28 books like Sworn to Silence

By Linda Castillo,

Here are 28 books that Sworn to Silence fans have personally recommended if you like Sworn to Silence. 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 Maisie Dobbs

Ellen Barker Author Of East of Troost

From my list on magical books for realists.

Why am I passionate about this?

I write and read realistic fiction. I’m not a fan of fantasy, sci-fi, ghost stories, or magical (other than, you know, Tolkien). I don’t want to have to suspend a lot of belief and buy into an alternate reality. And yet, and yet. . . . All these books have a little element of something going on, and they each grabbed me and kept my attention, and I didn’t roll my eyes once. The supernatural is just a little extra kick and, in every case, as believable as it can possibly be. 

Ellen's book list on magical books for realists

Ellen Barker Why did Ellen love this book?

This book is about a private investigator in London in the early 1900s. It is the first of a long series about Maisie’s cases and the people who are dear to her.

This first book gives us an introduction to Maisie and her working-class background, the people who influenced her, and the way she uses her own version of second sight to understand both clients and criminals. Her description of Maisie mimicking someone’s body movements to figure out their motives actually made me try it out.

I also got a strong sense of London during the difficult years of wars and depression and a bedraggled peace. If you enjoy this one, you’ll have a nice backlog to return to whenever you need more.

By Jacqueline Winspear,

Why should I read it?

7 authors picked Maisie Dobbs as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A favorite mystery series of Hillary Clinton (as mentioned in What Happened, The New York Times Book Review, and New York Magazine)
A New York Times Notable Book of the Year
Agatha Award Winner for Best First Novel
Macavity Award Winner for Best First Novel
Alex Award Winner

Fiercely independent Maisie Dobbs has recently set herself up as a private detective. Such a move may not seem especially startling. But this is 1929, and Maisie is exceptional in many ways.

Having started as a maid to the London aristocracy, studied her way to Cambridge and served as a nurse in…


Book cover of And Only to Deceive

Tracy Grant Author Of The Seven Dials Affair

From my list on unraveling the secrets at the heart of a marriage.

Why am I passionate about this?

I've always been fascinated by stories about married couples, especially when there are secrets in the marriage. My series The Rannoch Fraser Mysteries follows Mélanie and Malcolm Rannoch, whose marriage began when Mélanie, a French agent, married British agent Malcolm to spy on him during the Napoleonic Wars. As the Rannochs investigate mysteries, they grapple with personal and political betrayals and the secrets between them. 

Tracy's book list on unraveling the secrets at the heart of a marriage

Tracy Grant Why did Tracy love this book?

I love this whole series, but what drew me to the first book was the story of a young widow unraveling the secrets of her late husband.

It’s poignant to see her only fall in love with him after he's gone. But at the same time it's fascinating to see her finding herself even as she learns that the man she was married to was far more complicated than she realized.

By Tasha Alexander,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked And Only to Deceive as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

From New York Times bestselling author Tasha Alexander comes a stunning novel of historical suspense set in Victorian England, meticulously researched and with a twisty plot that involves stolen antiquities, betrayal, and murder

Lady Emily's first mystery . . .

For Emily, accepting the proposal of Philip, the Viscount Ashton, was just an easy way to escape her stifling home life and overbearing mother. So when her new husband dies on safari soon after the wedding, she feels little grief. After all, she barely knew the man.

Now, nearly two years later, she discovers that Philip was a far different…


Book cover of Anil's Ghost

Jeannee Sacken Author Of Behind the Lens

From my list on thrilling fiction with brave, gutsy, badass women.

Why am I passionate about this?

Like my main character, Annie Hawkins Green, I’m passionate about photojournalism, and we both love to travel the world capturing images that tell our stories. My training as a photographer has led me to write novels that are visual and cinematic, affording readers authentic and immersive experiences in the places Annie takes us—Afghanistan, Milwaukee, wherever. We’re both seriously committed to empowering girls through education and go to great lengths, and some risk, to make that happen. Readers tend to think Annie and I are brave and gutsy and, well, badass. Annie is, for sure—she goes to dangerous places. Okay, I admit that many of her adventures have an autobiographical twist.  

Jeannee's book list on thrilling fiction with brave, gutsy, badass women

Jeannee Sacken Why did Jeannee love this book?

In his most atmospheric and suspenseful novel, Anil’s Ghost, Michael Ondaatje transports readers into the middle of the civil war that splintered Sri Lanka. A brilliant forensic anthropologist who was educated abroad, Anil Tissera bravely returns to her homeland determined to unearth evidence to explain the brutal campaign of murders ravaging the country. With each new discovery Anil makes, at great risk to her own safety, I find myself holding my breath. Although the powerful elite are lined up against her, she stands firm, refusing to let the guns and bombs scare her away. Steeped in centuries of culture and tradition, this is truly one of my favorite books ever. 

By Michael Ondaatje,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Anil's Ghost as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

With his first novel since the internationally acclaimed The English Patient, Booker Prize—winning author Michael Ondaatje gives us a work displaying all the richness of imagery and language and the piercing emotional truth that we have come to know as the hallmarks of his writing.

Anil’s Ghost transports us to Sri Lanka, a country steeped in centuries of tradition, now forced into the late twentieth century by the ravages of civil war. Into this maelstrom steps Anil Tissera, a young woman born in Sri Lanka, educated in England and America, who returns to her homeland as a forensic anthropologist sent…


Book cover of Postmortem

Christine Knapp Author Of Murder at the Wedding

From my list on mystery series with female sleuths.

Why am I passionate about this?

I love mysteries, especially series with a female sleuth. I discovered Miss Marple when I was a midwifery student and was instantly hooked. Over the years, I have sought out mysteries with women Sherlocks and am always thrilled to find a series. I was so enchanted that I wanted to add to the genre and now write the Modern Midwife Mysteries featuring Maeve O’Reilly Kensington, a modern nurse midwife. Try any of the books I’ve recommended. You’re in for a treat!

Christine's book list on mystery series with female sleuths

Christine Knapp Why did Christine love this book?

I would love to meet the iconic Dr. Kay Scarpetta in real life. She is amazing.

Patricia Cornwell has written twenty-seven brilliant novels about this intriguing chief medical examiner. In this debut work, Dr. Scarpetta has to track down a serial killer.

Attention to detail, tight plotlines, and friendship and family drama had me locked in from the start. I was instantly transported to Dr. Scarpetta’s universe. It’s a great one.

By Patricia Cornwell,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Postmortem as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The first book in the Kay Scarpetta series, from No. 1 bestselling author Patricia Cornwell.

'America's most chilling writer of crime fiction' The Times

A serial killer is on the loose in Richmond, Virginia. Three women have died, brutalised and strangled in their own bedroom. There is no pattern: the killer appears to strike at random - but always early on Saturday mornings.

So when Dr Kay Scarpetta, chief medical officer, is awakened at 2.33 am, she knows the news is bad: there is a fourth victim. And she fears now for those that will follow unless she can dig…


Book cover of Almost Home

Jeannee Sacken Author Of Behind the Lens

From my list on thrilling fiction with brave, gutsy, badass women.

Why am I passionate about this?

Like my main character, Annie Hawkins Green, I’m passionate about photojournalism, and we both love to travel the world capturing images that tell our stories. My training as a photographer has led me to write novels that are visual and cinematic, affording readers authentic and immersive experiences in the places Annie takes us—Afghanistan, Milwaukee, wherever. We’re both seriously committed to empowering girls through education and go to great lengths, and some risk, to make that happen. Readers tend to think Annie and I are brave and gutsy and, well, badass. Annie is, for sure—she goes to dangerous places. Okay, I admit that many of her adventures have an autobiographical twist.  

Jeannee's book list on thrilling fiction with brave, gutsy, badass women

Jeannee Sacken Why did Jeannee love this book?

Pam Jenoff’s historical fiction rocks, but Almost Home is my favorite of her books. Here’s a secret: it’s her favorite, too. With its interwoven past and present storylines and breathtaking suspense, I couldn’t put it down. As a graduate student ten years ago at Cambridge University, Jordan Weiss’s life was shattered when her boyfriend drowned. Now, a U.S. intelligence officer, she finally returns to England to help her terminally ill friend, Sarah, and to make sense of decade-old secrets. As soon as Jordan arrives, she discovers that no one and nothing are what they seem. But she doesn’t give up her investigation—even in the face of grave danger. A true badass! This book kept me up all night—exactly the kind of read I adore. 

By Pam Jenoff,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Ten years ago, American Jordan Weiss's idyllic life as a graduate student and coxswain at Cambridge was shattered when her boyfriend and fellow crew member, Jared Short, drowned in the River Cam the night before the biggest race of the year. Since that time, Jordan, a State Department intelligence officer, has traveled the world on dangerous assignments but has avoided returning to face her painful memories in England. When her terminally ill friend Sarah asks her to come to London, though, Jordan returns. Shortly after her arrival in London, she is approached by a former college classmate who makes the…


Book cover of The Defiant Hero

Kathleen Tailer Author Of Marked to Die

From my list on romantic suspense to keep turning pages.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve always loved suspenseful books, and I enjoy creating my own characters and helping them strengthen their faith as they triumph in difficult circumstances. I want to encourage other Christians with my writing, and introduce others to Christ who may be searching to see how God can change their lives. I also want to provide readers with a fun getaway of excitement, suspense, and thrills. I am an attorney and see many cases that don’t conclude with a happy ending, however, God can take what men meant for evil, and turn it into good, and there is a positive and encouraging ending waiting in each of my books.

Kathleen's book list on romantic suspense to keep turning pages

Kathleen Tailer Why did Kathleen love this book?

Another old favorite, I loved this book because it has a military hero who shows deep compassion and love for the heroine who is racing to save her young daughter’s life.

I really enjoy how the author weaves in a touch of history as she tells the story of not only the main characters, but also two other couples, all fighting to escape their own pasts. I love it when a book is set in a backdrop of true events, and Ms. Brockmann obviously does a lot of research to make sure her characters are authentic representatives of their roles and times.

By Suzanne Brockmann,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In Suzanne Brockmann's next thrilling Troubleshooters book, a woman must go on the run if she is to save her family. Troubleshooters: Danger can be addictive. 'The United States refuses to negotiate with terrorists'. Meg Moore remembered the warning from her job as a translator in a European embassy. Those same words will spell out a death sentence for her daughter and grandmother who have been kidnapped by a lethal group called the Extremists. Meg will do anything to meet their unspeakable demands; anything -- even kill -- to save her child. When Navy SEAL Lieutenant, junior grade, John Nilsson…


Book cover of The Murder at the Vicarage

Susan McBride Author Of To Helen Back

From my list on small town mysteries with sleuths who aren’t Spring chickens.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve loved mysteries since I gobbled up Nancy Drew and the Encyclopedia Brown books in grade school. As I grew older, I got hooked on Agatha Christie’s Miss Marple, Sue Grafton’s Kinsey Milhone, and Sara Paretsky’s VI Warshawski. Besides being a diehard fan of female sleuths, I have a B.S. in Journalism, which drummed the importance of “who-what-when-where-and-why” into my brain. I definitely take a reporter’s mindset into my story-telling, particularly when it comes to the “who.” Breathing life into characters is crucial. Maybe that’s why I used bits and pieces of my grandma Helen in order to create my fictional Helen. Plus, it gives me a chance to spend time with her again, if only in my imagination.

Susan's book list on small town mysteries with sleuths who aren’t Spring chickens

Susan McBride Why did Susan love this book?

Christie’s Jane Marple inspired me to write mysteries. As Miss Marple made her starring debut in Murder at the Vicarage, it holds a dear place in my heart.

In quaint St. Mary’s Mead, a man named Colonel Protheroe meets with foul play, and it’s Miss Marple’s keen insights that prove invaluable. Jane Marple may be “of a certain age,” but she’s as sharp as a tack. I admire how Christie plunks the reader right into the story, introducing would-be suspects at a rapid pace, particularly Miss Marple, who takes tea with the Vicar’s younger wife and spills plenty of tea in the process.

This one’s a classic for lovers of traditional mysteries like me!

By Agatha Christie,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked The Murder at the Vicarage as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The Murder at the Vicarage is Agatha Christie’s first mystery to feature the beloved investigator Miss Marple—as a dead body in a clergyman’s study proves to the indomitable sleuth that no place, holy or otherwise, is a sanctuary from homicide.

Miss Marple encounters a compelling murder mystery in the sleepy little village of St. Mary Mead, where under the seemingly peaceful exterior of an English country village lurks intrigue, guilt, deception and death.

Colonel Protheroe, local magistrate and overbearing land-owner is the most detested man in the village. Everyone--even in the vicar--wishes he were dead. And very soon he is--shot…


Book cover of The Body in the Belfry

Christine Knapp Author Of Murder at the Wedding

From my list on mystery series with female sleuths.

Why am I passionate about this?

I love mysteries, especially series with a female sleuth. I discovered Miss Marple when I was a midwifery student and was instantly hooked. Over the years, I have sought out mysteries with women Sherlocks and am always thrilled to find a series. I was so enchanted that I wanted to add to the genre and now write the Modern Midwife Mysteries featuring Maeve O’Reilly Kensington, a modern nurse midwife. Try any of the books I’ve recommended. You’re in for a treat!

Christine's book list on mystery series with female sleuths

Christine Knapp Why did Christine love this book?

I love a New England mystery, especially one that includes recipes.

Katherine Hall Page fills the bill with her twenty-six delightful Faith Fairchild mysteries. Faith is a high-end New York City caterer who falls in love and marries a minister from a New England village. Will she be bored? Can love conquer all?

It turns out that this sleepy New England town has murders aplenty, but luckily, Faith is on the scene. I have tried her recipes, and they are wonderful!

By Katherine Hall Page,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The Body in the Belfry, the first volume in Katherine Hall Page's cozy mystery series featuring amateur sleuth Faith Fairchild

During her years spent in New York City, Faith Fairchild was convinced she had seen pretty much everything. But the transplanted caterer/minister's wife was unprepared for the surprises awaiting her in the sleepy Massachusetts village of Aleford. And she is especially taken aback by the dead body of a pretty young thing she discovers stashed in the church's belfry. The victim, Cindy Shepherd, was well-known locally for her acid tongue and her jilted beaux, which created a lot of bad…


Book cover of The Hidden One

Karl Milde Author Of The Road Ranger

From my list on keeping you riveted until the very end.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have SB degrees in physics and electrical engineering from M.I.T. and a JD degree from the Georgetown University Law Center. I’m interested in how things work and how people think. I’ve written four novels, published countless articles, as well as many children’s stories. A few of them may be found on my author’s website

Karl's book list on keeping you riveted until the very end

Karl Milde Why did Karl love this book?

Linda Castillo is a master of the Amish whodunnit, having written fifteen books in a series staged in Amish country and culture. I’ve read five of them. Her characters are vivid and come alive on the page. The Hidden One, this latest “novel of suspense,” is written in the first person by her protagonist, Kate Burkholder, Chief of Police in Painters Mill, Ohio. Before you realize it, you are in Kate’s mind, trying to make sense of the many clues—bits and pieces of information—that make up a mosaic. All this is delivered up in what I would venture to say is a “woman writer’s touch”—with sensitivity and a warm heart.

By Linda Castillo,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The discovery of an Amish bishop's remains leads chief of police Kate Burkholder to unearth a chilling secret in The Hidden One, a new thriller from bestselling author Linda Castillo.

Over a decade ago, beloved Amish bishop Ananias Stoltzfus disappeared without a trace. When skeletal remains showing evidence of foul play are unearthed, his disappearance becomes even more sinister.

The town’s elders arrive in Painters Mill to ask chief of police Kate Burkholder for help, but she quickly realizes she has a personal connection to the crime. The handsome Amish man who stands accused of the murder, Jonas Bowman, was…


Book cover of The Amish Quiltmaker's Unexpected Baby

Molly Jebber Author Of Rachael's Decision

From my list on escaping into a world of inspirational Amish romance and suspense.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve visited Amish communities for years as a tourist. An agent suggested I write it because of my faith in God. The Amish base their lifestyle and traditions on their faith in God, and she felt the books would be more authentic if the author felt the same. I’ve never been Amish, but the topic is fun to research, and some of the Amish are forthcoming in helping me. I love the fried chicken, homemade butterscotch pie, corn pudding, and beautiful quilts they have available when visiting the different Ohio and Indiana communities. They are not my typical audience.

Molly's book list on escaping into a world of inspirational Amish romance and suspense

Molly Jebber Why did Molly love this book?

Jennifer writes a compelling story, but she has you laughing at just the right moments in the story. The baby adds an interesting twist, and plays a part you don’t want to miss in this story. You’ll be surprised as you turn the pages, and you won’t be disappointed when you finish the story.

By Jennifer Beckstrand,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Amish Quiltmaker's Unexpected Baby as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In the first in an engaging new series, an Amish quiltmaker moves from Pennsylvania to a new settlement in Colorado, where adventure, challenges, and love are waiting . . .
 
Esther Zook is starting over after her father’s death, piecing together a new life with as much care as she puts into her intricate quilts. When her wayward sister abandons her baby, it throws all those plans for a fresh start asunder. Esther had accepted her status as an old maid—but a mother? And a single one, at that? Not that she hasn’t noticed Levi Kiem, the eligible young man…


5 book lists we think you will like!

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