95 books like Like a Sister

By Kellye Garrett,

Here are 95 books that Like a Sister fans have personally recommended if you like Like a Sister. 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 Bluebird, Bluebird

Susan Bickford Author Of A Short Time To Die

From my list on great writing with crime writers of color.

Why am I passionate about this?

When I was participating on a crime fiction panel in 2022, we were all asked to recommend books, and I was struck that none of us mentioned a book by a writer of color. Since I knew there were many excellent books by writers of color, I felt this was something I needed to fix. This past summer I decided to make a concerted effort to read more books by writers of color/#OwnVoices, and looked to members of Crime Writers of Color as a starting point. Encouraged by that very exciting read, I went to Bouchercon in Minneapolis where the association Crime Writers of Color was actively promoting the works of their members.

Susan's book list on great writing with crime writers of color

Susan Bickford Why did Susan love this book?

Edgar Award-winner Bluebird, Bluebird, is the first in the Jay Porter Series. Black Texas Ranger, Jay Porter, tried to escape East Texas and become a lawyer, but his home and people clawed him back. Jay is on the verge of losing his prestigious job, his reputation in tatters, when he heads to a tiny rural town to investigate the death of a visiting Black lawyer from Chicago and the seemingly separate death of a local white woman. Locke deftly reveals how the persistent stain of racism continues to poison many facets of life, while the law enforcement hierarchies and jurisdictional infighting threaten to undo Jay’s best efforts.

By Attica Locke,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Winner of the CWA Ian Fleming Steel Dagger Award 2018
2018 Edgar Award Winner for best novel

When it comes to law and order, East Texas plays by its own rules - a fact that Darren Mathews, a black Texas Ranger working the backwoods towns of Highway 59, knows all too well. Deeply conflicted about his home state, he was the first in his family to get as far away from Texas as he could. Until duty called him back.

So when allegiance to his roots puts his job in jeopardy, he travels up Highway 59 to the small town…


Book cover of They All Fall Down

Susan Bickford Author Of A Short Time To Die

From my list on great writing with crime writers of color.

Why am I passionate about this?

When I was participating on a crime fiction panel in 2022, we were all asked to recommend books, and I was struck that none of us mentioned a book by a writer of color. Since I knew there were many excellent books by writers of color, I felt this was something I needed to fix. This past summer I decided to make a concerted effort to read more books by writers of color/#OwnVoices, and looked to members of Crime Writers of Color as a starting point. Encouraged by that very exciting read, I went to Bouchercon in Minneapolis where the association Crime Writers of Color was actively promoting the works of their members.

Susan's book list on great writing with crime writers of color

Susan Bickford Why did Susan love this book?

When I heard an interview on NPR with Rachel Howzell Hall, I knew she needed to be on my list. Rachel is very prolific, so the book was a tough choice. Since I tend to prefer standalones over series, I picked They All Fall Down, a novel of suspense and a delicious take on the locked room mystery—in this case a luxurious remote private island in Mexico. Each of the seven guests has a dark past they would like to hide, including the narrator, Miriam Macy. Soon, the stranded guests are being outed and dispatched. Who will be next? We’re rooting for Miriam as her tale gradually unrolls. 

By Rachel Howzell Hall,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked They All Fall Down as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Seven strangers, each harboring a secret.

Odd accidents stir suspicion.

As one by one . . . . . They all fall down


Book cover of Murder in G Major

Elizabeth Amber Love Author Of Full Body Manslaughter: A Farrah Wethers Mystery

From my list on women starting over.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve spent my life recreating myself as many times as Madonna. If things aren’t working, I move on to something new. I’ll go to classes, learn something else, change careers, and struggle the whole way as I look for pieces of life that fit the puzzle of me. It takes me a lot longer to read so when I try to diversify my bookshelf and don’t always stick to my genre (as the professionals tell an author to do). What I “stick to” is finding female characters who struggle and want to give up, but somehow, something deep inside them makes them move forward one step at a time.

Elizabeth's book list on women starting over

Elizabeth Amber Love Why did Elizabeth love this book?

Gethsemane Brown is a vibrant, ambitious, and brave. She’ll strike out anywhere in the world to be a Maestra as long as her life is filled with music.

The offers aren’t what she would like and takes a job in an Irish boys’ academy. The boys were rebellious (of course they are). The school won’t support her recommendations. As the only black woman in the village (and an American), the entire town knew her business before she could even unpack her boxes.

Readers should be prepared for a touch of the paranormal here. Gethsemane lives in a haunted house. Despite this quirk, the mystery is completely grounded in the realism of the town, its people, the church, etc. 

By Alexia Gordon,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked Murder in G Major as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

“The captivating southwestern Irish countryside adds a delightful element to this paranormal series launch. Gethsemane is an appealing protagonist who is doing the best she can against overwhelming odds.” – Library Journal (starred review) With few other options, African-American classical musician Gethsemane Brown accepts a less-than-ideal position turning a group of rowdy schoolboys into an award-winning orchestra. Stranded without luggage or money in the Irish countryside, she figures any job is better than none. The perk? Housesitting a lovely cliffside cottage. The catch? The ghost of the cottage’s murdered owner haunts the place. Falsely accused of killing his wife (and…


Book cover of Razorblade Tears

Sylvia Hubbard Author Of Wicked Chances

From my list on books that weave romance around suspense.

Why am I passionate about this?

Since I was a tween, I’ve been fascinated by romance. That happily ever after has always taken my breath away. Growing up in Detroit, Michigan, suspense and mystery have always surrounded my life, and intertwining these two elements in my own stories was a norm, but reading them was required and loved. I’m a part of several groups that focus on these genres and I share my readings with them along with my own group on Facebook. I know you will enjoy reading these books as much as I have.

Sylvia's book list on books that weave romance around suspense

Sylvia Hubbard Why did Sylvia love this book?

A friend recommended this book to try to get me out of a reading slump, and man, this book had me crawling out fast. I was impressed with just a darn good story that had me from the start.

Not only did this story contain the elements of suspense and romance that I enjoy, but the intricate lives of the characters had me rooting and emotional, wanting more of them by the end. I would highly recommend this to other readers.

By S.A. Cosby,

Why should I read it?

6 authors picked Razorblade Tears as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

*INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER* One of Barack Obama's Recommended Reads for Summer • New York Times Notable Book • NPR’s Best Books of 2021 • Washington Post’s Best Thriller and Mystery Books of the Year • TIME Magazine’s 100 Must-Read Books of 2021 • New York Public Library’s Best Books of the Year • Goodreads Choice Award Nominee • Book of the Month’s Book of the Year Finalist
“Provocative, violent — beautiful and moving, too.” —Washington Post
“Superb...Cuts right to the heart of the most important questions of our times.” —Michael Connelly
“A tour de force – poignant, action-packed,…


Book cover of A Killing Fire

Susan Bickford Author Of A Short Time To Die

From my list on great writing with crime writers of color.

Why am I passionate about this?

When I was participating on a crime fiction panel in 2022, we were all asked to recommend books, and I was struck that none of us mentioned a book by a writer of color. Since I knew there were many excellent books by writers of color, I felt this was something I needed to fix. This past summer I decided to make a concerted effort to read more books by writers of color/#OwnVoices, and looked to members of Crime Writers of Color as a starting point. Encouraged by that very exciting read, I went to Bouchercon in Minneapolis where the association Crime Writers of Color was actively promoting the works of their members.

Susan's book list on great writing with crime writers of color

Susan Bickford Why did Susan love this book?

This book is so much more than a police procedural set in the South with a Black female detective as its protagonist. Snowden writes Southern Gothic stories with all the wonderful emotional obsessions and foreboding suspense that anchor that genre. As the child of a serial killer, Detective Raven Burns witnessed many of her father’s deadly attacks, including the murder of Raven’s mother. Haunted by her past, Raven struggles with both real life and personal demons to secure justice for victims in the present.

By Faye Snowden,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

"Full-bodied and dynamic characters carry this one along a mystery, tying a brutal past with a bloody present that will keep you guessing right up to the finale." - Unnerving Magazine

As a child forced to witness her father's crimes, homicide Detective Raven Burns dedicates every waking moment to proving that she is not her father's child. But when she shoots a suspect who has what turns out to be an unloaded weapon, Raven finds that she must confront both the demons of her past and the stains on her soul in order to stop a killer.

FLAME TREE PRESS…


Book cover of Thyme of Death

Elizabeth Amber Love Author Of Full Body Manslaughter: A Farrah Wethers Mystery

From my list on women starting over.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve spent my life recreating myself as many times as Madonna. If things aren’t working, I move on to something new. I’ll go to classes, learn something else, change careers, and struggle the whole way as I look for pieces of life that fit the puzzle of me. It takes me a lot longer to read so when I try to diversify my bookshelf and don’t always stick to my genre (as the professionals tell an author to do). What I “stick to” is finding female characters who struggle and want to give up, but somehow, something deep inside them makes them move forward one step at a time.

Elizabeth's book list on women starting over

Elizabeth Amber Love Why did Elizabeth love this book?

The China Bayles series by Susan Wittig-Albert introduced me to characters who are brave without being superpowered.

China Bayles is a female protagonist who is strong-willed and intelligent. The stories about her never emphasize her looks other than describing things that would be overlooked on television.

She’s left her job as a Texas attorney and runs an herb shop (it expands in later books). She’s more likely to have dirt under her nails and sneakers on her feet rather than a fresh mani-pedi with stilettos for superhero-style espionage.

China is surrounded by a tight group of loved ones. These are characters that go through troubles. They support each other. The series gives middle-aged people something to embrace when typical pop culture never lets anyone age.

After reading some China Bayles stories, I noticed myself doing new things like planting small porch pots of pansies and herbs. With small steps come…

By Susan Wittig Albert,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Nominated for both an Agatha and an Anthony Award, Susan Wittig Albert's novels featuring ex-lawyer and herb-shop proprietor China Bayles have won acclaim for their rich characterization and witty, suspenseful stories of crime and passion in small-town Texas.

Now, when China's friend Jo dies of an apparent suicide, China looks behind the quaint facade of Pecan Springs and takes a suspicious look at everyone. And though she finds lots of friendly faces, China is sure that one of them hides the heart of a killer.


Book cover of Varina Palladino's Jersey Italian Love Story

Elizabeth Amber Love Author Of Full Body Manslaughter: A Farrah Wethers Mystery

From my list on women starting over.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve spent my life recreating myself as many times as Madonna. If things aren’t working, I move on to something new. I’ll go to classes, learn something else, change careers, and struggle the whole way as I look for pieces of life that fit the puzzle of me. It takes me a lot longer to read so when I try to diversify my bookshelf and don’t always stick to my genre (as the professionals tell an author to do). What I “stick to” is finding female characters who struggle and want to give up, but somehow, something deep inside them makes them move forward one step at a time.

Elizabeth's book list on women starting over

Elizabeth Amber Love Why did Elizabeth love this book?

This isn’t a mystery, but Varina Palladino’s Jersey Italian Love Story instantly became my new favorite book.

First of all, it’s close to home for me. I’m a Jersey Girl and my grandmother married into an Italian family. The food, the colloquialisms, the (loud) holiday feasts – it’s all there.

This book has an interesting presentation as well. Each chapter begins with a few words of Jersey-Italian pidgin, traces the origins from Italian, and gives an example of how to use it properly.

Varina is a grandma who has worked herself to the bone running a gourmet food store even after her husband died. All she wants to do is take the little bit of money she’s managed to save and take one vacation to France. Her mother, her kids, the grandkids – everyone always needs her for something. There is a happy ending and a beautiful epilogue.

By Terri-Lynne DeFino,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Varina Palladino's Jersey Italian Love Story as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"Varina Palladino's Jersey Italian Love Story is fun and funny, wonderfully exuberant, and incredibly wise. These endearing characters-their voices and stories- will be with me for a long time to come. I didn't want to say good-bye." -Jill McCorkle, New York Times bestselling author of Hieroglyphics

An utterly delightful and surprising family drama-think Moonstruck and My Big Fat Greek Wedding set in New Jersey-about a boisterous, complicated Italian family determined to help their widowed mother find a new boyfriend.

Lively widow Varina Paladino has lived in the same house in Wyldale, New Jersey, her entire life. The town might be…


Book cover of Digging Up the Remains

Elizabeth Amber Love Author Of Full Body Manslaughter: A Farrah Wethers Mystery

From my list on women starting over.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve spent my life recreating myself as many times as Madonna. If things aren’t working, I move on to something new. I’ll go to classes, learn something else, change careers, and struggle the whole way as I look for pieces of life that fit the puzzle of me. It takes me a lot longer to read so when I try to diversify my bookshelf and don’t always stick to my genre (as the professionals tell an author to do). What I “stick to” is finding female characters who struggle and want to give up, but somehow, something deep inside them makes them move forward one step at a time.

Elizabeth's book list on women starting over

Elizabeth Amber Love Why did Elizabeth love this book?

Julia Henry’s third book in her Garden Squad Mysteries makes my list.

In Digging Up the Remains, Julia Henry brings readers a modern Jessica Fletcher with her character Lilly Jayne. Senior citizen Lilly is roommates with Delia, nearly forty years age difference! Somehow this works exquisitely for both of them. The rest of the characters span in age, but not in ethnicity, although there is small LGBT representation.

The theme of Digging Up the Remains is about secrets. The skeletons are in the closet so to speak.

Due to the contemporary setting this book’s way of showing the status of the journalism business is accurate. Now the world favors unsubstantiated, high-traffic live feeds of the “average” citizen hoping to get 15 minutes of fame and go viral. 

By Julia Henry,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Digging Up the Remains as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A festive fall is in full swing in Goosebush, Massachusetts, but when a snoopy reporter is felled by foul play, it's up to Lilly and her Garden Squad to spook out a killer . . .

Between hosting a haunted house on her lawn, serving on the town's 400th Anniversary Planning Committee, and prepping for the Fall Festival's 10k fundraiser, Lilly's hands are full. She doesn't have time for prickly newspaper reporter Tyler Crane, who's been creeping around town, looking for dirt on Goosebush's most notable families . . . until he's found dead on the race route moments before…


Book cover of Sister

Louise Stone Author Of S is for Stranger

From my list on to send shivers down your spine.

Why am I passionate about this?

I love psychological thrillers because I have firsthand dealt with OCD and gaslighting. Therefore, I find the human mind fascinating, and how the line between sanity and insanity is changeable. I think as humans we want to feel safe and hence, we box things into categories but all these thrillers I have recommended force you to look outside of the boxes and they can be chillingly thought-provoking. I am obsessed with writing that gives the reader such graphic insight into a character’s thoughts and actions. If you want unputdownable books, these are the ones for you!

Louise's book list on to send shivers down your spine

Louise Stone Why did Louise love this book?

A beautiful story of sisterhood and the drive for one sister to find out the truth about her murdered sibling.

The writing is pacy, tense, and is a read-in-one-sitting book. I remember not being able to breathe for the entirety of the novel! It is, honestly, one of the finest thrillers of all time.

By Rosamund Lupton,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

'Tear-jerking and spine-tingling' New York Times

* THE SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER *
* THE NEW YORK TIMES BESTLLER *
* A BBC RADIO 4 BOOK AT BEDTIME PICK *
* WINNER OF THE RICHARD AND JUDY DEBUT NOVEL AWARD *

You're missing. I'm coming to find you . . .

When Beatrice gets a frantic call in the middle of Sunday lunch to say that her younger sister, Tess, is missing, she boards the first flight home to London. But as she learns about the circumstances surrounding Tess's disappearance, she is stunned to discover how little she actually knows of…


Book cover of It Takes a Witch

Denise Swanson Author Of Murder of a Smart Cookie

From my list on feel good mysteries.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a former school psychologist and author of over 45 books, I love reading about characters that are likable, plots that are believable, and settings that I want to visit. My years as a psychologist make it easy to spot poorly written characters that don’t ring true. It is also my years as a psychologist that makes me enjoy a light, humorous read with a guaranteed happy ending.

Denise's book list on feel good mysteries

Denise Swanson Why did Denise love this book?

Heather Blake’s first Wishcraft mystery is a captivating story that delightfully blends crime, magic, romance, and self-discovery. The suspense remains high throughout the book and is not an easy mystery to solve. The characters and plot are spellbinding and full of charm, enchantment, and humor. I especially love the animals who speak and help provide the clues.

By Heather Blake,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked It Takes a Witch as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

FIRST IN THE NATIONAL BESTSELLING WISHCRAFT MYSTERY SERIES!

Darcy Merriweather and her sister, Harper, hail from a long line of witches who have the power to grant wishes using spells. They’ve come to Enchanted Village in Salem, Massachusetts, to join the family business, but soon find themselves knee-deep in murder…
 
Until three weeks ago, Darcy and her sister, Harper, were working dead-end jobs and trying to put their troubles behind them. Then their Aunt Velma delivered a bombshell: they’re actually Wishcrafters—witches with the power to grant wishes with a mere spell. Wanting a fresh start, they head to their aunt’s…


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