64 books like Maximum Bob

By Elmore Leonard,

Here are 64 books that Maximum Bob fans have personally recommended if you like Maximum Bob. 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 Squeeze Me

Warren Gill Author Of Princess of Horses

From my list on featuring animals for readers who are love animals.

Who am I?

I have been passionate about animals all my life. I was raised on and currently help operate the family farm near Petersburg, Tennessee. I have a doctorate in animal science and joined Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU) as a Professor of Animal Science and Department Chair on August 1, 2007, after retiring from a 25-year career with the Extension Service (University of Tennessee and University of Kentucky). I enjoy participating in community activities such as the Petersburg Community Cultural Coalition, Petersburg Lion’s Club, and serving as President of the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture Retiree’s Association. I have written two books, Cane Creek Days and Princess of Horses.

Warren's book list on featuring animals for readers who are love animals

Warren Gill Why did Warren love this book?

This is not a book about animals, but it is a great book in which animals play a critical role.

This is the seventh book in Hiassen’s Florida-based Skink series and possibly the best. One of the main characters, Angie Armstrong, is a wildlife wrangler with extraordinary skills which leads to hilarious consequences.

This book also manages intriguing social and political commentary including Kiki Pew Fitzsimmons’ efforts to support a fictional president whose behavior is similar and almost as wacky as our former leader who is apparently running again – I hope someone reads this book to him.

By Carl Hiaasen,

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked Squeeze Me as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'One of the world's funniest novelists'
SUNDAY TIMES

'Scabrous and unrelentingly hilarious . . . the Trump era is truly Carl Hiaasen's moment'
WASHINGTON POST

From the highly acclaimed author of Bad Monkey and Razor Girl comes this hilarious new novel of social and political intrigue, set against the glittering backdrop of Florida's gold coast.

It's the height of the Palm Beach charity ball season: for every good cause, there's a reason for the local luminaries to eat (minimally), drink (maximally), and be seen. But when prominent high-society dowager Kiki Pew suddenly vanishes during a swanky gala, and is later…


Book cover of Mother Night

Haris Orkin Author Of You Only Live Once

From my list on comedy thrillers.

Who am I?

The first time I tried to write a serious story, everyone thought it was hilarious. Right then I decided that I should lean into my strength and stick with comedy. I’ve written comedy screenplays for Hollywood and video games chockful full of comedy. I was even nominated for a Writer’s Guild Award for one of them. (Red Alert 3 starring Tim Curry, Jonathon Pryce, George Takei, Peter Stormare, and J.K. Simmonds.) So when I decided to write novels, I decided to write what I love to read. Comedy Thrillers. Good ones are hard to find. And laughter is good for us all. 

Haris' book list on comedy thrillers

Haris Orkin Why did Haris love this book?

Again, it’s difficult to pick a favorite Vonnegut book. I think he may have influenced my writing more than any other author. More than Ian Fleming. More than Elmore Leonard or Raymond Chandler. Some might say he isn’t really a thriller writer. Some may classify him as a writer of sci-fi. And yeah, maybe. But he’s so much more than that. He’s a zany magician and mad scientist who can turn utter tragedy into very black comedy. Mother Night is about Nazis and spies and war crimes and white supremacists. All the elements of a thriller combined with Vonnegut’s patented absurdity. I find every one of Kurt Vonnegut’s books thrilling, thoughtful, and hilarious.  

By Kurt Vonnegut,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

“Vonnegut is George Orwell, Dr. Caligari and Flash Gordon compounded into one writer . . . a zany but moral mad scientist.”—Time

Mother Night is a daring challenge to our moral sense. American Howard W. Campbell, Jr., a spy during World War II, is now on trial in Israel as a Nazi war criminal. But is he really guilty? In this brilliant book rife with true gallows humor, Vonnegut turns black and white into a chilling shade of gray with a verdict that will haunt us all.

“A great artist.”—Cincinnati Enquirer

“A shaking up in the kaleidoscope of laughter .…


Book cover of The Hot Rock

Howard Michael Gould Author Of Last Looks

From my list on comic crime that inspired comic crime movies.

Who am I?

I’ve made my way in the world as a writer, mostly of TV and movies, mostly of comedy of one stripe or another. As a consumer, though, I’ve always been more drawn to cops and robbers than to material designed primarily to make me laugh. Then, in my 50s, I made an unexpected turn to detective fiction, with a series shaped like traditional, serious mysteries but with satirical undertones and, hopefully, plenty of smiles along the way. My new career made me start thinking more attentively about how comedy and crime worked together, how my work built on what came before, and how it differed from it.

Howard's book list on comic crime that inspired comic crime movies

Howard Michael Gould Why did Howard love this book?

Westlake was already a bestselling author of hard-boiled tales of a career criminal named Parker when he created that antihero’s lighter flip side, John Dortmunder, whose compatriots, capers, and consequences all come with some goofy, left-handed conceptual spin. The rock in the title is a famous African emerald, which Dortmunder and his mates set out to boost, only to find themselves having to steal the same gem a second time, and a third—eventually six heists, in all, from progressively impossible fortresses and in progressively outrageous ways. I’m inspired by the whole Dortmunder series’ blend of laugh-out-loud character pieces and genuinely inventive crime writing, and obviously I’m far from alone.

By Donald E. Westlake,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Edgar Award Finalist: A comical crime caper “filled with action and imagination” (The New York Times Book Review).
 John Dortmunder leaves jail with ten dollars, a train ticket, and nothing to make money on but his good name. Thankfully, his reputation goes far. No one plans a caper better than Dortmunder. His friend Kelp picks him up in a stolen Cadillac and drives him away from Sing-Sing, telling a story of a $500,000 emerald that they just have to steal. Dortmunder doesn’t hesitate to agree. The emerald is the crown jewel of a former British colony, lately granted independence and…


A Last Serenade for Billy Bonney

By Mark Warren,

Book cover of A Last Serenade for Billy Bonney

Mark Warren Author Of Indigo Heaven

New book alert!

Who am I?

Author Composer Archer Teacher Grateful

Mark's 3 favorite reads in 2023

What is my book about?

In this deeply researched novel of America's most celebrated outlaw, Mark Warren sheds light on the human side of Billy the Kid and reveals the intimate stories of the lesser-known players in his legendary life of crime. Warren's fictional composer and Santa Fe journalist, John Blessing, is assigned to report on a jailed prisoner who calls himself "Willima H. Bonney," but what begins as a formal interview evolves into an unexpected relationship and a self-examination of Blessing's own cultured, city values.

After the Kid's death, Blessing embarks on a journey to find Billy's comrades and acquaintances - those who loved the Kid... and others who despised him. Ride along with John Blessing as he unravels one of Western history's most fascinating enigmas.

A Last Serenade for Billy Bonney

By Mark Warren,

What is this book about?

In this deeply researched novel of America's most celebrated outlaw, Mark Warren sheds light on the human side of Billy the Kid, and reveals the intimate stories of the lesser-known players in his legendary life of crime. Warren's fictional composer and Santa Fe journalist, John Blessing, is assigned to report on a jailed prisoner who calls himself "William H. Bonney," but what begins as a formal interview evolves into an unexpected relationship and a self-examination of Blessing's own cultured, city values.

After the Kid's death, Blessing embarks on a journey to find Billy's comrades and acquaintances - those who loved…


Book cover of Florida Roadkill

Susie Black Author Of Death by Cutting Table

From my list on authors who create the zaniest characters.

Who am I?

To be a successful sales exec, required my being an observant student of human nature. The same skill applied to my becoming a successful author. I discovered the most unforgettable people I encountered throughout my career were a lot like the zany oddballs my favorite authors created and the perfect models to base my cast of characters on. 

Susie's book list on authors who create the zaniest characters

Susie Black Why did Susie love this book?

Before I became an author, I enjoyed a successful career as a ladies’ swimwear sales exec. So, naturally, I spent a tremendous amount of time in the swimwear Mecca of the USA…better known as Florida.

While in the Sunshine State, I encountered my fair share of zanies…better known as buyers; a cast of kooky characters who loved to add some spice to the human stew we all simmer in with some pretty hair-brained schemes. So, it’s only natural that no one tickles my funny bone more than Tim Dorsey’s protagonist, trivia buff and certifiably crazy as a loon Serge A. Storms and his drug-addled partner Coleman who loves cartoons.

In Florida Roadkill, Tim Dorsey’s debut novel of the series, the author introduces us to socially conscious, but misguided Serge who eliminates those he deems either jerks or pests of humankind. Serge’s zany brand of frontier justice is nothing short of…

By Tim Dorsey,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

If you like your humour dark and twisty, then you'll love Tim Dorsey's outrageous Serge Storms series of crime novels. Introducing Serge Storms, America's most cheerful serial killer. Local trivia buff Serge loves eliminating jerks and pests. His drug-addled partner Coleman loves cartoons. Hot stripper Sharon Rhodes loves cocaine, especially when purchased with rich dead men's money. On the other hand, there's Sean and David, who love fishing and are kind to animals and who are about to cross paths with a suitcase filled with stolen insurance money. Serge wants the suitcase. Sharon wants the suitcase. Coleman wants more drugs…


Book cover of Sick Puppy

Susie Black Author Of Death by Cutting Table

From my list on authors who create the zaniest characters.

Who am I?

To be a successful sales exec, required my being an observant student of human nature. The same skill applied to my becoming a successful author. I discovered the most unforgettable people I encountered throughout my career were a lot like the zany oddballs my favorite authors created and the perfect models to base my cast of characters on. 

Susie's book list on authors who create the zaniest characters

Susie Black Why did Susie love this book?

Maybe it’s because I’ve always been a sucker for a righteous cause that Carl Hiaasen’s riotous, rollicking, tale of muckraking to the max had me cheering his zany protagonist and one-man-wreaking-crew, Twilly Spree from the first page to the last.

Twilly Spree has dedicated himself to saving Florida's wilderness from runaway destruction. He favors in-your-face political statements - such as torching Jet-Skis or blowing up banks - that leave his human targets shaken but taught a lesson in what happens when they choose not to do what Twilly considers the right thing.

Dognapping eco-terrorists, bogus big-time hunters, a Republicans-only hooker, an infamous ex-governor who's gone back to nature, thousands of singing toads, a horde of hungry dung beetles, and a Labrador retriever greater than the sum of his Labrador parts - these are only some of the zany denizens of Carl Hiaasen’s outrageously funny Sick Puppy.

By Carl Hiaasen,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Brilliantly twisted entertainment wrapped around a powerful ecological plea—from the New York Times bestselling author of Squeeze Me.

When Palmer Stoat notices the black pickup truck following him on the highway, he fears his precious Range Rover is about to be carjacked. But Twilly Spree, the man tailing Stoat, has vengeance, not sport-utility vehicles, on his mind. Idealistic, independently wealthy and pathologically short-tempered, Twilly has dedicated himself to saving Florida's wilderness from runaway destruction. He favors unambiguous political statements—such as torching Jet-Skis or blowing up banks—that leave his human targets shaken but re-educated.

After watching Stoat blithely dump a trail…


Book cover of Metzger's Dog

Michael Sheldon Author Of The Violet Crow

From my list on laugh-out-loud crime fiction.

Who am I?

I grew up in a Jewish home more focused on comedy than religion. I read Mad Magazine, watched The Three Stooges, and listened to Allan Sherman. The idea of a bar mitzvah was a cruel surprise, sprung on me at age 10. I flunked Hebrew school, yet got accepted at Yale. I majored in a Jewish girl who later broke my heart. So I began writing my first novel. It "almost" got published—another sad story—and I took a job with an editor in NYC who specialized in paranormal non-fiction. That was the spark for The Violet Crow—and my love for comic crime fiction. A new novel, Reveille in Birdland, is scheduled for completion in 2023.

Michael's book list on laugh-out-loud crime fiction

Michael Sheldon Why did Michael love this book?

I had the good fortune to meet Thomas Perry at a writers' conference a few years back. Perry is best known for fast-paced thrillers such as The Butcher's Boy, the Jane Whitefield series, and The Old Man.

On the topic of comic crime fiction, he observed that violent crime is serious business that's difficult to treat with levity. Perry tried it in his second novel. Published in 1983, Metzger's Dog follows Chinese Gordon and his gang as they romp through the southern California desert—blowing things up. Their target is a medical facility with a million dollars worth of cocaine. The heist goes perfectly, except Chinese Gordon also snatches a folder of documents that detail the CIA's meddling with foreign governments. Naturally the feds want those docs back—with extreme prejudice.

By Thomas Perry,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Metzger's Dog as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The much-loved comic thriller by the author of the Edgar Award–winning The Butcher’s Boy is now, by popular demand, back in print, featuring a new Introduction by bestselling author Carl Hiaasen.

When Leroy “Chinese” Gordon breaks into a professor’s lab at the University of Los Angeles, he’s after some pharmaceutical cocaine, worth plenty of money. Instead, he finds the papers the professor has compiled for the CIA, which include a blueprint for throwing a large city into chaos. But how is the CIA to be persuaded to pay a suitable ransom, unless of course someone actually uses the plan to…


Book cover of Bank Shot

Susie Black Author Of Death by Cutting Table

From my list on authors who create the zaniest characters.

Who am I?

To be a successful sales exec, required my being an observant student of human nature. The same skill applied to my becoming a successful author. I discovered the most unforgettable people I encountered throughout my career were a lot like the zany oddballs my favorite authors created and the perfect models to base my cast of characters on. 

Susie's book list on authors who create the zaniest characters

Susie Black Why did Susie love this book?

Maybe it’s because the protagonist and her group of amateur sleuths in my series manage to make every mistake imaginable before they finally succeed in bringing the real killer to justice, that I am tickled pink by Donald E. Westlake’s cast of over-the-top-miscreants.

Starring in Bank Shot, Westlake’s zany characters are more like the gang that couldn’t shoot straight. Gang leader John Dortmunder and the most inept group of criminals ever to stumble and bumble their way through an ill-fated caper are a rollicking treat that combines fast-moving suspense with laugh-out-loud wit as they attempt to steal a temporarily relocated bank that is inside a mobile home.

All Dortmunder has to do is get past seven security guards, put the bank-on-wheels in gear, and drive away. It’s a simple plan, until it all goes wrong… 

By Donald E. Westlake,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A crew of thieves hopes to hijack a mobile home full of money in this crime caper from “the funniest man in the world” (The Washington Post).

John Dortmunder has been working an encyclopedia-selling scam while waiting for his next big heist. Unfortunately, his latest mark seems to be wise to the con, and he has to cut his sales pitch short and make a quick escape.
 
But opportunity awaits: Main Street bank has temporarily relocated to a mobile home. All Dortmunder has to do is get past seven security guards, put the bank-on-wheels in gear, and drive away. It’s…


Book cover of Voodoo River

Michael Sheldon Author Of The Violet Crow

From my list on laugh-out-loud crime fiction.

Who am I?

I grew up in a Jewish home more focused on comedy than religion. I read Mad Magazine, watched The Three Stooges, and listened to Allan Sherman. The idea of a bar mitzvah was a cruel surprise, sprung on me at age 10. I flunked Hebrew school, yet got accepted at Yale. I majored in a Jewish girl who later broke my heart. So I began writing my first novel. It "almost" got published—another sad story—and I took a job with an editor in NYC who specialized in paranormal non-fiction. That was the spark for The Violet Crow—and my love for comic crime fiction. A new novel, Reveille in Birdland, is scheduled for completion in 2023.

Michael's book list on laugh-out-loud crime fiction

Michael Sheldon Why did Michael love this book?

Robert Crais' private detectives, Elvis Cole and Joe Pike, inhabit the same traffic-choked freeways as Harry Bosch, but in a much brighter key. I'm drawn to Elvis' non-stop banter, which is often laugh-out-loud funny. Tough-guy Joe has a gift for understatement that makes him a perfect foil for Elvis. In Voodoo River, Elvis falls in love with Lucy Chenier. (His wiseguy courtship style is something you shouldn't try at home.) The novel's set in Louisiana, where Crais grew up. Elvis is investigating a blackmail scheme run by Milt Rossier, a wily ex-con backed up by a gun thug named Leroy; Rene, a 400-pound brain-dead monster; and a vicious snapping turtle named Luther. Elvis is not intimidated, but he wisely calls in Joe to improve the odds for the inevitable confrontation.

By Robert Crais,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In a search for a young woman's past PI Elvis Cole discovers far more than he expected . . .

Hired to uncover the past of Jodi Taylor, an actress in a hit TV show, Elvis leaves his native Los Angeles to head for Louisiana in search of Jodi's biological parents.

But before he can tackle the mystery of the actress's background, he is up against a whole host of eccentrics, including a crazed Raid-spraying housewife, a Cajun thug who looks like he's been made out of spare parts, and a menacing hundred-year-old river turtle named Luther.

As Elvis learns…


Book cover of Black Run

Michael Sheldon Author Of The Violet Crow

From my list on laugh-out-loud crime fiction.

Who am I?

I grew up in a Jewish home more focused on comedy than religion. I read Mad Magazine, watched The Three Stooges, and listened to Allan Sherman. The idea of a bar mitzvah was a cruel surprise, sprung on me at age 10. I flunked Hebrew school, yet got accepted at Yale. I majored in a Jewish girl who later broke my heart. So I began writing my first novel. It "almost" got published—another sad story—and I took a job with an editor in NYC who specialized in paranormal non-fiction. That was the spark for The Violet Crow—and my love for comic crime fiction. A new novel, Reveille in Birdland, is scheduled for completion in 2023.

Michael's book list on laugh-out-loud crime fiction

Michael Sheldon Why did Michael love this book?

I couldn't get enough of the character, Rocco Schiavone, from the TV series Ice Cold Murders, so I decided to check out the original novels by Antonio Manzini. They are equally good—or better.  Rocco is a police inspector from Rome who gets transferred to Aosta, an alpine ski resort town. In Black Run, Rocco instructs his provincial team in big-city police techniques, including cutting corners and avoiding superiors. He contrives useless errands to get his two dumbest cops out of the office. And he introduces his classification of Things That Are a Pain in the Ass, with "sand in your clams" at Level Seven and "unsolved homicide" at Level 10. Black Run begins on the slopes, at Level 10, with the discovery of an unidentified corpse mangled by a snowcat.

By Antonio Manzini,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

'He'd almost walked right over it when he finally saw it for what it was: a stain of red blood, churned into the white blanket of snow...'

After getting on the wrong side of the wrong people in Rome, Deputy Police Chief Rocco Schiavone is exiled to Aosta, a small, touristy alpine town far from the cobbled streets and fritto misto of his beloved city.

Rocco's talent for solving crimes is matched only by his disdain for the rules and his eye for a beautiful woman. But when a mangled body is found on the ski slopes, he soon discovers…


Book cover of Mischief in Maggody

Susie Black Author Of Death by Cutting Table

From my list on authors who create the zaniest characters.

Who am I?

To be a successful sales exec, required my being an observant student of human nature. The same skill applied to my becoming a successful author. I discovered the most unforgettable people I encountered throughout my career were a lot like the zany oddballs my favorite authors created and the perfect models to base my cast of characters on. 

Susie's book list on authors who create the zaniest characters

Susie Black Why did Susie love this book?

I began my ladies’ apparel sales career as a manufacturer’s representative traveling the deep Southern states where many of my accounts were located in small, rural towns that were dead ringers for Maggody, Arkansas, a hotbed of gossip and murder, and the fictional burg where Mischief in Maggo takes place.

So, of course I have a special place in my heart for Joan Hess’s cheerfully bawdy, tongue-in-cheek second book of the Arly Hanks Mystery Series.

Brilliant, unapologetic author Joan Hess gleefully created a zany cast of characters-Madame Celeste, the psychic enthralling gullible local Yokels with her predictions of doom; a crooked Mayor who also owns the overpriced grocery store, and the fire and brimstone preacher who can’t keep his pants zipped, along with a gaggle of mantra-chanting hippies who have turned the old general store into the source for “cosmic harmony.”

With the brutal murder of Robin Buchanon-a moonshiner, prostitute,…

By Joan Hess,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

When a woman is shot in a cannabis patch, Arly Hanks must restore order to her Ozarks community, in this sharp-witted mystery by an Agatha Award-winning author.

When small-town police chief Arly Hanks returns to Maggody, Arkansas, after vacation, she finds the population has risen to a booming 802. Among the newbies: Madame Celeste, the psychic who's holding locals in thrall with her predictions of doom; a handsome new high school guidance counselor; and a gaggle of mantra-chanting hippies who have turned the old general store into the source for cosmic harmony. Unfortunately, life in Maggody is anything but harmonious.…


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