74 books like Maids of Misfortune

By M. Louisa Locke,

Here are 74 books that Maids of Misfortune fans have personally recommended if you like Maids of Misfortune. 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 Stone and Spark: Book 1 in the Raleigh Harmon Mysteries

Susan Page Davis Author Of Blue Plate Special

From my list on cozy mysteries by contemporary authors.

Why am I passionate about this?

A good puzzle will draw me in every time, and I’ve always loved mysteries. When I was a kid, Trixie Belden was my favorite sleuth. In junior high, I tried my hand at writing a few mystery stories. I also discovered logic puzzles about this time. In a mystery, you have to locate the clues and put them together in a logical manner to solve the riddle. Now I’m the author of 100 published books. Many of them are mysteries, and most of the ones that aren’t have elements of mystery within the story. 

Susan's book list on cozy mysteries by contemporary authors

Susan Page Davis Why did Susan love this book?

While I love the old classics, I’ve discovered several contemporary authors whose cozy mysteries draw me in. I read this prequel after having devoured several books about Raleigh Harmon as an adult working for the FBI and then as a private investigator. They’re all great, but the three in the Prequel series (or Young Raleigh Harmon series) are now my favorites. I love the teenage Raleigh, who must solve serious mysteries while dealing with her difficult family. I love her genius best friend, Drew. And I love the way Raleigh uses her passion for geology and her common sense in every mystery.

By Sibella Giorello,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

During the worst week of her life, Raleigh Harmon discovers her destiny.
Her best friend is a smart-mouthed genius girl named Drew Levinson. But Drew is gone. Nowhere to be found. Everybody insists Drew ran away. But Raleigh suspects something worse.

Armed with one rock hammer, an encyclopedic knowledge of city criminal codes, and a stubborn streak wide as the Chesapeake Bay, Raleigh searches for clues.

Did Drew secretly meet somebody? Did her loony parents finally push her over the edge? Or is Raleigh’s hunch dead-on: Drew didn’t choose to leave….

The first book in the best-selling Raleigh Harmon prequel…


Book cover of A Vow of Silence

Elizabeth Bailey Author Of The Gilded Shroud

From my list on mysteries to escape the now and voyage the past.

Why am I passionate about this?

Even as a child, I wanted to escape from current times and visit bygone or future eras. History and literature were favourites and I gleaned most of what I know of the past by reading. Then I found Georgette Heyer, prompting a lifetime love affair with all things Georgian and Regency. Agatha Christie got me into mystery. I loved both the puzzle of whodunit and being whirled away into Poirot, Marple, or Cadfael territory. A good mystery and a deep dive into history as well? Heaven! Best of all is the author who draws me so completely into their imaginary world that the real one fades away.

Elizabeth's book list on mysteries to escape the now and voyage the past

Elizabeth Bailey Why did Elizabeth love this book?

Sister Joan is yet another religious sleuth. Set in the early 1990s, I think this series now qualifies as a historical mystery. It is a lighter read than my other choices, but one I absolutely loved and, like Cadfael, I dived in and devoured the lot. Vow of Silence is the first and hooked me straight away. The religious life fascinates me and I enjoyed the way the ceremonial routine of the convent was woven into the mysteries. This detail serves to immerse you in the life of Sister Joan, a down-to-earth heroine who drew my admiration. The mysteries unfold naturally into the setting and don’t seem incongruous. A more gentle read than the others I have chosen, but acutely satisfying.

By Veronica Black,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

When one nun dies in a bizarre accident and another disappears, hushed whispers of virgin sacrifice, Mother Goddess worship, suicide, and murder spread among the Sisters at Cornwall House convent and Sister Joan is sent to investigate


Book cover of A Fatal Obsession

Susan Page Davis Author Of Blue Plate Special

From my list on cozy mysteries by contemporary authors.

Why am I passionate about this?

A good puzzle will draw me in every time, and I’ve always loved mysteries. When I was a kid, Trixie Belden was my favorite sleuth. In junior high, I tried my hand at writing a few mystery stories. I also discovered logic puzzles about this time. In a mystery, you have to locate the clues and put them together in a logical manner to solve the riddle. Now I’m the author of 100 published books. Many of them are mysteries, and most of the ones that aren’t have elements of mystery within the story. 

Susan's book list on cozy mysteries by contemporary authors

Susan Page Davis Why did Susan love this book?

The characters always pull me back for the next book in the series. Trudy Loveday is a WPC—Woman Police Constable—in the 1960s. She’s a young woman clawing her way up in a man’s world. Her favorite sidekick is Dr. Clement Ryder, the local coroner. He’s nearing retirement, and he has secrets he’d rather not reveal—like the reason he quit being a surgeon and signed on as coroner. Together these two solve murders faster than the local police detectives, inspiring jealousy and suspicion. Trudy and Clement make an ideal sleuthing team. I pre-order these books as soon as I learn there’s another one coming out, I love them so much.

By Faith Martin,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

'Absolutely loved it... The characters were some of the best I've read in a long time.' Angela Marsons, no. 1 bestselling author of the Kim Stone series

Oxford, 1960. Police constable Trudy Loveday is about to face her first murder case...

It's five years since twenty-one-year-old Gisela Fleet-Wright died. But when her former boyfriend is found brutally beaten to death the day after a mysterious note threatened his life, the case is reopened - and, to WPC Trudy Loveday's delight, she's sent to investigate alongside coroner Clement Ryder.

At first it's just a ploy by her senior officer, a man…


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 Gathering Prey

Mark Love Author Of Why 319?

From my list on contemporary mysteries.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a contemporary mystery junkie. Realistic tales, set in the modern world always grab my attention. In a creative writing course in college, one professor suggested the old ‘write what you know’ approach. I don’t know everything, but I know what I like. Mysteries! I thrive on distinctive characters, those who are willing to put every effort into getting to the bottom of the situation. Sharp, tight dialogue and descriptions are essential. Give me that, and I’ll be back for more. This is my passion. Come along if you want a thrill and a surprise or two. 

Mark's book list on contemporary mysteries

Mark Love Why did Mark love this book?

I’ve been a fan of Sandford’s detective Lucas Davenport for a long time. He’s wicked smart, with a dark side that loves to come out and play occasionally. The way he orchestrates his use of the news media, and the department is uncommon. But the bureaucratic nonsense is starting to wear thin. And it’s getting in the way of Davenport’s passion for catching killers. When a friend of his daughter runs into trouble, he reluctantly jumps into the case, even though it takes him out of Minnesota and into the wilderness of Wisconsin and Michigan.

Davenport is the ultimate badass. He does whatever it takes to bring a case to closure and for justice to be served.

By John Sandford,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A Lucas Davenport thriller by internationally bestselling novelist John Sandford

They call them Travelers. They move from city to city, panhandling, committing no crimes - they just like to stay on the move. And now somebody is killing them.

Lucas Davenport's adopted daughter, Letty, is home from college when she gets a phone call from a woman Traveler she'd befriended in San Francisco. The woman thinks somebody's killing her friends, she's afraid she knows who it is, and now her male companion has gone missing. She's hiding out in North Dakota, and she doesn't know what to do.

Letty tells…


Book cover of The Words We Lost

Cathy Gohlke Author Of Ladies of the Lake

From my list on the wonder and complexity of friendships and love.

Why am I passionate about this?

From the moment my grandmother told me that books were not created by magic, but that real people write books (I was five years old) I knew that I wanted to become a writer—as surely as did Anne in Anne of Green Gables. Themes of the joy, the complexity, and responsibility of friendship and family, of working together despite great challenges to overcome obstacles for purposes beyond ourselves, and of doing that while sometimes working through stages of grief all resonate with me, are all part of my life. The books I’ve recommended, as well as the books I’ve written, contain those themes.

Cathy's book list on the wonder and complexity of friendships and love

Cathy Gohlke Why did Cathy love this book?

The Words We Lost is a powerful portrayal of the surprising gift of kindred spirits, of the trust required to grow deep friendships, and of the intense emotions when friendships are interrupted by death—all things I’ve been dealing with in the recent loss of a dear friend. 

This book is a beautiful study of the long and complicated, individual journey of grief, and of the persistence needed to restore broken trusts. Trust, friendship, betrayal, grief, and the journey to restoration of trust and friendship are all themes close to my heart—themes beautifully portrayed in the contemporary story of The Words We Lost.

By Nicole Deese,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Three friends. Two broken promises. One missing manuscript.

As a senior acquisitions editor for Fog Harbor Books in San Francisco, Ingrid Erikson has rejected many a manuscript for lack of defined conflict and dramatic irony--two elements her current life possesses in spades. In the months following the death of her childhood best friend and international bestselling author Cecelia Campbell, Ingrid has not only lost her ability to escape into fiction due to a rare trauma response, but she's also desperate to find the closure she's convinced will come with Cecelia's missing final manuscript.

After Ingrid jeopardizes her career, she fears…


Book cover of Tea With the Black Dragon

Stephen Dedman Author Of Shadowrun: For A Few Nuyen More

From my list on lovers of urban fantasy.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve had a passion for weirdness in mundane settings since my childhood days watching The Addams Family in a boring suburb. I grew up with the Apollo program, but as I realized I’d never be an astronaut, I increasingly turned to writing science fiction and fantasy set on Earth. I discovered role-playing games shortly after D&D came out, but when I became bored with characters who were only after money and mayhem, I found other RPGs and began writing for them. FGU’s Bushido introduced me to Japanese mythology, which inspired my first urban fantasy novel, The Art of Arrow Cutting, which led me to being invited to write Shadowrun novels.

Stephen's book list on lovers of urban fantasy

Stephen Dedman Why did Stephen love this book?

The difference between urban fantasy and horror is that in urban fantasy, the supernatural elements may be benign, not scary. In Tea With the Black Dragon, the fantasy element is Mayland Long, a black dragon converted to Buddhism and transformed into human form to search for a Zen master. In San Francisco, he meets middle-aged Martha Macnamara, violinist and zazen practitioner, and assists her in looking for her daughter. Amateur detectives (one of them a dragon) vs. computer criminals; there’s no magic and not much violence.

By R.A. MacAvoy,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Tea With the Black Dragon as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In this "astonishing fantasy debut," a mother and a mysterious Chinese man-who is more than he appears-search for her missing daughter in San Francisco (Locus).

Offering "a deft blend of the oldest of magicks in a dragon, and the newest of sorceries in computers" (Anne McCaffrey), this is the incomparable novel that garnered Nebula, Hugo, World Fantasy, and Philip K. Dick Award nominations, and earned its author the John W. Campbell Best New Writer award.

Martha Macnamara knows that her daughter, Elizabeth, is in trouble-she just doesn't know what kind. Mysterious phone calls from San Francisco at odd hours of…


Book cover of Sourdough

Amy Watson Author Of Closer to Okay

From my list on using food as a catalyst to a better life.

Why am I passionate about this?

I used to write a food blog because I love stories about food, be they fiction or non-fiction. Food has the power to bring joy, healing, love, anger, sadness, etc.—you name the emotion and food can evoke it or remedy it. I’ve suffered from depression most of my life and the kitchen makes me feel better. Hearing that my chocolate cookies are amazing heals my heart a little at a time. Food and emotion go together like peanut butter and jelly, and I’m the first to pick up a book that skillfully employs both.

Amy's book list on using food as a catalyst to a better life

Amy Watson Why did Amy love this book?

For years, I couldn’t get yeast to cooperate. I just wasn’t patient enough and it was too darn temperamental. One day, the yeast worked. I made a lovely brioche dough and turned that into the stickiest, sweetest, yummiest cinnamon rolls known to man. 

I might not have stuck with my fussy yeast if it were of the variety in Sourdough. The starter that’s given to the main character sings, hums, and sometimes glows. It’s alive. I know that all yeast is alive, but this yeast is sentient. 

All that being said, the thing I love most about the book is that it is weird. I love weird people and things. I love weird books. What I don’t love about a lot of weird books is that they aren’t as immensely readable as Sourdough. Especially the ones that dance through genres as vastly different as science fiction and romance. But…

By Robin Sloan,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

From Robin Sloan, the New York Times bestselling author of Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore, comes Sourdough, "a perfect parable for our times" (San Francisco Magazine): a delicious and funny novel about an overworked and under-socialized software engineer discovering a calling and a community as a baker.

Named One of the Best Books of the Year by NPR, the San Francisco Chronicle, and Southern Living

Lois Clary is a software engineer at General Dexterity, a San Francisco robotics company with world-changing ambitions. She codes all day and collapses at night, her human contact limited to the two brothers who run the…


Book cover of The Bohemians

Catherine A. Hamilton Author Of Victoria's War

From my list on inspired by heroic women from around the world.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a native Oregonian of Polish descent, I was born in the small town of Sweet Home, Oregon. After finishing high school, I moved to Portland where I graduated from Lewis and Clark College with a Master’s degree in psychology. I spent twelve years as a psychotherapist, publishing over a dozen articles. After joining a writing group and trying my hand at fiction, my stories, articles, and poems have been published in magazines and newspapers—including Sarasota Herald-Tribune, The Oregonian, Catholic Sentinel, Dziennik Związkowy, and The Polish American Journal. My debut novel, Victoria’s War, won CIBA’s Hemingway Award for 20th Century Wartime Fiction and was #1 Best Seller on Amazon Kindle Unlimited in German Historical Fiction.

Catherine's book list on inspired by heroic women from around the world

Catherine A. Hamilton Why did Catherine love this book?

An interesting thing about reading this book is that I had read a novel about Dorothea Lange only months earlier. But when Darznik’s publicist reached out and asked me to read it, I couldn’t resist! Why? Because I love Dorothea and can’t get enough of her.

Dorothea is exactly the kind of woman I want to be BFFs with. But whose story would give me the intimate connection I was looking for? Jasmin Darznik, in her enchanting new novel, The Bohemians, that’s who.

On page one, I stepped into the relationship of two daring and talented women who seem different as night and day. Dorothea, a blond from New York and Caroline Lee, a black-haired Chinese American, raised in an orphanage.

By Jasmin Darznik,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A dazzling novel of one of America’s most celebrated photographers, Dorothea Lange, exploring the wild years in San Francisco that awakened her career-defining grit, compassion, and daring.

“Jasmin Darznik expertly delivers an intriguing glimpse into the woman behind those unforgettable photographs of the Great Depression, and their impact on humanity.”—Susan Meissner, bestselling author of The Nature of Fragile Things

In this novel of the glittering and gritty Jazz Age, a young aspiring photographer named Dorothea Lange arrives in San Francisco in 1918. As a newcomer—and naïve one at that—Dorothea is grateful for the fast friendship of Caroline Lee, a vivacious,…


Book cover of Redeeming Love

S.L. Klein Author Of Waves of Redemption

From my list on heavy and hopeful themes.

Why am I passionate about this?

Many readers pick up books to escape reality, but I am passionate about reading stories where hope and healing can be found among the pages. I love depth and transparency. I love learning about history. As an author who ensures my books contain accurate biblical themes, I am always searching for books that are saturated with truth. Stories that will take me on an adventure and help me grow along with the characters. This list contains books that cover heavy topics, but they also infuse hope. I know that I have found encouragement through them!

S.L.'s book list on heavy and hopeful themes

S.L. Klein Why did S.L. love this book?

This retelling of the Book of Hosea reminded me that love is meant to be unconditional. Patient, healing, hopeful. No matter what Angel does, Michael loves her. I read this entire book in less than two days. I laughed, I cried, and while I couldn’t put the book down, I dreaded closing the cover for the final time. I had a book hangover for days.

If I could choose one book to reread for the first time, it would be this one. I haven’t experienced things that these characters have, but this story still inspired healing and sparked hope. It broke me and put my back together. I walked away with a clearer view of how much God loves me and the lengths He will go to prove it.

By Francine Rivers,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

NATIONAL BESTSELLER * SOON TO BE A MAJOR MOTION PICTURE starring Abigail Cowen, Tom Lewis, Nina Dobrev, with Logan Marshall Green and Eric Dane, special appearance by Famke Janssen. Distributed by Universal Pictures with a screenplay by Francine Rivers and D.J. Caruso

CALIFORNIA'S GOLD COUNTRY, 1850. A TIME WHEN MEN SOLD THEIR SOULS FOR A BAG OF GOLD AND WOMEN SOLD THEIR BODIES FOR A PLACE TO SLEEP.

Angel expects nothing from men but betrayal. A child prostitute, she survives by keeping her hatred alive. And what she hates most are the men who use her, leaving her empty and…


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