39 books like Strangled Prose

By Joan Hess,

Here are 39 books that Strangled Prose fans have personally recommended if you like Strangled Prose. 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 Murder with Peacocks

Kirsten Weiss Author Of Big Shot

From my list on funny cozy mysteries.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been addicted to reading and writing mystery novels since I picked up my first Nancy Drew. But in addition to a good puzzle, I also love a good laugh and grew up watching classic screwball comedies. I’ve written a dozen funny cozy mysteries now with more in the works. I hope you enjoy the books on this list as much as I have!

Kirsten's book list on funny cozy mysteries

Kirsten Weiss Why did Kirsten love this book?

Zany family members and weddings gone wrong provide page-turning laughs in the first book in the Meg Lanslow series. The heroine is smart, funny, and… a blacksmith. The small-town shenanigans just keep coming in this laugh-out-loud mystery, but the heart comes from the familial relationships. (No peacocks are harmed in the making of this mystery, but they do provide plenty of laughs.)

By Donna Andrews,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Murder with Peacocks as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Hectic plans for three family weddings in one summer are made even more hectic by murder.


Book cover of Louisiana Longshot

Kat Bellemore Author Of Dead Before Dinner

From my list on murder mysteries that leave you guessing until the end.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a New Mexican mystery writer who can’t get enough of a humorous whodunit. Of course, it can’t be just any mystery. It has to be smart, make me second guess myself, and make me laugh. I’ve seen every episode of Murder She Wrote, Psych, and Monk, to name just a few. I love reading authors like Agatha Christie and Richard Osman. Originally, I began as a romance author and my husband didn’t understand it, considering I didn’t even like reading or watching romances. I’m finally where I belong.

Kat's book list on murder mysteries that leave you guessing until the end

Kat Bellemore Why did Kat love this book?

I’ve never been to Louisiana, but this mystery made me feel I’d been transported to the bayou.

I’m fairly certain I wouldn’t survive in Sinful, Louisiana, and CIA assassin, Fortune Redding, felt the same way. I couldn’t stop laughing as she stumbled her way through the book, attempting to remain undercover, even as a dead man’s bones washed up in her backyard.

And of course this story wouldn’t be the same without the elderly sidekicks, Ida Belle and Gertie, pushing their way into her life, and into her heart.

By Jana DeLeon,

Why should I read it?

6 authors picked Louisiana Longshot as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

It was a hell of a long shot....


CIA assassin Fortune Redding is about to undertake her most difficult mission ever-in Sinful, Louisiana. With a leak at the CIA and a price placed on her head by one of the world's largest arms dealers, Fortune has to go off-grid, but she never expected to be this far out of her element. Posing as a former beauty queen turned librarian in a small bayou town seems worse than death to Fortune, but she's determined to fly below the radar until her boss finds the leak and puts the arms dealer out…


Book cover of Bimbos of the Death Sun

Kirsten Weiss Author Of Big Shot

From my list on funny cozy mysteries.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been addicted to reading and writing mystery novels since I picked up my first Nancy Drew. But in addition to a good puzzle, I also love a good laugh and grew up watching classic screwball comedies. I’ve written a dozen funny cozy mysteries now with more in the works. I hope you enjoy the books on this list as much as I have!

Kirsten's book list on funny cozy mysteries

Kirsten Weiss Why did Kirsten love this book?

Travel back in time, reader, to the dark ages of the 1980s and a sci-fi convention full of eccentric gamers, puffed-up speakers, and fans unleashing their alter egos. And of course… murder. The hero, a professor with a surprise hit sci-fi book on his hands, is a charming fish out of water determined to do the right thing. Though the technology described in the book is dated, the quirky characters can still be found at any con today.

By Sharyn McCrumb,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Bimbos of the Death Sun as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A sci-fi convention gets a dose of true crime in this Edgar Award-winning mystery by the New York Times bestselling author of the Ballad novels.

When Virginia Tech professor James Owen Mega wrote a fictional account of his real-life research, he hardly expected it to get published. But when a publisher changed the title of his novel to Bimbos of the Death Sun, James—under the pen name Jay Omega—becomes an overnight sci-fi star. Invited to the annual fan convention Rubicon, James is both a fish out of water and a Guest of Honor among the Trekkies and sword-wielding cosplayers. But…


Book cover of Merit Badge Murder

Kirsten Weiss Author Of Big Shot

From my list on funny cozy mysteries.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been addicted to reading and writing mystery novels since I picked up my first Nancy Drew. But in addition to a good puzzle, I also love a good laugh and grew up watching classic screwball comedies. I’ve written a dozen funny cozy mysteries now with more in the works. I hope you enjoy the books on this list as much as I have!

Kirsten's book list on funny cozy mysteries

Kirsten Weiss Why did Kirsten love this book?

The murder and the laughs in this mystery begin on page one—which is no mean feat. Retired CIA agent Merry Wrath is now leading an Iowa girl scout troop. A murdered Al Qaeda operative tangled in the ropes course puts her back on the case again… and with her old and very attractive handler. Add in a handsome detective, and the sparks and laughs are flying in this good-natured and well-plotted romp.

By Leslie Langtry,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Merit Badge Murder as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

From USA Today bestselling author, Leslie Langtry comes a mystery series of laugh-out-loud proportions...

When CIA agent Merry Wrath is "accidentally" outted, she's forced her into early retirement, changes her appearance, and moves where no one will ever find her—Iowa. Instead of black bag drops in Bangkok, she now spends her time leading a young Girl Scout troop. But Merry's new simple life turns not-so-simple when an enemy agent shows up dead at scout camp. Suddenly Merry is forced to deal with her former life in order to preserve her future one.

It doesn't help matters that the CIA sends…


Book cover of The Witness

Evan Purcell Author Of Followed by Fear

From my list on women on the run.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve written an equal amount of horror and romance, including books, podcasts, and screenplays. I love both genres equally, but I’m most drawn to stories that strike a nice balance between the two. Danger makes the romance less cheesy, and romance gives the thriller side more meaning. As an ESL teacher who has worked everywhere, from Bhutan to Zanzibar, I also love discovering new places. Some of my favorite books take their characters to new locations, forcing them to discover the hidden dangers and pleasant surprises that every place has to offer.

Evan's book list on women on the run

Evan Purcell Why did Evan love this book?

Nora Roberts can be an acquired taste sometimes, but when she includes as much intrigue as she does in this book, her books are propulsive.

Both the hero and heroine are equally smart, and I love the way they each try to figure each other out. The bad guys aren’t as fleshed out as our two main leads, but the danger they offer is always lurking around the edges of a very fun, very likable romance. 

By Nora Roberts,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In her stunning 200th novel, #1 New York Times bestselling author Nora Roberts proves why no one is better “when it comes to flawlessly fusing high-stakes suspense with red-hot romance" (Booklist, starred review).

Daughter of a cold, controlling mother and an anonymous donor, studious, obedient Elizabeth Fitch finally let loose one night, drinking too much at a nightclub and allowing a strange man’s seductive Russian accent to lure her to a house on Lake Shore Drive.

Twelve years later, the woman now known as Abigail Lowery lives alone on the outskirts of a small town in the Ozarks. A freelance…


Book cover of The Ozarks: An American Survival of Primitive Society

Brooks Blevins Author Of A History of the Ozarks, Vol. 1: The Old Ozarks

From my list on the Ozarks.

Why am I passionate about this?

I can’t say that I was even conscious of having grown up in the Ozarks until stumbling upon a regional geography book in college. Once I learned that the rural community of my childhood was part of a hill country stretching from the outskirts of St. Louis into the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma, I dedicated my life’s work to explaining (and demystifying) the Ozarkers – a people not quite southern, not quite midwestern, and not quite western.

Brooks' book list on the Ozarks

Brooks Blevins Why did Brooks love this book?

It is doubtful that anyone has been more associated with an American region than Vance Randolph is with the Ozarks. Ornery and darkly romantic, Randolph was always attracted to people on the margins. Few were more marginal than the Ozarkers in the early twentieth century. While we must take a lot of Randolph’s “nonfiction” with a dose of salt, The Ozarks, originally published in 1931, was the first book-length documentary take on the region and its people. It set the stage for generations of Ozarks observations to come. 

By Vance Randolph,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Vance Randolph was perfectly constituted for his role as the chronicler of Ozark folkways. As a self-described "hack writer," he was as much a figure of the margins as his chosen subjects, even as his essentially romantic identification with the region he first visited as the vacationing child of mainstream parents was encouraged by editors and tempered by his scientific training. In The Ozarks, originally published in 1931, we have Randolph's first book-length portrait of the people he would spend the next half-century studying. The full range of Randolph's interests - in language, in hunting and fishing, in folksongs and…


Book cover of Death on Demand

Denise Swanson Author Of Murder of a Smart Cookie

From my list on feel good mysteries.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a former school psychologist and author of over 45 books, I love reading about characters that are likable, plots that are believable, and settings that I want to visit. My years as a psychologist make it easy to spot poorly written characters that don’t ring true. It is also my years as a psychologist that makes me enjoy a light, humorous read with a guaranteed happy ending.

Denise's book list on feel good mysteries

Denise Swanson Why did Denise love this book?

Carolyn Hart is the master of cozy feel-good mysteries. Her writing pulls you into the story. I love how she uses both big names from the mystery world and rising stars in her sleuth’s bookstore. The two main characters, Annie and Max, are an endearing pair of sleuths.

By Carolyn G. Hart,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The prime suspect in the murder of author Elliot Morgan, Annie Laurance Darling, owner of the Death on Demand mystery bookstore, embarks on an investigation in an attempt to clear her name.


Book cover of Melting the Blues

Jill McCroskey Coupe Author Of Beginning with Cannonballs

From my list on interracial friendship.

Why am I passionate about this?

Having grown up in segregated Knoxville, TN, I've often wondered what having a black friend as a child would have been like. My MFA thesis, in the 1980s, was a novella about just such a friendship. A small group of my (white) MFA classmates insisted that I could not, should not write about black characters. Although I believed them to be mistaken, I put my thesis away and haven’t looked at it since. About ten years ago, I decided to try again. I took an early draft of a new novel to a workshop with John Dufresne, who encouraged me to continue. The result was Beginning with Cannonballs, which received positive reviews and won the 2021 IPPY Silver Medal for Multicultural Fiction. 

Jill's book list on interracial friendship

Jill McCroskey Coupe Why did Jill love this book?

I was struck by the beautiful writing in this novel and the way the author, a woman, convincingly depicts male friendship. Augustus Lee Rivers, a black farmer in Arkansas, is happiest when playing his guitar; he has dreams of making it big in Chicago. David Duncan, an enthusiastic fan of Hummin’ Gusty’s music, comes from a wealthy white family. What can happen to a black man’s dreams in rural Arkansas in the 1950s? Trust me, you’ll keep reading to find out. 

By Tracy Chiles McGhee,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Melting the Blues as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Independent Publisher Book Awards Bronze Medal for Regional Fiction  (2017)    Set in Arkansas in 1957,  the complexities of identity, yearnings for love and acceptance, and racial tension are all unmasked in the riveting literary drama, Melting the Blues, by debut author Tracy Chiles McGhee. Augustus Lee Rivers, a farmer and bluesman, has two obsessions:  his relationship with the Duncan family and his desire to leave small town Chinaberry to become a musician in Chicago. When his plans are prevented by a devastating betrayal, Augustus is driven into the belly of the blues where he must reckon with his past if…


Book cover of Sugar

Suzette Harrison Author Of My Name Is Ona Judge

From my list on portraying African-American historical heroines.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have a youthful spirit, but an old soul. Perhaps, that’s why I love African American history and gravitated to Black Studies as my undergraduate degree. My reverence for my ancestors sends me time and again to African-American historical fiction in an effort to connect with our past. Growing up, I was that kid who liked being around my elders and eavesdropping on grown-ups' conversations. Now, I listen to my ancestors as they guide my creativity. I’m an award-winning hybrid author writing contemporary and historical novels, and I value each. Still, it’s those historical characters and tales that snatch me by the hand and passionately urge me to do their bidding. 

Suzette's book list on portraying African-American historical heroines

Suzette Harrison Why did Suzette love this book?

Once upon a time, I was the founder and president of a book club, Literary Ladies Alliance. Many moons ago, LLA chose Sugar as our monthly reading selection. I was absolutely floored by this unlikely, unconventional heroine of the same name as the novel set in a small southern town that wasn’t ready for this seductive storm, i.e. Sugar. I found her shockingly bold and beautifully unapologetic despite her disreputable past and “questionable morals.” She hungered for love, endured dangerous risks and scandal; and yet for me, Sugar moved with an air of voluptuous freedom that captivated my church girl imagination and respect. While Dianne McKinney Whetstone is my favorite author, Sugar is undoubtedly my favorite novel! I’ve read the book twice and would readily devour it again for its captivating journey back in time and its uncharacteristic, boldly unforgettable heroine. 

By Bernice L. McFadden,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

20th Anniversary Edition—with a New Foreword by Kimberly Elise

A novel by a critically acclaimed voice in contemporary fiction, praised by Ebony for its “unforgettable images, unique characters, and moving story that keeps the pages turning until the end.”

A young prostitute comes to Bigelow, Arkansas, to start over, far from her haunting past. Sugar moves next door to Pearl, who is still grieving for the daughter who was murdered fifteen years before. Over sweet-potato pie, an unlikely friendship begins, transforming both women's lives—and the life of an entire town.

Sugar brings a Southern African-American town vividly to life, with…


Book cover of Malice in Maggody

Susie Black Author Of Death by Surfboard

From my list on humorous mysteries in the south by female authors.

Why am I passionate about this?

Prior to my becoming a cozy mystery author, I was a ladies’ apparel sales rep traveling a territory in the deep southern states. During my four-year stint I spent a great deal of time in a variety of southern cities and small towns. I interacted with progressive as well as traditional, conservative people. My experiences gave me a unique perspective with respect to the social mores and hierarchy of Southern society. 

Susie's book list on humorous mysteries in the south by female authors

Susie Black Why did Susie love this book?

In a town the size of Maggody, Arkansas, population 755, nothing much ever happens, so Arly Hanks figures she’s safe as the town’s first female chief of police.

But Arly no sooner pins her badge on, and she’s contending with two manhunts and an EPA problem no one is willing to talk about. 

Give me an irreverent protagonist, dialog dripping sarcasm, and a zany plot that spits in the eye of the absurdness of our society. Malice in Maggody, the first book in The Arly Hanks Mysteries-has them all.

Life-long Arkansan author Joan Hess gleefully makes mincemeat of the hypocrisy of social mores and the foibles of the caste hierarchy often found in small southern towns by reducing them to a parody of themselves. 

By Joan Hess,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Malice in Maggody as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

After a crossbow killing at a cheap roadside motel, Ozarks police chief Arly Hanks finds herself investigating her first murder case.

Her marriage over and career gone bust, Arly Hanks flees Manhattan for her hometown: Maggody, Arkansas. In a town this size, nothing much ever happens, so Arly figures she's safe as the town's first female chief of police-until the husband of one of the local barmaids escapes from state prison and heads for town. And that's not all. An EPA official with ties to polluting the local fishing hole has suddenly vanished off the face of the earth.

As…


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Interested in Arkansas, bookstores, and detectives?

11,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about Arkansas, bookstores, and detectives.

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