10 books like The Diviners

By Libba Bray,

Here are 10 books that authors have personally recommended if you like The Diviners. Shepherd is a community of 7,000+ authors sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Mexican Gothic

By Silvia Moreno-Garcia,

Book cover of Mexican Gothic

The title says it all. Unsettling and at times just plain weird, this book features another mansion, not so much haunted as alive in the worst possible way. Decay is everywhere, from the wallpaper on the mansion’s wall to the flesh, humanity, and sanity of its occupants. Wholly original and beautifully written (I learned two new-to-me words I now use regularly*), it’s a dark, immersive, and surprisingly gory read. I’ve never read anything like it.

* Susurrus and miasma, for the curious

Mexican Gothic

By Silvia Moreno-Garcia,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The award-winning author of Gods of Jade and Shadow (one of the 100 best fantasy novels of all time, TIME magazine) returns with a mesmerising feminist Gothic fantasy, in which a glamorous young socialite discovers the haunting secrets of a beautiful old mansion in 1950s Mexico.

He is trying to poison me. You must come for me, Noemi. You have to save me.

When glamorous socialite Noemi Taboada receives a frantic letter from her newlywed cousin begging to be rescued from a mysterious doom, it's clear something is desperately amiss. Catalina has always had a flair for the dramatic, but…


Contagion

By Erin Bowman,

Book cover of Contagion

Pre-Covid, I loved to read about dangerous viruses taking over the world. The genre has lost a liiiiitle bit of its charm since then, but Contagion is too good a story to pass up. It reminds me powerfully of the Dead Space video games, with its mysteriously uninhabited space stations. Like the very best scary sci-fi, it blurs the line between the terrifying things close to home – like an unexplained illness – and the deep, dark, scary depths of space we have yet to understand!

Contagion

By Erin Bowman,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Edgar Award Nominee for Best Young Adult Mystery

Perfect for fans of Madeleine Roux, Jonathan Maberry, and horror films like 28 Days Later and Resident Evil, this pulse-pounding, hair-raising, utterly terrifying novel is the first in a duology from the critically acclaimed author of the Taken trilogy.

After receiving a distress call from a drill team on a distant planet, a skeleton crew is sent into deep space to perform a standard search-and-rescue mission.

When they arrive, they find the planet littered with the remains of the project—including its members’ dead bodies. As they try to piece together what could…


The Name of the Rose

By Umberto Eco,

Book cover of The Name of the Rose

Eco’s mystery masterpiece weaves together intrigue and humanity in a way that is absolutely compelling, especially if you love medieval illuminations and monastic communities like I do. The book is a literary beauty as well as a compelling mystery that will keep you guessing and turning the pages with furious curiosity. Not a casual read but one that will urge you forward and deeper into a dark but beautiful world. 

The Name of the Rose

By Umberto Eco,

Why should I read it?

9 authors picked The Name of the Rose as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Read the enthralling medieval murder mystery.

The year is 1327. Franciscans in a wealthy Italian abbey are suspected of heresy, and Brother William of Baskerville arrives to investigate. When his delicate mission is suddenly overshadowed by seven bizarre deaths, Brother William turns detective.

William collects evidence, deciphers secret symbols and coded manuscripts, and digs into the eerie labyrinth of the abbey where extraordinary things are happening under the cover of night. A spectacular popular and critical success, The Name of the Rose is not only a narrative of a murder investigation but an astonishing chronicle of the Middle Ages.

'Whether…


Illuminae

By Amie Kaufman, Jay Kristoff,

Book cover of Illuminae

There really are no new stories, so when you find something that does feel new it’s amazing. Illuminae is a space opera epistolary novel—it’s presented in a series of letters and documents, including classified reports, censored emails, interviews, texts, and even some poetry. Although the reading experience is unique it feels natural and even modern. I found it interesting that this is how we tell our own stories to each other today! The main characters become refugees after becoming caught in a political crossfire, and most of the action takes place on ships in space. It’s a rollicking good time with loads of action and intrigue. If it were just a unique storytelling vehicle, it’d be worth reading—but the story delivers, and that makes it a must-read.

Illuminae

By Amie Kaufman, Jay Kristoff,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

'Never have I read a book so wholly unique and utterly captivating.' Marie Lu

'It certainly filled the Battlestar Galactica-shaped hole in my heart.' Victoria Aveyard

The internationally bestselling first book in a high-octane trilogy

Kady thought breaking up with Ezra was the worst thing she'd ever been through. That was before her planet was invaded. Now, with enemy fire raining down on them, Kady and Ezra are forced to fight their way onto one of the evacuating craft, with an enemy warship in hot pursuit.

But the warship could be the least of their problems. A deadly plague has…


Icarus

By Danika Stone,

Book cover of Icarus

Icarus is a totally different kind of scary read from what I normally pick up, more psychological thriller than actual horror – but don’t let that stop you from reading this amazing book. In Icarus, Stone leads us through a complicated, dark, and forgotten history until we find the place Tess’ present intersects with her half-forgotten past. The ride is thrilling and the conclusion won’t leave you disappointed!

Icarus

By Danika Stone,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Being the ‘new kid’ at school is hard, but for Tess Novak - who’s moved more times than she can remember - it’s a role she knows by heart. Transferring during senior year means yet another place she’ll eventually leave, more classmates she’ll forget. Fate, it seems, has other plans.From the moment Tess is introduced to honor student Drew Martinez, she is convinced she has met him before. But when? Confident and attractive, Drew is exactly the type of ‘rich kid’ Tess’s father hates, and Tess avoids. Thrown together by a class project, their tentative friendship sparks a smoldering attraction.…


House of Furies

By Madeleine Roux, Iris Compiet (illustrator),

Book cover of House of Furies

This is another period piece, this one a classic Victorian gothic that appeals to my secret nostalgia for the old original horror pieces such as Dracula, Jekyll and Hyde, or Jane Eyre. The main character finds herself enmeshed in a strange and dark world where right and wrong become blurred as she struggles to find the place she fits in. You won’t be able to stop reading between one chapter and the next. 

House of Furies

By Madeleine Roux, Iris Compiet (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

An all-new creepy fantasy series from the New York Times bestselling author of Asylum.

Featuring stunning interior illustrations from artist Iris Compiet, plus photo-collages that bring the story to chilling life, House of Furies invites readers to a world where the line between monsters and men is ghostly thin.

After escaping a harsh school where punishment was the lesson of the day, seventeen-year-old Louisa Ditton is thrilled to find employment as a maid at a boarding house.

But soon after her arrival at Coldthistle House, Louisa begins to realize that the house's mysterious owner, Mr. Morningside, is providing much more…


Jackaby

By William Ritter,

Book cover of Jackaby

This book has all my favorite detective fiction elements: a beautiful cover, an independent heroine, Abigail Rook, crime-solving alongside an elusive detective, R.F. Jackaby, and a solid plot that kept me guessing until the end. Set in late nineteenth-century New England, Rook teams up with Jackaby in a parallel to a Watson-Holmes relationship except this detective novel features the supernatural. Rook learns quickly that Jackaby stands out among detectives as he can see supernatural creatures. I love so much about this book, particularly the chemistry between Rook and Jackaby as co-investigators. This is a must-read not only for detective fiction fans, but for Dr. Who and Buffy the Vampire Slayer fans as well.  

Jackaby

By William Ritter,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Alone and newly arrived in New Fiddleham. 1892, Abigail Rook finds work as the assistant to R. F. Jackaby, an investigator of the unexplained with the ability to see supernatural beings. On her first day, Abigail finds herself in the midst of a thrilling case: A serial killer is on the loose in New Fiddleham. The police are convinced it's an ordinary villain, but Jackaby is certain the foul deeds are the work of the kind of creature whose very existence the local police - with the exception of a handsome young detective named Charlie Cane - seem adamant to…


Lady Audley's Secret

By Mary Elizabeth Braddon,

Book cover of Lady Audley's Secret

Often overlooked on detective fiction lists, Lady Audley’s Secret is a hidden gem. My favorite Victorian detective novel, I didn’t discover the book until grad school, and since have taught it in numerous British lit courses. When Robert Audley becomes curious about the beautiful, young bride of his uncle, Michael Audley, he starts investigating her past. He finds surprising ties to his friend George Talbot, who, years earlier, abandoned his young wife and son to seek his fortune in Australia. What I love about this book is how Braddon plays with Victorian anxieties—particularly preoccupations with the unconventional means a woman might go through to escape unhappiness. 

Lady Audley's Secret

By Mary Elizabeth Braddon,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Originally published in Robin Goodfellow magazine, Lady Audley's Secret is the essential work of Mary Elizabeth Braddon and is considered a staple of sensation fiction. The story centers on a mysterious woman, whose dark past slowly comes to light.

Lady Audley is a former governess who marries the wealthy widower, Sir Michael Audley. She thoroughly enjoys the life of privilege and status associated with her new husband. Although she appears beautiful and polished, Lady Audley is more than meets the eye. She has a dark secret that could jeopardize everything she's worked for. To maintain her facade, she plots and…


Crow's Row

By Julie Hockley,

Book cover of Crow's Row

The bad boy falls in love with the young innocent girl, and for her sake, he fully intends to keep her at a distance. The only problem is she won’t stay away. It’s the heart deep inside of the bad boy that we are always drawn to, that need to protect her, but finding she’s too stubborn for her own good so the only way to protect her is to be with her. 

Crow's Row

By Julie Hockley,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

For college student Emily Sheppard, the thought of spending a summer alone in New York is much more preferable than spending it in France with her parents. Just completing her freshman year at Callister University, Emily faces a quiet summer in the city slums, supporting herself by working at the campus library.

During one of her jogs through the nearby cemetery while visiting her brother Bills grave, Emily witnesses a brutal killingand then she blacks out. When Emily regains consciousness, she realizes shes been kidnapped by a young crime boss and his gang. She is hurled into a secret underworld,…


The Murder of Helen Jewett

By Patricia Cline Cohen,

Book cover of The Murder of Helen Jewett: The Life and Death of a Prostitute in Ninetenth-Century New York

Helen Jewett was a sex worker living in New York in the 1830s. She worked in a brothel under a matron, which should have been a safe enough situation—she wasn’t out on the street, at least, and others knew when she had clients. Early one morning, however, others in the house wake up to realize there’s a fire in Helen’s room, and that she’s dead. Was it a murder committed by her last client, a man quickly identified as Richard Robinson, or was it a suicide? If she hadn’t died so brutally, we wouldn’t know Helen Jewett’s name, so she’s become another victim only known for her murder. Cohen reminds us that she’s more than just her death.

The Murder of Helen Jewett

By Patricia Cline Cohen,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In 1836, the murder of a young prostitute made headlines in New York City and around the country, inaugurating a sex-and-death sensationalism in news reporting that haunts us today. Patricia Cline Cohen goes behind these first lurid accounts to reconstruct the story of the mysterious victim, Helen Jewett.

From her beginnings as a servant girl in Maine, Helen Jewett refashioned herself, using four successive aliases, into a highly paid courtesan. She invented life stories for herself that helped her build a sympathetic clientele among New York City's elite, and she further captivated her customers through her seductive letters, which mixed…


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