100 books like The Labyrinth of Osiris

By Paul Sussman,

Here are 100 books that The Labyrinth of Osiris fans have personally recommended if you like The Labyrinth of Osiris. 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 Thunderhead

M. S. Spencer Author Of Hidden Gem: The Secret of St. Augustine

From my list on treasure hunts.

Why am I passionate about this?

For much too long a perennial student, I hold degrees in Anthropology, Arabic Studies, and Library Science. I’ve studied nine languages and lived or traveled on five of the seven continents. I do not hunt tangible treasure—gold or jewels or sunken ships; I hunt knowledge. My love for rooting out treasure troves of information began with my first job. I held passes to the Library of Congress stacks, where I tracked down sources on Ethiopian history. After months of unearthing mostly obscure references, I came upon the mother lode—the great explorers’ accounts. It was like finding a chest of doubloons. I was hooked on the treasure of the mind.

M.S.'s book list on treasure hunts

M. S. Spencer Why did M.S. love this book?

Nora Kelly, assistant professor at the Santa Fe Archaeological Institute, assembles an expedition to find the lost city of Quivira—Coronado’s City of Gold. Their footsteps are dogged by a pair of murderous, pelt-covered creatures. After unimaginable horrors, they at last discover the pueblo city and its treasure—but in an ironic twist, it isn’t gold at all.

I recommend every single one of Preston and Child’s thrillers. Superbly written and, though fantastic, they never lack a good grounding in science. Thunderhead is particularly alluring to me because of the descriptions of the sere landscape of the slot canyons and high desert of southwest Utah.

By Douglas Preston, Lincoln Child,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

On a visit to her family's abandoned Santa Fe ranch, archaeologist Nora Kelly discovers an old letter, written from her father to her mother, now both dead. What perplexes Nora is the fact that the faded envelope was mailed and postmarked only a few weeks earlier.
Her father had vanished into the remote canyon country of Utah 16 years before, searching for Quivira, the fabled Lost City of Gold, whose legend has captivated explorers since the days of Coronado. Upon reading the letter, Nora learns that her father believed he had, in fact, located the lost city. But what happened…


Book cover of The Sign of Four

Jonathan Whitelaw Author Of The Bingo Hall Detectives

From my list on sleuths who aren't cops.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve always been besotted with crime fiction. As a journalist in Scotland, I got to experience real-life crime on a daily basis. And the world of cozy crime fiction became a very valuable, indispensable escape for me. So, when it came to coming up with my characters for The Bingo Hall Detectives, I knew that I had to create a cast, a setting, a mystery even, that would take me out of the relentlessness of the real world and into the confines of a bloody good read. And I’m so glad I did. The Bingo Hall Detectives series is very dear to me and I’m very lucky to be able to bring it to readers. 

Jonathan's book list on sleuths who aren't cops

Jonathan Whitelaw Why did Jonathan love this book?

I know it’s a bit of a cheat to have Sherlock Holmes here as he’s one of, if not the most famous detective in all of fiction.

However, he’s not an official cop so I’m claiming him for my list.

I remember being gifted a complete works of ACD when I was around 14 for a birthday. And I absolutely adored it from the off.

Like so many other crime and mystery writers, the Sherlock Holmes stories have been a constant, a mainstay throughout my career.

The Sign of Four is the second adventure with Holmes and Watson. And I recently re-read it for the Bloody Scotland Book Club.

It’s remarkable how well it’s aged, despite being over 100 years old. The tropes, style, and attention to forensic detail that ACD shows off are still used in crime fiction today. A truly wonderful masterpiece. 

By Arthur Conan Doyle,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

As a dense yellow fog swirls through the streets of London, a deep melancholy has descended on Sherlock Holmes, who sits in a cocaine-induced haze at 221B Baker Street. His mood is only lifted by a visit from a beautiful but distressed young woman - Mary Morstan, whose father vanished ten years before. Four years later she began to receive an exquisite gift every year: a large, lustrous pearl. Now she has had an intriguing invitation to meet her unknown benefactor and urges Holmes and Watson to accompany her. And in the ensuing investigation - which involves a wronged woman,…


Book cover of Map of Bones

M. S. Spencer Author Of Hidden Gem: The Secret of St. Augustine

From my list on treasure hunts.

Why am I passionate about this?

For much too long a perennial student, I hold degrees in Anthropology, Arabic Studies, and Library Science. I’ve studied nine languages and lived or traveled on five of the seven continents. I do not hunt tangible treasure—gold or jewels or sunken ships; I hunt knowledge. My love for rooting out treasure troves of information began with my first job. I held passes to the Library of Congress stacks, where I tracked down sources on Ethiopian history. After months of unearthing mostly obscure references, I came upon the mother lode—the great explorers’ accounts. It was like finding a chest of doubloons. I was hooked on the treasure of the mind.

M.S.'s book list on treasure hunts

M. S. Spencer Why did M.S. love this book?

Not all treasure is gold—in Map of Bones, one of Rollins’ many excellent novels, it is bones. Ancient bones. In the aftermath of a horrific crime, the bones of the Three Magi are stolen from a German cathedral. A Vatican investigator and an American covert operative chase the thieves—an ancient cult of assassins—across two continents to recover the relics. Map of Bones is especially appealing to me, being a sucker for historic or exotic settings with which I’m familiar. Rollins’ books are all page-turners, fast-paced and compelling, and the Sigma Force series is perfect for those of us who love heroes who can extricate themselves from any predicament. I like my hero complex, yes. Sexy, yes. But above all, really, really good at what he does. 

By James Rollins,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

When a group of parishioners is burned to death in a German cathedral, the US sends in Sigma force. For this tragedy is more than a case of arson - someone has stolen the priceless treasure stored in the cathedral's golden reliquary: the bones of the biblical Three Kings. Commander Gray Pierce leads a team on the hunt for the Royal Dragon Court, a clandestine aristocratic fraternity of alchemists that dates back to the Middle Ages and seeks to establish a new world order using the mystical bones. Pierce and his team follow a trail that leads from Europe's Gothic…


Book cover of The Secret: a Treasure Hunt

M. S. Spencer Author Of Hidden Gem: The Secret of St. Augustine

From my list on treasure hunts.

Why am I passionate about this?

For much too long a perennial student, I hold degrees in Anthropology, Arabic Studies, and Library Science. I’ve studied nine languages and lived or traveled on five of the seven continents. I do not hunt tangible treasure—gold or jewels or sunken ships; I hunt knowledge. My love for rooting out treasure troves of information began with my first job. I held passes to the Library of Congress stacks, where I tracked down sources on Ethiopian history. After months of unearthing mostly obscure references, I came upon the mother lode—the great explorers’ accounts. It was like finding a chest of doubloons. I was hooked on the treasure of the mind.

M.S.'s book list on treasure hunts

M. S. Spencer Why did M.S. love this book?

In my book, the hero enlists his students in a treasure hunt using a book by Byron Preiss called The Secret as a guide. In 1982 Preiss traveled to twelve spots in North America, at each of which he buried a ceramic casque. Each casque contained a key that could be redeemed for a jewel. To find a casque, the seeker had to match one of twelve paintings to one of twelve poems. The hunt has lasted four decades and involves thousands of players. Only three of the twelve hiding places have been found. Be careful! The Secret has drawn in much more cynical readers than you.

By Byron Preiss, Sean Kelly, Ted Mann , John Palencar (illustrator) , John Pierard (illustrator) , Overton Loyd (illustrator) , JoEllen Trilling (illustrator)

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The tale begins over three-hundred years ago, when the Fair People—the goblins, fairies, dragons, and other fabled and fantastic creatures of a dozen lands—fled the Old World for the New, seeking haven from the ways of Man. With them came their precious jewels: diamonds, rubies, emeralds, pearls... But then the Fair People vanished, taking with them their twelve fabulous treasures. And they remained hidden until now...

Across North America, these twelve treasures, over ten-thousand dollars in precious jewels in 1982 dollars, are buried. The key to finding each can be found within the twelve full-color paintings and verses of THE…


Book cover of Reflections of Osiris: Lives from Ancient Egypt

Joann Fletcher Author Of The Story of Egypt

From my list on ancient Egypt based on fact not fiction.

Why am I passionate about this?

Having studied ancient Egypt her entire life, Professor Joann Fletcher is based in the Department of Archaeology at the University of York. As a founding member of the university’s Mummy Research Group, she is also Lead Ambassador for the Egypt Exploration Society and an advisor to museums around the UK. Her numerous publications include The Search for Nefertiti, Cleopatra the Great, and The Story of Egypt, academic papers, and regular contributions to the BBC's History magazine. She also makes frequent appearances on radio and television. Although it’s incredibly difficult to pick just 5 books that best encapsulate ‘Ancient Egypt’ in its broadest sense, it’s important to start with those which are as informative and accurate as possible when many can be quite the opposite! 

Joann's book list on ancient Egypt based on fact not fiction

Joann Fletcher Why did Joann love this book?

Although this is a slim volume, it’s packed with fascinating details about some of the biggest names in Egyptian history from pharaohs male and female to brilliant architects and disgruntled farmers. And since John Ray has that rare gift of combining academic rigor with an entertaining way of writing, he really does bring these ancient people to life.

By John Ray,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Spanning more than two millennia, Reflections of Osiris opens a small window into a timeless world, capturing the flavor of life in ancient Egypt through vivid profiles of eleven actual people and the god Osiris. Some of the figures profiled here are famous. Ray discusses Imhotep, whom he calls "Egypt's Leonardo"-the royal architect of the Step Pyramid, high priest of the sun cult, and a man of great medical skill. We meet Hatshepsut, a rare female Pharaoh, who had herself depicted as a male figure in temple scenes, ceremonial beard and all. Horemheb, who rose from local politician to general…


Book cover of Abydos: Egypt's First Pharaohs and the Cult of Osiris

Tamara Bower Author Of The Mummy Makers of Egypt

From my list on Ancient Egypt by an archaeological illustrator.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have been fascinated by ancient Egypt since I was a child and dressed up to play as ancient Egyptian with her friends. I studied fine art in college, and was trained in archaeological illustration at the Metropolitan Museum of Art where I worked as a staff illustrator in the Department of Egyptian Art. I later worked in the Department of Egyptian Art at the Brooklyn Museum of Art. I have worked as the technical illustrator for a dozen archaeological digs in Egypt, Turkey, Spain, Belize, and California. 

Tamara's book list on Ancient Egypt by an archaeological illustrator

Tamara Bower Why did Tamara love this book?

The late Egyptologist David O’Connor was the foremost authority on the ancient site of Abydos Egypt, and supervised excavations there for over 40 years. I worked on seven excavations in Abydos and knew Dr. O’Connor personally, a lovely man, whom everyone respected. Abydos was the cult center of Osiris, the god of the dead. There were numerous tombs and temples built in this area, one of the most important archaeological sites in Egypt.

By David O'Connor,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Abydos is one of the most fascinating and enigmatic sites in southern Egypt. As both the burial place of the first pharaohs and a cult centre for the god Osiris, it was of immense importance to the ancient Egyptians for thousands of years, from nearly 3000 BC until the early centuries ad, and continues to yield spectacular discoveries. In this volume, David O'Connor, the world's greatest authority on Abydos, provides the most up-to-date and comprehensive account of the site's extraordinary history and tells the story of his own excavations there. This book will be of interest both to students and…


Book cover of Letters from Egypt

Andrea Rugh Author Of Simple Gestures: A Cultural Journey into the Middle East

From my list on Middle Eastern culture written by outsiders.

Why am I passionate about this?

My quest after culture began as a child reading National Geographic and wondering about exotic peoples. Later with a PhD in anthropology and living decades in the Middle East, I had a chance to immerse myself in the lives of people going about their normal activities. Eventually their thinking became almost as familiar as my own. The anthropologist Edward Hall says culture is elusive, “and what it hides it hides most effectively from its own practitioners.” He suggests that detached outsiders sometimes see cultures more clearly than local observers who have difficulty viewing themselves dispassionately. As outsider-writers, they validate insights much like anthropologists do, through comparisons of cultural values across time and space. 

Andrea's book list on Middle Eastern culture written by outsiders

Andrea Rugh Why did Andrea love this book?

In the 1860s, the ailing Lady Duff Gordon is advised by doctors to seek warmer climes if she is to recover from an advanced case of tuberculous. She travels to Egypt and embarks from Cairo by sailing a boat up the Nile and deep into Nubia. Along the way she comments on encounters with people of all classes and occupations that she meets. The book stands in stark contrast to the largely unsympathetic picture of the Egyptian peasantry by other British writers of the time. Her sympathetic portrayal includes seeing the importance of Islam and deploring foreign efforts to convert the population to Christianity. Her depictions show that even during this early period certain basic values existed that in a general way still guide behavior today in Egypt.   

By Lucie Duff Gordon,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In 1862, Lucie Duff Gordon left her husband and three children in England and settled in Egypt, where she remained for the rest of her short life. Seeking respite from her tuberculosis in the dry air, she moved into a ramshackle house above a temple in Luxor, and soon became an indispensable member of the community. Setting up a hospital in her home, she welcomed all - from slaves to local leaders. Her humane, open-minded voice shines across the centuries through these letters - witty, life-affirming, joyous, self-deprecating and utterly enchanted by her Arab neighbours.


Book cover of The Golden One

Sherry Roberts Author Of Down Dog Diary

From my list on quirky, fascinating detectives from around the world.

Why am I passionate about this?

Some people read mysteries to figure out who did it. Not me. I read mysteries (several a week) because they are full of contradictions, lies and truths, and humans making hard and sometimes stupid decisions. I lean toward mysteries that are literary in writing quality with quirky, complicated characters; a good sense of humor; and diverse settings. In my cozy Minnesota mystery series featuring Maya Skye, I am interested in the contradiction of a yoga teacher who is dedicated to seeking inner peace and yet drawn to mayhem. As Maya says, “We may try to follow the path, but life isn’t all Minnesota nice.” 

Sherry's book list on quirky, fascinating detectives from around the world

Sherry Roberts Why did Sherry love this book?

Who doesn’t love a couple who bicker one moment and save each other’s lives the next? That defines married archeologists Amelia Peabody and Radcliffe Emerson, who fight off graverobbers and murderers while excavating the great tombs of Egypt in 1917. Amelia, who tells this story with wit and panache, is my kind of gal—she fights off villains with her ever-present sturdy umbrella. Dashing Radcliffe is devoted to her and exasperated by her antics. As the series has grown, so has the family. I adore the introduction of their son, Ramses, who is as brilliant, daring, and foolhardy as his parents.  

By Elizabeth Peters,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?


At the start of this fourteenth adventure for Amelia, which continues the wartime theme begun in Lord of the Silent, it is New Year's Eve, 1917.

Risking winter storms and German torpedoes, the Emersons are heading for Egypt once again: Amelia, Emerson, their son Ramses and his wife Nefret. Emerson is counting on a long season of excavation without distractions but this proves to be a forlorn hope. Yet again they unearth a dead body in a looted tomb - not a mummified one though, this one is only too fresh, and it leads the clan on a search for…


Book cover of O Jerusalem!: Day by Day and Minute by Minute the Historic Struggle for Jerusalem and the Birth of Israel

Andrew Lawler Author Of Under Jerusalem: The Buried History of the World's Most Contested City

From my list on grasping the conflict over Jerusalem.

Why am I passionate about this?

Exploring what is hidden beneath our feet has been a long-time obsession of mine, a passion has taken me into subterranean Syrian tombs, Kurdish caves, Thai grave pits, and buried Assyrian palaces. Since I break things, I let others do the digging and I do the writing. I'm particularly drawn to places that can help explain why humans became the urban species we are today. What did they believe, think, eat, drink, and dream about? And I'll take a dusty and nearly vanished mudbrick Sumerian sanctuary in a remote Iraqi desert to a crowded Egyptian stone temple any day.

Andrew's book list on grasping the conflict over Jerusalem

Andrew Lawler Why did Andrew love this book?

If you want a gripping account of one of Jerusalem’s most critical moments, read this nonfiction tale that is paced like an action novel.

Collins and LaPierre piece together a coherent story with compelling characters—British, Jewish, and Arab—drawn from Israel’s chaos and the war that followed. You find yourself perched on a parapet on the Old City's ancient wall with Jordanian fighters, or creeping through the darkened streets with an Israeli combat unit. This is Jerusalem history at its most personal, violent, and nitty gritty.

By Larry Collins, Dominique Lapierre,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Now a major motion picture, this remarkable classic recounts, moment by moment, the spellbinding process that gave birth to the state of Israel.

Collins and Lapierre weave a brilliant tapestry of shattered hopes, fierce pride, and breathtaking valor as the Arabs, Jews, and British collide in their fight for control of Jerusalem. O Jerusalem! meticulously re-creates this historic struggle. Collins and Lapierre penetrate the battle from the inside, exploring each party's interests, intentions, and concessions as the city of all of their dreams teeters on the brink of destruction. From the Jewish fighters and their heroic commanders to the charismatic…


Book cover of Triple

Scott Lord Author Of Come November

From my list on thrillers to make you wish you lived in another time.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a longtime Los Angeles trial lawyer, as well as a writer and librettist. I graduated with honors from the University of California at Santa Cruz and from the Santa Clara University School of Law where I was a member of the Law Review. Me and my wife, Susan, are the parents of six children and live in Santa Monica, California. My previous novel, The Logic Bomb, a legal thriller, was published in 2015.

Scott's book list on thrillers to make you wish you lived in another time

Scott Lord Why did Scott love this book?

It was hard to choose one among this prolific author’s many wonderful historical thrillers. 

Triple makes my list because of the intricate and enthralling plot about the race among Middle East enemies Israel and Egypt to develop nuclear weapons. It has compelling characters, a riveting love story, and takes place in part in the pivotal year of 1947.

By Ken Follett,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

It is 1968. Israeli Intelligence has learned that Egypt, with Soviet help, will develop atomic bombs within months -- an untimely end for the young nation unless a source of uranium for Israeli bombs can be found. Impossible, of course, unless someone as improbable as the plan can be found to steal it. Working alone, Israeli agent Nat Dickstein concocts an ingenious scenario for the biggest, and quietest, hijacking in history. Against him are the Russian KGB, Egyptian Intelligence and the Arab extremists Fedayeen. With him is a half-English, half-Arab young woman of uncertain allegiance, who discovers Dickstein's Achilles' heel.


5 book lists we think you will like!

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