84 books like Sorry for the Dead

By Nicola Upson,

Here are 84 books that Sorry for the Dead fans have personally recommended if you like Sorry for the Dead. 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 A Quiet Life in the Country

Emily J. Edwards Author Of Viviana Valentine Gets Her Man

From my list on mysteries set in the perfect time and place.

Why am I passionate about this?

Of course, every mystery needs a perfect crime, but what about the perfect setting? I’m fascinated by how authors manipulate time and place to add to the heightened emotions of their murders, thefts, blackmail, and frauds. It’s the juxtaposition of truth and fantasy—what we believe times were like and how they actually were—that makes setting such an essential detail of every whodunnit. Doing research on my own novel, I wrenched apart the facts and fictions of Post-War America, and grew even more ravenous for mysteries that leveraged their settings for the utmost entertainment. 

Emily's book list on mysteries set in the perfect time and place

Emily J. Edwards Why did Emily love this book?

Try as I might, I can’t get into Marple. But T.E. Kinsey’s Lady Hardcastle series, beginning with the debut A Quiet Life in The Country turns the cozy genre on its head. In this case, the dithering, older busybody is Lady Emily Hardcastle, with her trusty ladies’ maid, Florence Armstrong. As the book and series progress, we find that neither woman is quite the helpless Edwardian female the neighbors believe. Come for the murder mystery and stay for the… knife throwing? 

By T E Kinsey,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked A Quiet Life in the Country as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Lady Emily Hardcastle is an eccentric widow with a secret past. Florence Armstrong, her maid and confidante, is an expert in martial arts. The year is 1908 and they've just moved from London to the country, hoping for a quiet life.

But it is not long before Lady Hardcastle is forced out of her self-imposed retirement. There's a dead body in the woods, and the police are on the wrong scent. Lady Hardcastle makes some enquiries of her own, and it seems she knows a surprising amount about crime investigation...

As Lady Hardcastle and Flo delve deeper into rural rivalries…

Book cover of The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle

Adam Oyebanji Author Of A Quiet Teacher

From my list on fair play murder mysteries that are actually fair.

Why am I passionate about this?

I was born in Coatbridge, in the West of Scotland, more years ago than I care to remember. I recently took the big step of moving east to Edinburgh, by way of Birmingham, London, Lagos, Nigeria, Chicago, Pittsburgh, and New York: a necessary detour because traffic on the direct route is really, really bad. I’m a graduate of Birmingham University and Harvard Law School, and work in the field of counter-terrorist financing, which sounds way cooler than it is.  Basically, I write emails, fill in forms, and use spreadsheets to help choke off the money supply that builds weapons of mass destruction, narcotics empires, and human trafficking networks. And sometimes I write murder mysteries.

Adam's book list on fair play murder mysteries that are actually fair

Adam Oyebanji Why did Adam love this book?

Agatha Christie meets Groundhog Day meets Rashomon in this country house murder mystery where the narrator is as much a puzzle as the murder itself. The narrator lurches into the novel as a witness to a killing so dreadful they’ve lost their memory. Then awakes the next morning to live the same day again as a different character with a different viewpoint: a bizarre twist that repeats itself until we have, as the title suggests, seven different versions of what happened, and enough information, finally, to get to the “truth.” Come for the strange, mind-bending trip, leave with a beautifully constructed conclusion.

By Stuart Turton,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Can you solve the mystery of Evelyn Hardcastle?


Gosford Park meets Groundhog Day by way of Agatha Christie and Black Mirror - the most inventive story you'll read

Tonight, Evelyn Hardcastle will be killed ... Again

It is meant to be a celebration but it ends in tragedy. As fireworks…

Book cover of Full Dark House

Diane M. Dickson Author Of Body in the Canal

From my list on when you want to dabble in crime with no risk.

Why am I passionate about this?

My fascination with crime fiction has come from reading about it. I have no idea how many novels I have read focused on baddies and the catching of them, but it’s numbering now in the many hundreds. I think the fact that a crime novel can incorporate elements of all other genres – horror, history, romance, the supernatural, etc. are what make them so appealing and add to the joy of writing them. Untangling the threads that make up a crime novel is very satisfying. Maybe in another reality, I would be a detective – I love that idea, but for now, in this bit of the multiverse, I’ll just carry on making them up.  

Diane's book list on when you want to dabble in crime with no risk

Diane M. Dickson Why did Diane love this book?

Another series. I really enjoy getting to know characters and look forward to watching them develop over the time that I read about them. Bryant and May are so very unusual. Quirky, and a little bit mad, it has to be said, as are the whole of the Peculiar Crime Unit. The back stories are expertly woven into the narrative and the detail and relating of little-known facts about London are absolutely fascinating. Again I have read the whole series, though as these two elderly detectives grow older and more frail I found them harder to read, but this book – the first in the series was a delight. 

By Christopher Fowler,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Full Dark House as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

When a bomb devastates the office of London's most unusual police unit and claims the life of its oldest detective, Arthur Bryant, his surviving partner John May searches for clues to the bomber's identity. His search takes him back to the day the detectives first met as young men in 1940.

In Blitz-ravaged London, a beautiful dancer rehearsing for a sexy, sinister production of 'Orpheus In The Underworld' is found without her feet. Bryant & May's investigation plunges them into a bizarre gothic mystery, where a faceless man stalks terrified actors and death strikes in darkness. Tracking their quarry through…

Book cover of In Strangers' Houses

Fliss Chester Author Of Death Among the Diamonds

From my list on amateur sleuths with a difference.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a writer of cosy crimes and unapologetic in my love for the genre! There’s nothing better, in my opinion than a well-thumbed Agatha Christie or a foxed, old copy of Dorothy L Sayers. And it’s the role of the amateur sleuth that I love the best; that happy accident that brings a person with a sharp mind and perhaps a particular skill set together with a murderous villain, and we, the lucky reader, get to ride alongside them and work out the mystery for ourselves. Pour that tea, snuggle up and settle in with these five brilliant examples of amateur sleuths with just something a little different to offer…

Fliss' book list on amateur sleuths with a difference

Fliss Chester Why did Fliss love this book?

Amateur sleuths tend to be drawn from the professional or upper classes—Miss Marple, Lord Peter Wimsey, even my own Hon Cressida Fawcettso it’s refreshing to solve cases with Lena Szarka, a Hungarian cleaner who has a clear moral compass and a way of finding out exactly what’s lurking in the dirty laundryboth literal and metaphorical. Headstrong, big of heart, and desperate to solve the death of her friend, Lena can spot a smudgy fingerprint at fifty paces. This book is the first in a limited series and well worth settling down withjust put a coaster under your mug and pick up your own biscuit crumbs, else Lena might have a word…

By Elizabeth Mundy,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked In Strangers' Houses as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

There are some crimes you can't sweep under the carpet...

Lena Szarka, a Hungarian cleaner working in London, knows all too well about cleaning up other people's messes. When her friend Timea disappears, she suspects one of her clients is to blame. However, the police don't share her suspicions and it is left to Lena to turn sleuth and find her friend.

Searching through their houses as she scrubs their floors, Lena desperately tries to find out what has happened. Only Cartwright, a police constable new to the job, believes that this will lead to the truth - and together…

Book cover of The Mistletoe Countess

Karen Witemeyer Author Of Head in the Clouds

From my list on sweet historical romance to tickle your funny bone.

Why am I passionate about this?

I love to laugh. Whether my oldest son and I are trading bad puns, my husband is teasing, my daughter and I are chuckling over a rom-com, or my youngest son is rolling his eyes and groaning at all of us, my family loves to laugh. Humor creates joy, relieves stress, and is just plain fun. That's what I look for in a good read. The world offers plenty of negativity and hardship. When I escape into a novel, I want fast-paced adventure and swoony romance, but I also want a reason to smile. That's the experience I love, and the one I endeavor to give my readers.

Karen's book list on sweet historical romance to tickle your funny bone

Karen Witemeyer Why did Karen love this book?

This is such a fun book! The book-loving heroine is so upbeat and full of sunshine. Grace loves whimsy yet manages to keep her feet on the ground. I loved how she uses her experience with fiction to solve mysteries and escape harrowing situations. Lord Astley is haunted by past mistakes but his brooding nature can't stand against Grace's guileless enthusiasm. A marriage of convenience, a villain on the prowl, and a house with secret passageways. What's not to love? Riddled with laugh-out-loud moments, this book should not be missed at Christmas or any other time of year.

By Pepper Basham,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Will the magic of Christmas bring these two newlyweds closer together, or will the ghosts of the past lead them into a destructive discovery from which not even a Dickens’s Christmas can save them?

Mistletoe is beautiful and dangerous, much like the woman from Lord Frederick’s Percy’s past, so when he turns over a new leaf and arranges to marry for his estate, instead of his heart, he never expects the wrong bride to be the right choice. Gracelynn Ferguson never expected to take her elder sister’s place as a Christmas bride, but when she’s thrust into the choice, she…

Book cover of The Haunting of Maddy Clare

Loretta Marion Author Of House of Ashes

From my list on mysterious old houses with a haunting presence.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am an author of mysteries with three published books in the genre to date. Novels involving a mysterious house will immediately grab my attention. Throw in an otherworldly presence and I’m hooked. So it was no surprise when my muse guided me to create a mystery series that centers around a Victorian home haunted by the spirits of its original inhabitants. Inspiration came from personal experience—a real-life ghostly encounter in my New England country home which bordered an ancient cemetery—and influence from classic tales that delve into the paranormal and the psychological. This is the type of book I will always rush to read (and write).

Loretta's book list on mysterious old houses with a haunting presence

Loretta Marion Why did Loretta love this book?

The Haunting of Maddy Clare is a historic tale of ghost hunters who find exactly what they are seeking in Maddy Clare—a powerful and angry specter that haunts the barn where she ended her life. The characters are well drawn in a story that offers just the right balance of fright and romantic tension. The atmosphere is as dark and unsettling as one would hope to discover in a story about a haunting spirit, with enough mystery and suspense to keep the reader wondering about the ending for each of the characters—including Maddy Clare herself.

For readers who enjoy mysteries, ghost stories, and romantic suspense…The Haunting of Maddy Clare offers all of that and more.

By Simone St. James,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A woman of limited means and even less experience must confront a vengeful spirit in this haunting novel from the New York Times bestselling author of The Broken Girls and The Sun Down Motel.

1920s England. Sarah Piper’s lonely, threadbare existence changes when her temporary agency sends her to assist an obsessed ghost hunter. Alistair Gellis—rich, handsome, and scarred by World War I—has been summoned to investigate the spirit of the nineteen-year-old maid Maddy Clare, who is said to haunt the barn where she committed suicide.

Maddy hated men in life, and she will not speak to them in death.…

Book cover of Cuckoo Song

Katrina Monroe Author Of Graveyard of Lost Children

From my list on changeling lore.

Why am I passionate about this?

Most people don’t realize how deeply ingrained folklore is to our daily lives. Superstitious habits like tossing spilled salt over the shoulder seem silly now, but had grave implications a hundred or more years ago. I love books that draw lines between folklore and reality, that weave tales laced with superstition, especially through the lens of modern issues. Stories like these have always helped me to not only understand myself better, but the world around me. The things people do and say aren’t nearly as important as why. Folklore, like changeling stories, I’ve found, is the key to human understanding.

Katrina's book list on changeling lore

Katrina Monroe Why did Katrina love this book?

Cuckoo Song is not just a book about growing up, it’s a book about growing up in an environment where you suddenly don’t fit in.

Triss is a character I instantly related to. Once young adulthood hit, I found I’d pulled away from the rest of my family, a black sheep. Wrong. In Cuckoo Song, Triss bravely faces her darkest fears in order to find the truth of herself. And though it might be terrifying, it is her truth, and she will claim it.

By Frances Hardinge,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Read this thought-provoking, critically acclaimed novel from Frances Hardinge, winner of the Costa Book of the Year and Costa Children's Book Awards for The Lie Tree.

When Triss wakes up after an accident, she knows something is very wrong. She is insatiably hungry, her sister seems scared of her, and her parents whisper behind closed doors. She looks through her diary to try to remember, but the pages have been ripped out. Soon Triss discovers that what happened to her is more strange and terrible than she could ever have imagined, and that she is quite literally not herself. In…

Book cover of The Quest for Queen Mary

William Kuhn Author Of Mrs Queen Takes the Train

From my list on the modern British monarchy.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m an American who was taken by his parents to live in England for a year when he was a kid of eleven. The accents? The traditions? The school uniforms? All the traffic tangled up for a day because the Queen was riding to the State Opening of Parliament? It frightened me. It repelled me. I ended up loving it. I wrote my PhD thesis on the Victorian monarchy. A substantial part of all three of my first nonfiction books are about it. My novel on the current Queen of England has been a bestseller. It’s all about setting out to master what first strikes you as incomprehensible.

William's book list on the modern British monarchy

William Kuhn Why did William love this book?

This is the hilarious account of an official biographer tracking down European royalty. They were the extended family of Queen Mary, the current queen’s grandmother. Pope-Hennessey had been commissioned to write the official biography of Mary, the wife of King George V.  He talked to a full range of eccentrics who were either relations of Queen Mary, or knew her well.  The behind-the-scenes gossip he was given, as well as the insight into the absurdities of having a royal family in a democratic country, are both priceless.

By James Pope-Hennessey,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Quest for Queen Mary as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'A delightful insight into an eclectic life'
The Daily Telegraph

'Very funny and astute . . . a loathly feast for royal-watchers'
Hilary Mantel, New Statesman Books of the Year 2018

'A complete delight, conjuring up, with a few sharp strokes of the pen, a mad, exotic species from a world gone by'
Craig Brown, Mail on Sunday

'Gloriously indiscreet . . . the best royal book ever'
Harry Mount, Financial Times

* * *

When James Pope-Hennessy began his work on Queen Mary's official biography, it opened the door to meetings with royalty, court members and retainers around Europe.…

Book cover of Death at Wentwater Court

Mary Miley Author Of The Mystic's Accomplice

From my list on Roaring Twenties mystery series.

Why am I passionate about this?

Historical fiction, specifically historical mysteries, is my favorite category whether I’m reading for pleasure or writing my own stories, and the decade of the Roaring Twenties is certainly the most colorful era in American history. As a historian, I want to learn; as a writer, I want to teach. But—and this is a big “but”—it’s critical that historical novels are both accurate and subtle. If I find the author has misrepresented the history or larded the story, I’m done. Which is why I can recommend the following five Roaring Twenties series. All feature characters that grow as the series progresses so it’s best to begin at the beginning and proceed mostly in order.

Mary's book list on Roaring Twenties mystery series

Mary Miley Why did Mary love this book?

Daisy has solved 23 murder mysteries so far. These Christie-esque plots are set in London, at posh country estates, and in other parts of the British landscape. Daisy works as a journalist—an unusual job for a young woman in the ‘20s, especially one who is aristocratic and wealthy and, therefore, shouldn’t be working at all. Her assignments and social connections inevitably entangle her in murder investigations, which she solves with the help of a competent Scotland Yard inspector who in later books becomes her husband. 

By Carola Dunn,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Death at Wentwater Court as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

No stranger to sprawling country estates, well-heeled Daisy Dalrymple is breaking new ground at Wentwater Court to cover a story for Town & Country magazine. But her interview gives way to interrogation when suave Lord Stephen Astwick meets a chilly end on the tranquil skating pond.

With evidence that his death was anything but accidental, Daisy joins forces with Scotland Yard so the culprit can't slip through their fingers like the unfortunate Astwick slipped through the ice ...

Praise for The Daisy Dalrymple Mysteries:

'Appropriate historical detail and witty dialogue are the finishing touches on this engaging 1920s period piece.'…

Book cover of Queen Mary

Robert Lacey Author Of Majesty: Elizabeth II and the House of Windsor

From my list on about the Queen.

Why am I passionate about this?

Robert Lacey is credited with changing the way that people read and write about the British monarchy. In 1977 his tell-it-how-it-is Majesty: Elizabeth II and the House of Windsor overturned the clichés of the traditional ‘royal book’, hitherto the preserve of ex-nannies and obsequious court correspondents. As a Cambridge-trained historian of the first Elizabethan age – his biographies Robert, Earl of Essex and Sir Walter Ralegh won critical acclaim – the young journalist added the investigative techniques of his work on the Sunday Times to portray the monarchy in a fresh and analytical fashion. Robert is today Historical Consultant to the Netflix TV series The Crown.

Robert's book list on about the Queen

Robert Lacey Why did Robert love this book?

The wittiest of royal biographers, James Pope-Hennessy listed the three consuming passions of Queen Mary (1867-1953) as the British Monarchy, Windsor Castle, and collecting dolls’ house furniture. She was also dedicated to the coaching of her granddaughter Elizabeth as a future Queen. The old Queen’s excursions with the "Little Princesses," Elizabeth and Margaret, to London’s art galleries and museums, were the closest the two girls came to serious education. So read this book if you want to understand Elizabeth II as a child. It remains possible to detect Queen Mary’s reserve and occasional severity in the dutiful style of her eldest granddaughter to this day.  

By James Pope-Hennessy,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The official biography of Queen Mary, grandmother of the current Queen, originally commissioned in 1959 - with a new foreword by Hugo Vickers.

When Queen Mary died in 1953, James Pope-Hennessy was commissioned to write an official biography of her - unusual for a Queen Consort. Queen Mary's life, contrary to popular belief, was essentially dramatic, and she played a far more important and influential role in the affairs of the British monarchy than her public image might have otherwise suggested. Using material from the Royal Archives, private papers and Queen Mary's personal diaries and letters, Pope-Hennessy's biography was a…

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