65 books like Postmark Murder

By Mignon G. Eberhart,

Here are 65 books that Postmark Murder fans have personally recommended if you like Postmark Murder. Shepherd is a community of 9,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of Nine Coaches Waiting

Elisabeth Grace Foley Author Of Land of Hills and Valleys

From my list on vintage mystery-suspense.

Who am I?

Ever since I was a little girl, I’ve loved history, devoured mystery fiction, and scribbled my own stories. Today I combine all those passions by writing books in classic mystery-suspense style, but set in the place and the period of history that fascinates me the most: the American West. I firmly believe that the Old West should be treated not merely as a myth or a set of tropes, but a historical period in its own right, and so I love to use it as the setting for character-driven stories drawing on my favorite elements of the mystery genre.

Elisabeth's book list on vintage mystery-suspense

Elisabeth Grace Foley Why did Elisabeth love this book?

This is one of those special books that made me think, “Oh my…I want to write like this.” The blend of old-world atmosphere, 1950s glamor, and gorgeously descriptive, suspenseful writing is magical. Linda Martin, a young Englishwoman with a secret of her own to guard, takes the post of governess to the small heir of a French chateau—a fairytale setting, but disturbing tensions run beneath its surface, and before long Linda finds herself caught up in a desperate attempt to foil a dangerous plot.

By Mary Stewart,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Nine Coaches Waiting as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A tense thrillerabout an English girl who becomes governess to a young French heir to great estates in Savoy. Having deceived her employers about her ability to speak French, she discovers that they are trying to kill her young charge.


Book cover of The Piper on the Mountain

Elisabeth Grace Foley Author Of Land of Hills and Valleys

From my list on vintage mystery-suspense.

Who am I?

Ever since I was a little girl, I’ve loved history, devoured mystery fiction, and scribbled my own stories. Today I combine all those passions by writing books in classic mystery-suspense style, but set in the place and the period of history that fascinates me the most: the American West. I firmly believe that the Old West should be treated not merely as a myth or a set of tropes, but a historical period in its own right, and so I love to use it as the setting for character-driven stories drawing on my favorite elements of the mystery genre.

Elisabeth's book list on vintage mystery-suspense

Elisabeth Grace Foley Why did Elisabeth love this book?

I enjoy all varieties of Ellis Peters’ mysteries, but I favor this one because it’s the most similar thing I’ve found to Mary Stewart’s signature style of engrossing suspense combined with a richly evoked foreign setting. Among a group of English students on holiday in the mountains of Czechoslovakia is one girl with a secret, ulterior motive for being there: to investigate her stepfather’s recent suspicious death in a mountain-climbing accident. Peters is so good at getting inside the heads of youthful characters and exploring their emotions and inner conflicts as they navigate the perilous process of unraveling a crime, and this book is no exception.

By Ellis Peters,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In the mountains of Czechoslovakia, a possible murder has Dominic Felse suspicious of everyone—including his friend, the dead man’s beautiful stepdaughter.

Theodosia Barber had been planning to spend her summer vacation in Europe in any case, so what could be simpler than persuading her travel companions to make a minor detour to the scene of the crime?

Bewitched by Theodosia’s beautiful brown eyes and blissfully unaware of her real motives, Dominic Felse cannot refuse her plea for a change of plan. And he’s certainly not prepared for their innocent touring holiday to become a murder investigation, with Theodosia in grave…


Book cover of The Wheel Spins

Elisabeth Grace Foley Author Of Land of Hills and Valleys

From my list on vintage mystery-suspense.

Who am I?

Ever since I was a little girl, I’ve loved history, devoured mystery fiction, and scribbled my own stories. Today I combine all those passions by writing books in classic mystery-suspense style, but set in the place and the period of history that fascinates me the most: the American West. I firmly believe that the Old West should be treated not merely as a myth or a set of tropes, but a historical period in its own right, and so I love to use it as the setting for character-driven stories drawing on my favorite elements of the mystery genre.

Elisabeth's book list on vintage mystery-suspense

Elisabeth Grace Foley Why did Elisabeth love this book?

Traveling across Europe by train, Iris Carr re-enters her compartment to find that a friendly, talkative spinster who had befriended her has disappeared—and no one else will admit she was ever there at all. Why? The answer must be found before the train reaches its destination, and Ethel Lina White crafts a nail-biting race against time while also delving deep into the motivations of a tight cast of characters—exploring what leads some people to lie, and how an initially isolated and self-centered heroine becomes someone desperate to uncover the truth.

By Ethel Lina White,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Oldtown is a historic place where rich people live. The sisterhood also lives there. The group, known as the ""Black Nuns"", had healing powers. But in Oldtown, the killer works, and a series of murders plunged the inhabitants into blind, reckless horror.


Christmas at Corbie Hall: A McLaren Mystery

By Jo A. Hiestand,

Book cover of Christmas at Corbie Hall: A McLaren Mystery

Jo A. Hiestand Author Of An Unwilling Suspect

New book alert!

Who am I?

Author Mystery novelist World War 2 espionage enthusiast Reader Cat parent

Jo's 3 favorite reads in 2023

What is my book about?

Former police detective Michael McLaren is looking forward to spending Christmas at his grandfather's ancient Hall with his grandfather, uncle, and his lady love, Melanie. But McLaren’s holiday plan gets snowed under when a dead man is discovered outside his grandfather’s house--in circumstances similar to an older murder. And it’s not long before McLaren is asked to look into the previous death.

Both men played in Scottish pipe bands and worked at the same bank. Are the two murders connected? Can McLaren wrap up the cases in time to unwrap Christmas gifts with Melanie? It’s a race against the calendar and weather if he wants the Day—and his future with her—to be merry and bright.

Christmas at Corbie Hall: A McLaren Mystery

By Jo A. Hiestand,

What is this book about?

Former police detective Michael McLaren is looking forward to spending Christmas at his grandfather's ancient Hall with his grandfather, uncle, and his lady love, Melanie. But McLaren’s holiday plan gets snowed under when a dead man is discovered outside his grandfather’s house--in circumstances similar to an older murder. And it’s not long before McLaren is asked to look into the previous death.

Both men played in Scottish pipe bands and worked at the same bank. Are the two murders connected? Can McLaren wrap up the cases in time to unwrap Christmas gifts with Melanie? It’s a race against the calendar…


Book cover of The Red Carnelian

Elisabeth Grace Foley Author Of Land of Hills and Valleys

From my list on vintage mystery-suspense.

Who am I?

Ever since I was a little girl, I’ve loved history, devoured mystery fiction, and scribbled my own stories. Today I combine all those passions by writing books in classic mystery-suspense style, but set in the place and the period of history that fascinates me the most: the American West. I firmly believe that the Old West should be treated not merely as a myth or a set of tropes, but a historical period in its own right, and so I love to use it as the setting for character-driven stories drawing on my favorite elements of the mystery genre.

Elisabeth's book list on vintage mystery-suspense

Elisabeth Grace Foley Why did Elisabeth love this book?

Whitney is one of the best-known American writers of romantic suspense, and her debut novel in the genre leans more strongly into the mystery side of the equation, kicking off with the narrator discovering her jilting ex-fiancee's body in the elaborate display window of the department store where she works. The plot may be a tad melodramatic but the vintage 1940s glamor is fun as she hunts clues and flees danger amid the lavish evening gowns and jewelry, the echoing elevators and corridors of the store.

By Phyllis A. Whitney,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A Chicago department store is the scene of gruesome crime in this mystery by a New York Times–bestselling Edgar Award winner.
 
Linell Wynn, copywriter for Chicago department store Cunningham’s, knows how to put a clever spin on everything. But she’s at a loss for words when, after closing time, she finds a corpse in a window display. There he is, as cold and lifeless as a mannequin, his skull pulverized with a golf club: valued store manager Michael “Monty” Montgomery. And while red might be the color for the new spring season, Linell never expected to see quite so much…


Book cover of Rain Will Come

Elle Mitchell Author Of Another Elizabeth

From my list on dark fiction serial killer.

Who am I?

My interest in serial killers began when I was a teen watching horror movies with my mom. I learned all I could about them—even became a horror special-effects makeup artist. Eventually, I had to quit due to my connective tissue disorder (Hypermobile Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome). It put me on a path of writing. I love digging into the darker side of humanity—murder or mental illness. The story of a serial killer who could challenge the reader to see disability in a new light came to me, and I had to write her story, if not just so I could dive into the psyche of another serial killer.

Elle's book list on dark fiction serial killer

Elle Mitchell Why did Elle love this book?

The biggest strength of this book is a large spoiler, which is a shame. I’d love to gush about it. You (should you choose to read it) get to learn about it as the work unfolds, though. For that, I’m jealous. Who doesn’t love to enjoy something so fun for the first time? The choice of victims and the reason for the kills makes the serial killer so compelling I rooted for the detective to always be one step behind. I loved him, don’t get me wrong. He is flawed and damaged, and I wanted him to succeed eventually. Thomas Holgate makes it easy to do that—want them both to “win”—as both have a point-of-view. The book was fun, interesting, and just a little brutal. 

By Thomas Holgate,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A thrilling, page-turning debut about a twisted killer and a broken cop-both with nothing to lose.

Paul Czarcik, the longest-tenured detective in the Illinois Bureau of Judicial Enforcement, puts the rest of the team to shame. Ruthless and riddled with vices, Czarcik always gets his man. And fast. Until now...

A double slaying isn't the open-and-shut case of urban crime he's used to. Connecting it to a high-profile Texas judge, Czarcik realizes something bigger is going on. It's the work of a serial killer for whom Chicago is just the beginning. Now he's inviting Czarcik to play catch-me-if-you-can on a…


Book cover of Eight Faces at Three: A John J. Malone Mystery

Angela M. Sanders Author Of Witch upon a Star

From my list on screwball mysteries from the golden age of detection.

Who am I?

Between humor and pathos, I lean humor. Even the saddest, most shocking events—murder, for instance—can be wrapped in kookiness. Combine this outlook with my love of old things (I’m sitting on a 1920s Chinese wedding bed and drinking from an etched Victorian tumbler at this very moment), and you’ll understand why I’m drawn to vintage screwball detective fiction. Although my mystery novels are cozies, I can’t help but infuse them with some of this screwball wackiness. I want readers to laugh, of course, but also to use my stories as springboards to see the hilarity and wonder in their own lives. 

Angela's book list on screwball mysteries from the golden age of detection

Angela M. Sanders Why did Angela love this book?

If screwball detective fiction intrigues you, you must read Craig Rice. Why not start with Eight Faces of Three, the mystery introducing the wacky, rye-soaked team of Jake Justus, Helene Brand, and John Joseph Malone?

Justus is a good-looking press agent and the book’s moral center; Brand is a gorgeous heiress and non-stop partier; and Malone is a stumpy lawyer-slash-PI with good instincts and better luck. Imagine Philip Marlowe meets the Marx Brothers.

In Eight Faces of Three, a young woman awakes to find her aunt murdered, all the house’s clocks set to 3 am, and herself the prime suspect.

Craig Rice was the first mystery writer to grace the cover of Time magazine. Her private life was strewn with ex-husbands and empty booze bottles, and she died way too young at 49.

However, her literary legacy—one critic dubbed her the “Dorothy Parker of detective fiction”—will keep her…

By Craig Rice,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Eight Faces at Three as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Pioneering woman crime writer Craig Rice introduces her series sleuth, gin-soaked Chicago lawyer John J. Malone

John J. Malone, defender of the guilty, is notorious for getting his culpable clients off. It’s the innocent ones who are problems. Like Holly Inglehart, accused of piercing the black heart of her well-heeled and tyrannical aunt Alexandria with a lovely Florentine paper cutter. No one who knew the old battle-ax liked her, but Holly’s prints were found on the murder weapon. Plus, she had a motive: She was about to be disinherited for marrying a common bandleader.

With each new lurid headline, Holly’s…


Book cover of First in Violence, Deepest in Dirt: Homicide in Chicago, 1875-1920

Peter Boag Author Of Pioneering Death: The Violence of Boyhood in Turn-Of-The-Century Oregon

From my list on death and violence of late-19th-century America.

Who am I?

As a student, the Gilded Age bored me to no end. Since then, I have come to understand that the era’s paradoxes, contingencies, and uncertainties are what has created modern America; they have preoccupied my research and writing since. I undertook Pioneering Death as a meditation on how one of the darkest and most intensely personal events—parricide—is both an expected and unexpected outcome of the interconnectedness between place, region, and nation during the Gilded Age. I hope my very select booklist about death, violence, and brutal killings assists you to recognize how these are central to the human condition and how they are foundational to modern America. 

Peter's book list on death and violence of late-19th-century America

Peter Boag Why did Peter love this book?

Lynching is central to the late 19th century and thus the theme that I explore in my recommendations, but Shepherd.com covers this tragic subject elsewhere. Instead, for my last book, I offer Adler’s study that explains the persistently high and even increasing rates of violence and homicide in Chicago during an era when varied modern social controls—urban reform, the discipline of the factory floor, expanding education and the bureaucratic state—swept over that city as they did over America, too. According to older theories about social turbulence and murder, these should have declined. Instead, the opposite was true, though the forms that violence took did change. Perhaps it was Adler’s intention to leave frighteningly unanswered what it is about people generally, and Americans specifically, that the dark impulses they have run so deeply that they are impervious to social control.

By Jeffrey S. Adler,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked First in Violence, Deepest in Dirt as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Between 1875 and 1920, Chicago's homicide rate more than quadrupled, making it the most violent major urban center in the United States--or, in the words of Lincoln Steffens, "first in violence, deepest in dirt." In many ways, however, Chicago became more orderly as it grew. Hundreds of thousands of newcomers poured into the city, yet levels of disorder fell and rates of drunkenness, brawling, and accidental death dropped. But if Chicagoans became less volatile and less impulsive, they also became more homicidal.

Based on an analysis of nearly six thousand homicide cases, First in Violence, Deepest in Dirt examines the…


Book cover of Broken Places

K.D. Richards Author Of Pursuit of the Truth

From my list on big city private eyes.

Who am I?

I write the West Investigations series, a romantic thriller series, centered around the men and women running a private investigations firm. When I began the series I knew I wanted it to be set in an urban city, not just because I’m a city girl at heart, but because of the eclectic nature, diversity, and color that can be found in the big city. Each of the books I’ve recommended below features a big city PI that jumps off the page, grabs you, and doesn’t let go for 200+ pages. 

K.D.'s book list on big city private eyes

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

This book takes place in the windy city of Chicago and Clark is adept at making you feel like you are right there in the midst of the fast-paced, gritty city as you read.

The plotting helps by kicking off with a bang – a priest and a gang member found dead in church. Questions abound. But what really kept me turning the pages of this book (or technically swiping since I read it on my Kindle) was Cass Raines, retired cop turned PI.

Her last case on the police force left her reeling and she struggling to deal with the aftermath.

It’s Cass that makes this book stand out amongst other PI novels, you care about what she’s going through, about this new trauma that has been introduced into her life, and that through it all she’s still working to get justice for people that are often overlooked and…

By Tracy Clark,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Former cop Cass Raines has found the world of private investigation a less stressful way to eke out a living in the Windy City. But when she stumbles across the dead body of a respected member of the community, it’s up to her to prove a murderer is on the loose . . .
 
Cops can make mistakes, even when they’re not rookies. If anyone knows that it’s Cass Raines, who took a bullet two years ago after an incompetent colleague screwed up a tense confrontation with an armed suspect. Deeply traumatized by the incident, Cass resigned from the Chicago…


Book cover of He Had It Coming: Four Murderous Women and the Reporter Who Immortalized Their Stories

Silvia Pettem Author Of In Search of the Blonde Tigress: The Untold Story of Eleanor Jarman

From my list on mysterious and intriguing women in history.

Who am I?

I've been writing for decades, as one genre evolved into another. Local Colorado history led to the identification of "Boulder Jane Doe," a murder victim. During that journey I learned a lot about criminal investigations and forensics. I devoured old movies (especially film noir), and I focused on social history including mysterious and intriguing women. Midwest Book Review (see author book links) credits In Search of the Blonde Tigress as "rescuing" Eleanor Jarman "from obscurity." So true! Despite Eleanor's notoriety as "the most dangerous woman alive," she actually was a very ordinary woman. I've now found my niche pulling mysterious and intriguing women out of the shadows.

Silvia's book list on mysterious and intriguing women in history

Silvia Pettem Why did Silvia love this book?

Using photo and newspaper archives from the Chicago Tribune, the authors of He Had It Coming tell the stories of four Chicago female murderers from the 1920s.

The documentation (both primary and secondary sources) and, especially, the newspaper's original high-quality historical photographs inspired me to dig deeply into similar archives when researching and writing my book.

By Kori Rumore, Marianne Mather,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked He Had It Coming as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Beulah Annan. Belva Gaertner. Kitty Malm. Sabella Nitti. These are the real women of Chicago.

You probably know Roxie and Velma, the good-time gals of the 1926 satirical play Chicago and its wildly successful musical and movie adaptations. You might not know that Roxie, Velma, and the rest of the colorful characters of the play were inspired by real prisoners held in "Murderess Row" in 1920s Chicago-or that the reporter who covered their trials for the Chicago Tribune went on to write the play Chicago.

Now, more than 90 years later, the Chicago Tribune has uncovered photographs and newspaper clippings…


Book cover of Leopold and Loeb: The Crime of the Century

Erik Rebain Author Of Arrested Adolescence: The Secret Life of Nathan Leopold

From my list on the Leopold-Loeb case.

Who am I?

I’ve been researching the Leopold-Loeb case for around a decade, ever since a documentary sparked my interest back in high school. That sent me on a quest for knowledge: devouring all the books I could find on the subject, before turning to archival collections to look at the primary source material. Flash forward to today and I’ve read thousands of newspaper stories, hundreds of scholarly articles and books on the subject and travelled around the country searching in over 50 archives, trying to understand this case as much as I possibly can. Here’s a list of books I found particularly helpful or inspiring on my journey.

Erik's book list on the Leopold-Loeb case

Erik Rebain Why did Erik love this book?

Despite being published in 1975, Hal Higdon’s book about the Leopold and Loeb case remains the definitive account, at least to me.

If you’re looking for a factual, in-depth look at the crime, investigation, and sentencing hearing, look no further. Higdon was able to interview and correspond with dozens of people who were close to the case and who personally knew the killers and victim. He weaved those recollections into the narrative along with newspaper reports and quotes from the court documents in addition to the rest of his vast research, which gives his book a wonderful richness and depth. 

By Hal Higdon,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Among the criminal celebrities of Prohibition-era Chicago, not even Al Capone was more notorious than two well-educated and highly intelligent Jewish boys from wealthy South Side families. In a meticulously planned murder scheme disguised as a kidnapping, Nathan Leopold and Richard Loeb chose fourteen-year-old Bobby Franks at random as their victim, abandoning his crumpled body in a culvert before his parents had a chance to respond to the ransom demand. Revealing secret testimony and raising questions that have gone unanswered for decades, Hal Higdon separates fact from myth as he unravels the crime, the investigation, and the trial, in which…


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in Chicago, the Departments of France, and murder?

9,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about Chicago, the Departments of France, and murder.

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