100 books like The Family Plot

By Cherie Priest,

Here are 100 books that The Family Plot fans have personally recommended if you like The Family Plot. 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 Mexican Gothic

D.L. (Destiny) Soria Author Of Thief Liar Lady

From my list on fantasy by Latine authors.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a half-Mexican author who grew up in a tiny Alabama town, where I spent my summers playing with sticks in the woods and exploring such distinguished careers as Forest Bandit, Wayward Orphan, and Woodland Fairy Princess. After college, I ran away to New Zealand for seven months and only pretended to be a character from Lord of the Rings on special occasions. Nowadays, I live and work in South Carolina with my clingy (and, unfortunately, non-magical) cat. 

D.L.'s book list on fantasy by Latine authors

D.L. (Destiny) Soria Why did D.L. love this book?

I’ve always loved a good Gothic novel, but Moreno-Garcia raised the bar with this book.

Part mystery, part romance, part haunted house story—this novel runs the gamut from eerie to enchanting. The menacing secrets of High Place, set against the backdrop of glamorous 1950s Mexico, drew me into an intriguing plot that was as captivating as it was frightening. 

By Silvia Moreno-Garcia,

Why should I read it?

14 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…

Book cover of The Hunger

T.L. Bodine Author Of Neverest

From my list on to read instead of going out in the elements.

Why am I passionate about this?

I've often lived around the fringes of nature, from late-night cross-country road trips through forested backwoods, to living off-grid in New Mexico's high desert. As much as I've lived in the shadow of mountains and extreme environments, I've never dared to venture up into them – and I'm endlessly fascinated by the people who do. What is it that drives people toward extreme sports and outdoor challenges, even understanding the risks? Why do people risk life and limb to venture into places where man isn't meant to be? It's a question I don't think I'll ever stop finding fascinating. 

T.L.'s book list on to read instead of going out in the elements

T.L. Bodine Why did T.L. love this book?

A meticulously researched retelling of the Donner Party tragedy, Katsu's book is a slow-spooled tragedy and creeping horror of intense claustrophobia and distrust.

And that's before the supernatural elements take hold! This book is meaty, with a lot to chew on and a ton of character drama packed into its relatively brief word count, but you'll leave it thinking quite differently about the forces that shaped our American frontier...

By Alma Katsu,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

"Deeply, deeply disturbing, hard to put down, not recommended reading after dark." - Stephen King

After having travelled west for weeks, the party of pioneers comes to a crossroads. It is time for their leader, George Donner, to make a choice. They face two diverging paths which lead to the same destination. One is well-documented - the other untested, but rumoured to be shorter.

Donner's decision will shape the lives of everyone travelling with him. The searing heat of the desert gives way to biting winds and a bitter cold that freezes the cattle where they stand. Driven to the…

Book cover of The Rust Maidens

Andrea Blythe Author Of Twelve: Poems Inspired by the Brothers Grimm Fairy Tale

From my list on women reclaiming their own power.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been fascinated fairy tales, folklore, and horror since I was a child, drawn to these strange stories in which wondrous and terrifying things happen. In many of these tales, the women often lack a sense of agency or control over their lives and work for a better life within the limitations of their situation. The act of retelling these stories provides space to explore this lack of power and how these women might find clever or unusual ways to reclaim it. In particular, I’m interested in the ways characters might make use of the danger or darkness around them to carve their own path in the world. 

Andrea's book list on women reclaiming their own power

Andrea Blythe Why did Andrea love this book?

Set in Cleveland, Ohio, in 1980, The Rust Maidens is about a sudden change that overcomes several teenage girls in the community. Out of nowhere a metamorphosis begins to take place, the teens’ bodies transform into rusted metal and broken glass—reflecting the decaying factories and communities around them. As word of the transformations spread, the event takes on the power of an urban legend, but the girls have their own secret plans, which they share only with themselves.  

What is beautiful and striking about this book is that the body horror at its center becomes a means for these girls to find their own power. Despite the fear of suddenly finding their bodies shifting into a form they cannot recognize as their own, the transformation also provides a means of escape and defiance against a community that would balk at them being anything other than what they are expected to…

By Gwendolyn Kiste,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Something’s happening to the girls on Denton Street.

It’s the summer of 1980 in Cleveland, Ohio, and Phoebe Shaw and her best friend Jacqueline have just graduated high school, only to confront an ugly, uncertain future. Across the city, abandoned factories populate the skyline; meanwhile at the shore, one strong spark, and the Cuyahoga River might catch fire. But none of that compares to what’s happening in their own west side neighborhood. The girls Phoebe and Jacqueline have grown up with are changing. It starts with footprints of dark water on the sidewalk. Then, one by one, the girls’ bodies…

Book cover of The Good House

Nicole Willson Author Of Tidepool

From my list on contemporary horror written by women.

Why am I passionate about this?

I'm a near-lifelong fan of horror in all its forms. I read the works of Bram Stoker, Edgar Allan Poe, and Shirley Jackson as a child, and for most of my writing career, I’ve been trying to recreate the feelings those early works gave me the first time I read them. My short fiction has appeared in several publications, and my debut horror novel Tidepool came out in 2021. Even though one of the best-known horror novels of all time, Frankenstein, was written by Mary Shelley, the horror world still sometimes treats female authors like afterthoughts. I hope my list will help readers discover more imaginative books written by women. 

Nicole's book list on contemporary horror written by women

Nicole Willson Why did Nicole love this book?

I’m a sucker for an addictive, epic horror novel, and Tananarive Due delivers with this book. Angela Toussaint inherits her late grandmother Marie’s old house (the “good house” of the title) and returns to her hometown of Sacajawea, WA. At first, she seems content there even if a few of the townspeople have a way of reminding her she’s the only Black woman in town. But after a tragedy shatters Angela’s life and horrific deaths become a regular occurrence in the town, it becomes clear her Gramma Marie passed down far more than the house. Due’s prose is so vivid that at times I felt like I was inside Angela’s head, or walking around the Good House myself. This is the perfect scary book to lose yourself in on a rainy fall day. 

By Tananarive Due,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The Good House is the critically acclaimed story of supernatural suspense, as a woman searches for the inherited power that can save her hometown from evil forces.

The home that belonged to Angela Toussaint's late grandmother is so beloved that the townspeople in Sacajawea, Washington call it the Good House. But that all changes one summer when an unexpected tragedy takes place behind its closed doors, and the Toussaint's family history-and future-is dramatically transformed.

Angela has not returned to the Good House since her son, Corey, died there two years ago. But now, Angela is finally ready to return to…

Book cover of Ghosts in the House!

Katie Vernon Author Of Happy Halloweenie

From my list on Halloween boards for little ghouls and goblins.

Why am I passionate about this?

Although I was a little scared of Halloween as a kid, I’ve grown to love the silly side of spookiness. Growing up with Pee-Wee’s Playhouse every Saturday morning, I learned that silliness is a superpower. Now, when working on kids books, my ultimate goal is to put work into the world that will delight kids, and won’t make the parents groan and say, “that one again?” Finding the sweet spot of being fun to read, fun to hear, and fun to look at is what I love most about creating kids books. I hope you and your little ghouls and goblins enjoy my spooky board Boooook list! 

Katie's book list on Halloween boards for little ghouls and goblins

Katie Vernon Why did Katie love this book?

I love that the little girl (actually a little witch) in Ghosts in the House! is confident and capable every step of the way as she deals with her haunted house.

Ghosts are not something to be afraid of – they can be useful! Kazuno Kohara’s linocut illustrations are a perfect pairing to her words – simple and refreshing. 

By Kazuno Kohara,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Ghosts in the House! as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 3, 4, 5, and 6.

What is this book about?

Ghosts in the House! by author-illustrator Kazuno Kohara is just the right mix of sweet and scary for the youngest trick-or treaters

At the edge of town lives a clever girl with a spooky problem: Her house is haunted! Luckily, she happens to be a witch and knows a little something about taking care of ghosts. She catches them, puts them in the washing machine, airs them out to dry, and gives them new lives as sofa covers, table cloths, and, of course, bed sheets to cozy up under. Fresh and charming illustrations in dynamic orange, black and white bring…

Book cover of The Screaming Staircase

Wayne Thomas Batson Author Of Dreamtreaders

From my list on fantasy with a unique ingredient or twist.

Why am I passionate about this?

I believe with all of my heart that each one of us was created with two achingly powerful inner drives: 1) the longing for new worlds and 2) the desperate urge to do something meaningful. I simply could never believe that human beings are all simply cosmic accidents produced by some sort of cosmic casino. I believe God created people and gave us each an instinct to seek our true home. The books I write—all 22 of them—are tales of flawed individuals, thrown into unexpected, life-changing events, and given the chance to journey through many astoundingly lush worlds, all in an effort to do the seemingly impossible.

Wayne's book list on fantasy with a unique ingredient or twist

Wayne Thomas Batson Why did Wayne love this book?

Imagine a contemporary fantasy, driven by sword-wielding, swashbuckling, mystically empowered, ghostbusting teenagers. Yup. That is the cool twist in Jonathan Stroud’s Lockwood & Co. Series.

He’s best known for the Bartimaeus Trilogy, and takes all of his fantasy worldbuilding craft to design a modern world where ghosts are not only real but common and quite deadly to us living folk. You will fall in love with Lockwood and Lucy, sense the tension between them, and yet be relieved to discover that their connection isn’t the predictable stuff of typical teen romance.

The remarkable ghosts are similar to fantasy races. Rather than elves, gnomes, warlocks, etc., you have screamers, wailers, howling maids, and a whole host of specific ghost types that I dare not spoil. If you like fantasy with a touch of creepy, you’ll love Lockwood & Co.

By Jonathan Stroud,

Why should I read it?

7 authors picked The Screaming Staircase as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 8, 9, 10, and 11.

What is this book about?


A sinister Problem has occurred in London: all nature of ghosts, haunts, spirits, and specters are appearing throughout the city, and they aren't exactly friendly. Only young people have the psychic abilities required to see-and eradicate-these supernatural foes. Many different Psychic Detection Agencies have cropped up to handle the dangerous work, and they are in fierce competition for business.

In The Screaming Staircase, the plucky and talented Lucy Carlyle teams up with Anthony Lockwood, the charismatic leader of Lockwood & Co, a small agency that runs independent of any adult supervision. After an assignment…

Book cover of The Ghost Stories of Edith Wharton

Lisa Morton Author Of Haunted Tales: Classic Stories of Ghosts and the Supernatural

From my list on collections of classic ghost stories.

Why am I passionate about this?

I've always been a fan of ghost stories. As a kid, I loved horror movies and the works of Edgar Allan Poe, Bram Stoker, and H. P. Lovecraft; later on, I discovered movies like The Innocents (based on Henry James's The Turn of the Screw) and The Haunting (adapted from Shirley Jackson's The Haunting of Hill House). As a ghost historian and editor, I've discovered dozens of brilliant tales from the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries; these are stories that remain relevant, entertaining, and frightening.

Lisa's book list on collections of classic ghost stories

Lisa Morton Why did Lisa love this book?

Fans of literary fiction may not even realize that Edith Wharton (1862-1937), author of novels like The Age of Innocence and Ethan Frome, also loved to write ghost stories, which often revolve around themes of class and gender. This collection includes such gems as the truly unnerving "The Lady Maid's Bell," the eerie yet poignant "Afterward," and "All Souls," one of the most unusual Halloween tales ever penned.

By Edith Wharton,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Selected & Introduced by David Stuart Davies.

Traumatised by ghost stories in her youth, Pulitzer Prize winning author Edith Wharton (1862 -1937) channelled her fear and obsession into creating a series of spine-tingling tales filled with spirits beyond the grave and other supernatural phenomena. While claiming not to believe in ghosts, paradoxically she did confess that she was frightened of them. Wharton imbues this potent irrational and imaginative fear into her ghostly fiction to great effect.

In this unique collection of finely wrought tales Wharton demonstrates her mastery of the ghost story genre. Amongst the many supernatural treats within these…

Book cover of I Remember You: A Ghost Story

Marcel Krueger Author Of Iceland: A Literary Guide for Travellers

From my list on Iceland to read in winter.

Why am I passionate about this?

I've always been a bookworm, and fascinated by the North—after all, I made my home here. I thrived (and still do) on stories about rain-drenched moors, ships in distress running aground in boiling seas, men with swords stumping through dark woods searching for gold and demons. So no wonder that I am fascinated by Iceland and its stories, and have returned to the island again and again. Here, literature plays a crucial role in preserving and developing culture and language equally. So as a fan of Icelandic past and present I try and spread the word about this craggy island and its literary heritage as much as I can. 

Marcel's book list on Iceland to read in winter

Marcel Krueger Why did Marcel love this book?

No contemporary Icelandic literature without crime. Despite being one of the safest countries on the planet with hardly any crime, Icelandic crime authors are among the most successful representatives of Scandinavian noir, and Yrsa is the undisputed queen of Icelandic crime. While mostly know for her series featuring investigator Thóra Gudmundsdóttir, I Remember You is one of her standalone novels, a supernatural thriller set in the remote Westfjords of Iceland in winter and the perfect read when the wind and snow are howling outside. Or just the wind. 

By Yrsa Sigurdardóttir,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A terrifying ghost story from the Queen of Icelandic crime, Yrsa Sigurdardottir, author of the Thora Gudmundsdottir novels.

'Yrsa is one of the most exciting new voices in the crime thriller world.' - Peter James

The crunching noise had resumed, now accompanied by a disgusting, indefinable smell. It could best be described as a blend of kelp and rotten meat. The voice spoke again, now slightly louder and clearer:
Don't go. Don't go yet. I'm not finished.

In an isolated village in the Icelandic Westfjords, three friends set to work renovating a derelict house. But soon they realise they are…

Book cover of The Secret of Crickley Hall

Mark Drotos Author Of The Haunting of Crimshaw Manor

From my list on books that will give you chills and thrills.

Why am I passionate about this?

While attending college, I lived in a haunted house. This was before all the ghost-hunting shows and YouTube, so I didn’t know what I was seeing at night. During the year and a half of these experiences, I saw two distinct shadow figures and had other people living in the front of the house, as well as my roommate, confirm they, too, had seen and heard things that were unexplainable. This began my interest in the paranormal. After graduation, I became a law enforcement officer and have been a Police Detective for the last 21 years. I have explored haunted locations and seen spirits and other unexplainable things.  

Mark's book list on books that will give you chills and thrills

Mark Drotos Why did Mark love this book?

A family tragedy leads a young family to seek an old home in a peaceful seaside village in the UK. There is a reason the house is vacant… it’s haunted. I was chilled reading this book. James Herbert is a master of suspense and does a great job of tying past events to the present. 

I enjoyed how the spirits of the past interacted with the current homeowners. It was scary and believable!

By James Herbert,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The Caleighs have had a terrible year... They need time and space, while they await the news they dread. Gabe has brought his wife, Eve, and daughters, Loren and Cally, down to Devon, to the peaceful seaside village of Hollow Bay. He can work and Eve and the kids can have some peace and quiet and perhaps they can try, as a family, to come to terms with what's happened to them...

Crickley Hall is an unusually large house on the outskirts of the village at the bottom of Devil's Cleave, a massive tree-lined gorge - the stuff of local…

Book cover of Episode Thirteen

Amanda Desiree Author Of Smithy

From my list on creepy epistolary horror novels.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve always admired epistolary novels—stories told in the form of diaries, letters, or other mass media. They seem so real and so much more believable than plain narratives. When dealing with fantastic subjects, like paranormal phenomena, any technique that can draw the weird back into the real world helps me become more invested as a reader. It’s a quality I’ve also tried to capture as a horror writer. Moreover, the epistolary format pairs well with unreliable narrators, often filtering stories so as to make them more ambiguous and disturbing. From the many epistolary works I’ve read over the years, here are my picks for the most compelling—and creepy.

Amanda's book list on creepy epistolary horror novels

Amanda Desiree Why did Amanda love this book?

This chronicle of a doomed reality TV show taping feels the most like a modern found-footage movie of any epistolary novel with its addition of instant messages and video footage to diaries and emails. The converging of different media corroboration adds a high level of realism to the story—an impressive trait that’s often lacking in cosmic horror.

Further, I’m impressed by the breadth of subjects Di Louie covered (Hindu mythology, occult mysticism, 1960s/1970s pop-culture references) and the way he expanded the haunted house trope beyond my expectations.

This book captivated me so much that I was more interested in reading it than in sightseeing while on my vacation.

By Craig DiLouie,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Fade to Black is the newest hit ghost hunting reality TV show. Led by husband and wife team Matt and Claire Kirklin, it delivers weekly hauntings investigated by a dedicated team of ghost hunting experts.

Episode Thirteen takes them to every ghost hunter's holy grail: the Paranormal Research Foundation. This brooding, derelict mansion holds secrets and clues about bizarre experiments that took place there in the 1970s. It's also famously haunted, and the team hopes their scientific techniques and high tech gear will prove it. But as the house begins to reveal itself to them, proof of an afterlife might…

5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in ghost story, haunted houses, and Halloween?

10,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about ghost story, haunted houses, and Halloween.

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