100 books like Loot

By Aaron Elkins,

Here are 100 books that Loot fans have personally recommended if you like Loot. 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 Name of the Rose

Amelia Vergara Author Of Firefax

From my list on fiction full of intrigue, danger, and high adventure.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a physician assistant and paramedic with ten brothers and sisters, an all-consuming love of the outdoors and adventure, and a fascination with history, particularly early US history. I love reading and writing the kind of books that I would like to read. My debut novel, Firefax, was written in large part as an escape from the horrors of serving in the hospital as a physician assistant during the delta wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. I hope it provides my readers with an escape from their own struggles as well. 

Amelia's book list on fiction full of intrigue, danger, and high adventure

Amelia Vergara Why did Amelia love this book?

A dark, twisted story of intrigue within the walls of an abbey in the fourteenth century.

Every character has some dark past that they are hiding, and everyone is part of the ever-deepening mystery, riddles piling upon riddles, as bodies pile upon bodies. The further into the abbey’s maze of secrets you become entangled, the more you’ll love it. The characters are deep and complicated, the world in which they live is richly imagined, and the final denouement will leave you breathless.

A book whose mysteries and philosophical dialogues will stay with you long after you close the final page. 

By Umberto Eco,

Why should I read it?

11 authors picked The Name of the Rose as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Read the enthralling medieval murder mystery.

The year is 1327. Franciscans in a wealthy Italian abbey are suspected of heresy, and Brother William of Baskerville arrives to investigate. When his delicate mission is suddenly overshadowed by seven bizarre deaths, Brother William turns detective.

William collects evidence, deciphers secret symbols and coded manuscripts, and digs into the eerie labyrinth of the abbey where extraordinary things are happening under the cover of night. A spectacular popular and critical success, The Name of the Rose is not only a narrative of a murder investigation but an astonishing chronicle of the Middle Ages.

'Whether…


Book cover of The Beautiful Mystery

Phyllis Entis Author Of The Green Pearl Caper

From my list on the setting woven into the story.

Why am I passionate about this?

In my own writing, the setting always is an important backdrop to the novel. Sometimes, it is the element that drives the plot forward. The seedy nature of Atlantic City, where most of my first mystery takes place, is essential to the story. I want my readers to be able to feel that they are witnessing a scene first-hand, whether on the Boardwalk, in a pawn shop on Atlantic Avenue, or in Damien’s favourite hangout. I also want them to identify with the characters. To root for the good guy in spite of his flaws–or for the bad guy if that is their preference.

Phyllis' book list on the setting woven into the story

Phyllis Entis Why did Phyllis love this book?

The abbey of St.-Gilbert-Entre-les-Loups and its immediate surroundings is so much a part of this mystery novel that it almost becomes a character in its own right. Louise Penny has woven a complex plot in the tradition of Agatha Christie (isolated location, every inhabitant a suspect), and has infused the narrative with her own trademark attention to character development. Even those readers who are unfamiliar with Chief Inspector Gamache and his side-kick, Inspector Beauvoir will quickly come to care about their relationship and their futures. 

I am a great fan of Louise Penny’s Gamache series, and this book is one of my favourites. I have lost count of the number of times I’ve read it.

By Louise Penny,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Winner of the Anthony Award for Best Crime Novel
Winner of the Macavity Award for Best Crime Novel
Winner of the Agatha Award for Best Crime Novel

There is more to solving a crime than following the clues.
Welcome to Chief Inspector Gamache's world of facts and feelings.

Hidden deep in the wilderness are the cloisters of two dozen monks - men of prayer and music, famous the world over for their glorious voices. But a brutal death throws the monastery doors open to the world. And through them walks the only man who can shine light upon the dark…


Book cover of Long Time Coming

Shelley Costa Author Of A Killer's Guide to Good Works

From my list on where great art leads to even greater crimes.

Why am I passionate about this?

One of the advantages of growing up in New Jersey is the proximity to the museums in New York City. What great school field trips! And I really believe that’s where my love for art and history began. My cathedrals are art museums, great libraries, Civil War battlefields, wilderness shorelines – experiencing these places lifts me out of the dailiness of life, reminds me of struggle, greatness, and excellence. I guess it was just a matter of time before my sweet spot as a writer and reader is the point of intersection between great art and terrible crimes. Things worth writing about. 

Shelley's book list on where great art leads to even greater crimes

Shelley Costa Why did Shelley love this book?

When an uncle – presumed killed in the Blitz – turns up after serving nearly forty years in an Irish prison, he tells a story about having been one of the thieves of Picasso paintings stolen from a diamond merchant in Antwerp in 1939. At clever work in this tale are forgers, revolutionaries, and family members out to recover their treasure or their family honor. I have known for a long time that what I love most – more than mere murder mysteries – are what I call novels with murder. For me, the story has to be a beautifully realized bit of writing, and a murder is just one feature of it.

I have always loved Goddard’s style, which is both elegant and readable. And murder, more than a puzzle, becomes a natural part of the lives he depicts. Known for his plot twists, he sets me down in…

By Robert Goddard,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Eldritch Swan is a dead man. Or at least that is what his nephew Stephen has always been told. Until one day Eldritch walks back into his life after 36 years in an Irish prison. He won't reveal any of the details of his incarceration, insisting only that he is innocent of any crime.

His return should be of interest to no-one. But the visit of a solicitor with a mysterious request will take Eldritch and his sceptical nephew fromsleepy seaside Paignton to London, where an exhibition of Picasso paintings from the prestigious Brownlow collection proves to be the starting…


Book cover of A Thief of Time

Stephen Allten Brown Author Of Stealing Picasso

From my list on taking you to unexpected places.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have always loved history and art. Combining the two makes perfect sense and provides the inspiration to keep writing. I can spend hours in a museum, just soaking up the magic in Impressionist paintings. I never get tired of researching the artists or their paintings, and I relish the unexpected discoveries. 

Stephen's book list on taking you to unexpected places

Stephen Allten Brown Why did Stephen love this book?

I was inspired by his descriptions. He captures the ethos of a place, the unique attributes that elevate mere locations to sensory experiences. I use the five senses as a guideline when writing descriptions. Tony Hillerman can place the reader in the scene, and I’m inspired to accomplish the same thing.

By Tony Hillerman,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Don’t miss the TV series, Dark Winds, based on the Leaphorn, Chee, & Manuelito novels, now on AMC and AMC+!  

“All of Tony Hillerman’s Navajo tribal police novels have been brilliant, but A Thief of Time is flat-out marvelous.”—USA Today

From New York Times bestselling author Tony Hillerman, A Thief of Time is the eighth novel featuring Lieutenant Joe Leaphorn and Officer Jim Chee as they find themselves in hot pursuit of a depraved killer.

At a moonlit Indian ruin where "thieves of time" ravage sacred ground in the name of profit, a noted anthropologist vanishes while on the verge…


Book cover of Goering's Man in Paris: The Story of a Nazi Art Plunderer and His World

Isabel Vincent Author Of Overture of Hope: Two Sisters' Daring Plan that Saved Opera's Jewish Stars from the Third Reich

From my list on heroes and anti-heroes in WW2 and the Holocaust.

Why am I passionate about this?

I became interested in the Holocaust and the Second World War during my senior year of high school. I took a literature class entitled “Man’s Inhumanity to Man,” which focused a great deal on the literature that emerged from the Holocaust. At the end of the year, I had the great honor to meet author and Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel who had actually read my essay (my teacher knew him, and gave it to him to read) and encouraged me to keep writing. I am fascinated by stories of survival and the quiet heroism that characterized women like Ida and Louise Cook.

Isabel's book list on heroes and anti-heroes in WW2 and the Holocaust

Isabel Vincent Why did Isabel love this book?

Hermann Goering’s art dealer was a Nazi stormtrooper with a PhD in art history and an athletic build. And Bruno Lohse always made sure the champagne was on ice whenever Hermann Goering arrived at Paris’ Jeu de Paume museum in order to examine the latest in stolen masterpieces.

Although Lohse was arrested after the war for his ties to the Nazi party and spent several years in prison in Germany and France, he was never convicted for his role in stealing art, and went on to make a good living as an art dealer in Munich after the war. Jonathan Petropoulos, a history professor at Claremont McKenna College and expert on the Holocaust, interviewed Lohse several times for this fascinating book.

By Jonathan Petropoulos,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Goering's Man in Paris as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A charged biography of a notorious Nazi art plunderer and his career in the postwar art world

"[Petropoulos] brings Lohse into sharper focus, as a personality and axis point from which to explore a network of art dealers, collectors and museum curators connected to Nazi looting. . . . What emerges from Petropoulos's research is a portrait of a charismatic and nefarious figure who tainted everyone he touched."-Nina Siegal, New York Times

"Readers of art history and WWII biographies will appreciate this engrossing deep dive into one of the world's most prolific art looters."-Publishers Weekly

Bruno Lohse (1911-2007) was one…


Book cover of The Improbability of Love

Alison Booth Author Of The Painting

From my list on art theft mystery novels that don’t tell the same old story.

Why am I passionate about this?

What makes me passionate about this topic is my love of art, encouraged by my parents and developed when I was completing an undergraduate degree in architecture. I’m also addicted to mysteries, preferably ones with history thrown into the mix. Born in Australia, I lived for some years in the UK before moving to Canberra. I hold a PhD from the London School of Economics and I’m a professor at the Australian National University. I do hope you enjoy the books on my list as much as I have.

Alison's book list on art theft mystery novels that don’t tell the same old story

Alison Booth Why did Alison love this book?

I first read this book when I was going through a bad period in my life when I felt my work as an academic was going nowhere.

The sprawling, absorbing plot of The Improbability of Love took me to another place. The novel is set in London, a city that I know well, and it has a huge variety of characters from all walks of life. Some of writing is very funny, which cheered me enormously.

The painting in question is by Antoine Watteau, and it was found by our heroine Annie in a junk shop. 

By Hannah Rothschild,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

WINNER OF THE BOLLINGER EVERYMAN WODEHOUSE PRIZE FOR COMIC FICTION 2016 SHORTLISTED FOR THE BAILEYS WOMEN'S PRIZE FOR FICTION 2016 A BBC RADIO 2 BOOK CLUB PICK 'an ingenious meditation on the true value of art' Daily Mail 'A deliciously wicked satire ... It's exquisitely written, shimmering with eye-catching detail ... a masterpiece' Mail on Sunday When lovelorn Annie McDee stumbles across a dirty painting in a junk shop while looking for a present for an unsuitable man, she has no idea what she has discovered. Soon she finds herself drawn unwillingly into the tumultuous London art world, populated by…


Book cover of Same Kind of Different As Me

Traci Medford-Rosow Author Of Unsheltered Love: Homelessness, Hunger and Hope in a City under Siege

From my list on homelessness and poverty.

Why am I passionate about this?

In March 2020, in the middle of a pandemic that had all but crippled New York City, my husband and I became homeless advocates. For months, we woke up each morning, made dozens of sandwiches, and walked the deserted city streets trying to feed the homeless, who were struggling to survive. Deserted streets meant no panhandling, which in turn, meant no food. In doing so, we became friends with many of the homeless men and women in our neighborhood. Fear and suspicion were replaced by trust and love, and our eyes and hearts were forever opened to people who had once been objects to be avoided.

Traci's book list on homelessness and poverty

Traci Medford-Rosow Why did Traci love this book?

Ron Hall’s #1 New York Times bestselling book, Same Kind of Different as Me, was the first book I read about homelessness, and I credit it with opening my eyes to this crisis. His uplifting story about his wife’s and his efforts to help the homeless in their neighborhood was also made into a film. Ron’s story focuses on one of the many homeless people he helped, a man named Denver Moore, who went on to live with Ron after Ron’s wife died. Denver also co-authored several of Ron’s books. My book is also co-authored with one of the homeless people I met, a woman named Maggie Wright. Our books are the only ones I know of that include the direct voice of a homeless person, and I feel this adds a necessary depth to a story about homelessness.

By Ron Hall, Denver Moore, Lynn Vincent

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Same Kind of Different As Me as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A critically acclaimed #1 New York Times bestseller with more than one million copies in print! Now a major motion picture. Gritty with pain, betrayal, and brutality, this incredible true story also shines with an unexpected, life-changing love.

Meet Denver, raised under plantation-style slavery in Louisiana until he escaped the "Man" in the 1960's by hopping a train. Untrusting, uneducated, and violent, he spends 18 years on the streets of Dallas and Fort Worth.

Meet Ron Hall, a self-made millionaire in the world of high-priced deals-an international arts dealer who moves between upscale New York galleries and celebrities.

It seems…


Book cover of Mouth to Mouth

Matt Witten Author Of Killer Story

From my list on thrillers you'll devour in one sitting.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been writing crime novels and TV shows for years. For TV, I wrote for Law & Order, Pretty Little Liars, CSI: Miami, and several other crime shows. In the book world, I used to write amateur sleuth novels, and now I write thrillers. My favorite form of relaxation is to get a cup of tea, put my feet up, and read a great thriller. They inspire me. As I read, I study how they’re structured. There’s nothing I appreciate more than a twist I didn’t see coming, a morally good character who turns out to be evil, or a flawed character who ultimately turns out to be good.

Matt's book list on thrillers you'll devour in one sitting

Matt Witten Why did Matt love this book?

When I was a kid, I used to love W. Somerset Maugham short stories. Often they were about two strangers, usually men, meeting in a remote colonial outpost, and one of the two would then proceed to tell the other a strange, violent, heartbreaking, life-altering story that had happened to him or that he had witnessed. Mouth to Mouth, which I loved, reminded me of those stories.

I listened to it on audiobook, and the narration is pitch-perfect. This novel is about two men who meet at an airport when their plane is delayed. They go into a lounge, where one of them, a rich art dealer named Jeff, proceeds to tell the other his life story.

It’s gripping. I sat in my car after I got home so I could listen to the last twenty minutes.

By Antoine Wilson,

Why should I read it?

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


Book cover of The Butterfly and the Violin

Elizabeth Musser Author Of By Way of the Moonlight

From my list on time-slip with present day and WWII protagonists.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a Southern girl from Atlanta who writes ‘entertainment with a soul’ from my writing chalet—tool shed—outside Lyon, France where my husband and I have worked with a non-profit for over 30 years. I love to incorporate little-known historical facts into my award-winning and best-selling contemporary, historical, and time-slip fiction. I want my reader to find not only a good story and an interesting plot, but also the soul in my book and in my characters with themes of betrayal, regret, redemption, forgiveness, and faith that allow my reader to think, to ask questions, to laugh and cry and hope. To be entertained way down in her soul. 

Elizabeth's book list on time-slip with present day and WWII protagonists

Elizabeth Musser Why did Elizabeth love this book?

Manhattan art dealer Sera James watched her world crumble at the altar two years ago, and her heart is still fragile. Her desire for distraction reignites a passion for a mysterious portrait she first saw as a young girl—a painting of a young violinist with piercing blue eyes. Along with wealthy heir William Hanover, Sera unravels the story behind the painting’s subject, an Austrian violinist Adele Von Bron who smuggles Jews out of Vienna and finds herself in Auschwitz.

Evocative, haunting, soul searching, this debut by Cambron is time-slip historical fiction at its best: heartbreaking truth of the horrors of Auschwitz, romance with a musical refrain, art and faith. Just the kind of story I try to write. A delight.

By Kristy Cambron,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Based on the real orchestra composed of prisoners at Auschwitz, The Butterfly and the Violin shows how beauty and hope can penetrate even the darkest corners.

Present day: Manhattan art dealer Sera James watched her world crumble at the altar two years ago, and her heart is still fragile. Her desire for distraction reignites a passion for a mysterious portrait she first saw as a young girl-a painting of a young violinist with piercing blue eyes.

In her search for the painting, Sera crosses paths with William Hanover-the grandson of a wealthy California real estate mogul-who may be the key…


Book cover of The Venus Fixers: The Remarkable Story of the Allied Monuments Officers Who Saved Italy's Art During World War II

Lauren Fogle Boyd Author Of The Altarpiece

From my list on art and culture during World War II.

Why am I passionate about this?

My interest in this topic began because of a trip to a museum in 2008. I noticed that a painting had been removed from view and a small piece of paper was hanging on the wall where the painting had been. The paper explained that this piece was involved in a court case revolving around whether or not it had been stolen from its Jewish owner by the Nazis during World War II. Nazi cultural appropriation, looting, suppression, and destruction turned out to be one of the most fascinating stories of the entire war. The research for my historical novel took several years, but it allowed me to write a book based on the facts.

Lauren's book list on art and culture during World War II

Lauren Fogle Boyd Why did Lauren love this book?

Dagnini’s book focuses specifically on Italy and the amazing stories of Rome, Naples, Florence, and Pisa among others. If you love Italian art and architecture, you will not be able to put this book down. Descriptions of the damage, but also how it was fixed and avoided in some cases, are truly inspiring. Without these Allied personnel, so much more could have been lost.

By Ilaria Dagnini Brey,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In 1943, while the world was convulsed by war, a few visionaries -- in the private sector and in the military -- committed to protect Europe's cultural heritage from the indiscriminate ravages of World War II.

In the midst of the conflict, the Allied Forces appointed the monuments officers―a motley group of art historians, curators, architects, and artists―to ensure that the great masterworks of European art and architecture were not looted or bombed into oblivion. The journalist Ilaria Dagnini Brey focuses her spellbinding account on the monuments officers of Italy, quickly dubbed "the Venus Fixers" by bemused troops.

Working on…


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in art theft, Massachusetts, and presidential biography?

10,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about art theft, Massachusetts, and presidential biography.

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