91 books like Murder at the Mena House

By Erica Ruth Neubauer,

Here are 91 books that Murder at the Mena House fans have personally recommended if you like Murder at the Mena House. 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 Crocodile on the Sandbank

Kathleen Marple Kalb Author Of A Fatal Finale

From my list on brilliant women sleuths who catch killers.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been reading mysteries since I “borrowed” my Grandpa’s Miss Marple’s as an elementary schooler. (And yes, my maiden name really IS Marple) And I’ve always been drawn to smart, competent women characters–even better if they’re funny. Women who do their own fighting and their own detecting and then hand the killer off to the cops with a smile and a great line. These women inspired me–and now I get to write a lady who at least belongs in the room with them!

Kathleen's book list on brilliant women sleuths who catch killers

Kathleen Marple Kalb Why did Kathleen love this book?

This book made me love historical mysteries. I absolutely adore the main character, Amelia Peabody, who lives in Victorian times but is very much NOT a Victorian woman: smarter and tougher than the guys and not afraid to own it. Like Amelia, Ancient Egypt has always fascinated me, and I love a good adventure.

The only thing I enjoy more is a will-they-or-won’t-why with whip-smart banter, and Amelia and Emerson deliver there, too. They drew me in immediately, with plenty of historical background, a twisty plot that kept me guessing until the end, and a great romantic payoff, too. I think the Peabody and Emerson books are the best historical mystery series ever. Fight me. 

By Elizabeth Peters,

Why should I read it?

12 authors picked Crocodile on the Sandbank as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Amelia Peabody is Elizabeth Peters' most brilliant and best-loved creation, a thoroughly Victorian feminist who takes the stuffy world of archaeology by storm with her shocking men's pants and no-nonsense attitude!

In this first adventure, our headstrong heroine decides to use her substantial inheritance to see the world. On her travels, she rescues a gentlewoman in distress - Evelyn Barton-Forbes - and the two become friends. The two companions continue to Egypt where they face mysteries, mummies and the redoubtable Radcliffe Emerson, an outspoken archaeologist, who doesn't need women to help him solve mysteries -- at least that's what he…


Book cover of The Anatomist's Wife

Jennifer Kincheloe Author Of The Secret Life of Anna Blanc

From my list on smart historical mysteries that start a series.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a public health research scientist who writes humorous historical mysteries set in 1900s Los Angeles among the police matrons of the LAPD. Like you, I read. I love smart, well-researched historical fiction with strong female protagonists and a good romantic subplot. Extra points if the book is funny because studies show laughter is good for you. 

Jennifer's book list on smart historical mysteries that start a series

Jennifer Kincheloe Why did Jennifer love this book?

Have you ever picked up a historical romance novel, attracted by the era, then read the book and said to yourself, “Wouldn’t it be great to explore other genres in this setting?” Then you need Anna Lee Huber’s Lady Darby mystery series. I picked up The Anatomist’s Wife at random from the library and was instantly confused. It seemed like the setting for a romance novel—1830s Scotland—but it’s first and foremost a mystery. Her characters are interesting and complex, the mystery is solid, and her beautiful prose elevates the genre.

By Anna Lee Huber,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

THE FIRST LADY DARBY MYSTERY

“A riveting debut…an original premise, an enigmatic heroine, and a compelling Highland setting…a book you won’t want to put down.”—New York Times bestselling author Deanna Raybourn

Scotland, 1830. Following the death of her husband, Lady Darby has taken refuge at her sister’s estate, finding solace in her passion for painting. But when her hosts throw a house party for the cream of London society, Kiera is unable to hide from the ire of those who believe her to be as unnatural as her husband, an anatomist who used her artistic talents to suit his own…


Book cover of Mr. Churchill's Secretary

Jennifer Kincheloe Author Of The Secret Life of Anna Blanc

From my list on smart historical mysteries that start a series.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a public health research scientist who writes humorous historical mysteries set in 1900s Los Angeles among the police matrons of the LAPD. Like you, I read. I love smart, well-researched historical fiction with strong female protagonists and a good romantic subplot. Extra points if the book is funny because studies show laughter is good for you. 

Jennifer's book list on smart historical mysteries that start a series

Jennifer Kincheloe Why did Jennifer love this book?

In 1940 London, Maggie Hope, a brilliant mind who graduated top of her class, is recruited by Number 10 Downing Street to be…a typist. Of course. She’s a woman. She’s also a crackerjack code breaker. I think you know where this is going. The character is wonderful, the writing strong, the story tight. A highlight for me was when Maggie –a young, virginal, cerebral type—pulls off a daring motorcycle jump with a man on the back because she has to. I don’t know, I think there’s a life lesson somewhere in there.

By Susan Elia MacNeal,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Mr. Churchill's Secretary as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

BARRY AWARD WINNER • Heralding the arrival of a brilliant new heroine, Mr. Churchill’s Secretary captures the drama of an era of unprecedented challenge—and the greatness that rose to meet it.

“With any luck, the adventures of red-haired super-sleuth Maggie Hope will go on forever. . . . Taut, well-plotted, and suspenseful, this is a wartime mystery to sink your teeth into.” —Kate Quinn, New York Times bestselling author of The Rose Code

London, 1940. Winston Churchill has just been sworn in, war rages across the Channel, and the threat of a Blitz looms larger by the day. But none…


Book cover of Styx & Stone

Jennifer Kincheloe Author Of The Secret Life of Anna Blanc

From my list on smart historical mysteries that start a series.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a public health research scientist who writes humorous historical mysteries set in 1900s Los Angeles among the police matrons of the LAPD. Like you, I read. I love smart, well-researched historical fiction with strong female protagonists and a good romantic subplot. Extra points if the book is funny because studies show laughter is good for you. 

Jennifer's book list on smart historical mysteries that start a series

Jennifer Kincheloe Why did Jennifer love this book?

Ellie Stone, a young alcoholic newspaper reporter in 1960s New York, makes her own rules while searching for a killer. The series is an incredible window into the era and the protagonist is superb. Booksellers, publishers, authors—we all know who James Ziskin is—simply one of the most decorated mystery authors writing today. This series has won so many awards, I can’t begin to list them all here. In spite of this, James Ziskin remains a secret to most readers. This baffles me and the only thing that can explain it is that we happen to be in that one alternate universe where James Ziskin, who is a bestselling author in every other multiverse, randomly hasn’t caught fire in this universe. Yet.

By James W. Ziskin,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Ellie Stone is a professed modern girl in 1960s' New York City, playing by her own rules and breaking boundaries while searching for a killer among the renowned scholars in Columbia University's Italian Department.

"If you were a man, you'd make a good detective."

Ellie is sure that Sgt. McKeever meant that as a compliment, but that identity-a girl wanting to do a man's job-has throttled her for too long. It's 1960, and Ellie doesn't want to blaze any trails for women; she just wants to be a reporter, one who doesn't need to swat hands off her behind at…


Book cover of The Maid

Dianne Scott Author Of Final Look: A Christine Lane Mystery

From my list on Canadian novels with intriguing female characters.

Why am I passionate about this?

All of my recommended books feature female protagonists with complex lives. They are layered with friends, families, work, and romantic challenges. They are not superheroes. Yet they are. They all find a way to do the hard thing in difficult circumstances and at great personal peril. And that’s what bravery is. It’s not Captain Marvel coming in to save the world. It’s a woman with responsibilities and problems who digs deep to act with integrity. And she may not get accolades. Her act may be unseen. But she does it. And I love reading about these everyday women with grit.

Dianne's book list on Canadian novels with intriguing female characters

Dianne Scott Why did Dianne love this book?

I fell in love with the protagonist, Molly Black. Molly has autism, which gives her a different perspective on life and the murder that occurs in the hotel where she works as a maid. I grew to cheerlead Molly as she negotiated unfriendly staff and challenging social and employment crises.

I was simultaneously impressed by her ethics and intelligence and worried about her naivete. Happily, Molly navigates her way to solving the crime while figuring out life’s rules and finding friendship and community along the way.

By Nita Prose,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

*THE NO.1 NEW YORK TIMES & SUNDAY TIMES TOP TEN BESTSELLER
*WINNER OF THE NED KELLY AWARD FOR BEST INTERNATIONAL CRIME FICTION
*A BBC RADIO 4 BOOK AT BEDTIME PICK

'An escapist pleasure' SUNDAY TIMES
'Delightful' GUARDIAN
'An instantly gripping and delightful whodunnit' STYLIST
'Smart, riveting, and deliciously refreshing ' LISA JEWELL

_________________________________________________________________

I am your maid.
I know about your secrets. Your dirty laundry.
But what do you know about me?

Molly the maid is all alone in the world. A nobody. She's used to being invisible in her job at the Regency Grand Hotel, plumping pillows and wiping…


Book cover of All Fudged Up

Sarah Fox Author Of Six Sweets Under

From my list on culinary cozy mystery to satisfy your sweet tooth.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a cozy mystery lover with a sweet tooth, I devour dozens of mystery novels every year (many featuring food) and I love to sample new series while also following my long-time favorites. I have also written and published more than 15 cozy mysteries of my own, many of which have a culinary theme. Although I grew up in Vancouver, British Columbia, I now live in a small town and I have a particular fondness for cozy small-town mysteries set by the ocean, as well as those featuring scrumptious treats.

Sarah's book list on culinary cozy mystery to satisfy your sweet tooth

Sarah Fox Why did Sarah love this book?

All Fudged Up features one of the most charming real-life settings I’ve come across in cozy mysteries.

The series takes place on the delightful Mackinac Island, where there are horse-drawn carriages instead of cars and plenty of historic buildings like the McMurphy Hotel and Fudge Shop.

The main character, Allie McMurphy, spends her days whipping up batches of fudge, keeping the hotel running, and solving murders whenever her sweet puppy finds a body.

By Nancy Coco,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Welcome to the Historic McMurphy Hotel and Fudge Shop--where life is sweet, revenge is sweeter, and murder is here to to stay. . .

You Can't Fudge An Alibi

Allie McMurphy is up to her neck in renovations at the grand old hotel that's been in her family for generations. With its quaint Victorian charm--and world-famous fudge shop--the place is one of Mackinac Island's most beloved landmarks.

Sure, every family has a skeleton or two in the closet. But Allie didn't expect to find an actual corpse inside hers, especially one Joe Jessup, who had a long-running feud with her…


Book cover of The Redbreast

David Wickenden Author Of The Home Front

From my list on Nazis and the threat they posed in the past and today.

Why am I passionate about this?

I can recommend this topic because of my interest in anything about WWII and the Nazi horror. It also comes from the recent revival of the ideology, even though the entire world fought to defeat them seventy years ago. I have been haunted by PTSD because of my experiences as a first responder and can speak to that personally. As a former reservist with the Canadian Armed Forces, I also have experience in firearms and munitions. I have recently written my own story, The Home Front, which deals with the rise of the neo-Nazis in the United States through the eyes of a WWII veteran.

David's book list on Nazis and the threat they posed in the past and today

David Wickenden Why did David love this book?

Another cautionary story. This story shows that the Nazi movement is growing worldwide and that governments need to keep these organizations under wraps before allowing them to carry out their own agendas. 

When a mistake causes an international incident during a US Presidential visit to Norway, Detective Harry Hole is placed out of sight in the Federal Police Department, until matters settle. Unable to sit still, Harry investigates a neo-Nazi group and comes across someone practicing with an exotic rifle that would only be used to assassinate someone. Now he must identify both the target and the killer.

By Jo Nesbo, Don Bartlett (translator),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Harry Hole faces a new rising enemy.

'A page-turner you won't want to put down' Time Out

Harry knows he shouldn't get involved.

A report of a rare and unusual gun - a type favoured by assassins - being smuggled into the country sparks Detective Harry Hole's interest.

Evil is closer to home than he knows.

Then a former WW2 Nazi sympathizer is found with his throat cut. Next, someone close to Harry is murdered. Why had she been trying to reach Harry on the night she was killed?

As Harry's investigation unfolds, it becomes clear that the killer is…


Book cover of That Darkness

Danny Ray Author Of Serial Justice

From my list on when the long arm of the law isn’t long enough.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have a lifelong respect for the true sociopaths among us who just happen to side with the good rather than the bad element in society. From Sherlock Holmes’ disregard for the shackles of Scotland Yard and the totally criminal world of Don Pendleton’s Mack Bolan I have cheered on my champions for half a century. My heroes share a common trait – the willingness to break the law to uphold the law. The 21st century has brought an entire new set of protagonists whom I consider to be arbiters of justice. While I believe in jurisprudence, I also subscribe to the tenet that most often the end justifies the means.

Danny's book list on when the long arm of the law isn’t long enough

Danny Ray Why did Danny love this book?

Lisa Black’s Gardiner and Renner series juxtapose the worlds of law and lawless. Maggie Gardiner is drawn into an untenable alliance with Jack Renner. He is a police detective and a killer, bent only on making the world safer by killing criminals without the bother of arrest and trial. She, as a forensic investigator, finds herself in a catch-22; she cannot finger Jack without incriminating herself as an accessory. While shielding Jack’s identity she inexorably digs an even deeper legal crevasse for herself.

By Lisa Black,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The “taut and haunting” first thriller in the Gardiner and Renner series from the New York Times bestselling author of Every Kind of Wicked (Jeff Lindsay, creator of the Dexter series).
 
As a forensic investigator for the Cleveland Police Department, Maggie Gardiner has seen her share of Jane Does. The latest is an unidentified female in her early teens, discovered in a local cemetery. More shocking than the girl’s injuries—for Maggie at least—is the fact that no one has reported her missing. She and the detectives assigned to the case (including her cop ex-husband) are determined to follow every lead,…


Book cover of The Man in the Brown Suit

D.K. Rajagopalan Author Of The Disappearing Uncle: and other stories

From my list on mysteries starring unlikely female sleuths.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve always loved a good character-driven mystery, with people in all their wonder and weirdness at its heart. The perfect book to me is one that has enough of a puzzle to allow me to escape into it, while offering a sense of comfort that it will all come together in the end. My family moved around a lot when I was a child, before finally settling down in Chennai, India and books – particularly mystery novels – were a real constant in my life. I moved to Sydney, Australia as an adult and live here, where I write stories that celebrate my heritage and my love of a good mystery. 

D.K.'s book list on mysteries starring unlikely female sleuths

D.K. Rajagopalan Why did D.K. love this book?

While I do love Miss Marple (if you don’t, I’m not sure we can be friends), I also love a good romp, which is exactly what this is. Our heroine Anne Beddingfield is in search of an adventure. Heading up to London, she finds herself investigating a murder involving mysterious clues, stolen diamonds, and the Secret Service. Her investigation quickly leads to a one-way passage on the Killmordan Castle, a liner heading for South Africa.

She soon finds herself mired deep in a complex intrigue but is bright, resourceful, and just foolhardy enough to be believable as a complete amateur who unravels it (with a touch of kidnapping along the way). 

Read this if you’re looking for a book where the author subverts expectations to deliver a punchy, action-packed adventure. 

By Agatha Christie,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Man in the Brown Suit as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Nadina, a dancer in Paris, receives a visit from Count Sergius Paulovitch. Both are in the service of "the Colonel", an international agent provocateur and criminal. "The Colonel" is retiring, leaving his agents high and dry. Nadina has a plan to blackmail the Colonel. Anne Beddingfeld is an orphan after the sudden death of her archaeologist father. Longing for adventure, she jumps at the chance live in London. Returning from an unsuccessful job interview, Anne is at Hyde Park Corner tube station when a man falls onto the live track, dying instantly. A doctor examines the man, pronounces him dead,…


Book cover of Death by Chocolate Cherry Cheesecake

Sarah Fox Author Of Six Sweets Under

From my list on culinary cozy mystery to satisfy your sweet tooth.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a cozy mystery lover with a sweet tooth, I devour dozens of mystery novels every year (many featuring food) and I love to sample new series while also following my long-time favorites. I have also written and published more than 15 cozy mysteries of my own, many of which have a culinary theme. Although I grew up in Vancouver, British Columbia, I now live in a small town and I have a particular fondness for cozy small-town mysteries set by the ocean, as well as those featuring scrumptious treats.

Sarah's book list on culinary cozy mystery to satisfy your sweet tooth

Sarah Fox Why did Sarah love this book?

As a chocoholic, I had to check out the Death by Chocolate Mysteries by Sarah Graves, and I definitely wasn’t disappointed.

Protagonist Jacobia “Jake” Tiptree and her best friend sell their delectable chocolate creations from their shop, the Chocolate Moose, in Eastport, Maine, while solving local mysteries.

Death by Chocolate Cherry Cheesecake is sprinkled with intense, page-turning scenes and plenty of chocolate, making this a fun and delicious cozy mystery.

By Sarah Graves,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Life just got a little sweeter in the island fishing village of Eastport, Maine. Jacobia “Jake” Tiptree and her best friend Ellie are opening a waterfront bake shop, The Chocolate Moose, where their tasty treats pair perfectly with the salty ocean breeze. But while Jake has moved on from fixing up houses, she still can't resist the urge to snoop into the occasional murder. 
 
Jake and Ellie have been through a lot together, from home repair to homicide investigation. So when they decide to open a chocolate-themed bakery, they figure it’ll be a piece of cake. With Ellie’s old family…


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