78 books like Murder in Fourth Position

By Lori Robbins,

Here are 78 books that Murder in Fourth Position fans have personally recommended if you like Murder in Fourth Position. 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 Honey Roasted

Caryl Janis Author Of To Sketch a Killer

From my list on cozy mysteries—with a touch of romance—set in New York.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a musician and writer who has always loved mysteries. Main character-sleuths who are likable and sometimes get in over their heads are my favorites, both as a reader and a writer, especially if they contribute something positive to their world in addition to solving the crime. If their careers or hobbiesanything from the arts to small customer-service businesses – offer joy to themselves and to others, so much the better. Since I grew up in the New York area, I like books that are set there, but am open to a good story set anywhere in the world.

Caryl's book list on cozy mysteries—with a touch of romance—set in New York

Caryl Janis Why did Caryl love this book?

Here is one of the latest in the popular books featuring Greenwich Village coffee house manager, Clare Cosi.

It is enormous fun to tag along on Clare’s most recent wild adventure as she investigates both murder and attempted murder while trying to plan her honeymoon with an overworked police detective, getting a quick education in beekeeping, and still overseeing the Village Blend and its loveable staff.

Despite numerous intriguing complications, I loved how Clare handles everything with great aplomb and integrity. The action, the wit, the appealing characters, and the evolving plot that kept me guessing until the end made this story a winner.

By Cleo Coyle,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

"Coyle's latest Coffeehouse mystery is a honey of a tale....A primer on bees, coffee, and some of New York's most unusual and exciting areas make for a fascinating and mysterious read."—Kirkus Reviews

Clare Cosi is busy as a bee planning her honeymoon when murder buzzes into the Village Blend in this all-new mystery in the beloved New York Times bestselling Coffeehouse series by Cleo Coyle.

While struggling to find a romantic (and affordable) destination for her upcoming honeymoon, coffeehouse manager Clare Cosi whips up a honey of a drink made from honey-processed coffee. Clare plans to serve her outstanding new…


Book cover of Ghostwriter Anonymous

Caryl Janis Author Of To Sketch a Killer

From my list on cozy mysteries—with a touch of romance—set in New York.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a musician and writer who has always loved mysteries. Main character-sleuths who are likable and sometimes get in over their heads are my favorites, both as a reader and a writer, especially if they contribute something positive to their world in addition to solving the crime. If their careers or hobbiesanything from the arts to small customer-service businesses – offer joy to themselves and to others, so much the better. Since I grew up in the New York area, I like books that are set there, but am open to a good story set anywhere in the world.

Caryl's book list on cozy mysteries—with a touch of romance—set in New York

Caryl Janis Why did Caryl love this book?

First in a reissued series, this has a local 1990s Upper East Side vibe. “Jake” (short for Jacqueline) is part of a supportive group of ghostwriters who regularly meet to discuss the problems and pitfalls of their chosen career.

But she soon finds herself solving the murder of one of their own. I loved the uniquely detailed characters –the writers, Jake’s mother, her mom’s best friend, the neighbors. Enjoyable wit and humor prevail throughout, and the lively situations that lead Jake into both peril and perplexing romantic possibilities are enjoyable.

The ease with which older and younger generations blend is a definite asset to a plot with some real surprises.

By Noreen Wald,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

"Murders multiply, but Jake proves up to the challenge. She sees through all the subterfuge and chicanery, solving a mind-boggling mystery in a burst of insight. All the characters are charmingly kooky and fun. This is a good beginning for a new series. We will be looking for more of Jake O'Hara." - TheMysteryReader.com "[Wald] writes with a light touch." - New York Daily News "The author keeps the plot airy and the characters outlandish." - South Florida Sun-Sentinel With her books sporting other people's names, ghostwriter Jake O'Hara works behind the scenes. But she never expected a séance at…


Book cover of A Fatal Finale

Caryl Janis Author Of To Sketch a Killer

From my list on cozy mysteries—with a touch of romance—set in New York.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a musician and writer who has always loved mysteries. Main character-sleuths who are likable and sometimes get in over their heads are my favorites, both as a reader and a writer, especially if they contribute something positive to their world in addition to solving the crime. If their careers or hobbiesanything from the arts to small customer-service businesses – offer joy to themselves and to others, so much the better. Since I grew up in the New York area, I like books that are set there, but am open to a good story set anywhere in the world.

Caryl's book list on cozy mysteries—with a touch of romance—set in New York

Caryl Janis Why did Caryl love this book?

I loved Ella Shane who rose from Lower East Side poverty to success.

She directs and performs in her own opera company – most unusual for a woman in 1899, even in New York. Never forgetting where she came from, she is grateful for all she’s achieved. In this first of a three-part series, Ella turns sleuth after one of her young singers dies mysteriously onstage.

When the singer’s cousin (a Duke, no less) arrives to investigate, the promise of romance is definitely in the air. The contrast between late 1890s protocols versus the changing attitudes of the coming new century is fascinating. The main characters are beautifully and compassionately drawn, and the story has an action-packed finale.

By Kathleen Marple Kalb,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

On the cusp of the twentieth century, Manhattan is a lively metropolis buzzing with talent. But after a young soprano meets an untimely end on stage, can one go-getting leading lady hit the right notes in a case of murder?
 
New York City, 1899. When it comes to show business, Gilded Age opera singer Ella Shane wears the pants. The unconventional diva breaks the mold by assuming “trouser roles”—male characters played by women—and captivating audiences far and wide with her travelling theatre company. But Ella’s flair for the dramatic takes a terrifying turn when an overacting Juliet to her Romeo…


Book cover of Against the Currant: A Spice Isle Bakery Mystery

Caryl Janis Author Of To Sketch a Killer

From my list on cozy mysteries—with a touch of romance—set in New York.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a musician and writer who has always loved mysteries. Main character-sleuths who are likable and sometimes get in over their heads are my favorites, both as a reader and a writer, especially if they contribute something positive to their world in addition to solving the crime. If their careers or hobbiesanything from the arts to small customer-service businesses – offer joy to themselves and to others, so much the better. Since I grew up in the New York area, I like books that are set there, but am open to a good story set anywhere in the world.

Caryl's book list on cozy mysteries—with a touch of romance—set in New York

Caryl Janis Why did Caryl love this book?

Lyndsay has strong ties with her family and, in the opening book of this series, I loved how all three generations, including her feisty grandmother, pitch in to help Lyndsay realize her dream of opening a Caribbean bakery and café in her local Brooklyn neighborhood.

And when a rival business owner is murdered, Lyndsay needs all the support she can get as the spotlight shines on her as a potential suspect. Despite any danger involved, she begins her own investigation. Things become further complicated when one of the detectives on the case turns out to be her high-school crush from the past.

With lots of determination, a warm heart, and an appreciation for what is important in life, I cheered her on right through the last page.

By Olivia Matthews,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Little Caribbean, Brooklyn, New York: Lyndsay Murray is opening Spice Isle Bakery with her family, and it's everything she's ever wanted. The West Indian bakery is her way to give back to the community she loves, stay connected to her Grenadian roots, and work side-by-side with her family. The only thing getting a rise out of Lyndsay is Claudio Fabrizi, a disgruntled fellow bakery owner who does not want any competition. On opening day, he comes into the bakery threatening to shut them down. Fed up, Lyndsay takes him to task in front of what seems to be the whole…


Book cover of Ballet: Bias and Belief

Neil Baldwin Author Of Martha Graham: When Dance Became Modern

From my list on dance and dancing.

Why am I passionate about this?

The most important words of advice my incisive editor at Knopf, Victoria Wilson, gave me while I was laboring upon my biography of Martha Graham – coming out in October, you can pre-order it now – was to say that “she was not a goddess, and you don’t want to worship her.” Yes, I had the nerve to take on this formidable and forbidding figure as a result of bearing witness to her anti-War masterwork, Chronicle, on a winter evening fourteen years ago. Yes, I believed that modern dance was the missing link in my long exploration of American modernism. And yes, I believe that I have proven my point, painting Martha Graham’s portrait as a person – rather than an icon.

Neil's book list on dance and dancing

Neil Baldwin Why did Neil love this book?

The life and career of Lincoln Kirstein (1907-1996) fits – sometimes ideally, at others idiosyncratically – into so many appealing categories that I don’t know when to stop: “Our Crowd” Jewish preppie; poetry lover; art connoisseur while still a teenager (favorite: William Blake); hiker; denizen of Harvard Yard and inveterate dormitory “bull session” instigator; literary magazine editor (Hound & Horn) and art gallery proprietor while still an undergrad; cosmopolite and boulevardier of Manhattan; party-giver and goer; sexual experimenter…and, most pertinent to my journey with Martha Graham, he was the discoverer and “importer” to these shores of the genius George Balanchine, and inventor of the American Ballet Caravan, Ballet Society, and the New York City Ballet. A skeptical critic, Kirstein’s first encounter with Graham was somewhat grouchy – however, he came around to accept her new technique, and his seal of approval gave a timely boost to her reputation.…

By Lincoln Kirstein,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Book by Kirstein, Lincoln


Book cover of A Very Young Dancer

T. Greenwood Author Of The Still Point

From my list on both the darkness and beauty of ballet.

Why am I passionate about this?

When my daughter was three years old, I enrolled her in a “creative movement” class. I had taken dance lessons for ten years when I was younger, so this felt like an obvious choice. At age eleven, her teacher suggested that she had the facility, talent, and drive to pursue a career in ballet. What followed was seven years of being a “ballet mom,” as she studied, performed, competed, and ultimately left home to pursue her career. The Still Point comes from this experience. It's a novel about dark ambition, but it's also a love letter: to my daughter, to ballet, and to the mothers who became my closest friends inside the ballet studio walls.

T.'s book list on both the darkness and beauty of ballet

T. Greenwood Why did T. love this book?

This book! I received this gorgeous black and white photobook as a gift when I was an aspiring dancer myself in the 1970s.

I was obsessed with the story of a young girl cast as Marie in the New York City Ballet’s Nutcracker. The story is told primarily through Krementz’s photos of a young dancer’s life in New York City: ballet classes, auditions, rehearsals, backstage moments, and performances.

This book is one of the most magical and special books of my childhood – which appealed to me as a dancer back then but later heavily influenced my work as a photographer as an adult.

By Jill Krementz,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked A Very Young Dancer as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 9, 10, 11, and 12.

What is this book about?

A ten-year-old student at the School of American Ballet in New York describes her classes and the preparation for and performance of her role in the ballet "The Nutcracker."


Book cover of Sidewalks

Matthew Gavin Frank Author Of Flight of the Diamond Smugglers: A Tale of Pigeons, Obsession, and Greed Along Coastal South Africa

From my list on nonfiction featuring amazing flying things.

Why am I passionate about this?

Like many who carry over childish curiosity into adulthood, I'm attracted to forbidden places. I trespass. When I heard that a portion of South Africa’s coast was owned by the De Beers conglomerate and closed to the public for nearly 80 years, plunging the local communities into mysterious isolation, I became obsessed with visiting the place. Afterward, I began studying carrier pigeons—the amazing flying things that folks use to smuggle diamonds out of the mines. I wrote a book about this, Flight of the Diamond Smugglers. I'm also the author of nonfiction books about the first-ever photograph of the giant squid, working on a medical marijuana farm, and American food culture.

Matthew's book list on nonfiction featuring amazing flying things

Matthew Gavin Frank Why did Matthew love this book?

Valeria Luiselli dissects the odd systems and networks of our world’s cities and reveals in their hidden corners and corridors strange and magical identities. Luiselli’s essays further interrogate a city’s relationship to the bodies, cultures, artifacts, and languages that inhabit its spaces. In the essay, “Flying Home,” Luiselli journeys to Mexico City, the place of her birth, and, staring out of her airplane window, considers the city’s layout from this great height. This act of “mapping” according to her extraordinary vantage (suspended in flight), allows for a greater, incantatory meditation on our various perceptions of “home,” and how said perceptions depend as much on the imagination and on ephemeral memories as they do on reality.   

By Valeria Luiselli, Christina Macsweeney (translator),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Luiselli's essays (originally published in Mexico) have been released to great acclaim abroad and has been translated for and published in the UK, Italy, Germany, and The Netherlands
Alma Guillermoprieto called Luiselli "one of the most important new voices in Mexican writing" at BEA and Luiselli is similarly known to and beloved by Latin American writers and venues including PEN America, the Americas Society, and the Mexican Cultural Institute
Luiselli's work is well known to bilingual Spanish language readers (including invitations to appear at Instituto Cervantes in Chicago and the Spanish language bookclub at McNally Jackson)
Luiselli is an engaging…


Book cover of Revealing Illustrations: The Art of James McMullan

David Chelsea Author Of Perspective! for Comic Book Artists

From my list on making you a better artist.

Why am I passionate about this?

Although I have been a professional artist for over forty years, I have never yet gotten to the point where I imagine I have it all figured out. There are always new techniques to learn, and new mediums to explore. The books on this list are ones I have found helpful in nudging me in new and productive directions. 

David's book list on making you a better artist

David Chelsea Why did David love this book?

James McMullan is one of America’s preeminent illustrators, working consistently from the 60s to today. He may be most familiar for his long series of posters for Broadway shows at Lincoln Center, but he has also done magazine illustrations, children's books, record covers, and animation. Running parallel to his illustration work has been a long career in teaching, principally at New York’s School of Visual Arts (for which he also has done a series of subway posters). I was privileged to take his SVA illustration course– which had a stringent portfolio review – for two years early in my career, about the time this book appeared. No collection of greatest hits, or even a guide to achieving McMullan’s juicy watercolor style, this is a thoroughly candid tour through an illustrator’s work process, including a generous selection of preliminary sketches and reference photos.

Like many of the students who passed through…

By James McMullan,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

signed hardback book with dust jacket titled REVEALING ILLUSTRATIONS.


Book cover of Better Nate Than Ever

David Fulk Author Of Raising Rufus

From my list on with a boy who discovers his inner hero.

Why am I passionate about this?

Who indeed? I ask myself that question often. Metaphysical issues aside, I guess you could say I’m a jack-of-many-trades in the writing department. I’ve been known to author stage plays (The Potman Spoke Sooth), write and direct feature films (Night Visitors, The Road to Flin Flon), compile and edit baseball anthologies (The Cubs Reader, A Blue Jays Companion), and do a bunch of contract writing and editing for a variety of publishers. And oh, yes: I wrote a middle-grade novel, Raising Rufus, about a boy who discovers his inner hero while raising...well, a very unusual pet.

David's book list on with a boy who discovers his inner hero

David Fulk Why did David love this book?

You can’t help but root for thirteen-year-old social underdog and theater nerd Nate Foster as he sneaks away from his “boring” hometown of Jankburg, PA, and takes a bus to New York City to audition for the lead role in a Broadway production of E.T., the Musical. Of course, things don’t go according to plan, but Nate’s spunk, humor, and fearlessness somehow get him through his longshot adventure in the big city. Federle’s warm and vivid characterizations and witty writing style make this one a winner for the whole family. (One caveat: Parents bothered by gay themes in middle-grade books—even understated ones, as here—might want to skip this one. Your loss.) Followed by two more: Fix, Six, Seven, Nate! and Nate Expectations

By Tim Federle,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Better Nate Than Ever as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 9, 10, 11, and 12.

What is this book about?

Soon to be a Disney+ Original movie!

“The Nate series by Tim Federle is a wonderful evocation of what it’s like to be a theater kid. Highly recommended.” —Lin-Manuel Miranda, star and creator of the musical, Hamilton

A New York Times Notable Book of the Year
A Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year
A Slate Favorite Book of the Year

A small-town boy hops a bus to New York City to crash an audition for E.T.: The Musical in this winning middle grade novel that The New York Times called “inspired and inspiring.”

Nate Foster has big dreams. His…


Book cover of Act One: An Autobiography

Robert Kaplow Author Of Me and Orson Welles

From my list on set in the world of the theater.

Why am I passionate about this?

Since adolescence I’ve written scripts, stories, and songs. For ten years I wrote songs and sketches for NPR’s Morning Edition  as “Moe Moskowitz and the Punsters.” Among my young-adult novels, my favorite remains Alex Icicle: A Romance in Ten Torrid Chapters, a literate howl of romantic obsession by an over-educated and under-loved madman. I think my funniest comedy novel is Who’s Killing the Great Writers of America? that not only kills off some famous writers, but simultaneously parodies their style. And, of course, Stephen King ends up solving the whole crazy conspiracy. I taught writing for many years, and I’m pleased to report that my students taught me more than anything I ever taught them.

Robert's book list on set in the world of the theater

Robert Kaplow Why did Robert love this book?

While the prose style of Act One is a little fussy, florid, and overly eager to impress, this is still a moving, funny, and emotional biography of a talented, ambitious young man who is determined to make his mark as a Broadway playwright. And, at the end, when he single-handedly turns his out-of-town failure (co-written with George S. Kaufman) into a hit, you want to stand up and cheer.

By Moss Hart,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Moss Hart's Act One, which Lincoln Center Theater presented in 2014 as a play written and directed by James Lapine, is one of the great American memoirs, a glorious memorial to a bygone age filled with all the wonder, drama, and heartbreak that surrounded Broadway in the early twentieth century. Hart's story inspired a generation of theatergoers, dramatists, and readers everywhere as he eloquently chronicled his impoverished childhood and his long, determined struggle to reach the opening night of his first Broadway hit. Act One is the quintessential American success story.


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