?

Margo and Hank are teen detectives in tiny, god-forsaken Lazarus, Nebraska. They have a profoundly deep relationship; the only hitch is that Hank has been dead for two months.The pair team up to solve a local murder, with Margo doing the everyday gumshoe work and the late Hank spying on suspects unseen. At the same time, Margo attempts to solve the cold case of her mother’s murder seven years ago. As Margo’s quest becomes more perilous, Hank will try to protect her, anguished that he can’t do more as she finally battles the sinister forces that killed her mother.


Book cover of These Wicked Waters

Candice Marley Conner Author Of The Existence of Bea Pearl

From my list on YA mysteries to channel your inner Nancy Drew.

Why am I passionate about this?

I grew up reading Nancy Drew books creekside in an Alabama swamp and developed a deep adoration of mysteries with atmospheric, creepy settings. I love the idea of strong female protagonists who take matters into their own hands and don’t sit idly by, so not only do I read books that have them as main characters, but I write them too. In addition to writing, I’m lucky enough to be a kidlit haint at a haunted indie bookshop, so reading and recommending the books I enjoy is literally my job!

Candice's book list on YA mysteries to channel your inner Nancy Drew

Candice Marley Conner Why did Candice love this book?

If you like your sleuthing seaside—with mermaids!—I recommend These Wicked Waters. Our main character, Annie, reluctantly spends her summer working at her mother’s new island resort, but things get super mysterious when the staff starts disappearing and she learns about the island’s curse. Cursed islands give me immediate grabby hands. With nods to The Odyssey, the sirens in this story are not your friendly, musical-loving mermaids. And the hurricane at the end will have you on the edge of your seat. 

By Emily Layne,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked These Wicked Waters as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 13, 14, 15, and 16.

What is this book about?

A centuries-old curse plagues the island of Viaii Nisi and an ancient enemy lurks beneath the depths of the surrounding water.Annie Mayfield has heard all the stories and rumors about the island that is now home to the brand new Mayfield Villa resort, and she is definitely not psyched about having to spend her summer working there. The island’s name alone—Viaii Nisi, or violent island—is enough to make any sane person seriously reconsider it as a vacation destination. Then there are the mysterious deaths of every previous owner! It’s a history Annie’s mother is quick to shrug off, but when…


Book cover of The Spellman Files

Jass Richards Author Of This Will Not Look Good on My Resume

From my list on to make you snort your drink out your nose.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have a Master’s degree in Philosophy and for a (very) brief time was a stand-up comic (now I'm more of a sprawled-on-the-couch comic). Despite these attributes, I have received four Ontario Arts Council grants.  This Will Not Look Good on My Resume was shortlisted for the Rubery Book Award, and excerpts from my several other books have appeared in The Cynic Online Magazine and 222 More Comedy Monologues, and on Erma Bombeck’s humor website.  

Jass' book list on to make you snort your drink out your nose

Jass Richards Why did Jass love this book?

I'm not much into family, so it says a lot that I'm putting this one on my list. At least the Spellmans are dysfunctional. In a funny way. And that's an impressive achievement. There are six books in this series, and I've read them all. No question, time well spent.

By Lisa Lutz,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

From the award-winning author of The Passenger comes the first novel in the hilarious Spellman Files mystery series featuring Isabel “Izzy” Spellman (part Nancy Drew, part Dirty Harry) and her highly functioning yet supremely dysfunctional family of private investigators.

Meet Isabel “Izzy” Spellman, private investigator. This twenty-eight-year-old may have a checkered past littered with romantic mistakes, excessive drinking, and creative vandalism; she may be addicted to Get Smart reruns and prefer entering homes through windows rather than doors—but the upshot is she’s good at her job as a licensed private investigator with her family’s firm, Spellman Investigations. Invading people’s privacy…


Book cover of Spies Never Quit

Robin King Author Of Remembrandt

From my list on spy books for Ally Carter fans.

Why am I passionate about this?

When I realized I didn’t have what it takes to join the CIA, I made it my life mission to find out everything it takes to be a spy—which, of course, made it necessary to watch every show and read every espionage story ever told. In the process, I discovered a passion for uncovering truth, as well as a love of writing. After writing three young adult spy novels, I feel like I’ve found the linguist, code breaker, and crime fighter in myself. My work for LitJoy Crate has given me the ability to know a good story when I read it, and then recommend that book to book lovers everywhere.

Robin's book list on spy books for Ally Carter fans

Robin King Why did Robin love this book?

I was hooked the minute I started reading this cute spy thriller. The romance is sweet, and the suspense is cozy. I think because I’ve always been a fan of Ally Carter, this series was the perfect next book to read. After reading it, I now want to be part of the Banana Club and go on undercover missions.

I left like the book was a perfect blend of Charlie’s Angels meets Nancy Drew. I also enjoyed the fast-paced action and the out-of-this-world gadgets. I even found myself laughing out loud at some of the humor. I can’t wait to read more books about Mari, Hannah Anna, and the rest of the team!

By M Taylor Christensen,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Spies Never Quit as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.


Book cover of The Tower Treasure

Jonathan Thomas Stratman Author Of Cheechako

From my list on making me feel like I’m someone else somewhere else.

Why am I passionate about this?

I was invited to travel to Africa and the Mid East on a job and I started to say, “I’m not that kind of guy.” Then I realized I am. I‘d already traveled around the world and even off it, reading. I’ve been happy and sad in books, victorious, scared, in love, survived storms and fierce wars, mourned valiant friends, and even space traveled. Books add dimension to life. What is dimension? Simply more. Like frosting on cake, hot sauce on fries, ice cubes in soda... fudge sauce on ice cream...  I read daily, get great ideas and feelings from books, still make new friends asking, “Have you read this?” Well, have you?

Jonathan's book list on making me feel like I’m someone else somewhere else

Jonathan Thomas Stratman Why did Jonathan love this book?

Okay, I’ll just say it: I’m a sucker for mysteries. Probably one of the reasons I write my own. But here’s the thing. Before I could drive, Frank and Joe could... cars, motorcycles, motorboats, and they put me behind the wheel. They turned me into a short-wave and citizen’s band radio nut, for a while, and first introduced me to girls who could be adventure buddies, when I couldn’t even talk to one. Truth: I’ve read about fifty of them, Nancy Drew, too. They do begin to repeat. But the first ten felt like a fresh, new adventure. As my other favorite, Sherlock Holmes might have said: “Come Watson, Frank, and Joe, make all haste, the game is afoot.” And I am right behind them. 

By Franklin W. Dixon,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Tower Treasure as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 8, 9, 10, and 11.

What is this book about?

A dying criminal confesses that his loot has been stored "in the tower." Both towers of the looted mansion are searched in vain. It remains for the Hardy boys to make an astonishing discovery that clears up the mystery and clears the name of a friend’s father.


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