52 books like The Hollow

By Agatha Christie,

Here are 52 books that The Hollow fans have personally recommended if you like The Hollow. 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 The Westing Game

Kate Michaelson Author Of Hidden Rooms

From my list on ill or disabled sleuths.

Why am I passionate about this?

I know all too well that finding a diagnosis and treating a chronic health condition can be like unraveling a mystery—maybe that’s why characters dealing with these issues make natural detectives. As a mystery writer with chronic illness, I love reading about sleuths who embody the difficulties of living with health challenges yet show the tremendous capacity we still have to contribute. Many of the sleuths on this list are confined to their homes and unable to work, so solving a mystery not only adds suspense. It gives us the satisfaction of seeing these characters find their way back into the world and rediscover their sense of purpose.

Kate's book list on ill or disabled sleuths

Kate Michaelson Why did Kate love this book?

One of my favorite characters in this middle-grade mystery has always been Chris Theodorakis, the teen boy with an unnamed neurological condition that confines him to a wheelchair and, for the most part, to his house.

Even if he can’t leave home—and even if people often look away from him when he does—Chris plays a key role in solving the mystery at the heart of the book by being a keen observer of everything that passes in front of his window. I love how this novel depicts Chris’s inner world to young readers, including his awareness of how his condition affects others’ perceptions.

More importantly, it shows how much people with disabilities and illnesses still have to offer. 

By Ellen Raskin,

Why should I read it?

11 authors picked The Westing Game as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 10, 11, 12, and 13.

What is this book about?

A Newbery Medal Winner

"A supersharp mystery...confoundingly clever, and very funny." —Booklist, starred review

 

A bizarre chain of events begins when sixteen unlikely people gather for the reading of Samuel W. Westing’s will. And though no one knows why the eccentric, game-loving millionaire has chosen a virtual stranger—and a possible murderer—to inherit his vast fortune, on things for sure: Sam Westing may be dead…but that won’t stop him from playing one last game!

Winner of the Newbery Medal
Winner of the Boston Globe/Horn Book Award
An ALA Notable Book
 

 

"Great fun for those who enjoy illusion, word play, or sleight…


Book cover of A Scanner Darkly

Colm O'Shea Author Of Claiming de Wayke

From my list on books with a gritty psychedelic worldview.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a poet, short story writer, novelist, essayist, and writing professor at New York University. I also have a fascination with altered states of consciousness, especially with mysticism, psychosis, and psychedelic art. (My book James Joyce’s Mandala examines all three.) My first novel, Claiming De Wayke, delves into those elements too, but with a particular focus on vivid first-person narration, so most of my recommendations involve books that are not only trippy in terms of plot and characterization but are also psychedelically inflected in their use of language itself. I hope you check some of them out.  

Colm's book list on books with a gritty psychedelic worldview

Colm O'Shea Why did Colm love this book?

Many could argue that picking the most mind-bending Philip K. Dick book is an impossible task. His imagination spawned some of the best science fiction books of his era, which inspired several groundbreaking films (Bladerunner, Total Recall, Minority Report, etc.) I agree: it’s impossible to pick one.

But I love this book because it explores an intriguing idea from drug-induced psychosis—that of cross-chatter, or the notion that the brain’s two hemispheres can keep secrets from each other. The story follows the hapless Bob Arctor, an undercover narcotics agent trying to spy on himself and his junkie friends who are addicted to the mysterious Substance D. 

Dick conjures a mesmeric psychedelic tale, at turns hilarious, unnerving, and a poignant farewell to real-life addict friends who died too soon.  

By Philip K. Dick,

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked A Scanner Darkly as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A brilliant sci-fi novel from one of the last century's most influential pop culture figures

Substance D - otherwise known as Death - is the most dangerous drug ever to find its way on to the black market. It destroys the links between the brain's two hemispheres, leading first to disorentation and then to complete and irreversible brain damage. Bob Arctor, undercover narcotics agent, is trying to find a lead to the source of supply, but to pass as an addict he must become a user, and soon, without knowing what is happening to him, he is as dependent as…


Book cover of The Last Good Kiss

Ash Bishop Author Of The Horoscope Writer

From my list on mysteries where the detective is in way over their head.

Why am I passionate about this?

Writing a mystery novel is no small task. You have to craft a clever plot, stay true to your characters, and bewilder, but ultimately satisfy, your readers, all the while not mixing up your theirs and your there’s. Maybe that’s why we writers like to saddle our heroes with even heavier burdens, forcing them to sort through complex webs of deceit, and fight against deeply rooted cultures full of corruption. When they win, we share their victories… even more so because it means we’ve finished writing the darn book! Enjoy this list of detectives facing long odds, and let it inspire you in whatever creative endeavors are closest to your heart.    

Ash's book list on mysteries where the detective is in way over their head

Ash Bishop Why did Ash love this book?

Detective CW Sughrue was working the topless bar scene well before Jack Reacher wandered across the literary landscape. But unlike Reacher, Sughrue carries the sins of mankind on his own shoulders, just as likely to solve a crime as to curl up in a cheap motel with a bottle of whisky. 

He begins the book looking for a trouble author (is there any other kind?), but once he finds him, things get really messy…

The first time I saw a Coen Brothers’ movie I felt like I was already familiar with their style. It’s probably because I had already read Crumley’s novels with their existential sadness and brutal violence just-barely-buoyed by clever plotting and pitch-black humor.

By James Crumley,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

'As sweetly profane a poet as American noir could have asked for' Ian Rankin

'A friggin' masterpiece' Dennis Lehane

'The stunner that reinvigorated the genre and jacked up a generation of future crime novelists' George Pelecanos

Meet Private Detective C. W. Sughrue.

Private detectives are supposed to find missing persons and solve crimes. But more often than not Sughrue is the one committing the crimes - everything from grand theft auto to criminal stupidity. All washed down with a hearty dose of whiskey and regret.

At the end of a three-week hunt for a runaway bestselling author, Sughrue winds up…


Book cover of The Spanish Diplomat's Secret

Nev March Author Of The Spanish Diplomat's Secret

New book alert!

Why am I passionate about this?

Author History lover Scriptwriter Reader Nature lover

Nev's 3 favorite reads in 2023

What is my book about?

An entertaining mystery on a 1894 trans-Atlantic steamship with an varied array of suspects, and a detective who must solve his case in six days to prevent international conflict.

Retired from the British Indian army, Captain Jim is taking his wife Diana to Liverpool from New York, when their pleasant cruise turns deadly. Just hours after meeting him, a foreign diplomat is brutally murdered onboard their ship. Captain Jim must find the killer before they dock in six days, or there could be war! Aboard the beleaguered luxury liner are a thousand suspects, but no witnesses to the locked-cabin crime.

Fortunately, his wife Diana knows her way around first-class accommodations and Gilded Age society. But something has been troubling her, too, something she won’t tell him. Together, using tricks gleaned from their favorite fictional sleuth, Sherlock Holmes, Captain Jim, and Diana must learn why one man’s life came to a murderous end.

By Nev March,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In The Spanish Diplomat's Secret, award-winning author Nev March explores the vivid nineteenth-century world of the transatlantic voyage, one passenger’s secret at a time.

Captain Jim Agnihotri and his wife Lady Diana Framji are embarking to England in the summer of 1894. Jim is hopeful the cruise will help Diana open up to him. Something is troubling her, and Jim is concerned.

On their first evening, Jim meets an intriguing Spaniard, a fellow soldier with whom he finds an instant kinship. But within twenty-four hours, Don Juan Nepomuceno is murdered, his body discovered shortly after he asks rather urgently to…


Book cover of Cosi Fan Tutti

Ash Bishop Author Of The Horoscope Writer

From my list on mysteries where the detective is in way over their head.

Why am I passionate about this?

Writing a mystery novel is no small task. You have to craft a clever plot, stay true to your characters, and bewilder, but ultimately satisfy, your readers, all the while not mixing up your theirs and your there’s. Maybe that’s why we writers like to saddle our heroes with even heavier burdens, forcing them to sort through complex webs of deceit, and fight against deeply rooted cultures full of corruption. When they win, we share their victories… even more so because it means we’ve finished writing the darn book! Enjoy this list of detectives facing long odds, and let it inspire you in whatever creative endeavors are closest to your heart.    

Ash's book list on mysteries where the detective is in way over their head

Ash Bishop Why did Ash love this book?

I love when authors mix genres. Dibdin’s Cosi Fan Tutti is a combination of mystery and a Mozart opera! 

Combining the farcical elements of corruption, romantic longing, and mistaken identity, Dibdin pulls us through the beautiful streets of Naples, Italy, where everyone is thoughtful and earnest, and still, somehow, nothing like they appear. 

His detective Aurelio Zen is supposed to be keeping the peace, but he’s not up for the job, much more interested in untying romantic entanglements and enjoying the countryside. A solid plan until the Italian sanitation department decides they’re going to clean up the streets for him.

Lighthearted and breezy but with a genuine emotional core, you’ll get through Cosi Fan Tutte in a single sitting and be happier for it. 

By Michael Dibdin,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

At this point there is a welcome touch of comedy as the man's feet appear above the tail-gate of the garbage truck. Clad in highly polished brogues and red-and-black chequered socks below which a length of bare white leg is just visible, they proceed to execute a furious little dance, jerking this way and that like puppets at a Punch and Judy show - possibly a knowing allusion to the commedia dell'arte, which of course originated in this city.

Inspector Zen has been posted to Naples in disgrace, where he is asked to oversee the clean-up of the city's corrupt…


Book cover of Lying in Wait

Casey Kelleher Author Of The Missing Mother

From my list on twisted tension psychological thrillers.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am Casey Kelleher, a crime writer and author of 17 novels. I have always been a complete and utter bookworm, but my true passion is crime and psych thrillers. Most of my stories concentrate on the victim–or, as I prefer to call them, the survivor. That’s who I champion in my stories, highlighting the strength of that person who has overcome whatever harsh reality that’s been forced upon them. But I also like to get inside the perpetrator’s head. I want to know the ‘whys’ of what they do. Psychology is very complex, but I do believe that there can be good and bad/darkness and light in all of us. 

Casey's book list on twisted tension psychological thrillers

Casey Kelleher Why did Casey love this book?

I loved this book because it caught me completely off guard with just how dark and twisted it turned out to be. The twist was shocking and unexpected, and the characters' motives and the depths of depravity they went to to get what they wanted were just mind-blowing.

Liz Nugent is a master at these types of psych thrillers, and I am such a huge fan. 

By Liz Nugent,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

From the #1 internationally bestselling author of Strange Sally Diamond and Unraveling Oliver—a brilliantly plotted, utterly immersive novel lauded by A.J. Finn—#1 New York Times bestselling author of The Woman in the Window—as “extraordinary…crackles and snaps like a bonfire on a winter’s night.”

My husband did not mean to kill Annie Doyle, but the lying tramp deserved it.

On the surface, Lydia Fitzsimons's life seems idyllic. Her husband, Andrew, is a prosperous, respected judge; they live in the spacious, comfortable, well-appointed house where she was raised. And she is utterly, obsessively devoted to her son, Laurence—her adored only child, her…


Book cover of Ivory's Story

Susie Williamson Author Of Return of the Mantra

From my list on SFF stories with complex heroines.

Why am I passionate about this?

I adore the SFF genre for its scope of limitless creativity. In particular, I look to both read and write books that incorporate contemporary issues, represent marginalised sections of society, challenge stereotypes, and generally make you think – themes that don’t shy away from tough topics, while interspersed in plenty of colour. In my own epic fantasy series, Blood Gift Chronicles, themes include wildlife and the environment, social justice and marginalisation, magic, animism, and dragons. I have a definite soft spot for complex women and girl protagonists and am excited by the range of voices coming through in the genre. I hope you enjoy my recommendations as much as I have.

Susie's book list on SFF stories with complex heroines

Susie Williamson Why did Susie love this book?

Ivory Tembo is a wonderfully dynamic character, brought to life with sensitivity and fascinating insight. The story is set in modern-day Sydney where a killer stalks the night, with Ivory Tembo the officer investigating the brutal murders. Extraordinary character development unfolds in just a few pages, from Ivory’s fractured youth growing up in foster care, to an emotionally vulnerable young woman, to her present-day tough, determined persona that serves her well as a detective. Forced to delve into her heritage, she is supported by a vibrant cast who bring folktale to life. With the help of a medicine woman, the mystery ventures into the supernatural, taking Ivory on an instinctive journey to unify two worlds.

By Eugen Bacon,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Long ago, a good man transgressed and was brutally punished, his physical form killed and his soul split asunder. Now, one half of his ancient soul seeks to reunite with its lost twin, a search that leaves murder in its wake...


In the streets of modern day Sydney a killer stalks the night, slaughtering innocents, leaving bodies mutilated. The victims seem unconnected, yet Investigating Officer Ivory Tembo is convinced the killings are anything but random. The case soon leads Ivory into places she never imagined. In order to stop the killings and save the life of the man she loves,…


Book cover of City of Vengeance

Adele Jordan Author Of The Gentlewoman Spy

From my list on exciting adventure in the Renaissance.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a ghostwriter, I’m asked to turn my hand to many genres. Yet the one I keep returning to is Renaissance Adventure. Having always been a fan of adventure, in films, TV, or books, for my English Degree at Exeter University, I dedicated my dissertation to the genre, and the fascination shows no sign of fading. I love all these books, but there is one difference between these and my series. That is the heroes here are all men. Bring on more adventure in this era with women! I hope you enjoy the books on this list – they are a fantastic way to spend your evenings with your pulse racing.

Adele's book list on exciting adventure in the Renaissance

Adele Jordan Why did Adele love this book?

I recently had the pleasure of meeting D V Bishop at CrimeFest in Bristol, and his passion for his stories truly comes through in person.

After picking it up for a friend whose favorite place in the world is Florence, where the book is set, I couldn’t resist reading it myself, and oh, I am glad I did. Three books into the series, and it’s hard to put down. Cesare Aldo is a hero that is mysterious and resilient – a man trying to hide his sexuality in a world where it’s a crime – as he investigates murders in Renaissance Florence.

Like Samson, Bishop masters drawing the reader into becoming attached to the hero, with the book unputdownable. 

By D. V. Bishop,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Shortlisted for the 2021 Wilbur Smith Adventure Writing Prize and longlisted for the CWA Gold Dagger 2021.

City of Vengeance is an explosive debut novel in an historical thriller series by D. V. Bishop, set in Renaissance Florence.

'An impressive and immersive debut set in a beautifully realized sixteenth-century Florence' - Antonia Hodgson

'A first-class historical thriller . . . Bishop's spirited and richly detailed story is a tour-de-force' - David Baldacci

Florence. Winter, 1536. A prominent Jewish moneylender is murdered in his home, a death with wide implications in a city powered by immense wealth.

Cesare Aldo, a former…


Book cover of The Return of Faraz Ali

Ravinder Randhawa Author Of The Coral Strand

From my list on by writers of colour.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve always loved books and reading, so it’s no surprise I’m an author and blogger. However, feeling strongly about justice and truth, I’ve also been active in the feminist and anti-racist movements. Additionally, I founded The Asian Women Writers Workshop (later known as the Asian Women Writers Collective), whose work has been archived by South Asian Diaspora Arts Archive (SADAA). I’ve been a Royal Literary Fund Fellow at several British universities and am a member of PEN International. As a writer of colour (South-Asian heritage), I'm intrigued by the work of diverse writers, their interpretation and focus.  

Ravinder's book list on by writers of colour

Ravinder Randhawa Why did Ravinder love this book?

A brilliant novel with more than one mystery at its heart, with more than one truth about human emotions. Beautifully written, unflinching in its depiction of corruption and cruelty; lyrical in its evocation of loss and longing, love and survival. Faraz Ali, a young Pakistani police officer is sent to Shahi Mohalla, the red-light district of Lahore, where a girl has been murdered: not to solve the crime, but to cover it up. However, Faraz Ali has his own tormented history with the Mohalla. And, unknown to him his dimly remembered sister, the beautiful and fiery Rozina, is facing the stark prospect of her own return. A fantastic read, the characters staying in the mind long after the book has been closed.

By Aamina Ahmad,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

NAMED A BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR BY THE NEW YORK TIMES AND NPR

“Stunning not only on account of the author’s talent, of which there is clearly plenty, but also in its humanity.” —New York Times Book Review (cover)

Sent back to his birthplace—Lahore’s notorious red-light district—to hush up the murder of a girl, a man finds himself in an unexpected reckoning with his past.

Not since childhood has Faraz returned to the Mohalla, in Lahore’s walled inner city, where women continue to pass down the art of courtesan from mother to daughter. But he still remembers the day…


Book cover of Cross Justice

Elizabeth Revill Author Of Killing Me Softly

From my list on thrillers and mysteries from new and great authors.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a child I would invent stories to entertain my cousins but at school I developed a passion for thrillers, devouring every Agatha Christie novel I could get my hands on and delighted in discovering new authors to satisfy my appetite. However, after my encounter with a man on a train, who went on to become a serial killer and after suffering a few other attacks, I crafted a novel using my experiences and melded fact with fiction to create my first psychological thriller, Killing Me Softly. It was extremely cathartic and now is a series of six, with another on the way. I’ve written eighteen books and even my historical novels are thrillers.

Elizabeth's book list on thrillers and mysteries from new and great authors

Elizabeth Revill Why did Elizabeth love this book?

I love James Patterson books, particularly his Alex Cross series, and I confess I have gorged on them this summer. I appreciate the remarkably short chapters, making it easy to pick up and put down if interrupted. This one is particularly interesting as we learn more about the family and their relationship dynamics. The fact his relative is accused of murder in what appears to be a slam dunk case, Cross is not satisfied. After a plea from his lawyer niece, Cross goes to investigate. Going back to his roots in his hometown dredges up good and bad memories for him and Nana-Mama. Readers who like suspense and a complicated mystery will enjoy this story. Investigations are fraught with danger for the whole family and Cross is a man who protects his family. This is not a typical whodunnit. The case is solved but not in the way one might…

By James Patterson,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

For Alex Cross, the toughest cases hit close to home-and in this deadly thrill ride, he's trying to solve the most personal mystery of his life.
When his cousin is accused of a heinous crime, Alex Cross returns to his North Carolina hometown for the first time in over three decades. As he tries to prove his cousin's innocence in a town where everyone seems to be on the take, Cross unearths a family secret that forces him to question everything he's ever known.
Chasing a ghost he believed was long dead, Cross gets pulled into a case that has…


Book cover of Blue Labyrinth

J.M. Adams Author Of Second Term

From my list on fearless female warriors.

Why am I passionate about this?

Female warriors add more depth to the action/thriller genre and make any character infinitely more interesting. I’ve read and watched enough Jacks, Johns, and Jakes to last a lifetime and I want some Janes in my reading life. I’ve been an avid reader for more than 40 years and always felt that there was a blank space when it comes to female protagonists. Many of my favorite female characters were relegated to supporting roles including some on my list, but when I find a great female character I end up reading her again and again. And if you haven’t seen it yet, watch Lioness on Amazon, it will leave you breathless! 

J.M.'s book list on fearless female warriors

J.M. Adams Why did J.M. love this book?

When it comes to Constance Greene, I hardly know where to begin.

She’s certainly the oldest and most deadly character in fiction writing today. I say she’s the oldest because she’s trapped in the body of a thirty-something-year-old woman even though she was born in 1873, long story.

She appears as a supporting character in multiple novels, as the love interest of Detective Aloysius Pendergast, but she is so much more than that. She’s eloquent, brilliant, and does not succumb to emotional distress under any threat of death.

In Blue Labyrinth, eight highly trained mercenaries pursue her and none of them live to tell the tale. At her most ruthless, she can kill with any tool at her disposal and she is loyal to the man she loves.

By Douglas Preston, Lincoln Child,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?


When a longtime enemy shows up dead on Pendergast's doorstep, the murder investigation leads him into his own dark past as a vengeful killer waits in the shadows.

It begins with murder. One of Pendergast's most implacable, most feared enemies is found on his doorstep, dead. Pendergast has no idea who is responsible for the killing, or why the body was brought to his home. The mystery has all the hallmarks of the perfect crime, save for an enigmatic clue: a piece of turquoise lodged in the stomach of the deceased.

The gem leads Pendergast to an abandoned mine on…


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