10 books like The Fourth Monkey

By J.D. Barker,

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

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Curiosity Didn't Kill the Cat (A Conan Flagg Mystery)

By M.K. Wren,

Book cover of Curiosity Didn't Kill the Cat (A Conan Flagg Mystery)

I first met Wren's character, Conan Flagg when I was a teenager. I'd picked up this book in a secondhand bookshop and decided to give it a try. Even at that time, the book had been out for over ten years, so it was already a bit dated, but Wren's writing and plotting drew me. Set in a small seaside town in Oregon, this book contains a cast of quirky, unique characters that outshine any of the archaic references that make this book seem a bit out of date. You tend to forget that smoking in public is no longer as acceptable as it was when this book was written. Curiosity Didn't Kill the Cat is a great start to this eight-book series. Although these books were out of print for many years, they've recently been reprinted, and I've enjoyed getting reacquainted with the series.

Curiosity Didn't Kill the Cat (A Conan Flagg Mystery)

By M.K. Wren,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Curiosity Didn't Kill the Cat (A Conan Flagg Mystery) as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A widow who feels her husband's drowning was not accidental calls upon a former intelligence agent and private detective to uncover the truth


Groucho Marx, Master Detective

By Ron Goulart,

Book cover of Groucho Marx, Master Detective

I've been a huge fan of the Marx Brothers for many years. So, when I found a book that featured Groucho Marx as an amateur detective, I jumped on it. This, the first in a six-book series, is a treat to anyone who is a fan of the golden age of Hollywood. It is a cavalcade of famous names from the era of black and white films. Goulart does a tremendous job balancing a mysterious plotline with the lighthearted fun that you'd expect from a novel featuring Groucho Marx. And I'm happy to report that Goulart captures the essence of Groucho perfectly. The book, as well as the series, is a terrific tribute to one of Hollywood comedy geniuses. And it's a damn good mystery as well.

Groucho Marx, Master Detective

By Ron Goulart,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Groucho Marx, Master Detective as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

To stay busy between movies, Groucho Marx agrees to act in a radio serial, but before the first episode can even be aired, his beautiful co-star is found dead, and he becomes determined to find her killer.


Crimson Lake

By Candice Fox,

Book cover of Crimson Lake

This was my first foray into suspense from down under. I met Candice Fox a few years back when we shared the table on a panel discussion at ThrillerFest. However, it took me another five years to pick up her book. The big mystery should be, why did I wait so long? Crimson Lake is a dark read that is suspenseful and mysterious. The two main characters, Ted and Amanda, apart are damaged individuals, but when together make for a quirky, if not unusual team.

These characters are the book's biggest strength. They are compelling, and you can't help but feel sympathetic for Ted who has been convicted in the court of public opinion despite never having been convicted in a court of law. Amanda, as well, is a character that I found more and more interesting with every page turn. And Fox is an incredible wordsmith when it comes…

Crimson Lake

By Candice Fox,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

From the New York Times bestselling co-author of Never Never comes an ingenious and edgy suspense novel that will keep you guessing to the very last page . . .

12.46: 13-year-old Claire Bingley stands alone at a bus stop

12.47: Ted Conkaffey parks his car beside her

12.52: The girl is missing . . .Six minutes - that's all it took to ruin Detective Ted Conkaffey's life.

Accused but not convicted of Claire's abduction, he escapes north, to the steamy, croc-infested wetlands of Crimson Lake.

Amanda Pharrell knows what it's like to be public enemy no.1. Maybe it's her…


Type and Cross

By J.L. DeLozier,

Book cover of Type and Cross

This book, in this day and age, might actually hit a little too close to home, but it is worthy of a read anyway. Delozier writes a thrilling tale about a mad scientist that has created a deadly virus that could wipe out half the population. It's up to psychologist and empath Dr. Persephone Smith to track him down and stop him. Type and Cross, Delozier's debut novel, is a medical thriller that intermixes just enough medical terminology to make the premise sound plausible without losing the reader. Delozier's writing isn't overburdened by over-embellished description or unwieldy dialog which makes the book a pleasure to read.

Unlike your traditional trilogy, the second book in the series acts as an origin story of sorts, while the third wraps up the storyline from this book.

Type and Cross

By J.L. DeLozier,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Dr. Persephone Smith has the gift of enhanced empathy, or the ability to get inside the heads of criminals too twisted for other psychologists to unravel. When a bioterrorist triggers a pandemic, the government hires Seph and a crack team of scientists to hunt him down.Seph discovers that Dr. William Baine has a genetic secret of his own, one which holds the key to both his coded journal and the formula for the cure. His special abilities are a perfect foil to her own. As their psychological link deepens, he taunts her in her pursuit, from the smoky tobacco shops…


Stone Heart

By Peter J. Merrigan,

Book cover of Stone Heart

I loved this book. If I had to describe this novel in one word it would be intelligent. Set in Celtic Ireland in the Iron Age, the language is rich and expressive and Merrigan takes you into his world until you feel you belong there. You are drawn into a time where everything is governed by the gods. The story takes you through the training of the young warriors and druids. With the ongoing conflict over land, and with the people’s lives steeped in superstitious beliefs, we come to care that the outcome falls well with our tribe.

Fionn is born into a simple rural tribe. His life is sweet as he grows to double figures playing with his sisters in the fields. At the age of ten, he is called to serve, and the boys of fighting age are gathered from across the land, taken from their families, and…

Stone Heart

By Peter J. Merrigan,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Ireland, 279 BC. A nation at war. For two boys, it will be gruelling. For Ireland . . . it will be bloody.

When the first raiding skirmishes of a foreign army are crushed and Ireland mourns her dead, one king knows their newfound peace is destined to fail. As Overking of Ailigh, Keeper of the North, he calls for the boys of his Celtic tribes to train as formidable warriors under his command.

For Aed, it begins as a fantastical quest. For Ronan, it helps him escape a cruel chieftain. Together, they must train and grow in strength and…


Starbirth Assignment SHIFTER

By J.M. Johnson,

Book cover of Starbirth Assignment SHIFTER

This book was recommended to me by a friend and didn't appeal to me at all. However, it’s incredible. Two genres I don't usually read are sci-fi and special ops. This takes the two and binds them together in a plait of intrigue, underground government departments, humour, and special operations. By the end of the first chapter, it had me. I was blown away by this book. 

I loved the characters and the way they gelled. It is intelligent and well researched. The author's knowledge of weaponry and how Special Ops teams work is extraordinaryJohnson makes the extrasensory elements of the book believable. It pulls you into the characters' lives and makes you care about the outcome. It's witty which, lightens the tension at appropriate times and encourages you to like the characters by adding another layer to the action. One of the best books I have ever…

Starbirth Assignment SHIFTER

By J.M. Johnson,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

An illegal mind-restructuring drug threatens chaos. A black ops team searches for the source. Lock Harford is only one of two ‘Shifters’ – capable of moving through a different dimension using the power of thought and invaluable to military and intelligence organisations – at least until Starbirth appears on the streets of America and Britain.As distribution spreads across the world the results of a Starbirth pandemic are feared as criminal and insane Shifters wreak havoc. Lock and a small unit of covert operatives are given the task of finding the source of Starbirth and shutting it down, but their efforts…


Cows Can't Jump

By Philip Bowne,

Book cover of Cows Can't Jump

Winner of the Spotlight First Novel Prize. The first thing to mention is that this is a debut novel. I tend to avoid them, the writing is usually sloppy, and it takes a few books for authors to learn the craft and get a feel for their style and voice. 

That is not the case with this book. The writing is excellent. This writing is up there at bestseller standard. I didn’t find a single typo or error in the book, not something I can say for most of the top names. I found half a dozen in the last King book I read. Browne is already at the top of his game. The story is sweet, the central character is an absolute tool, but you can’t help but love him, and you want the book to end well for him. He’s a character to root for.

I sometimes smile,…

Cows Can't Jump

By Philip Bowne,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Cows Can't Jump as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

How far would you go for love?

Winner of the Spotlight First Novel prize, Philip Bowne's debut novel is an explosive coming-of-age odyssey. 18-year-old Billy is desperate to leave home. He's working the ultimate dead-end job as a grave-digger. His Grandad's engaged to a woman half his age, his Dad's become obsessed with boxing, and his Mum's certainly having an affair. Everything is changing, and Billy hates it.

Meeting the older, mysterious Eva, though, changes everything. She's passionate about Russian literature, Gary Numan, windfarms and chai tea, and Billy gambles everything for a chance to be with her. His scramble…


Bound by Fate and Blood

By Jenna O'Malley,

Book cover of Bound by Fate and Blood: Arsinoëphorus Alliance (Book 1)

This is an intelligent vampire story. Some of the phraseology is just beautiful. Ms. O'Malley takes period, setting, costume, culture, etiquette, and language into consideration, and the book's tone-setting is just stunning. 

This vampire genre lends itself to forgetting about the myth being seeped in folklore and history. It's morphed into a general excuse for writing—and I use the term in its loosest form—some of the worst sex scenes ever to come from sticky keyboards. Okay, some of them probably have some well-written sex—I've just never read one. I am delighted to report that this isn't that book. There isn't a ripped bodice in sight. It is, however, a touching love story, sensitively written. The male and female leads are likable and easy to connect with. 

I loved several things about this book. We are introduced to many different species of merna. I enjoyed reading about their various traits…

Bound by Fate and Blood

By Jenna O'Malley,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Bound by Fate and Blood as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Everything comes with a price.

Scottish merchant-for-hire Christian Sinclair longs for solid ground after traveling the Atlantic in the late 1660s under King Charles II’s banner. When he returns to London six months late, his homecoming plans did not include being captured, finding his family dead, or hearing their estate burned to the ground.

Nephtyri, the last of two full-blooded vampires, dreams of Christian’s plight and offers to avenge his murdered family. In exchange, she reveals his parents’ hidden ties to the secretive Hunters’ Guild—slayers and slavers intent on destroying her people.

If the Guild seizes Christian, they will either…


The Color of Trauma

By Hollie Smurthwaite,

Book cover of The Color of Trauma

Hollie’s debut novel is a combination of romantic suspense and paranormal with an interesting concept. The female protagonist is a memory surgeon in Chicago. She removes and keeps painful memories from her patients, which weighs on her psyche. Dean, a police officer, asks her to look at the memories of someone in a coma in an attempt to catch a serial killer. As the two become more and more entangled, their search for clues and growing romance, may make Kiera the next victim.

The paranormal aspect is intriguing, and the concept was completely unfamiliar to me. The book is not for the faint of heart because her depictions can be graphic, but if you like urban grit and sexy romance, this may be the book for you.

The Color of Trauma

By Hollie Smurthwaite,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A woman who can experience other people’s traumatic memories is coerced into helping a Chicago homicide detective catch a serial killer.

"An impressive slice of suspense fiction anchored by two fiery heroes with brio to spare." - Kirkus Reviews
". . . I was on the edge of my chair for the last thirty pages." - Windy City Reviews

Kiera is a memory surgeon. With her gift of removing and holding other’s traumatic memories, she’s helped dozens of women but hasn’t helped herself. Now Dean, a Chicago homicide detective, is asking for even more: for her to look into the…


Indemnity Only

By Sara Paretsky,

Book cover of Indemnity Only

This first book in the V.I. Warshawski series sizzles with heat, tension, danger, and even humor. In Indemnity Only readers meet V.I., the quintessential P.I. and she’s cool. She races through the mean streets of Chicago on a sometimes wild goose chase as she searches for a missing young woman. V.I. never gives up as she works to save her quarry’s life. Sara Paretsky is a wonderful writer and one of my true heroines in this genre. 

Indemnity Only

By Sara Paretsky,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Meeting an anonymous client on a sizzling summer night is asking for trouble. Especially when the client lies and tells V.I. Warshawski he's the prominent banker John Thayer, looking for his son's missing girlfriend. But V.I. soon discovers the real John Thayer's son - and he's dead.

As V.I. begins to question her mysterious client's motives, she sinks deeper into Chicago's darker side: a world of gangsters, insurance fraud and contract killings. And while she must concentrate on saving the life of someone she has never met, it becomes clear that she is in danger of losing her own.


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