39 books like The Cuckoo's Calling

By Robert Galbraith,

Here are 39 books that The Cuckoo's Calling fans have personally recommended if you like The Cuckoo's Calling. 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 Killing Floor

Tina O’Hailey Author Of Dark Drink

From my list on unconventional, stubborn, loyal characters with explorer’s hearts.

Why am I passionate about this?

I chose my favorite books, and through careful psyche analysis, I see a theme in them: stubborn characters who persevere through miserable elements. I cave, hike, kayak, motorcycle, etc. A lot of it is not comfortable. It starts with having an explorer’s heart. It isn’t glamorous. It is 90% talking yourself into the fact that you can do something you at first don’t believe you can do. The similar-minded friends that one finds along the way are lifelong, and there’s a bond that forms from crazy people like this. That comes through in my writing – companionship against a backdrop of stubborn exploration in an indifferent environment.

Tina's book list on unconventional, stubborn, loyal characters with explorer’s hearts

Tina O’Hailey Why did Tina love this book?

Reacher is dedicated to his “family” 5000%. Nothing else matters. Nothing. He is an incredibly simple and driven character who cannot resonate with the world around him nor give a moment to care that he does not. He is. That is all. Family is his team and, in this case, one actual family member. All are on equal footing.

While most details from books fade from my memory, this book (read when it first came out and eons before the TV show) is etched into my memory completely. The characters, the places, the fights, the sights and smells. I fell for Reacher’s plight and his steadfast mission to prove his innocence. My favorite image is hobo Reacher sleeping wherever and thinking nothing strange in that.

By Lee Child,

Why should I read it?

12 authors picked Killing Floor as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Ex-military policeman Jack Reacher is a drifter. He's just passing through Margrave, Georgia, and in less than an hour, he's arrested for murder. Not much of a welcome. All Reacher knows is that he didn't kill anybody. At least not here. Not lately. But he doesn't stand a chance of convincing anyone. Not in Margrave, Georgia. Not a chance in hell.


Book cover of Dissolution

G.J. Williams Author Of The Conjuror's Apprentice

From my list on tempestuous times and crimes of the Tudors.

Why am I passionate about this?

I studied the Tudor era in high school and have been hooked ever since. It was an era of enormous change. The world was opening up, science was advancing, religion was losing its grip over people, and new ideas were challenging every level of society. Discovery was everywhere–new planets, lands, theories, foods, and trading routes. Society was changing, and women were beginning to have a voice and education. It was also an era of characters–men and some women who made a mark on the world through their wit and wisdom–and some just by being rogues. There are no dull moments in Tudor times.

G.J.'s book list on tempestuous times and crimes of the Tudors

G.J. Williams Why did G.J. love this book?

When you turn the pages of this book, you feel you can see, smell, and hear the dark streets and alleys of Tudor London. This book inspired me to place my books in Tudor England and start The Tudor Rose Murders Series.

It is Tudor Crime at its best. I was so captivated by the characters, the detail, the pace, and the plotting that I could not put it down and felt wretched when I turned the last page. 

By C.J. Sansom,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Awarded the CWA Diamond Dagger - the highest honor in British crime writing

From the bestselling author of Winter in Madrid and Dominion comes the exciting and elegantly written first novel in the Matthew Shardlake Tudor Mystery series

Dissolution is an utterly riveting portrayal of Tudor England. The year is 1537, and the country is divided between those faithful to the Catholic Church and those loyal to the king and the newly established Church of England. When a royal commissioner is brutally murdered in a monastery on the south coast of England, Thomas Cromwell, Henry VIII's feared vicar general, summons…


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?

WINNER OF THE COSTA FIRST NOVEL AWARD
WINNER OF THE BOOKS ARE MY BAG NOVEL AWARD
A WATERSTONES THRILLER OF THE MONTH
SHORTLISTED FOR THE SPECSAVERS NATIONAL BOOK AWARDS
SHORTLISTED FOR THE BRITISH BOOK AWARDS DEBUT OF THE YEAR
LONGLISTED FOR THE THEAKSTON OLD PECULIER CRIME NOVEL OF THE YEAR

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 And Then There Were None

Kaeleb LD Appleby Author Of Steele's Eden: Part One

From my list on crime dramas that keep you hooked.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve always loved a good crime drama/suspense thriller novel–the way they keep you glued to the pages, and you think you’ll just sit down for a quick couple of chapters before dinner, and the next thing you realize, it's 12am, and you’re on the last chapter. The depth of the character studies that you get with this genre is the other reason I enjoy it so much, there’s nothing worse than having main characters that are one dimensional and unreachable as a reader. I have always tried to create this kind of character depth and gripping narrative in my own books.

Kaeleb's book list on crime dramas that keep you hooked

Kaeleb LD Appleby Why did Kaeleb love this book?

I like how Agatha Christie takes a darker turn in this book. Most of the time, I associate her works with a comfortable crime mystery, but that is not the case with this title. The mind games and mystery created within these pages made for an enthralling read that kept me guessing to the end.

The other aspect I loved was how the environment and setting were really a character all of their own and had a profound effect on the characters there on the island, as well as the reader.

By Agatha Christie,

Why should I read it?

16 authors picked And Then There Were None as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Agatha Christie's world-famous mystery thriller, reissued with a striking new cover designed to appeal to the latest generation of Agatha Christie fans and book lovers.

Ten strangers, apparently with little in common, are lured to an island mansion off the coast of Devon by the mysterious U.N.Owen. Over dinner, a record begins to play, and the voice of an unseen host accuses each person of hiding a guilty secret. That evening, former reckless driver Tony Marston is found murdered by a deadly dose of cyanide.

The tension escalates as the survivors realise the killer is not only among them but…


Book cover of A Study in Scarlet

David Cairns Author Of The Case of the Wandering Corpse

From my list on 19th century murder, mystery and mayhem.

Why am I passionate about this?

History has always been a captivating adventure for me, a stage to rekindle the echoes of times long past. My journey began amid musty archives in Hobart, where I stumbled upon a handwritten prison record about my wife's feisty ancestor, transported in the 1830s. There and then, I resolved to breathe life into the fading embers of her existence, and after extensive research, I wrote my first novel, a tapestry of historical events intertwined with the resurrection of long-forgotten souls. Since then, I've applied lessons from masters like Conan Doyle to create exciting, atmospheric stories that turn us all into time travelers on an exhilarating voyage.

David's book list on 19th century murder, mystery and mayhem

David Cairns Why did David love this book?

This is the story that introduced Sherlock Holmes to the world.

The plot brings the reader to the dark streets of Victorian London as a cunning murderer is hunted down. Holmes’s unique powers of observation and deduction then set the bar for all subsequent detective stories as his friend, Watson, is etched into your mind as a ‘true blue’ friend whom you would like to call your own. The story is intricate, delving into the human psyche and the nature of justice. It draws you into the period; it has great characters and mystery, intrigue, and unexpected deductive skills.

I make no apologies for incorporating some of this Sherlockian style into my own mysteries, and perhaps there cannot be a greater tribute than that for this timeless classic. 

By Arthur Conan Doyle,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked A Study in Scarlet as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 9, 10, 11, and 12.

What is this book about?

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's A Study in Scarlet is the literary debut of the world's most famous fictional detective, Sherlock Holmes, introduced by Iain Sinclair with notes by Ed Glinert in Penguin Classics.

Convalescing in London after a disastrous experience of war in Afghanistan, Dr John Watson finds himself sharing rooms with his enigmatic new acquaintance, Sherlock Holmes. But their quiet bachelor life at 221B Baker Street is soon interrupted by the grisly discovery of a dead man in a grimy 'ill-omened' house in south-east London, his face contorted by an expression of horror and hatred such as Watson has…


Book cover of Last Bus to Woodstock

Maurice Holloway Author Of Steal a Diamond

From my list on detective books with the most memorable protagonist.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have a passion for writing, and whenever I can, I try to help new writers improve their expertise so that one day they’ll complete their first book. My first book, born from a few-hundred-word short story at my writing group, turned into a three-book thriller series called FAVOURS. Since then, I’ve branched out by publishing a rom/com, a humorous ghost story as well as a standalone thriller. Agatha Christie published her first book as the result of a dare, which proves you can do it if you really want to.

Maurice's book list on detective books with the most memorable protagonist

Maurice Holloway Why did Maurice love this book?

I chose this book as it was the one that introduced me to Morse, not the code but the Detective Chief Inspector. Apart from being an excellent crime solver, he is also a superb Times crossword solver. I liked that this cerebral activity was a clue in itself to his method of disentangling the threads linking the criminal to the murder. In that respect, he resembles Poirot, like Morse, a man of limited physical activity.

I found the man, rather than the policeman, was an enigma. He can be charming, but mostly he’s curt, cranky, and cynical. He has a passion for Real Ale, Scotch Whisky, and pubs but loses himself in classical music and opera. He’s a bachelor, sometimes a little lecherous, but he loves and admires women.

I was amused by the fact no one knew his first name. If asked, he would say it was Inspector. In…

By Colin Dexter,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Last Bus to Woodstock as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Last Bus to Woodstock is the novel that began Colin Dexter's phenomenally successful Inspector Morse series.

'Do you think I'm wasting your time, Lewis?'
Lewis was nobody's fool and was a man of some honesty and integrity.
'Yes, sir.'
An engaging smile crept across Morse's mouth. He thought they could get on well together . . .

The death of Sylvia Kaye figured dramatically in Thursday afternoon's edition of the Oxford Mail. By Friday evening Inspector Morse had informed the nation that the police were looking for a dangerous man - facing charges of wilful murder, sexual assault and rape.…


Book cover of The Profession of Violence: The Rise and Fall of the Kray Twins

Mike Gerrard Author Of Strip till Dead

From my list on crime set in London.

Why am I passionate about this?

I began my freelance career as a travel writer, though I now also write about drinks. While living in London I worked for a while at the men’s magazine, Mayfair, and around that time went out for several months with a woman who was a stripper. I didn’t know that when we met, so judged her by her personality not her profession. One of the magazine’s models was murdered, and one of the staff questioned by police. He was totally innocent. I wanted to write the kind of book I like reading, bringing together those two storylines to create a fictional version of a very real part of London life.

Mike's book list on crime set in London

Mike Gerrard Why did Mike love this book?

I knew the author when I worked for his literary agent in London, and this is a fascinating and frightening look at the London crime world of the Kray Twins. They ruthlessly ruled parts of London, including the East End, and was an essential background re-read when I wrote my own London crime novel. I was trying to show behind the scenes of the world of striptease, but this book is a reminder of what’s behind even that behind-the-scenes world. I used to send a 6-monthly royalty cheque to their mother as their share for co-operating with the book, which is why it’s so authentic.

By John Pearson,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The classic, bestselling account of the infamous Kray twins, now a major film, starring Tom Hardy.

Reggie and Ronnie Kray ruled London's gangland during the 60s with a ruthlessness and viciousness that shocks even now. Building an empire of organised crime that has never been matched, the brothers swindled, extorted and terrorised - while enjoying a glittering celebrity status at the heart of the swinging 60s scene, until their downfall and imprisonment for life.


Book cover of The Long Firm

Mike Gerrard Author Of Strip till Dead

From my list on crime set in London.

Why am I passionate about this?

I began my freelance career as a travel writer, though I now also write about drinks. While living in London I worked for a while at the men’s magazine, Mayfair, and around that time went out for several months with a woman who was a stripper. I didn’t know that when we met, so judged her by her personality not her profession. One of the magazine’s models was murdered, and one of the staff questioned by police. He was totally innocent. I wanted to write the kind of book I like reading, bringing together those two storylines to create a fictional version of a very real part of London life.

Mike's book list on crime set in London

Mike Gerrard Why did Mike love this book?

This is an obvious follow-on from my first choice, a gritty fictionalised version of the kind of world the Kray Brothers moved in. It features the gangster Harry Starks, who is both a porn king and a sociology graduate, and has one of those great openings that grips you from the start:

"You know the song, don’t you?" “There’s no business like show business.” Harry gets the Ethel Merman intonation just right as he heats up a poker in the gas burner.

How can you not read on, albeit a little nervously?

By Jake Arnott,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The cult bestseller that launched Jake Arnott as one of the most exciting new voices of the decade - 'A gangster novel every bit as cool, stylish and venomous as the London in which it's set' (Independent on Sunday)

'I'll tell you what happens now,' Harry says, reading my mind. 'You can go now. We're quits. You don't talk to anybody about anything. You've had a taste of what will happen if you do.'

Meet Harry Starks: club owner, racketeer, porn king, sociology graduate and Judy Garland fan. To be in his orbit is to be caught up in the…


Book cover of Bad Penny Blues

Mike Gerrard Author Of Strip till Dead

From my list on crime set in London.

Why am I passionate about this?

I began my freelance career as a travel writer, though I now also write about drinks. While living in London I worked for a while at the men’s magazine, Mayfair, and around that time went out for several months with a woman who was a stripper. I didn’t know that when we met, so judged her by her personality not her profession. One of the magazine’s models was murdered, and one of the staff questioned by police. He was totally innocent. I wanted to write the kind of book I like reading, bringing together those two storylines to create a fictional version of a very real part of London life.

Mike's book list on crime set in London

Mike Gerrard Why did Mike love this book?

I absolutely loved this book, set in the London of the 1960s. It starts with the murder of a prostitute and takes you into the shady world of Soho with its drugs and clubs, its swingers and its singers. A young PC is assigned to work with the CID to catch the killer, as he found the body. The writing is vivid and it appeals as the murder, though central, is only part of a broader picture of the London of that era.

By Cathi Unsworth,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A gripping crime novel inspired by the "Jack the Stripper" killings in 1960s London.

Bad Penny Blues is the latest gripping crime fiction from Cathi Unsworth, London's undisputed queen of noir. Set in late 1950s and early 1960s London, it is loosely based on the West London "Jack the Stripper" killings that rocked the city. The narrative follows police officer Pete Bradley, who investigates the serial killings of a series of prostitutes, and, in a parallel story, Stella, part of the art and fashion worlds of 1960s "Swinging London," who is haunted by visions of the murdered women.


Book cover of Moonflower Murders

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?

Moonflower Murders shows what can be done at the boundary between genre and literary fiction. This is a writer at the top of his form with twisty plotting, mellifluous prose, and the sheer joy of storytelling. Realistic? No. But that’s not the point. This is an insane murder mystery within a murder mystery. A sequel to Magpie Murders, it features retired publisher Susan Ryeland, who now runs a small hotel on a Greek island. But running a small hotel on a Greek island isn’t for everyone, and Susan is beginning to miss her old life in London.

She is pushed into returning when two of her guests inform her that their newlywed daughter had been in dangerous proximity to a murder back home and had now gone missing – hours after reading a murder mystery Susan herself had edited in her old life. The book holds the key to…

By Anthony Horowitz,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Pre-order the brand new Anthony Horowitz novel The Twist of a Knife, coming August 2022!

'EASILY THE GREATEST OF OUR CRIME WRITERS' Sunday Times

'Absolutely loved it. So clever, just masterful stuff.' Richard Osman

'A beautiful puzzle: fiendishly clever and hugely entertaining. A masterpiece.' Lucy Foley, author of The Hunting Party

'You have to hand it to Horowitz: the guy never fails to deliver a total page-turner. We LOVED it.' Richard & Judy Book Club
____________

Retired publisher Susan Ryeland is running a small hotel on a Greek island with her long-term boyfriend. But life isn't as idyllic as it…


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