60 books like Project Chartreuse

By George Bixley,

Here are 60 books that Project Chartreuse fans have personally recommended if you like Project Chartreuse. 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 Farewell, My Lovely

Ray C Doyle Author Of The Defector's Diary

From my list on mystery thrillers ripped from news headlines.

Why am I passionate about this?

I guess my real interest in writing about the good and bad in crime and politics and the good and bad characters involved started with my first job as a junior in a local newspaper. The 60s was a time of great change. I was in the right place at the right time and got involved in reporting local government politics. I graduated later to cover Britain’s role within the EU in Brussels. I was fascinated, not so much by the politics but by the politicians and fellow news reporters involved. They inspired the creation of my fictional character, Pete West, a hardboiled political columnist. 

Ray's book list on mystery thrillers ripped from news headlines

Ray C Doyle Why did Ray love this book?

“I needed a drink, I needed a lot of life insurance, I needed a vacation, I needed a home in the country. What I had was a coat, a hat, and a gun.” The first line of one of the great Phillip Marlowe books that I fell in love with. 

As a young man, I often went to work with a Raymond Chandler paperback in my pocket. I couldn't put him down. I wanted to be Marlowe and talk like him. Chandler created a hero who taught me American slang language and how to talk the talk. The book follows Marlowe as he looks for the lost girlfriend of a guy just released from prison.

This is a wonderful noir work about a hard-boiled private detective. 

By Raymond Chandler,

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked Farewell, My Lovely as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The renowned novel from crime fiction master Raymond Chandler, with the "quintessential urban private eye" (Los Angeles Times), Philip Marlowe • Featuring the iconic character that inspired the forthcoming film Marlowe, starring Liam Neeson

Philip Marlowe's about to give up on a completely routine case when he finds himself in the wrong place at the right time to get caught up in a murder that leads to a ring of jewel thieves, another murder, a fortune-teller, a couple more murders, and more corruption than your average graveyard.


Book cover of Chiseler with a Glass Jaw

Christopher Church Author Of The Mythical Blond

From my list on LA detectives with complex emotional lives.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a longtime Angeleno, I’ve read a lot about the dark underbelly of our dysfunctional metropolis, both in the news and in fiction. I try to incorporate the City of Angels as a strong presence in my writing, and when I read other writers who have put Los Angeles at the center, it gives me a sense of things the way they really are, a glimpse at a deeper reality. I see the detectives in LA noir and crime fiction as inextricably intertwined with the city, their weaknesses, and their emotional quandaries emerging from this place.

Christopher's book list on LA detectives with complex emotional lives

Christopher Church Why did Christopher love this book?

I found this mystery unusual because there are two protagonists, the fledgling detective Truman and his reluctant friend Celeste. I grew up with a canny mother and sisters, and seeing Celeste tacitly guide Truman in his new career, using her broader understanding of the world, feels familiar. The pair confront a blackmailing bully and try to shut down his operation. Their hedonistic approach to life, even in the most intense moments, is lighthearted and fun, and any woman who’s had a gay best friend or vice versa will recognize the humor in the pair of them chasing the same guys.

By Chester Henry,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Chiseler with a Glass Jaw as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Never one to let a bully get away with harassing someone, Celeste intervenes with a knockout punch, and in the melee Truman winds up in possession of the bully’s cell phone. Through Truman’s inventive online stalking and Celeste tracking down the victim, they uncover a seedy nest of grifters bent on profiting from human misery. Truman gets involved with Isaac, a closeted lawyer with a quick temper, but how does he fit into the scam? Running down leads at hotel bars, hip boutiques, and a grimy body shop, Truman and Celeste go all in, posing undercover at a night club…


Book cover of City of Bones

Christopher Church Author Of The Mythical Blond

From my list on LA detectives with complex emotional lives.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a longtime Angeleno, I’ve read a lot about the dark underbelly of our dysfunctional metropolis, both in the news and in fiction. I try to incorporate the City of Angels as a strong presence in my writing, and when I read other writers who have put Los Angeles at the center, it gives me a sense of things the way they really are, a glimpse at a deeper reality. I see the detectives in LA noir and crime fiction as inextricably intertwined with the city, their weaknesses, and their emotional quandaries emerging from this place.

Christopher's book list on LA detectives with complex emotional lives

Christopher Church Why did Christopher love this book?

I don’t think Connelly’s intention was to write horror, but his visceral description of the corpses and the minutia of murder in this novel made my stomach churn. An unpleasant experience, yes, but it’s vivid and effective writing. Harry Bosch is a detective with weakness for a specific type of woman, and of course he gets mixed up with Julia, a hot tomato who’s new to the force, and of course she messes up his investigation into the bones. You might want to kick Bosch in the caboose for not thinking more lucidly, but eventually he manages to outsmart his villains.

By Michael Connelly,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The outstanding eighth Harry Bosch thriller from the award-winning No. 1 bestselling author of The Lincoln Lawyer. City of Bones is featured in Amazon Prime's BOSCH TV series.

When the bones of a boy are found scattered in the Hollywood Hills, Harry Bosch is drawn into a case that brings up dark memories from his past.

Unearthing hidden stories, he finds the child's identity and reconstructs his fractured life, determined that he won't be forgotten. At the same time, a new love affair with a female cop begins to blossom - until a stunningly blown mission leaves him in more…


Book cover of Bunker Noir! True Crime on Los Angeles's Bunker Hill

Christopher Church Author Of The Mythical Blond

From my list on LA detectives with complex emotional lives.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a longtime Angeleno, I’ve read a lot about the dark underbelly of our dysfunctional metropolis, both in the news and in fiction. I try to incorporate the City of Angels as a strong presence in my writing, and when I read other writers who have put Los Angeles at the center, it gives me a sense of things the way they really are, a glimpse at a deeper reality. I see the detectives in LA noir and crime fiction as inextricably intertwined with the city, their weaknesses, and their emotional quandaries emerging from this place.

Christopher's book list on LA detectives with complex emotional lives

Christopher Church Why did Christopher love this book?

As a nonfiction book this doesn’t involve a specific detective, but it covers an array of dark crimes that happened on Bunker Hill, a dense residential neighborhood of downtown LA that was razed in the 1950s. I’m always amazed when true crime stories read as more far-fetched than the cases worked by fictional detectives: bodies in trunks, drunken rampages, shootings, stabbings, dismemberments. So much mayhem happened in those twenty blocks in the few decades the neighborhood existed. If you ever get the wrongheaded idea that the past was more idyllic and innocent than our messed-up era, thumb through Bunker Noir—you’ll see how shockingly violent our predecessors really were.

By Nathan Marsak,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Bunker Noir! True Crime on Los Angeles's Bunker Hill as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Bunker Noir! True Crime on Los Angeles's Bunker Hill! Bunker Hill, that mysterious suburb of downtown Los Angeles, covered by ramshackle Victorian mansions, populated by an permanent underclass, hated by City Hall. Bunker Hill was immortalized by pulp crime writers (Chandler, Cain) and in film noir pictures (Criss Cross, Kiss Me Deadly) until City Hall had enough, and wiped the whole thing clean like a stain from a countertop. In its great grand noir years of twisted alleyways and long shadows, crime flourished. We here at Bunker Hill Publishing and Fishmongers, Inc. captured that historic crime in a magazine recalling…


Book cover of How to Win the War on Truth: An Illustrated Guide to How Mistruths Are Sold, Why They Stick, and How to Reclaim Reality

Dashka Slater Author Of Accountable: The True Story of a Racist Social Media Account and the Teenagers Whose Lives It Changed

From my list on facing down extremism, online and off.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve spent the past ten years reporting and writing true crime narratives about teenagers and hate, first in The 57 Bus and now in Accountable. My research has led me into some fascinating places and has left me convinced that we cannot prevent what we don’t understand. In both books I found that the young people who harmed others weren’t the stereotypical grimacing loners I’d always associated with hate and extremism. Instead, they were imitating behaviors that we see all around us. Being young, with brains that aren’t fully developed in important ways, and lacking the life experience that teaches us a more nuanced understanding of the world, they are ripe for radicalization.

Dashka's book list on facing down extremism, online and off

Dashka Slater Why did Dashka love this book?

After watching both a close friend and a relative get radicalized through online disinformation, I realized that no one is immune, no matter how smart or how educated, if they don’t have the tools to recognize disinformation when it comes their way.

Media scholar Samuel C. Spitale has written a compulsively readable and highly entertaining explanation of what disinformation is and how to recognize and combat it. The propaganda mills are churning out disinformation faster than ever before and even those of us who think we’re too smart to be fooled are vulnerable.

By Samuel C. Spitale, Allan Whincup (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked How to Win the War on Truth as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The average person receives 4,000 to 10,000 media messages a day. It s no wonder we struggle to separate the news from the noise and fact from fiction but in these unprecedented times, it s essential to democracy that we do. For anyone struggling to figure out how to live and vote their values, How to Win the War on Truth is here to help. You ll learn: The history of propaganda, from Edward Bernays to Fox News Why simple messages are so powerful How social messaging creates unconscious biases Who profits from propaganda How propaganda is manufactured and delivered…


Book cover of Camp Ghoul Mountain Part VI: The Official Novelization

Betty Rocksteady Author Of Soft Places

From my list on story told in an unconventional manner.

Why am I passionate about this?

While I love straight-up fiction and read plenty of novels, I’ve always been just as interested in art as I have been in writing. The further into my writing career I get, the more it becomes obvious that art and illustration are just as vital to the way I want to tell my stories. I did the covers for my first few books and started experimenting with illustrating them as well with The Writhing Skies, creating a very strange blend of splatterpunk horror and Betty Boop-inspired illustration. Soft Places is a further step in the direction of telling stories in a way that’s a little different. 

Betty's book list on story told in an unconventional manner

Betty Rocksteady Why did Betty love this book?

This book is absolutely wild. It purports to be an adaption of an over-the-top gorefest of a movie, plagued by conspiracy theories. Full of footnotes and behind-the-scenes anecdotes and autobiographical details about how the book itself came to be, it not only supposedly adapts a film but tells a far darker hidden story and is overall a lot of dark and spooky fun.

By Jonathan Raab, Benjamin Holesapple (editor),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Camp Ghoul Mountain Part VI as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Camp Ghoul Mountain Part VI is one of the most infamous slasher-movie sequels of the 1980s. Known for its over-the-top gore effects, bizarre and psychedelic campground killer plot—and its legacy as a lightning rod for conspiracy theories concerning everything from UFOs and alien abductions to 9/11 and a secret cabal at the heart of world power. This book contains a complete, authorized adaptation of the infamous cult slasher movie as well as the secret history of the behind-the-scenes drama and high-strange events that inspired the filmmakers, complete with footnotes and autobiographical anecdotes. Camp Ghoul Mountain Part VI: The Official Novelization…


Book cover of The Storm Is Upon Us: How Qanon Became a Movement, Cult, and Conspiracy Theory of Everything

Daniel C. Hellinger Author Of Conspiracies and Conspiracy Theories in the Age of Trump

From my list on separating conspiracy fact from fiction in American politics.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a political scientist, a professor emeritus at Webster University, with scholarly publications about Latin American and U.S. politics. My interest in conspiracy theories was piqued by a reviewer who dismissed my book on the “democratic façade” of U.S. politics as a “conspiracy theory.” I took umbrage and denied being a “conspiracy theorist.” Years later, conversing with a colleague about Oliver Stone’s JFK, I dismissed his doubts about the lone gunman theory as a conspiracy theory. He asked whether I would similarly dismiss questions about official stories regarding assassinations in South Asia or Latin America. This all set me on the path to studying the role of conspiracies.

Daniel's book list on separating conspiracy fact from fiction in American politics

Daniel C. Hellinger Why did Daniel love this book?

I found this book a most accessible, comprehensive and incisive look at QAnon, one of the most baffling mass movements to have blasted into American political culture.

For those of us who live outside the reach of these cult-like believers in a raft of fantastical conspiracy theories, what baffles us is that unlike cults, which are typically withdrawn from mainstream society, QAnon reaches into our most intimate friend and family circles.

For me, where the book shines is in tracing the early appeal, its spiraling growth via the internet, and the links to radical right populists. This book is our best guide into the heart of darkness of Trumpian America.

By Mike Rothschild,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

"I hope everyone reads this book. It has become such a crucial thing for all of us to understand." —Erin Burnett, CNN

"An ideal tour guide for your journey into the depths of the rabbit hole that is QAnon. It even shows you a glimmer of light at the exit." —Cullen Hoback, director of HBO's Q: Into the Storm

Its messaging can seem cryptic, even nonsensical, yet for tens of thousands of people, it explains everything:  What is QAnon, where did it come from, and is the Capitol insurgency a sign of where it’s going next?

On October 5th, 2017,…


Book cover of The End of the World

Jesse Karp Author Of Those That Wake

From my list on a world under secret control.

Why am I passionate about this?

I grew up in the 1970s, still in contention for America’s most paranoid decade (thanks, Watergate). Practically everything I watched, listened to or read (right down to my beloved superhero comics) was asking, what’s hiding behind the world around you? I don’t think of myself as a paranoid guy – I don’t, for instance, believe in a real life Deep State – but these are the sorts of stories that resonate for me. Taken less literally, they do ask worthwhile and still disturbingly relevant questions: what is beneath the world you know and see every day? What is right in front of you, both good and bad, that you aren’t seeing?

Jesse's book list on a world under secret control

Jesse Karp Why did Jesse love this book?

It’s the post-modern apotheosis of all conspiracy theories: convince enough people something is true, it becomes true. Doesn’t matter how far-fetched – the Earth is flat, the world is overcome with Bigfoots, shape-changing lizardmen are secretly controlling everything – convince enough people, and it happens.  Except, who’s trying to convince people? And who’s trying to stop them? And are either of them on our side? It’s really a bottomless hole in the most enjoyable way (if paranoid fables are your thing): no matter how bad you realize it is, it’s actually worse. But wait, it’s even worse than that. And even worse than that. This is an ongoing comic series (even the art makes reality seem haunted and insubstantial), so while there are already several collected editions, there’s no end in sight.

By James Tynion IV, Martin Simmonds (artist),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The End of the World as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 16, and 17.

What is this book about?

Best of 2021 Lists:
New York Public Library
Entertainment Weekly
Indigo
And more...

"A wonderfully dizzy mixture of Men in Black, John Carpenter, Stephen King, The Matrix, and 1970s conspiracy thrillers."- Forbes

"A story for our zeitgeist. SIMMONDS' art invokes Bill Sienkiewicz."- Entertainment Weekly

"It is FANTASTIC. Can't wait to read the whole series!"- Patton Oswalt

COLE TURNER has studied conspiracy theories all his life, but he isn't prepared for what happens when he discovers that all of them are true, from the JFK Assassination to Flat Earth Theory and Reptilian Shapeshifters. One organization has been covering them up for…


Book cover of Routledge Handbook of Conspiracy Theories

Mark Fenster Author Of Conspiracy Theories: Secrecy and Power in American Culture

From my list on understanding conspiracy theories.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a law professor who, among other things, writes about the culture and law of secrecy. I’ve written two books: Conspiracy Theories: Secrecy and Power in American Culture, the second edition of which was published in 2008, and The Transparency Fix: Secrets, Leaks, and Uncontrollable Government Information (2017). I hold a J.D. from Yale Law School and a Ph.D. from the Institute of Communications Research at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and I teach at the University of Florida.

Mark's book list on understanding conspiracy theories

Mark Fenster Why did Mark love this book?

My book came out around the same time as several others on conspiracy theory from humanities scholars. I could spend all five of my book recommendations on their works—and I’m thinking especially here of books by Clare Birchall, Peter Knight, Timothy Melley, and more recently Michael Butter—but several of the authors are included in this recent collection that also features scholars from throughout Europe. The Routledge Handbook situates conspiracy theories within the political and cultural contexts from which they emerge throughout the world, and it includes in a single volume works from a broad range of disciplines that reveal the diversity and scope of the contemporary academic study of conspiracy theory.

By Michael Butter (editor), Peter Knight (editor),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Routledge Handbook of Conspiracy Theories as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Taking a global and interdisciplinary approach, the Routledge Handbook of Conspiracy Theories provides a comprehensive overview of conspiracy theories as an important social, cultural and political phenomenon in contemporary life.

This handbook provides the most complete analysis of the phenomenon to date. It analyses conspiracy theories from a variety of perspectives, using both qualitative and quantitative methods. It maps out the key debates, and includes chapters on the historical origins of conspiracy theories, as well as their political significance in a broad range of countries and regions. Other chapters consider the psychology and the sociology of conspiracy beliefs, in addition…


Book cover of The Second Shooter

Marc E. Fitch Author Of Boy in the Box

From my list on brilliantly bat-shit stories.

Why am I passionate about this?

I read widely and in many genres, so coming up with a thematic list was a difficult task. However, in working on my forthcoming novel Dead Ends, in which a quiet neighborhood descends into paranoia and insanity driven by fear, politics, and technology, I sought out novels that engaged with conspiratorial thinking and violence. I admire writers who don’t hold back and fully engage with their characters and material, particularly if it means going to dark, imaginative and strange places in their work. Please keep an eye out for Dead Ends, coming from Flame Tree Press in 2023.

Marc's book list on brilliantly bat-shit stories

Marc E. Fitch Why did Marc love this book?

Nick Mamatas never writes a typical novel and his latest offering is no exception. Built on the very real rumors and conspiracy theories surrounding mass shooting events in the United States, Mamatas' work offers hints and innuendos throughout of an invisible force seeking to create chaos, death, and destruction in collusion with a conspiracy theorist radio host fanning the flames. Like a real-life conspiracy theory, it’s all connected — somehow. Mamatas’ ability to draw a plot line and themes so at odds with our general perception of reality, the story, sadly, begins to reflect our real world of conspiracy theories and political paranoia in what has become a bat-shit age of American life.

By Nick Mamatas,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

"There was video of the second shooter. There was video."

In the first reports of every mass shooting, there's always mention of a second shooter-two sets of gunshots, a figure seen fleeing the scene-and they always seem to evaporate as events are pieced together.

Commissioned by a fringe publisher to investigate the phenomenon, journalist Mike Karras finds himself tailed by drones, attacked by a talk radio host, badgered by his all-knowing (and maybe all-powerful) editor, and teaming up with an immigrant family of conspiracy buffs.

Together, they uncover something larger and stranger than anyone could imagine-a technomystical plot to 'murder…


5 book lists we think you will like!

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