65 books like The Gods of Gotham

By Lyndsay Faye,

Here are 65 books that The Gods of Gotham fans have personally recommended if you like The Gods of Gotham. 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 A Free Man of Color

Eleanor Kuhns Author Of Murder on Principle

From my list on historical mysteries with a dash of social commentary.

Why am I passionate about this?

I love the mysteriousness of the past. Learning dates or the importance of battles does not yield understanding. Skillfully written historical fiction can make a reader live history—in a twelfth-century abbey or nursing in WWI. The characters I find the most gripping are outsiders: a Black man always in danger of capture and slavery, and investigating the murders of the marginalized; a monk, once a crusader, who sees human frailties clearly; or a Victorian lady, restless under the constraints of her time, who marries beneath her. Why murder mysteries? Because, although murder is forbidden in almost every culture and every religion, we still kill each other. 

Eleanor's book list on historical mysteries with a dash of social commentary

Eleanor Kuhns Why did Eleanor love this book?

Benjamin January is a rarity in New Orleans 1830s; a free Black man. He is free because his mother is a place, the mistress of a wealthy white planter. Ben is educated and smart, but the casual racism of the times means he makes a living as a musician instead of a surgeon.

Despite his papers, he is always afraid of being kidnapped and sold into slavery, and that fear casts a shadow over his life.

When a beautiful quadroon is murdered, and no one cares, Ben’s sense of justice inspires him to investigate, despite risking his own freedom.

I love the exotic setting and reread every few years. I marvel at the way Hambly threads the mystery through this unusual culture.

By Barbara Hambly,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked A Free Man of Color as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This lush and haunting novel tells of a city steeped in decadent pleasures and of a man, proud and defiant, caught in a web of murder and betrayal.

It is 1833. In the midst of Mardi Gras, Benjamin January, a Creole physician and music teacher, is playing piano at the Salle d'Orléans when the evening's festivities are interrupted--by murder.

The ravishing Angelique Crozat, a notorious octoroon who travels in the city's finest company, has been strangled to death. With the authorities reluctant to become involved, Ben begins his own inquiry, which will take him through the seamy haunts of riverboatmen…


Book cover of The Maltese Falcon

T.R. Napper Author Of 36 Streets

From my list on broken heroes.

Why am I passionate about this?

Not only am I a cyberpunk writer, I’m officially a Doctor of Cyberpunk. My Ph.D. thesis, The Dark Century: 1946–2046, looked at hardboiled fiction, film noir, and tech-noir (AKA cyberpunk) traditions across the past, the present, and an imagined future. It was a radical break from my previous career as an aid worker, where I ran poverty alleviation programs throughout Southeast Asia. And yet, I’ve drawn on that experience in my prose, using the experience of the cultures that I lived and worked in to breathe life into the settings for my short stories and novels. 

T.R.'s book list on broken heroes

T.R. Napper Why did T.R. love this book?

Dashiell Hammett, more than any other author, created the hardboiled anti-hero. He’s also a damn fine prose writer. I re-read one of his books every year because of this, hoping perhaps to absorb his spare, elegant style. Each sentence is brutally trimmed of any excess and yet resonates with layered meaning. 

Dashiell Hammett himself was a broken hero. He fought in two World Wars for his country and yet was sent to jail by the committee for un-American activities for refusing to name names. He was a communist, who yet, as a young man, worked for the fascist, union-busting Pinkertons.

A complex, troubled individual who created dark and cynical worlds, and none more cynical than that of The Maltese Falcon. Here, we have a femme fatale, a hardboiled detective, gangsters, and conmen, all vying for the titular prize. It is a mean-streets masterpiece. 

By Dashiell Hammett,

Why should I read it?

8 authors picked The Maltese Falcon as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

One of the greatest crime novels of the 20th century.

'His name remains one of the most important and recognisable in the crime fiction genre. Hammett set the standard for much of the work that would follow' Independent

Sam Spade is hired by the fragrant Miss Wonderley to track down her sister, who has eloped with a louse called Floyd Thursby. But Miss Wonderley is in fact the beautiful and treacherous Brigid O'Shaughnessy, and when Spade's partner Miles Archer is shot while on Thursby's trail, Spade finds himself both hunter and hunted: can he track down the jewel-encrusted bird, a…


Book cover of The Cater Street Hangman

Anastasia Hastings Author Of Of Manners and Murder: A Dear Miss Hermione Mystery

From my list on dark and stormy Victorian vibes.

Why am I passionate about this?

I confess to a life-long interest in both the Victorian era and in crime, and I blame my dad for both. Dad was a Cleveland Police detective who introduced me to the Holmes stories at an early age. We read Doyle and we both enjoyed Basil Rathbone’s take on Sherlock in the old black-and-white movies. Dad also gave me my first chance to practice my detecting skills when on his days off, he’d load me into the car, buy me an ice cream cone (no doubt to keep me quiet), and take me for a cruise around the city looking for stolen cars.  

Anastasia's book list on dark and stormy Victorian vibes

Anastasia Hastings Why did Anastasia love this book?

I will admit it’s been a while since I read this, the first Charlotte and Thomas Pitt mystery.

The fact that I still remember it and include it on this list says something. The mystery is convoluted enough to keep readers interested and the story of the lead characters going against societal norms (young woman from a good family attracted to a “lowly” police inspector) is intriguing. 

Throw in the foggy atmosphere of Victorian London and you’ve got a real winner. Be aware, though, Hangman is the first of 32 Charlotte and Thomas Pitt novels.

By Anne Perry,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In the debut of the New York Times–bestselling Victorian crime series, Inspector Thomas Pitt seeks an elusive strangler among upper-class British society.

Panic and fear strike the Ellison household when one of their own falls prey to the Cater Street murderer. While Mrs. Ellison and her three daughters are out, their maid becomes the third victim of a killer who strangles young women with cheese wire, leaving their swollen-faced bodies on the dark streets of this genteel neighborhood. Inspector Pitt, assigned to the case, must break through the walls of upper-class society to get at the truth. His in-depth investigation…


Book cover of The Alienist

Emily Matchar Author Of In The Shadow Of The Greenbrier

From my list on historical fiction with mysteries.

Why am I passionate about this?

I love historical settings and detail – I love coming away from a novel feeling like I’ve also learned something about the world. But I also like lots and lots of plot and intensity. Historical fiction slash mystery novels hit the spot just right. Though my own work thus far is more on the historical fiction side, I do try to plot it like a mystery, with lots of questions, revelations, and discoveries to be made as you go along.  

Emily's book list on historical fiction with mysteries

Emily Matchar Why did Emily love this book?

I read this one in college, and it sparked my imagination for years and years. Set in 1890s New York, it combines the lowbrow pleasures of gory crime with lots of nifty historical settings and facts (the history of psychiatry! Early forensic science! Gilded Age politics!).

I read it on my bottom bunk in the dorms in about 8 hours, probably while I should have been studying. I’d love to recapture that intensity of pleasure in reading, but a job and two small children make it tricky. 

By Caleb Carr,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The internationally bestselling historical thriller, now a major Netflix series starring Luke Evans, Dakota Fanning and Daniel Bruhl.

Some things never change.

New York City, 1896. Hypocrisy in high places is rife, police corruption commonplace, and a brutal killer is terrorising young male prostitutes.

Unfortunately for Police Commissioner Theodore Roosevelt, the psychological profiling of murderers is a practice still in its infancy, struggling to make headway against the prejudices of those who prefer the mentally ill - and the 'alienists' who treat them - to be out of sight as well as out of mind.

But as the body count…


Book cover of A Gambling Man

Delvin Chatterson Author Of No Easy Money

From my list on where the action hero is everyone.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have always been a storyteller and I’m fascinated by the use of language and how a story can be told well. I’ve used storytelling as an entrepreneur, executive, and management consultant, and my two business books for enlightened entrepreneurship use real-life stories to make the messages and lessons learned more memorable. Fictional versions of those stories were wandering through my imagination to make them more fun to read (and to write) for about fifteen years before they emerged in the Dale Hunter crime thriller series to show that entrepreneurs are not all evil, selfish monsters; sometimes they’re the hero!     

Delvin's book list on where the action hero is everyone

Delvin Chatterson Why did Delvin love this book?

A retro pulp-fiction novel from one of the world’s best-selling authors, David Baldacci.

A Gambling Man is the second intriguing story in Baldacci’s Archer Series about a former WWII veteran working as a private detective. Archer is joined en route to Los Angeles by a beautiful young lady with ambitions in Hollywood who leads them into dangerous territory with murderous gangsters and politicians trying to improve the odds in their favour.

Baldacci’s Archer Series is modeled on the early detective stories of authors like Raymond Chandler and Mickey Spillane. He creates a tough guy detective in the style of the early masters while making Archer more appealing to modern readers – less macho and more respectful of the independent women joining his fight to stop the death and destruction. 

By David Baldacci,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Aloysius Archer, the straight-talking World War II veteran fresh out of prison, returns in this riveting #1 New York Times bestselling thriller from David Baldacci.

The 1950s are on the horizon, and Archer is in dire need of a fresh start after a nearly fatal detour in Poca City. So Archer hops on a bus and begins the long journey out west to California, where rumor has it there is money to be made if you’re hard-working, lucky, criminal—or all three.
 
Along the way, Archer stops in Reno, where a stroke of fortune delivers him a wad of cash and…


Book cover of The Deadly Mystery of the Missing Diamonds

Matt Cost Author Of Velma Gone Awry: A Brooklyn 8 Ballo Mystery

From my list on where history and mystery merge.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a former history major and teacher who has always loved to read histories and mysteries and then went on to write them as well. I have two mystery series of four books each (so far), the Mainely Mystery and Clay Wolfe/Port Essex series. I’ve also written three historical fiction books about the diverse topics of Fidel Castro and the Cuban Revolution, Joshua Chamberlain and the Civil War, and New Orleans during Reconstruction. I’ve decided to combine my passion for histories and mysteries into a historical PI mystery set in 1923 Brooklyn, Velma Gone Awry

Matt's book list on where history and mystery merge

Matt Cost Why did Matt love this book?

This is a fun-filled mystery set in 1920s London. Cozies are not usually my thing, but I recently gave this a go as I am also writing a series in that exact time period and thought I’d see how Kinsey set about it. The historical beautifully captures the exuberance of the time period after World War I. Women have emerged from behind closed doors to interact on equal status as men, jazz music parades the pages with wild abandon, and the slang of the characters is spot on. The twists, turns, and action are blended in with the rich description to make this a delightful read.  

By T E Kinsey,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Deadly Mystery of the Missing Diamonds as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Missing diamonds. Mysterious deaths. And all that jazz.

London, 1925. With their band the Dizzy Heights, jazz musicians Ivor 'Skins' Maloney and Bartholomew 'Barty' Dunn are used to improvising as they play the Charleston for flappers and toffs, but things are about to take a surprising turn.

Superintendent Sunderland has had word that a deserter who stole a fortune in diamonds as he fled the war is a member of the Aristippus private members' club in Mayfair-where the Dizzy Heights have a residency. And the thief is planning to steal a hoard of jewels hidden there under the cover of…


Book cover of A Duty to the Dead

Eleanor Kuhns Author Of Murder on Principle

From my list on historical mysteries with a dash of social commentary.

Why am I passionate about this?

I love the mysteriousness of the past. Learning dates or the importance of battles does not yield understanding. Skillfully written historical fiction can make a reader live history—in a twelfth-century abbey or nursing in WWI. The characters I find the most gripping are outsiders: a Black man always in danger of capture and slavery, and investigating the murders of the marginalized; a monk, once a crusader, who sees human frailties clearly; or a Victorian lady, restless under the constraints of her time, who marries beneath her. Why murder mysteries? Because, although murder is forbidden in almost every culture and every religion, we still kill each other. 

Eleanor's book list on historical mysteries with a dash of social commentary

Eleanor Kuhns Why did Eleanor love this book?

Bess Crawford is a nurse during WWI. While tending a wounded soldier, she promises him she’ll deliver a message to his brother back in England. Several months later, wounded herself and on leave, Bess takes a trip to the soldier’s village. But his brother is indifferent to the message and in fact seems indifferent to his brother’s death. Bess realizes she’s stepped into a hornet’s nest of old secrets. The setting is so well described I felt like I was there, in the middle of World War I and in danger from the secrets someone will kill to protect. I finished it in two sittings, unable to sleep until I knew what happened.

By Charles Todd,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked A Duty to the Dead as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

“Another winner....Todd again excels at vivid atmosphere and the effects of war in this specific time and place. Grade: A.”
—Cleveland Plain Dealer

 

“Readers who can’t get enough of Maisie Dobbs, the intrepid World War I battlefield nurse in Jacqueline Winspear’s novels…are bound to be caught up in the adventures of Bess Crawford.”
—New York Times Book Review

 

Charles Todd, author of the resoundingly acclaimed Ian Rutledge crime novels (“One of the best historical series being written today” —Washington Post Book World) debuts an exceptional new protagonist, World War I nurse Bess Crawford, in A Duty to the Dead. A…


Book cover of The Pilgrim of Hate

Eleanor Kuhns Author Of Murder on Principle

From my list on historical mysteries with a dash of social commentary.

Why am I passionate about this?

I love the mysteriousness of the past. Learning dates or the importance of battles does not yield understanding. Skillfully written historical fiction can make a reader live history—in a twelfth-century abbey or nursing in WWI. The characters I find the most gripping are outsiders: a Black man always in danger of capture and slavery, and investigating the murders of the marginalized; a monk, once a crusader, who sees human frailties clearly; or a Victorian lady, restless under the constraints of her time, who marries beneath her. Why murder mysteries? Because, although murder is forbidden in almost every culture and every religion, we still kill each other. 

Eleanor's book list on historical mysteries with a dash of social commentary

Eleanor Kuhns Why did Eleanor love this book?

Several bands of pilgrims descend on the abbey where Cadfael is a monk in twelfth-century England. Among them is the widow Dame Alice Weaver with her crippled nephew Rhun and his sister. Two young men, Ciaran and Matthew, arrive with them. Ciaran is under a vow to walk to Wales, barefoot and with a heavy iron cross around his neck, in penance for an impulsive killing. Matthew has vowed to accompany Ciaran to the end. A theft implicates both Ciaran and Matthew, one of whom is a thief in disguise. I love the way Peters’ plot turns on Christianity as it was practiced then, and the way the pious, suffering from hate and jealousy as well as love, rationalize the ideals of their religion to their own advantage.

By Ellis Peters,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In the year of our Lord 1141, civil war over England's throne leaves a legacy of violence- and the murder of a knight dear to Brother Cadfael. And with gentle budstrewn May, a flood of pilgrims comes to the celebration of Saint Winifred at the Abbey of Saint Peter and Saint Paul, carrying with it many strange souls and perhaps the knight's killer. Brother Cadfael's shrewd eyes see all: the prosperous merchant who rings false, and angelic lame boy, his beautiful dowess sister, and two wealthy penitents. In the name of justice, Cadfael decides to uncover the strange and twisted…


Book cover of Ask Again, Yes

Emma Robinson Author Of Please Take My Baby

From my list on family dramas to make you cry.

Why am I passionate about this?

Researching the storylines for my family drama novels gives me the opportunity to speak to many different people about huge events and dilemmas in their families and lives. Through their honesty and generosity, I have gained a huge respect for the way in which people can cope with tragedy and also a fascination with how they deal with it. For me, reading – and writing – about these topics is immensely cathartic and makes me remember to grasp life with both hands. I’m a sucker for a happy ending, though, so I always look for the hope at the end of any story.

Emma's book list on family dramas to make you cry

Emma Robinson Why did Emma love this book?

Ask Again, Yes is a drama about two generations of two families and the tragedy within the book centres on the events of one fateful day.

Mary Beth Keane’s prose is a real pleasure to read and the story itself brings home how often lives are changed irrevocably in a moment. What I also loved about this book was that it takes the central characters from childhood to adulthood and we see how this makes them view events differently.

It’s one of the reasons I enjoy books with multiple narrators – being able to see the way they can justify their own decisions while judging the actions of others. A terrific read.

By Mary Beth Keane,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The triumphant New York Times Bestseller *The Tonight Show Summer Reads Pick*

Named one of the Best Books of the Year by People, Vogue, Parade, NPR, and Elle

"A gem of a book." —Taylor Jenkins Reid, author of The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo

How much can a family forgive?

Francis Gleeson and Brian Stanhope, rookie NYPD cops, are neighbors in the suburbs. What happens behind closed doors in both houses—the loneliness of Francis’s wife, Lena, and the instability of Brian’s wife, Anne, sets the stage for the explosive events to come.

In Mary Beth Keane's extraordinary novel, a lifelong…


Book cover of Teacher Man: A Memoir

Jennifer Nelson Author Of Teaching with Heart: Lessons Learned in a Classroom

From my list on becoming a great teacher.

Why am I passionate about this?

For almost 20 years, I worked in public and private schools, first teaching with the Peace Corps in Niger and finally in a public high school in New Jersey. For a while, I didn’t feel I knew how to teach. I struggled to reach American teens. I thought they had attitude—and were nasty and lazy. I didn’t want to be in the classroom. But then matters turned around and I began to see how I could make a difference in their lives, enjoying the time I spent with them, and shaping them into decent, hardworking types. And, in the process, they all learned some French—and respected me.

Jennifer's book list on becoming a great teacher

Jennifer Nelson Why did Jennifer love this book?

A memoir by a high school teacher in New York, who explains how he learned how to work with disillusioned teenagers and make them care about learning.

He brings up what is going on in his personal life, adding an extra dimension to the story. I appreciated his struggles and honesty about what it takes to lead in a classroom, where not everyone is motivated to succeed.

Kudos to this author who made me see how it’s not always easy or fun to teach, but that it’s always worthwhile. He gave me the courage to stick to teaching even when sometimes I wanted to quit. 

By Frank McCourt,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Nearly a decade ago Frank McCourt became an unlikely star when, at the age of sixty-six, he burst onto the literary scene with Angela's Ashes, the Pulitzer Prize -- winning memoir of his childhood in Limerick, Ireland. Then came 'Tis, his glorious account of his early years in New York.

Now, here at last, is McCourt's long-awaited book about how his thirty-year teaching career shaped his second act as a writer. Teacher Man is also an urgent tribute to teachers everywhere. In bold and spirited prose featuring his irreverent wit and heartbreaking honesty, McCourt records the trials, triumphs and surprises…


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