70 books like The Beautiful Cigar Girl

By Daniel Stashower,

Here are 70 books that The Beautiful Cigar Girl fans have personally recommended if you like The Beautiful Cigar Girl. 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 By Persons Unknown: The Strange Death of Christine Demeter

Greg Marquis Author Of Truth & Honour: The Oland Family Murder Case That Shocked Canada

From my list on the history of murder.

Who am I?

As an academic, I have been researching Canadian police and criminal justice history since the 1980s and I teach courses on the history of policing, crime, drugs and homicide, and capital punishment. In 2014 I began to cover a high-profile murder trial in my region of Canada and ended up writing a best-selling book on the case. The Oland case reinforced my interest in true crime, both as a research topic and a cultural phenomenon. True crime, whether set in the distant past or contemporary times, offers writers and readers alike fascinating forays into specific societies and communities as well as human nature.

Greg's book list on the history of murder

Greg Marquis Why did Greg love this book?

This book was written not as a work of history, but contemporary non-fiction by two reporters covering one of Canada’s highest-profile murder cases of the 1970s, the killing of Christine Demeter, a former model married to flamboyant Toronto businessman and Hungarian immigrant Peter Demeter. By Canadian standards, the authors had unprecedented access to lawyers and others involved in the 1974 trial of Demeter for the murder of his wife and benefited from evidence and a cast of characters straight out of a best-selling crime novel. Demeter was found guilty and while serving his sentence he was convicted of instigating two separate plots to have people kidnapped and murdered. By Persons Unknown broke new ground in Canadian true crime writing.   

By George Jonas,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

By persons unknown: The strange death of Christine Demeter [Jan 01, 1977] Jonas, George


Book cover of The Invention of Murder: How the Victorians Revelled in Death and Detection and Created Modern Crime

Greg Marquis Author Of Truth & Honour: The Oland Family Murder Case That Shocked Canada

From my list on the history of murder.

Who am I?

As an academic, I have been researching Canadian police and criminal justice history since the 1980s and I teach courses on the history of policing, crime, drugs and homicide, and capital punishment. In 2014 I began to cover a high-profile murder trial in my region of Canada and ended up writing a best-selling book on the case. The Oland case reinforced my interest in true crime, both as a research topic and a cultural phenomenon. True crime, whether set in the distant past or contemporary times, offers writers and readers alike fascinating forays into specific societies and communities as well as human nature.

Greg's book list on the history of murder

Greg Marquis Why did Greg love this book?

This is an amazing book that serves as a template for academic writers seeking to reach a wider readership. Flanders delves into not only Victorian Britain’s obsessive fascination with homicide and its detection, but also how newspaper editors and reporters, playwrights, and novelists benefited from and were influenced by particularly gruesome crimes with compelling victims and perpetrators. The book incorporates academic scholarship and recalls some of the most famous crimes of the era and explores their impact on Charles Dickens, Wilkie Collins, Robert Louis Stevenson, and other cultural producers.   

By Judith Flanders,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

'We are a trading community, a commercial people. Murder is doubtless a very shocking offence, nevertheless as what is done is not to be undone, let us make our money out of it.' Punch

Murder in the 19th century was rare. But murder as sensation and entertainment became ubiquitous - transformed into novels, into broadsides and ballads, into theatre and melodrama and opera - even into puppet shows and performing dog-acts.

In this meticulously researched and compelling book, Judith Flanders - author of 'The Victorian House' - retells the gruesome stories of many different types of murder - both famous…


Book cover of The Innocent Man: Murder and Injustice in a Small Town

Greg Marquis Author Of Truth & Honour: The Oland Family Murder Case That Shocked Canada

From my list on the history of murder.

Who am I?

As an academic, I have been researching Canadian police and criminal justice history since the 1980s and I teach courses on the history of policing, crime, drugs and homicide, and capital punishment. In 2014 I began to cover a high-profile murder trial in my region of Canada and ended up writing a best-selling book on the case. The Oland case reinforced my interest in true crime, both as a research topic and a cultural phenomenon. True crime, whether set in the distant past or contemporary times, offers writers and readers alike fascinating forays into specific societies and communities as well as human nature.

Greg's book list on the history of murder

Greg Marquis Why did Greg love this book?

We all know that Grisham writes best-selling fiction that has been turned into several Hollywood blockbusters. But the most frightening book by this former small-town defence lawyer is his only work of non-fiction, an account of the wrongful conviction of Ronald Keith Williamson of the 1982 sex murder of Debra Sue Carter. Williamson, who was low-hanging fruit for police and prosecutors in Ada, Oklahoma, languished in prison for 11 years before being exonerated by DNA evidence. This book should be mandatory reading for police, prosecutors, and judges and is a useful reminder that public opinion and justice are often mutually exclusive.

By John Grisham,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

__________________
***NOW A MAJOR NETFLIX SERIES***

A gripping true-crime story of a shocking miscarriage of justice, from international bestselling thriller author John Grisham.

In the baseball draft of 1971, Ron Williamson was the first player chosen from Oklahoma. Signing with Oakland, he said goodbye to his small home town and left for California to pursue his dreams of glory.

Six years later he was back, his dreams broken by a bad arm and bad habits - drinking, drugs and women. He began to show signs of mental illness. Unable to keep a job, he moved in with his mother and…


Book cover of Charlotte Gray, The Massey Murder: A Maid, Her Master and the Trial that Shocked a Nation

Greg Marquis Author Of Truth & Honour: The Oland Family Murder Case That Shocked Canada

From my list on the history of murder.

Who am I?

As an academic, I have been researching Canadian police and criminal justice history since the 1980s and I teach courses on the history of policing, crime, drugs and homicide, and capital punishment. In 2014 I began to cover a high-profile murder trial in my region of Canada and ended up writing a best-selling book on the case. The Oland case reinforced my interest in true crime, both as a research topic and a cultural phenomenon. True crime, whether set in the distant past or contemporary times, offers writers and readers alike fascinating forays into specific societies and communities as well as human nature.

Greg's book list on the history of murder

Greg Marquis Why did Greg love this book?

This is a compelling Canadian true-crime tale that captures the atmosphere of early 20th-century Toronto and explores the intersection of class, ethnicity, and societal expectations of proper moral conduct by men and women during wartime. The Masseys were a wealthy Ontario family that amassed a fortune manufacturing agricultural equipment. In 1915 Carrie Davies was an 18-year old English maid working in the home of C.A. “Bert” Massey. She killed her married employer with a revolver in front of a witness and freely admitted carrying out the crime, explaining that he had been making sexual advances towards her. I enjoyed this book as it reminds us of how legal rules and arguments in the past could be overwhelmed by public pressure and cultural expectations. Davies, who many viewed as a heroine, was acquitted of murder by an all-male jury in less than 1 hour.       

By Charlotte Gray,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Winner of the Arthur Ellis Award for Best Crime Non-Fiction
Winner of the Toronto Book Award
Winner of the CAA Lela Common Award for Canadian History
Winner of the Heritage Toronto Book Award
A Globe and Mail Best Book of the Year
Finalist for the RBC Taylor Prize, the BC National Award for Canadian Non-Fiction, the Ottawa Book Award, the Libris Award, the OLA Evergreen Award

A scandalous crime, a sensational trial, a surprise verdict—the true story of Carrie Davies, the maid who shot a Massey

In February 1915, a member of one of Canada’s wealthiest families was shot and…


Book cover of Murder Machine: A True Story of Murder, Madness & the Mafia

Craig McGuire Author Of Carmine and the 13th Avenue Boys: Surviving Brooklyn's Colombo Mob

From my list on diving deep into the dark side of Brooklyn.

Who am I?

It’s no wonder South Brooklyn, in the latter half of the last century, is the setting for so many remarkable dramas for both page and screen. In fact, when legendary former NYPD Detective Thomas Dades offered to make introductions to a Colombo Crime Family associate who cooperated with the federal government, I leapt at the opportunity. I was born in Greenpoint in 1971 and grew up on 16th Avenue in the heart of Bensonhurst. It’s not just South Brooklyn’s raw, urban chaotic physical setting, but the sheer volatility of this period in time, where so many transformational trends of the larger culture were evident, and some even epi-centered.

Craig's book list on diving deep into the dark side of Brooklyn

Craig McGuire Why did Craig love this book?

Love to know why this murderous mob masterpiece has yet to make it to film.

This must-have for any True Crime bookshelf is from the dynamic duo of Gene Mustain (author of John Gotti bio) and Jerry Capeci (“Gangland” journalist extraordinaire). It chronicles the blood-soaked rise and demise of the deadly Roy Demeo crew, a gaggle of Gambino grunts a couple of rungs under Captain Nino Gaggi.

It’s an underworld tour of the black-and-blue-collar South Brooklyn rackets, circa 70s and 80s, often through the bloodshot eyes of Dominick Montiglio, Gaggi’s nephew, and bolstered by an avalanche of investigative research. From the innards of a Mafia street crew, to the entrails of an auto-theft ring, to the autopsy of Demeo’s whack-tastic dismemberment routine (a.k,a. “The Gemini Method”), there’s so much to digest, if you can stomach the body count.

Locations of interest: The Gemini Lounge on Flatlands Avenue; Bath Beach (Multiple…

By Gene Mustain, Jerry Capeci,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Meet the DeMeo gang - the most deadly killers the Mafia has ever known. They were a small-time Brooklyn corner crew who, headed by the notorious Roy DeMeo, became the hitmen of choice for the Gambino family. Killing for profit and pleasure, they were ultimately feared by everyone - even the Mafia bosses they worked for.


Book cover of Murder at the Met

Lisa Black Author Of Red Flags

From my list on crime for music lovers.

Who am I?

I grew up watching every cop show on the air with my father. I always wanted to be a detective, but one that didn’t have to do a lot of chasing, like Starsky and Hutch, or get beat up a lot, like Mannix—one who could take a laid-back approach and work his own hours, like Ellery Queen. I wound up becoming a forensic specialist who also writes thrillers. The protagonists have my same job, only with smarter criminals and better-looking colleagues. I also grew up playing the clarinet—not, I admit, particularly well—in a band and/or orchestra from the fourth grade until well after I married. 

Lisa's book list on crime for music lovers

Lisa Black Why did Lisa love this book?

In July of 1980, a beautiful violinist disappeared during a 45-minute break while the visiting ballet company used a prerecorded piece. Helen Hagnes Mintiks was a Julliard grad who had played with professionals since her teens. After the evening’s performance ended, her colleagues knew—as any musician would—that Helen would never have left the building without her violin. It took another nine hours to find her body, thrown down a ventilation shaft, hands tied with knots that stagehands used. A witness led them to the killer, who promptly confessed—a real villain, robbing the world of a kind-hearted talent out of lust. I read this book probably 30 years ago, while I was reading my way through the entire true crime section of the Cleveland Public Library. 

By David Black,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The inside story, written with the cooperation of the detectives involved, of the investigation into the murder of a young violinist


Book cover of Six Capsules: The Gilded Age Murder of Helen Potts

Robert Wilhelm Author Of So Far from Home: The Pearl Bryan Murder

From my list on murder in America’s Gilded Age.

Who am I?

I have been researching and writing about 19th-century American murders since 2009, and my blog, Murder by Gaslight (murderbygaslight.com), includes illustrated stories of more than 500 murder cases. My book, The Bloody Century: True Tales of Murder in 19th Century America, compiled fifty of the most famous murders. In researching these stories, I prefer to use primary sources such as newspaper articles, pamphlets, and books from the time of the murder. They present the attitudes surrounding the crime without modern analysis and preserve details that tend to disappear over time. My latest book, So Far from Home: The Pearl Bryan Murder, draws almost exclusively from newspaper accounts in 1896 and 1897.

Robert's book list on murder in America’s Gilded Age

Robert Wilhelm Why did Robert love this book?

Carlyle W. Harris was a promising young medical student in 1891 with an unfortunate obsession with sex. He would constantly regale his friends and associates with tales of his sexual conquests. When he failed to seduce 19-year-old Helen Potts, he convinced her to marry him but keep the marriage a secret. Six Capsules tells the story of Harris’s plot to murder Helen with a poisoned capsule to keep the secret from being revealed. The author, George R. Dekle Sr., a retired law professor and former prosecutor, provides a detailed analysis of Harris’s sensational trial for murder. The book’s vivid account of the murder and its consequences contrasts the moral and legal atmosphere of the 1890s with that of today.

By George R. Dekle Sr.,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

As Ted Bundy was to the 20th century, so Carlyle Harris was to the 19th. Harris was a charismatic, handsome young medical student with an insatiable appetite. His trail of debauched women ended with Helen Potts, a beautiful young woman of wealth and privilege who was determined to keep herself pure for marriage. Unable to conquer her by other means, Harris talked her into a secret marriage under assumed names, and when threatened with exposure, he poisoned her.

The resulting trial garnered national headlines and launched the careers of two of New York's most famous prosecutors, Francis L. Wellman and…


Book cover of One Was a Soldier

Alicia Dill Author Of Beyond Sacrifice

From my list on thrillers on veterans beyond “thank you for your service".

Who am I?

Before I’m a writer, I’m a reader and I need the realness when it comes to military service. I started as an Army journalist so the details matter to me. When I pick up a book to relax and the main character draws me with a story I can get all the five senses of it, I’m in! On the other hand, I'm usually turned off by books that use veterans as props or either heroes or villains with nothing in between. That’s not who I served with. Where was the gray of the human existence in veteran characters? Gimme books that bring more depth to characters that round out personal experience. 

Alicia's book list on thrillers on veterans beyond “thank you for your service"

Alicia Dill Why did Alicia love this book?

This book is from a series but I picked this one out because it was perfectly targeting why veterans talking to other veterans can heal. These fictional characters have real backstories that resonated with me. This is set in a small town with the dichotomy of military and law enforcement and is an easy, mystery read. 

By Julia Spencer-Fleming,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

On a warm September evening in the Millers Kill community center, five veterans sit down in rickety chairs to try to make sense of their experiences in Iraq. What they will find is murder, conspiracy, and the unbreakable ties that bind them to one another and their small Adirondack town.

The Rev. Clare Fergusson wants to forget the things she saw as a combat helicopter pilot and concentrate on her relationship with Chief of Police Russ Van Alstyne. MP Eric McCrea needs to control the explosive anger threatening his job as a police officer. Will Ellis, high school track star,…


Book cover of Heart of Stone

David B. Coe Author Of The Chalice War: Stone

From my list on fantasy that made me say ‘wow!'.

Who am I?

I have been writing fantasy professionally for more than twenty-five years, and have published novels of epic fantasy, contemporary urban fantasy, supernatural thriller, and (as D.B. Jackson) historical fantasy. I have devoted my professional life to the genre because I love writing about magic and the people who wield it. I believe fantasy novels should thrill and intrigue, but also touch our emotions, and carry us through narratives with beautiful writing. That is what I try to do with my books, and that is what draws me to the novels I have listed here. I hope you enjoy them as much as I have.

David's book list on fantasy that made me say ‘wow!'

David B. Coe Why did David love this book?

I am a huge fan of urban fantasy, and have written several myself, including my newest project.

Of all the UFs I have read, C.E. Murphy’s Negotiator series is my favorite. Heart of Stone, the first book in the sequence, introduces us to a magically reimagined New York City that is populated by dragons, vampires, and gargoyles that come to life at night and slumber in their stone form by day.

It also introduces us to Magrit Knight, a smart, powerful, fearless hero who will capture your heart and have you cheering (when you’re not breathlessly rushing to see what happens to her next)!

By C. E. Murphy,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

WHAT SECRETS LIE SHROUDED IN DARKNESS?

Okay, so jogging through Central Park after midnight wasn't a bright idea. But Margrit Knight never thought she'd encounter a dark new world filled with magical beings―not to mention a dying woman and a mysterious stranger with blood on his hands. Her logical, lawyer instincts told her it couldn't all be real― but she could hardly deny what she'd seen…and touched.

The mystery man, Alban, was a gargoyle. One of the fabled Old Races who had hidden their existence for centuries. Now he was a murder suspect, and he needed Margrit's help to take…


Book cover of The Tea Rose

Kate Hewitt Author Of Into the Darkest Day

From my list on historical novels to sweep you away.

Who am I?

I have always loved novels that sweep me away to another time, immersing me in a historical era and characters I care about. The first time I read Anne of Green Gables I remember looking up from the book and blinking the real world into disoriented focus, surprised I wasn’t in ‘Anne’s world’! My aim and hope for my own historical novels are that they will provide readers with a similar sweeping-away experience, so they feel they’re living and breathing the world I’m writing about. The best feeling in the world is when you are lost in the pages of a good book—wherever or whenever that story takes place. 

Kate's book list on historical novels to sweep you away

Kate Hewitt Why did Kate love this book?

This is a wonderfully romantic saga focusing on a young woman in the East End of London in the late 1800s, and how she works her way up to run her own business empire, facing tragedy and treachery along the way. Set alongside the Jack the Ripper murders, it has plenty of intrigue and mystery, as well as romance, perfect for fans of Downton Abbey or The Gilded Age. A true saga of the kind that was popular in the 1980s—a big, glitzy, wonderful, passionate book!

By Jennifer Donnelly,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

This is a splendid, heartwarming novel of pain, struggle, decency, triumph - and just what we need in these times - Frank McCourt

It is 1888 and Jack the Ripper is stalking the streets of Whitechapel. For the people that live there, he is just one more adversary in their everyday battle to survive. Despite working long days at the tea factory, and the constant threat of the Ripper, Fiona Finnegan knows that life is better for her than for many others. With a father in work, a roof over her head, enough to eat and a loving family to…


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