34 books like Stone and Spark

By Sibella Giorello,

Here are 34 books that Stone and Spark fans have personally recommended if you like Stone and Spark. 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 A Vow of Silence

Elizabeth Bailey Author Of The Gilded Shroud

From my list on mysteries to escape the now and voyage the past.

Why am I passionate about this?

Even as a child, I wanted to escape from current times and visit bygone or future eras. History and literature were favourites and I gleaned most of what I know of the past by reading. Then I found Georgette Heyer, prompting a lifetime love affair with all things Georgian and Regency. Agatha Christie got me into mystery. I loved both the puzzle of whodunit and being whirled away into Poirot, Marple, or Cadfael territory. A good mystery and a deep dive into history as well? Heaven! Best of all is the author who draws me so completely into their imaginary world that the real one fades away.

Elizabeth's book list on mysteries to escape the now and voyage the past

Elizabeth Bailey Why did Elizabeth love this book?

Sister Joan is yet another religious sleuth. Set in the early 1990s, I think this series now qualifies as a historical mystery. It is a lighter read than my other choices, but one I absolutely loved and, like Cadfael, I dived in and devoured the lot. Vow of Silence is the first and hooked me straight away. The religious life fascinates me and I enjoyed the way the ceremonial routine of the convent was woven into the mysteries. This detail serves to immerse you in the life of Sister Joan, a down-to-earth heroine who drew my admiration. The mysteries unfold naturally into the setting and don’t seem incongruous. A more gentle read than the others I have chosen, but acutely satisfying.

By Veronica Black,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked A Vow of Silence as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

When one nun dies in a bizarre accident and another disappears, hushed whispers of virgin sacrifice, Mother Goddess worship, suicide, and murder spread among the Sisters at Cornwall House convent and Sister Joan is sent to investigate


Book cover of A Fatal Obsession

Susan Page Davis Author Of Blue Plate Special

From my list on cozy mysteries by contemporary authors.

Why am I passionate about this?

A good puzzle will draw me in every time, and I’ve always loved mysteries. When I was a kid, Trixie Belden was my favorite sleuth. In junior high, I tried my hand at writing a few mystery stories. I also discovered logic puzzles about this time. In a mystery, you have to locate the clues and put them together in a logical manner to solve the riddle. Now I’m the author of 100 published books. Many of them are mysteries, and most of the ones that aren’t have elements of mystery within the story. 

Susan's book list on cozy mysteries by contemporary authors

Susan Page Davis Why did Susan love this book?

The characters always pull me back for the next book in the series. Trudy Loveday is a WPC—Woman Police Constable—in the 1960s. She’s a young woman clawing her way up in a man’s world. Her favorite sidekick is Dr. Clement Ryder, the local coroner. He’s nearing retirement, and he has secrets he’d rather not reveal—like the reason he quit being a surgeon and signed on as coroner. Together these two solve murders faster than the local police detectives, inspiring jealousy and suspicion. Trudy and Clement make an ideal sleuthing team. I pre-order these books as soon as I learn there’s another one coming out, I love them so much.

By Faith Martin,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

'Absolutely loved it... The characters were some of the best I've read in a long time.' Angela Marsons, no. 1 bestselling author of the Kim Stone series

Oxford, 1960. Police constable Trudy Loveday is about to face her first murder case...

It's five years since twenty-one-year-old Gisela Fleet-Wright died. But when her former boyfriend is found brutally beaten to death the day after a mysterious note threatened his life, the case is reopened - and, to WPC Trudy Loveday's delight, she's sent to investigate alongside coroner Clement Ryder.

At first it's just a ploy by her senior officer, a man…


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 Maids of Misfortune

Susan Page Davis Author Of Blue Plate Special

From my list on cozy mysteries by contemporary authors.

Why am I passionate about this?

A good puzzle will draw me in every time, and I’ve always loved mysteries. When I was a kid, Trixie Belden was my favorite sleuth. In junior high, I tried my hand at writing a few mystery stories. I also discovered logic puzzles about this time. In a mystery, you have to locate the clues and put them together in a logical manner to solve the riddle. Now I’m the author of 100 published books. Many of them are mysteries, and most of the ones that aren’t have elements of mystery within the story. 

Susan's book list on cozy mysteries by contemporary authors

Susan Page Davis Why did Susan love this book?

I love historical mysteries, and this series set in nineteenth-century San Francisco delivers the goods. I really like the main character, Annie Fuller. She’s been left on her own, and she excels at her ventures as a boardinghouse owner and a financial advisor. When she learns she has sleuthing talents as well, there’s no stopping her. In this book, she goes undercover as a housemaid to solve a mystery. 

By M. Louisa Locke,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

It's the summer of 1879, and Annie Fuller, a young San Francisco widow, is in trouble. Annie's husband squandered her fortune before committing suicide five years earlier, and one of his creditors is now threatening to take the boardinghouse she owns to pay off a debt. Annie Fuller also has a secret. She supplements her income by giving domestic and business advice as Madam Sibyl, one of San Francisco's most exclusive clairvoyants, and one of Madam Sibyl's clients, Matthew Voss, has died. The police believe his death was suicide brought upon by bankruptcy, but Annie believes Voss has been murdered…


Book cover of The Rebel of Raleigh High

Danda K. Author Of You Broke Me First: The Savage Love Duet Book One

From my list on smutty romance.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a woman, wife, and Mom, I’m always looking to get lost in a good fictional romance. I’ve always been drawn more to the messy kind of love stories than the sappy sweet. If you’re like me, and need a bit of flaw in your characters and lots of steam, then you’ll want to read all of these books for sure. Always make sure to check trigger warnings before reading these books, though! 

Danda's book list on smutty romance

Danda K. Why did Danda love this book?

The Raleigh Rebel series by Callie Hart is not for the faint of heart. These books are dark, and Alex Moretti is one of the best male leads of any book I’ve ever read. This takes place in a high school and has so much edge and sexiness you won’t be able to stop reading.  

By Callie Hart,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

* The Rebel of Raleigh High is the first book in the Raleigh Rebels Series. Please be advised, this book comes with a trigger warning. Intended for readers 17+ *

Silver

Hit me.
Kick me.
Hurt me.
Hate me.

There’s nothing that the students of Raleigh High can do to Silver Parisi anymore. Over the past year, she’s had to endure more pain and suffering than most people are asked to bear in their lifetimes. She’s a pariah, an outcast, a ghost. She’s also never been one to take shit lying down, though…despite what half the football team might say.…


Book cover of Fortune's Hand: The Triumph and Tragedy of Walter Raleigh

Steven Veerapen Author Of Of Blood Descended: An Anthony Blanke Tudor Mystery

From my list on opening the doors of the Tudor Court.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been fascinated by the early modern period–the Tudors and the Stuarts–since falling in love with Mary Queen of Scots, Elizabeth, Henry VIII, and his wives when I was a child. I graduated from Horrible Histories as a child to lengthier nonfiction and fiction books about the era as a teenager before gaining a BA Honours, a Masters, and a PhD focussing on Elizabethan language and literature. I now teach English Literature at Strathclyde University. Because I never lost the urge to read everything I could about the Tudors and Stuarts, I began writing about them, too, and because I devour both fiction and nonfiction, I write both!

Steven's book list on opening the doors of the Tudor Court

Steven Veerapen Why did Steven love this book?

I was utterly haunted and captivated by this book.

Morris fictionalises the life of Sir Walter Raleigh by putting us into his shoes. We follow him on his adventures, his cruelties in Ireland, and his imprisonment in the Tower of London. Throughout, we get a sense of Raleigh, the man behind the myth: he’s a flawed, turbulent, and eventually sad and out-of-place figure, surprised and bemused to find himself a living legend.

By R.N. Morris,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Fortune's Hand as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"In impressively muscular prose strongly reminiscent of Hilary Mantel, R N Morris packs the entire life of Sir Walter Raleigh into one breath-taking volume. This stunning tale grips from the first line to the last, brims with dazzling images, vivid characters, electric dialogue and unforgettable action." Peter Tonkin, author of A Verse To Murder

“This spell-binding story of Elizabeth I’s infamous favourite brings the adventurous, dangerous, and glittering world of late-Elizabethan England to life.” Steven Veerapen, author of A Dangerous Trade

Adventurer, soldier, courtier, poet, prisoner – outsider.

Drawn by ambition to Elizabeth’s court, Walter Raleigh soon becomes the queen’s…


Book cover of Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim

Francesca Spencer Author Of Welcome to the State of Kuwait

From my list on capturing culture through observation and humour.

Why am I passionate about this?

Funny stuff happens all the time in my wafty, solo-travelling life. Sometimes that funny stuff will only become apparent after the proverbial dust has settled and I’m no longer in imminent danger or at my wit’s end: the hilarity of a situation reveals itself when I’m telling the story. Travelling alone puts you in a vulnerable position of being open to ‘the moment’ far more so than when you are travelling with someone else. I get a sense of place and people and write about what happens true to my voice which is intrinsically connected to my funny bone—an intention to capture culture through accurate observation and tragi-comic humour. 

Francesca's book list on capturing culture through observation and humour

Francesca Spencer Why did Francesca love this book?

I borrowed Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim from a friend years back, and instantly fell in love with David Sedaris. 

I could have picked any book by Mr. Sedaris - they are all brilliant and have been hugely influential in my writing journey—but I vividly remember reading the chapter "Six to Eight Black Men", which beautifully illustrates a Dutch Christmas cultural tradition and shows it up in all its whacky weirdness, solely through storytelling and observation. Alone in my bedroom, I remember having to put the book down because I was howling with laughter. 

David Sedaris is the master of pinpointing the ludicrous, seemingly without effort or trying to be funny. 

He is one of my heroes. I think I became a bit obsessed.

By David Sedaris,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

David Sedaris plays in the snow with his sisters. He goes on vacation with his family. He gets a job selling drinks. He attends his brother's wedding. He mops his sister's floor. He gives directions to a lost traveler. He eats a hamburger. He has his blood sugar tested. It all sounds so normal, doesn't it? In his newest collection of essays, David Sedaris lifts the corner of ordinary life, revealing the absurdity teeming below its surface. His world is alive with obscure desires and hidden motives -- a world where forgiveness is automatic and an argument can be the…


Book cover of The Art of Raising a Puppy

Rick Woodford Author Of Feed Your Best Friend Better: Easy, Nutritious Meals and Treats for Dogs

From my list on our deep bond with dogs.

Why am I passionate about this?

When I adopted my first dog, Jackson, I felt a little intimidated by his exuberance. By reading books about animals (and human behavior) along with stories that showed the deep connection possible between humans and dogs, I was encouraged to dig deeper, try different techniques, and appreciate all aspects of Jackson’s personality. As we added more dogs to the pack and discover new challenges, I continued to seek out experts to help develop my relationship with my dogs and help them to live happier lives.  As somebody who does a great deal of research about dogs, I appreciate and share well-researched and well-presented materials from both non-fiction and fiction.

Rick's book list on our deep bond with dogs

Rick Woodford Why did Rick love this book?

Opportunity abounds with a new puppy, both a potential for brilliance and the possibility for troublesome behaviors. When I adopted my second dog, Raleigh, I wanted to be sure she learned from me rather than picked up her training tips from Jackson who was always a little mischievous. I studied this book for a month before Raleigh came home and heavily relied on the techniques and insight to help guide Raleigh into being an incredibly smart and obedient dog, while also allowing her the opportunity to be funny and playful. (Another book that tends to disappear when I lend it out!) 

By Monks of New Skete,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Art of Raising a Puppy as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Everything you need to know about the crucial first months of your puppy's life. From the decision to adopt a puppy through the practical steps of choosing the right breed, preparing your home, caring for your new charge and practising basic obedience exercises, the Monks of New Skete offer clear, compassionate guidelines for raising a puppy.
Renowned for breeding German shepherds, the Monks train their own dogs according to a unique programme based on understanding canine behaviour and enhancing the bond between dog and owner. This communion begins in puppyhood and is based on deep respect and affection. Improper care,…


Book cover of Nine, Ten: A September 11 Story

Jacqueline Jules Author Of Smoke at the Pentagon: Poems to Remember

From my list on for ages 8 to 12 about September 11th.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am the author of over fifty books for young readers including the Zapato Power series, the Sofia Martinez series, My Name is Hamburger, Never Say a Mean Word Again, and Tag Your Dreams: Poems of Play and Persistence. On September 11, 2001, I was living in Arlington, Virginia and working as a librarian. Like anyone else who lived through that tragic day, September 11th evokes strong memories for me. Yet I know that subsequent generations have little knowledge of that day, even those who live in Arlington, where the Pentagon is located.  By recognizing the wounds of the past, we can help young readers understand the present. 

Jacqueline's book list on for ages 8 to 12 about September 11th

Jacqueline Jules Why did Jacqueline love this book?

This novel follows four adolescents in the 48 hours preceding September 11, 2001.

The characters are two girls and two boys living in different parts of the United States in very different families. By fully depicting the lives of each character before the world abruptly changed, Baskin shows us how a watershed event changes one’s perspective forever.

My favorite moment comes at the end when a character remembers “that day, a year ago, when nothing else was important to her except fitting in.” Without violence or direct loss to the main characters, Baskin brings home the point that September 11th affected Americans from all across the country.

In the face of tragedy, Baskin shows us how we are all interconnected.

By Nora Raleigh Baskin,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Nine, Ten as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 8, 9, 10, and 11.

What is this book about?

From the critically acclaimed author of Anything But Typical comes a "tense...and thought-provoking" (Kirkus Reviews, starred review) look at the days leading up to the tragic events of September 11, 2001, and how that day impacted the lives of four middle schoolers.

Ask anyone: September 11, 2001, was serene and lovely, a perfect day-until a plane struck the World Trade Center.

But right now it is a few days earlier, and four kids in different parts of the country are going about their lives. Sergio, who lives in Brooklyn, is struggling to come to terms with the absentee father he…


Book cover of Wolfe Island

Jane Rawson Author Of From the Wreck

From my list on Australian novels for nature and climate.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been writing about climate change for the past 14 years. I have been the Environment and Energy Editor for the news website, The Conversation, and worked for the government in renewable energy and reducing emissions from transport. Now I work for a conservation organisation, protecting land for nature. My first novel, A wrong turn at the Office of Unmade Lists, was set in a climate-changed Melbourne and an idyllic past San Francisco. My most recent novel, From the Wreck, is historical fiction set in the 1870s but is also about modern humans’ history of ecocide. I have also written essays and a non-fiction guide The Handbook: Surviving & Living with Climate Change

Jane's book list on Australian novels for nature and climate

Jane Rawson Why did Jane love this book?

Lucy is an Australian writer but her second novel, Wolfe Island, is set in the US in a time that might be the very recent past or the very near future. Kitty Hawke and her large, loyal dog are the last inhabitants of a sinking island in the Chesapeake Bay; Kitty values her solitude, but when her estranged family is targeted by the US government, she has to decide whether to stand up for what she believes in. Most climate change novels tend toward future dystopias – Wolfe Island is special because it is a firmly realist novel that looks more closely at our current world and reveals all the ways the dystopia is here and now.

By Lucy Treloar,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Kitty Hawke, the last inhabitant of a dying island sinking into the wind-lashed Chesapeake Bay, has resigned herself to annihilation...

Until one night her granddaughter rows ashore in the midst of a storm, desperate, begging for sanctuary. For years, Kitty has kept to herself – with only the company of her wolfdog, Girl – unconcerned by the world outside, or perhaps avoiding its worst excesses. But blood cannot be turned away in times like these. And when trouble comes following her granddaughter, no one is more surprised than Kitty to find she will fight to save her as fiercely as…


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