33 books like Personal

By Lee Child,

Here are 33 books that Personal fans have personally recommended if you like Personal. 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 Swan Peak

Edmond Gagnon Author Of Trafficking Chen

From my list on crime from a retired police detective.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a retired police officer who worked the streets and conducted criminal investigations for over thirty-one years in a busy city with Detroit as a neighbor. I handled everything from narcotics to arson and murder. Having lived the life, I truly enjoy a well-written crime novel, especially those inspired by real events. That is what I also write. I prefer crime stories where the protagonist is truer to life and doesn’t possess superpowers.  

Edmond's book list on crime from a retired police detective

Edmond Gagnon Why did Edmond love this book?

Dave Robicheaux is one of my favorite characters, perhaps because I can relate to him so easily. James Lee Burke is a master of metaphors and he can offer descriptions of the sky like no other. His storytelling is enjoyable and almost philosophical at times.

In this book Burke's firsthand knowledge of the pristine scenery in Northern Montana shines above his usual inside look at the Louisiana bayou country. Robicheauxs's sidekick, Clete Purcel, is a colorful and easily likable character.

Swan Peak wasn’t as exciting as the other Robicheaux novels I’ve read but it was still a great page-turner and good story.

By James Lee Burke,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?


Trouble follows Dave Robicheaux.

James Lee Burke's new novel, Swan Peak, finds Detective Robicheaux far from his New Iberia roots, attempting to relax in the untouched wilderness of rural Montana. He, his wife, and his buddy Clete Purcell have retreated to stay at an old friend's ranch, hoping to spend their days fishing and enjoying their distance from the harsh, gritty landscape of Louisiana post-Katrina.

But the serenity is soon shattered when two college students are found brutally murdered in the hills behind where the Robicheauxs and Purcell are staying. They quickly find themselves involved in a twisted and dangerous…


Book cover of The Black Ice

Edmond Gagnon Author Of Trafficking Chen

From my list on crime from a retired police detective.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a retired police officer who worked the streets and conducted criminal investigations for over thirty-one years in a busy city with Detroit as a neighbor. I handled everything from narcotics to arson and murder. Having lived the life, I truly enjoy a well-written crime novel, especially those inspired by real events. That is what I also write. I prefer crime stories where the protagonist is truer to life and doesn’t possess superpowers.  

Edmond's book list on crime from a retired police detective

Edmond Gagnon Why did Edmond love this book?

For me, reading a Harry Bosch novel is like inviting an old friend to dinner and catching up over beers. The Black Ice is the 2nd installment in Michael Connelly's Bosch series, published back in 1993, but recently re-released as a paperback.

Whether it's an old book or a new one, I can't get enough of Harry Bosch. There’re still a few stories I haven't read yet, but the television series has filled in a lot of the blanks. I think I've seen each episode at least five times now.

The Black Ice is a good story, about a Robbery/Homicide case that should have been assigned to Bosch, but he inserts himself into it anyway. The plot moves well and kept me interested throughout. And, if you're a really sharp detective, you might pick up on a couple of clues as to the major twist at the end.

By Michael Connelly,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

When an LAPD narcotics officer is found with a fatal bullet wound and a suicide note, Detective Harry Bosch follows a bloody trail of drug murders across the Mexico border.

​Working the case, LAPD detective Harry Bosch is reminded of the primal police rule he learned long ago: Don't look for the facts, but the glue that holds them together. Soon Harry's making some very dangerous connections, starting with a dead cop and leading to a bloody string of murders that wind from Hollywood Boulevard to the back alleys south of the border. Now this battle-scarred veteran will find himself…


Book cover of Memory Man

Edmond Gagnon Author Of Trafficking Chen

From my list on crime from a retired police detective.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a retired police officer who worked the streets and conducted criminal investigations for over thirty-one years in a busy city with Detroit as a neighbor. I handled everything from narcotics to arson and murder. Having lived the life, I truly enjoy a well-written crime novel, especially those inspired by real events. That is what I also write. I prefer crime stories where the protagonist is truer to life and doesn’t possess superpowers.  

Edmond's book list on crime from a retired police detective

Edmond Gagnon Why did Edmond love this book?

If you like a crime drama that builds slowly, teasing you all the way, only giving you enough details to guess who done it, Memory Man by David Baldacci is a story you should read.

The elements of the story were familiar, with cops and killers, but the characters were special, each in their own way. Amos Decker is not a super cop, but he has a super brain - from an injury, that makes him more of a super freak. His condition gives him an almost perfect memory, which is a help and hindrance to him in solving a mass murder case.

It took me a while to get into the story, but once I was hooked, I enjoyed the ride and raced to the end. A great read!

By David Baldacci,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

This "impossible to put down" #1 New York Times bestseller introduces Amos Decker, a gifted police detective with a perfect memory who must solve a mystery he wishes he could forget: his family's murder (Washington Post).

Amos Decker's life changed forever--twice.

The first time was on the gridiron. A big, towering athlete, he was the only person from his hometown of Burlington ever to play in the NFL. But his career ended before it had a chance to begin. On his very first play, a violent helmet-to-helmet collision knocked him off the field forever, and left him with an improbable…


Book cover of The Lost Symbol

Edmond Gagnon Author Of Trafficking Chen

From my list on crime from a retired police detective.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a retired police officer who worked the streets and conducted criminal investigations for over thirty-one years in a busy city with Detroit as a neighbor. I handled everything from narcotics to arson and murder. Having lived the life, I truly enjoy a well-written crime novel, especially those inspired by real events. That is what I also write. I prefer crime stories where the protagonist is truer to life and doesn’t possess superpowers.  

Edmond's book list on crime from a retired police detective

Edmond Gagnon Why did Edmond love this book?

Dan Brown grabs you within the first few pages and holds on to you through the whole book. The pace is frantic and can leave you breathless at times.

There's a great character twist at the end but I was a tiny bit disappointed with the ending. The story went so deep into the symbolic and mythical world, I guess I expected more. Perhaps I just wanted more.

By Dan Brown,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

NOW A MAJOR TELEVISION SERIES

The Capitol Building, Washington DC: Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon believes he is here to give a lecture. He is wrong. Within minutes of his arrival, a shocking object is discovered. It is a gruesome invitation into an ancient world of hidden wisdom.

When Langdon's mentor, Peter Solomon - prominent mason and philanthropist - is kidnapped, Langdon realizes that his only hope of saving his friend's life is to accept this mysterious summons.

It is to take him on a breathless chase through Washington's dark history. All that was familiar is changed into a shadowy, mythical…


Book cover of Murder at the Mendel

J.C. Paulson Author Of Adam's Witness

From my list on mystery in which you really want to hug the detective.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have been reading mysteries since childhood. You know the sort of thing: Trixie Belden, Nancy Drew, Enid Blyton books, The Bobbsey Twins. The desire to profoundly understand the battles of good versus evil, the delicious gathering of clues, and the hope of solving the cases never left me. As I grew, I began to read the adult-themed greats, and dominantly the women of crime fiction. I couldn't possibly count the number of mysteries I have read. Then, seven years ago, I was violently moved to write them as well. My “real” job as a journalist was little different. In a way, every story, every interview subject, has been a little mystery to unravel. 

J.C.'s book list on mystery in which you really want to hug the detective

J.C. Paulson Why did J.C. love this book?

To begin with, I was immediately drawn to this novel because (bless the author) it is located in my own hometown. For those in New York or Paris, this may not be a big deal; but if you live in a relatively small Canadian city, that’s quite exciting. The main character, Joanne Kilbourn, was also named for me. And yes, I have thanked Gail Bowen for this gift. 

All right, that’s not actually true, but one can dream. Joanne is a strong but gentle cozy detective with intense motherly instincts and an extremely sharp mind. I adore her.

By Gail Bowen,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

As a child Joanne was friends with Sally Love and her parents, but the friendship languished after Sally’s father died and she moved away, eventually becoming a very controversial artist. When the Mendel Gallery opens an exhibition of Sally’s work, Joanne is eager to attend and to renew their friendship. But it’s not so easy being Sally’s friend anymore, and soon Joanne finds herself ensnared in a web of intrigue and violence. When the director of a local private gallery is brutally murdered, Joanne finds that the past she and Sally share was far more complicated, and far more sordid,…


Book cover of Maigret and the Burglar's Wife

Jim Eldridge Author Of Murder at the Natural History Museum

From my list on by the greatest writers of crime fiction.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have always loved history, from ancient Egyptian times up to recent history (the 1950s and 1960s). Put history in the context of a crime and the history becomes even more fascinating. A book where the history of that time comes vividly alive for the reader is the greatest pleasure a reader can experience.

Jim's book list on by the greatest writers of crime fiction

Jim Eldridge Why did Jim love this book?

After Conan Doyle, Georges Simenon is the greatest writer of European crime fiction, especially in his Maigret novels and short stories. This is a wonderful example of Maigret (and Simenon) at his very best, with Maigret and his inspectors coming alive for the reader, and the suspects presenting him with a serious challenge of wits.

By Georges Simenon, Julian Maclaren-Ross (translator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Maigret and the Burglar's Wife as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

While committing what he intends to be his last burglary, "Sad Freddie" discovers something completely out of his line: the body of a dead woman, her chest covered in blood, holding a telephone in her hand. Inspector Maigret is called in to solve the crime, and after an exhaustive search, a psychological duel, a marathon interrogation, and innumerable glasses of Pernod, wine, cold beer, and brandy--a sure sign that this is no easy case--the famous French sleuth triumphs.

Maigret is a registered trademark of the Estate of Georges Simenon


Book cover of Potkin and Stubbs

Jon Glass Author Of Worcester Glendenis, Kid Detective

From my list on middle grade detective fiction.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a child I loved reading detective stories, and I still retain strong memories of Tintin and Sherlock Holmes, after which I graduated to Agatha Christie. As an adult my tastes changed and I lost interest in mysteries (with the exception of Edgar Alan Poe). However recently my interests have reversed, partly because I became a grandfather, and partly for the reason that I teach ethics to primary school children, as a volunteer. So it’s possible that Worcester Glendenis is a re-incarnation of me, but as the 12-year-old I wish I had been (as far as my memory can be relied upon to go back 60 years): more emotionally mature and more extrovert.

Jon's book list on middle grade detective fiction

Jon Glass Why did Jon love this book?

This book resonates for me because it successfully lands a very adult approach to detective work in the hands of a young female character.

Many of the tropes of Chandler and Hammett are employed, such as the seedy dive of an office, the spooky house, and others to build an atmosphere suitable for young readers, but that will also appeal to parents.

By Sophie Green, Karl Mountford (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Potkin and Stubbs 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 brilliant new series bursts onto the scene filled with ghostly goings-on and an unusual investigative duo. With illustrations from Karl Mountford.

Lil Potkin lives in bleak Peligan City. Her mum works in City Hall and is rarely at home, so aspiring journalist Lil has all the time she needs to explore the city in her bright yellow raincoat, investigating unsolved stories.

One rainy evening Lil meets a sad-looking boy sitting by himself in the bus station and buys him a hot chocolate. That night Lil wakes to find him in her bedroom. He doesn't want to admit to being…


Book cover of Pierre the Maze Detective: The Mystery of the Empire Maze Tower: (Maze Book for Kids, Adventure Puzzle Book, Seek and Find Book)

Scott Bedford Author Of Mega-Maze Adventure!: A Journey Through the World's Longest Maze in a Book

From my list on maze books for children.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am an author, illustrator, and award-winning creative director. I have loved to draw and make things since a young age, mostly wacky contraptions (inspired by my love of the Hanna-Barbera Wacky Races cartoons). I’m also passionate about mazes, having spent many family holidays drawing mazes on a small whiteboard for my two boys to complete.

Scott's book list on maze books for children

Scott Bedford Why did Scott love this book?

Pierre the Maze Detective is a series of books, that, unlike my four other recommendations, combines maze solving with a narrative. I could have picked any book from the series, but I particularly liked the Mystery of the Empire Maze Tower. Each spread is a beautifully detailed illustration, somewhat similar to Where’s Waldo?, at first glance, the maze is not obvious, but on closer inspection, through the busyness, you can spy a series of paths subtlety woven into the illustration. I think this book (and the others in the series) offers a wonderful extra dimension to a slightly older solver, someone who can immerse themselves in the story, solve the mazes, and solve the crime!

By Hiro Kamigaki (illustrator), Ic4design (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Mr X the Phantom Thief is back, with a new evil plan! He wants to steal the shining light from the top of the Empire Maze Tower, New Maze City's greatest treasure.

Pierre and Carmen are called to New Maze City, along with others of the world's best Maze Detectives, to help solve the puzzles, protect the treasure and stop Mr X. But can you help them make it in time?

A thrilling new maze challenge adventure for Pierre the Maze Detective, for all detectives aged 8+.


Book cover of Lola Lago, Detective: Lejos de Casa

Patricia Lorente Author Of 100 Entertaining Short Stories to Practice Your Spanish in Present Tense

From my list on improving your Spanish.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a writer and a Spanish teacher. Creative and a little crazy. I love teaching people who arrive in my city (Madrid) to live for a while. I love writing fiction, specially novels, but also poetry and little stories. Sometimes I mix both skills and create texts as the one below. I dream about winning the lottery but I never buy tickets, and I also love to sing with my guitar when I’m alone. Pleased to meet you.

Patricia's book list on improving your Spanish

Patricia Lorente Why did Patricia love this book?

I guess I’s not a coincidence that this series of fiction books are written by the same writers as the previous one, since both of them have the same high quality in their content and are grammatically so well focused. 

The protagonist is Lola Lago, a detective who will solve a case per book.

The books range from level A1 to level B1 and come with an audiobook. The length of the stores is perfect (45-60 pages) and the format light enough to feel that you can do it. Every one of them is well focused on its level, and you can find, at the end, lovely explanation notes and light and fun comprehension exercises.

By Lourdes Miquel López, Neus Sans,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Humberto, un joven colombiano, es acusado de herir gravemente al “Tigre”, un skinhead con el que había discutido. Humberto desaparece y la asociación de vecinos contrata a Lola para que lo encuentre y demuestre su inocencia.


Book cover of The Moving Finger

L.A. Fields Author Of Mrs. Watson: Untold Stories

From my list on women dealing with domestic mysteries.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am the author of the Sherlockiana duology My Dear Watson and Mrs. Watson: Untold Stories. I chose these books because they all have British women at the helm, involve detectives and/or investigative processes, and contain close-to-home scandals and intrigue. In that sense, these are “domestic” mysteries—books that contain puzzles related to everyday household drama. Miss Marple, Harriet Vane, and the women of Baker Street solve literal detective cases. The secret writings of Anne Lister and Constance Wilde show how they decoded the homosexual element in their lives, and used their writing to maintain a sense of self in oppressive societies. Each of them are women after my own heart.

L.A.'s book list on women dealing with domestic mysteries

L.A. Fields Why did L.A. love this book?

A stand-alone installment of the Miss Marple series, I chose The Moving Finger for this list because it involves letters and neighborhood gossip.

Set in the seemingly placid village of Lymstock, the story unfolds when a series of vicious poison-pen letters shatter the village’s quiet charm. The situation escalates when one recipient commits suicide, a death that requires justice.

Miss Marple enters the plot as the vicar’s houseguest and ultimately outsmarts the mystery. Her strength comes from the way others dismiss her as a harmless little old lady. To most she is unimportant and insubstantial, if they notice her at all. These assumptions free her to do detective work unnoticed.

If you like Miss Marple, there are 12 full-length books and 20 short stories that feature her shrewd adventures—enjoy!

By Agatha Christie,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A malicious letter A tragic death A village filled with suspects

Nothing ever happens in the sleepy village of Lymstock.

Until letters accusing the villagers of unspeakable acts start to appear.

They try to dismiss them as a cruel hoax, but then one of the recipients is found dead. The letter next to her body reads simply, 'I can't go on'.

As fear spreads among the villagers, Jane Marple must uncover who is writing these letters - before anyone else is hurt.

Never underestimate Miss Marple

'Miss Marple is one of the most subversive, the most original, most distinctive characters…


5 book lists we think you will like!

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