100 books like Red Queen

By Juan Gomez-Jurado,

Here are 100 books that Red Queen fans have personally recommended if you like Red Queen. Shepherd is a community of 11,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of All the Light We Cannot See

Jill Wallace Author Of War Serenade

From my list on impossible odds and satisfying endings.

Why am I passionate about this?

My ultimate read is when the action is fast, but the character's discovery of self is slow. Besides, being engrossed in the challenges of others makes my own pale by comparison. The author needs to get me to empathize with the characters - even if their struggles are nothing like my own - and once they’ve done that, I’ll be in for the long haul! Journeying through life’s mire and finding the rainbow with a character you believe - and believe in - makes for the ultimate in vicarious living. And ‘Heck, YES’ to a satisfying ending!

Jill's book list on impossible odds and satisfying endings

Jill Wallace Why did Jill love this book?

This book, with its prose as poetry, made me want to read it again the minute I finished. To absorb Mr. Doerr’s majestic words was to be transformed into a little blind girl with the heart of a lion, the wit of a comic, the determination of a world leader. I became Marie-Laure LeBlanc and felt all the while sublimely grateful that I could see. And then I met Werner Flemming and wept for him. I understood him. I was deeply moved by him. 

I felt it was profoundly destined that these two should meet and fall in love, but my imagination carried me far into the future. I was surprised to find though I should have been disappointed, I was not. You see, this book made me realize that while many people touch our lives, some can change the course of our trajectory even by a single degree. And…

By Anthony Doerr,

Why should I read it?

41 authors picked All the Light We Cannot See as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

WINNER OF THE 2015 PULITZER PRIZE FOR FICTION
NATIONAL BOOK AWARD FINALIST
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
WINNER OF THE CARNEGIE MEDAL FOR FICTION

A beautiful, stunningly ambitious novel about a blind French girl and a German boy whose paths collide in occupied France as both try to survive the devastation of World War II

Open your eyes and see what you can with them before they close forever.'

For Marie-Laure, blind since the age of six, the world is full of mazes. The miniature of a Paris neighbourhood, made by her father to teach her the way home. The microscopic…


Book cover of Slow Horses

Lee Goldberg Author Of Calico

From my list on humor that makes us human.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been writing crime stories since I was a child. They entertained me and helped me cope with a lot of family strife. My first novel was published in college and sold to the movies, which got me into screenwriting, leading to writing hundreds of hours of TV and fifty novels to date. The one thing all of my stories share is humor because I believe it’s an essential part of life–and of memorable story-telling. Humor makes characters come alive, revealing shades of personality and depths of emotion you wouldn’t otherwise see. Here are five books that taught me that it’s true and that continue to influence me as a writer. 

Lee's book list on humor that makes us human

Lee Goldberg Why did Lee love this book?

Spy novels, especially the British ones, are densely plotted, densely written, densely serious stories full of politics and betrayals…without a smile to be had by the characters or the reader. The only funny ones are satires. But this book is different.

I could enjoy all the pleasures of a spy novel, with all the betrayals and plot twists, and find myself laughing even as I was caught up in the suspense and surprises. If anything, the laughs made the twists more twisty and the tragedies more tragic.

This book revitalized an entire genre for me…by knowing where to find the humor in what was always portrayed as a humorless job in a humorless world. 

By Mick Herron,

Why should I read it?

10 authors picked Slow Horses as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

*Now a major TV series starring Gary Oldman*

'To have been lucky enough to play Smiley in one's career; and now go and play Jackson Lamb in Mick Herron's novels - the heir, in a way, to le Carre - is a terrific thing' Gary Oldman

Slough House is the outpost where disgraced spies are banished to see out the rest of their derailed careers. Known as the 'slow horses' these misfits have committed crimes of drugs and drunkenness, lechery and failure, politics and betrayal while on duty.

In this drab and mildewed office these highly trained spies don't run…


Book cover of The Peacock and the Sparrow

Bruce Borgos Author Of The Bitter Past

From my list on a protagonist who has extraordinary capabilities.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve always loved peculiar heroes and heroines. Characters with strange gifts and an equal number of challenges. It started with Sherlock Holmes, whose mind fascinated me. As a child, I gravitated to the unnatural protagonist, Tarzan, in the Edgar Rice Burroughs novels and Bilbo Baggins in The Lord of the Rings trilogy. I was never a big fan of Superman, I preferred people who adapted quickly to new surroundings and could think on their feet. Once I began my writing career, I kept those protagonists in my mind. Four novels in, I do my best to capture their spirit and determination to overcome whatever lands in front of them.

Bruce's book list on a protagonist who has extraordinary capabilities

Bruce Borgos Why did Bruce love this book?

Author I.S. Berry’s debut is perfect for people like me who love a realistic spy story.

Her protagonist, Shane Collins, is straight out of a John le Carré novel, and his superpower is a dogged determination to end his long, questionable career by doing something right. This jaded spook is in Bahrain, caught up in the Arab Spring.

I adored how Berry captured the reality on the ground and the complexity of the modern world, and I loved the complexity of Shane Collins, a man on his way out who finds real love and something to fight for, maybe for the first time in his life. 

By I S Berry,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Peacock and the Sparrow as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A NEW YORKER BEST BOOK OF THE WEEK

During the Arab Spring, an American spy’s final mission goes dangerously awry in this explosive and “remarkable debut” (Joseph Kanon, New York Times bestselling author) from a former CIA officer that is perfect for fans of John le Carré, Viet Thanh Nguyen, and Alan Furst.

Shane Collins, a world-weary CIA spy, is ready to come in from the cold. Stationed in Bahrain off the coast of Saudi Arabia for his final tour, he’s anxious to dispense with his mission—uncovering Iranian support for the insurgency against the monarchy. But then he meets Almaisa,…


Book cover of Everything Matters!

Bruce Borgos Author Of The Bitter Past

From my list on a protagonist who has extraordinary capabilities.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve always loved peculiar heroes and heroines. Characters with strange gifts and an equal number of challenges. It started with Sherlock Holmes, whose mind fascinated me. As a child, I gravitated to the unnatural protagonist, Tarzan, in the Edgar Rice Burroughs novels and Bilbo Baggins in The Lord of the Rings trilogy. I was never a big fan of Superman, I preferred people who adapted quickly to new surroundings and could think on their feet. Once I began my writing career, I kept those protagonists in my mind. Four novels in, I do my best to capture their spirit and determination to overcome whatever lands in front of them.

Bruce's book list on a protagonist who has extraordinary capabilities

Bruce Borgos Why did Bruce love this book?

I loved this book because it’s one of the funniest books I’ve ever read, and its protagonist, Junior Thibodeau, knows something no one else knows. It’s a secret given to him in the womb: he knows when the world will end.

I was amazed at how Junior, knowing what he knows, searches for and ultimately finds love and some meaning in life. I laughed my way through a story about a world on the brink, and I’ve read it a bunch of times. Whenever I need really intelligent humor, this is the book I pick up! 

By Ron Currie,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

"Startlingly talented . . . he survives the inevitable, apt comparisons to Kurt Vonnegut and writes in a tenderly mordant voice all his own." -Janet Maslin, The New York Times

In this novel rich in character, Junior Thibodeau grows up in rural Maine in a time of Atari, baseball cards, pop Catholicism, and cocaine. He also knows something no one else knows-neither his exalted parents, nor his baseball-savant brother, nor the love of his life (she doesn't believe him anyway): The world will end when he is thirty-six. While Junior searches for meaning in a doomed world, his loved ones…


Book cover of Vera Wong's Unsolicited Advice for Murderers

Amy Suiter Clarke Author Of Lay Your Body Down

From my list on amateur sleuths who have no idea what they’re doing.

Why am I passionate about this?

I like to write about everyday people who—whether by overconfidence or desperation—are motivated to solve crimes that hit close to home. My first novel Girl, 11 is about a true crime podcaster investigating a serial killer who terrorized her town decades earlier, and my newest book Lay Your Body Down is about an ex-fundamentalist Christian who returns to her insular community to expose the church’s secrets and uncover the truth of who killed the man she once loved. Normal people can and do solve mysteries before police—and even when detectives are involved, they rely on members of the community. Those are the stories I love to tell.

Amy's book list on amateur sleuths who have no idea what they’re doing

Amy Suiter Clarke Why did Amy love this book?

I was lucky enough to read an early copy of this book, and I am blown away at how Jesse Sutanto continues to smash both her novel concepts and character voices out of the park!

Vera Wong herself is the ultimate amateur sleuth, but she is not reluctant whatsoever. When a dead body turns up in her tea shop, Vera Wong—the most wonderfully grandmotherly non-grandmother—decides the police aren’t up to the task of realizing the young man was murdered, obviously, and so she decides to hunt down the suspects and interview them herself.

Vera is at turns heartwarming and hilarious, infuriating, and delightful. Told through the perspective of Vera and all her murder suspects, this book will keep you guessing until the end—and might just charm your socks off.

By Jesse Q. Sutanto,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Vera Wong's Unsolicited Advice for Murderers as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A lonely shopkeeper takes it upon herself to solve a murder in the most peculiar way in this captivating mystery by Jesse Q. Sutanto, bestselling author of Dial A for Aunties.

Vera Wong is a lonely little old lady—ah, lady of a certain age—who lives above her forgotten tea shop in the middle of San Francisco’s Chinatown. Despite living alone, Vera is not needy, oh no. She likes nothing more than sipping on a good cup of Wulong and doing some healthy detective work on the Internet about what her Gen-Z son is up to.

Then one morning, Vera trudges…


Book cover of Why Didn't They Ask Evans?

Clare Broyles Author Of In Sunshine or in Shadow

From my list on spunky women in historical mayhem who nevertheless persisted.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have been known to read a book a day, and I read widely: all the classics, mystery and suspense, science fiction, future fiction, and fantasy. My favorite novels in any genre take me to a place or time far away. My favorite characters are like hobbits; they are caught up in big adventures but fun to have a beer with and don’t take themselves too seriously. And all the protagonists in the novels I have chosen are women, because women my age have spent enough time reading about men who have adventures. 

Clare's book list on spunky women in historical mayhem who nevertheless persisted

Clare Broyles Why did Clare love this book?

This Agatha Christie doesn’t feature her famous Hercule Poirot or Miss Marple. Instead, it introduces a likable young couple, Bobby and Frankie, who fall into adventure by accident.

This book has the best one-line denouement of all mystery novels. It is a line that will give you chills when you read it. (Or re-read it. This mystery is so good that I have reread it many times in my life, and I get chills each time.)

One question ties the whole mystery together. As a mystery writer, I wish I could find that turning point question for each of my novels. But, alas, Agatha Christie was the queen. 

By Agatha Christie,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Why Didn't They Ask Evans? as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

When a man plunges down a cliff, two adventurous friends decide to find his killer...

While playing an erratic round of golf, Bobby Jones slices his ball over the edge of a cliff. His ball is lost, but on the rocks below he finds the crumpled body of a dying man. With his final breath the man opens his eyes and says, 'Why didn't they ask Evans?'

Haunted by these words, Bobby and his vivacious companion, Frankie, set out to solve a mystery that will bring them into mortal danger...


Book cover of Fatal Affair

Nika Rhone Author Of Worth Any Price

From my list on romance books with strong women and the men who love them for it.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a voracious reader, and I’ve come across way too many books where the female MC was an airheaded TSTL (too stupid to live) ninny. I don’t want to read about women who have to be saved by big, strong men. I want to see women who can pull themselves up by their bootstraps and save themselves, maybe with a little help from the big, strong man if she needs or wants it, AND who can turn around and do some saving of said man of her own, should HE need it. I think the healthiest relationships, even fictional ones, are those based on mutual strength, trust, and respect.

Nika's book list on romance books with strong women and the men who love them for it

Nika Rhone Why did Nika love this book?

I adore the character of Sam Holland. She is a badass cop, not willing to take crap from anyone, even her fellow officers, with a smart mouth that gets her into as much trouble as it gets her out of. Her character is written with such nuance and honesty that she’s someone I’ve willingly followed through 22 books (and counting).

Sam works twice as hard to make sure she’s living up to her own expectations as much as anyone else’s, always afraid of falling short, something I think we all tend to be too hard on ourselves about at times. The love interest throughout the series sometimes struggles with her strong personality, even as he admires her for it, which I think lends a depth of realism to their relationship as it grows and sometimes flounders.

By Marie Force,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Walking the thin blue line…  

Detective Sergeant Sam Holland of the Washington, DC, Metro Police needs a big win to salvage her career—and her confidence—after a disastrous investigation. The perfect opportunity arises when Senator John O'Connor is found brutally murdered in his bed, and Sam is assigned to the case. Matters get complicated when Sam has to team up with Nick Cappuano, O'Connor's friend and chief of staff…and the man Sam had a memorable one-night stand with years earlier. Their sexual chemistry still sizzles, and Sam has to fight to stay focused on the case. Sleeping with a material witness…


Book cover of The Last Party

Roxie Key Author Of The Deadly Spark

From my list on strong kick ass female lead characters.

Why am I passionate about this?

Growing up, most books seemed to feature strong and adventurous boys but rarely were the female characters cast in the same roles. Remember Anne in the Famous Five? Bless her. Even non-gendered animal characters in books were almost always called ‘he.’ And, as I look for books to empower my daughter, I’m so happy to see that things are moving in the right direction. Nowadays, I actively seek out books that feature strong female leads, which, thankfully, are many in the crime fiction world. These are just five of my favorites, but there are so many to choose from!

Roxie's book list on strong kick ass female lead characters

Roxie Key Why did Roxie love this book?

I was already a fan of Clare Mackintosh’s standalone thrillers, but when I found out she was launching a police procedural series, I was so excited! Set in Wales, this compelling book stars the complex, courageous character of DC Ffion Morgan as she tries to get to the bottom of who killed Rhys Lloyd during his New Year’s Eve party and dumped his body in the freezing lake.

I won't reveal much about the plot itself because I want you to experience the twists and turns for yourself. I want your heart to pound like it wants to escape your chest. I want you to lose hours of sleep because 'one more chapter' turned into twenty. You'll order the next book faster than I can say 'no comment.'

By Clare Mackintosh,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

THE INSTANT SUNDAY TIMES TOP 5 BESTSELLER AND START OF A THRILLING NEW SERIES: AT MIDNIGHT, ONE OF THEM IS DEAD. BY MORNING, ALL OF THEM ARE SUSPECTS . . .
'Superb, with echoes of Agatha Christie' PATRICIA CORNWELL
'A dark delight of a murder mystery' JANICE HALLETT
'Mackintosh is just getting better and better' PETER JAMES
'A wickedly enjoyable reprise of the traditional crime novel' THE TIMES

On New Year's Eve, Rhys Lloyd has a house full of guests.
His lakeside holiday homes are a success, and he's generously invited the village to drink champagne with their wealthy new…


Book cover of Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead

Hugh Warwick Author Of Cull of the Wild: Killing in the Name of Conservation

From my list on animals and nature.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have always loved animals—my adopted parents were not particularly interested, but when I met my biological mother in my mid-30s, I found out where it came from! That innate passion has driven my life. Writers like Jane Goodall were the gatekeepers—showing me the way forward and giving me permission to study and care. We need to learn more about nonhuman animals and the ecosystems that we share to better understand how to redress the damage we have caused. And while facts are important, stories are even more so. Each of these authors manages to weave both together with such great skill.

Hugh's book list on animals and nature

Hugh Warwick Why did Hugh love this book?

I have not read as much fiction as I would like, but this book reminded me how important imagination can be in building ideas. Tokarczuk tells a wonderful story—part mystery, part fairytale—but what really hooked me was the permission she gives for us to consider the animals in the forest as important characters.

There is no anthropomorphism, just an understanding that nonhuman animals matter. I rarely re-read books, but I dive back into this when I have time!

By Olga Tokarczuk, Antonia Lloyd-Jones (translator),

Why should I read it?

11 authors picked Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

With DRIVE YOUR PLOW OVER THE BONES OF THE DEAD, Nobel Prize in Literature laureate Olga Tokarczuk returns with a subversive, entertaining noir novel. In a remote Polish village, Janina Duszejko, an eccentric woman in her sixties, recounts the events surrounding the disappearance of her two dogs. She is reclusive, preferring the company of animals to people; she's unconventional, believing in the stars; and she is fond of the poetry of William Blake, from whose work the title of the book is taken. When members of a local hunting club are found murdered, Duszejko becomes involved in the investigation. By…


Book cover of Design for Dying

Laini Giles Author Of The Forgotten Flapper

From my list on capturing the magic of old Hollywood.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am an old movie fan and a novelist who has been writing historical fiction about show business since 2010. As a stickler for detail, I use oodles of old Hollywood biographies and other research sources to learn everything I can about my subjects and weave as accurate a tale as I can. My Forgotten Actresses series is up to four books, with plenty more under construction. 

Laini's book list on capturing the magic of old Hollywood

Laini Giles Why did Laini love this book?

I gotta love any mystery that features costume mistress extraordinaire Edith Head as a detective! 

I love this book for the frothy, fun adventures (and, of course, the clothes!) of the plucky lady investigators, Lillian and Edith. 

Also, I loved meeting Bob Hope, director Preston Sturges, Barbara Stanwyck, and costume designer Travis Banton over the course of the book!

By Renee Patrick,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Los Angeles, 1937. Lillian Frost has traded dreams of stardom for security as a department store salesgirl . . . until she discovers she's a suspect in the murder of her former roommate, Ruby Carroll. Party girl Ruby died wearing a gown she stole from the wardrobe department at Paramount Pictures, domain of Edith Head.

Edith has yet to win the first of her eight Academy Awards; right now she's barely hanging on to her job, and a scandal is the last thing she needs. To clear Lillian's name and save Edith's career, the two women join forces.

Unraveling the…


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