10 books like The Late Show

By Michael Connelly,

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

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The Simple Art of Murder

By Raymond Chandler,

Book cover of The Simple Art of Murder

I am a fan of this style of writing. Some may call it pulp fiction. Perhaps, hard-boiled? I suppose it is like comparing bare-knuckle fighting and boxing under the Marquis of Queensbury rules. Chandler's style, and those like him, is down and dirty, and supposed to be realistic. Indeed, in his essay, he writes: "Fiction in any form has always intended to be realistic." He was writing in the context of denigrating the old-fashioned British-style mystery. I do believe he has a point. Anyone who is familiar with his work and style can understand my penchant for liking crime fiction that is realistic. The remainder of my picks reflect this. 

The Simple Art of Murder

By Raymond Chandler,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

This is a collection of early short stories and an essay which gave the book its name. The latter is fairly short and its main idea is an argument for the virtues of a noir mystery as opposed to a traditional British one. Considering the fact that this comes from a guy who became a classic of the former even before his death and that he picked up some below the average examples of the latter, I agree.

The stories themselves left me out cold for the most part. I can actually describe the plot in practically all of them…


Thirteen

By Steve Cavanagh,

Book cover of Thirteen

"The serial killer isn’t on trial he’s on the jury."

Actor Bobby Solomon is accused of murdering his wife and bodyguard in a frenzied attack. Eddie Flynn, former conman turned lawyer, is brought in to assist the defence team. Eddie’s the full package—resourceful, quick-witted, a masterful cross-examiner, and he can handle himself in a fight. He also believes in Bobby’s innocence. But he’s up against an ingenious, ruthless killer who will stop at nothing to achieve his cause. 

If the central premise—that of a killer infiltrating the jury and undermining the entire justice system—isn’t sufficiently terrifying, then the array of corrupt police officers and self-serving lawyers (on both sides) should tip you over the edge. Happily, Eddie stands head and shoulders above them all.

Thirteen

By Steve Cavanagh,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

THE SERIAL KILLER ISN'T ON TRIAL.

HE'S ON THE JURY...

****************

'THIRTEEN is my favourite read of the year.' Sarah Pinborough

'Outstanding.' Lee Child

'Smart and original. This is a belter of a book.' Clare Mackintosh

****************

They were Hollywood's hottest power couple. They had the world at their feet. Now one of them is dead and Hollywood star Robert Solomon is charged with the brutal murder of his beautiful wife.

This is the celebrity murder trial of the century and the defence want one man on their team: con artist turned lawyer Eddie Flynn.

All the evidence points to…


Capital Kill

By Marc Rainer,

Book cover of Capital Kill

Capital Kill is a classic example of an author “writing what he knows.” Marc Rainer is a former prosecutor in the courts of Washington D.C. and a former lawyer with the US Air Force's Judge Advocate General (JAG) Corps. He is married to a former Air Force OSI Special Agent.

His protagonist, Jeff Trask, shares the same background. In the book we also get to meet Lynn, an Air Force OSI Special Agent.

This is the first in a series based on Jeff Trask and it is labelled as “crime drama.” It is. But it is also a delightful mix of police procedural and legal courtroom thriller. I loved it!

Capital Kill

By Marc Rainer,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A few short blocks from the safety of the museums and monuments on the National Mall, a ruthless killer prowls the streets of Washington, D.C. Federal prosecutor Jeff Trask joins a team of FBI agents and police detectives as they try to solve the series of brutal murders. As the body count rises, the investigation leads to a chilling confrontation with the leader of an international drug smuggling ring, and no one is safe, not even the police.

Written by former Washington prosecutor Marc Rainer, Capital Kill is a swirling thrill ride through the labyrinth of a major federal investigation…


Rabette Run

By Nick Rippington, Emma Mitchell (editor),

Book cover of Rabette Run

Not only did this novel remind me of Lewis Carroll's works, but it also reminded me of the Beatles' Magical Mystery Tour and other works of theirs in their hallucinogenic-inspired songs and albums. Rippington himself is aware of that in his writing as he references both Alice in Wonderland and the phrase 'magical mystery tour.'

So far, I may have misled you because this book is a real thriller. It travels along at the speed of sound and though the things happening to Emerson Rabette are fantastic, they are so believable at the same time. That's difficult to do as a writer but Mr. Rippington manages it with ease and much panache.

Rabette Run

By Nick Rippington, Emma Mitchell (editor),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

What the readers are saying...
★★★★★ The perfect escapist read for our times
‘★★★★★ The sort of book you ‘watch’ while reading... utterly brilliant
★★★★★ If possible, I would have awarded this 10 stars. This book is much more than amazing.
★★★★★ The author, Nick Rippington, himself describes it as "Alice in Wonderland... with guns." Well, he's right and it's not hype.

Graphic designer Emerson Rabette is forced to use the London Underground to get to a meeting with his employers. There's a problem, as he's terrified of the tube. He is no ordinary commuter and this is no ordinary…


Hollywood Homicide

By Kellye Garrett,

Book cover of Hollywood Homicide : The First Detective by Day Humorous Mystery

Unlike the Los Angeles of, say, Michael Connolly’s Harry Bosch novels, the city in Kellye Garrett’s 2017 Detective by Day debut is a superficial, brighter place full of influencers, social media excesses, fashion, a home burglary crew, and Hollywood aspirations that, for many, refuse to die. At the center of this delightfully humorous mystery about death from a hit-and-run is an accidental detective, Dayna Anderson, a once successful African-American star of TV commercials. Dayna has fallen on hard times and is scraping by in a city that doesn’t tolerate scraping, at least not without a smirk. But she has the instincts of a natural sleuth and won’t let go until she finds the killer.

Hollywood Homicide

By Kellye Garrett,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Dayna Anderson doesn t set out to solve a murder. All the semi-famous, mega-broke black actress wants is to help her parents keep their house. After witnessing a deadly hit-and-run, she figures pursuing the fifteen-grand reward isn t the craziest thing a Hollywood actress has done for some cash. But what starts as simply trying to remember a speeding car soon blossoms into a full-on investigation. As Dayna digs deeper into the victim s life, she wants more than just reward money. She s determined to find the poor woman's killer too. When she connects the accident to a notorious…


Crane

By Robert Crane, Christopher Fryer,

Book cover of Crane: Sex, Celebrity, and My Father's Unsolved Murder

Along with being extremely well written, this book details the horrific murder of a celebrated actor, a man blitzed in his sleep, a decent man who dealt with mundane foibles many men experience. But Crane always continued on, heading to work, embracing a hopeful and positive outlook on his abilities and the future. Bob Crane may well have never awoken from the cowardly assault that took his life in 1978, leaving his 4 children fatherless. A couple of years ago, I got to know Robert David Crane, Bob Crane’s son, via social media and it was one of the oddest occurrences of my life. I’d never have predicted it. I’ve found him to be insightful, generous, accomplished, and genuine. I loved this book because it is about the murder of a man who I grew up seeing.

Yes, I too watched Hogan’s Heroes and absolutely loved the character played by…

Crane

By Robert Crane, Christopher Fryer,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

On June 29, 1978, Bob Crane, known to Hogan's Heroes fans as Colonel Hogan, was discovered brutally murdered in his Scottsdale, Arizona, apartment. His eldest son, Robert Crane, was called to the crime scene. In this poignant memoir, Robert Crane discusses that terrible day and how he has lived with the unsolved murder of his father. But this storyline is just one thread in his tale of growing up in Los Angeles, his struggles to reconcile the good and sordid sides of his celebrity father, and his own fascinating life. Crane began his career writing for Oui magazine and spent…


A Grave Talent

By Laurie R. King,

Book cover of A Grave Talent

Another murder mystery set in a small peaceful communitythis time near San Francisco. It is the first featuring Kate Martinelli as the detective, who is new to the job. I found the characters totally credible and appealing, and the theme of portrait painting as a way of revealing the depths of someone’s personality was powerfully well done. It stayed with me long after I finished, and is wonderfully original. Laurie R. King is very prolific, and I find the quality of her work quite variable. But when she’s good, she’s fantastic.

A Grave Talent

By Laurie R. King,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

THE EDGAR AWARD-WINNING NOVEL
THE FIRST KATE MARTINELLI MYSTERY

In Laurie R. King's Grave Talent, the unthinkable has happened in a small community outside of San Francisco. A series of shocking murders has occurred, the victims far too innocent and defenseless. For lesbian Detective Kate Martinelli, just promoted to Homicide and paired with a seasoned cop who's less than thrilled to be handed a green partner, it's a difficult case that just keeps getting harder.

Then the police receive what appears to be a case-breaking lead: it seems that one of the residents of this odd colony is Vaun Adams,…


Every Last Secret

By Linda Rodriguez,

Book cover of Every Last Secret: A Mystery (Skeet Bannion Series)

Linda Rodriquez, Cherokee, is the second Native American woman I met who writes crime. Before we even met in person she was supportive of my ambition to write in this genre. She not only encouraged me to keep writing but to also join Sisters In Crime, the organization founded to support women mystery/crime writers. Every Last Secret is the #1 book in Rodriquez’s Skeet Bannion series. "Skeet" Bannion fled the stress of being the highest-ranking woman in the Kansas City Police Department, and moved to a small town to work on the local college police force. She thinks she has run away from stress until she needs to track down a killer while dealing with a vulnerable teen and the return of her ex-husband and her ailing father. So much for small town stress relief!

Every Last Secret

By Linda Rodriguez,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Half-Cherokee Marquitta "Skeet" Bannion thought she was leaving her troubles behind when she fled the stress of being the highest ranking woman in the Kansas City Police Department. Moving to a small town to be chief of the campus police force, she builds a life outside of police work. She might even begin a new relationship with the amiable Brewster police chief. All of this is threatened when the student editor of the college newspaper is found murdered on campus. Skeet must track down the killer, following trails that lead to some of the most powerful people in the university.…


The Night Bell

By Inger Ash Wolfe,

Book cover of The Night Bell

Hazel Micaellef, 62, a police officer in a small town in Ontario, is divorced, overweight, has back problems, and drinks too much. I am from a small town and divorced. Liquor is not my vice. I am, however, completely at home in the fictional and slightly seedy Port Dumas where locals have long memories. When human bones are found on land that formerly housed orphans, many of the town’s ugly secrets bubble up. The plot is complex and the setting immersive. I would not necessarily want to live in a place like Port Dumas…but I have.

The Night Bell

By Inger Ash Wolfe,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The new novel in this acclaimed series is brilliantly paced, addictively suspenseful—the author's best yet. Hazel Micallef (played by Susan Sarandon in the recent film of the series' debut, The Calling) has become one of crime writing's most memorable detectives. The Night Bell moves between the past and the present in Port Dundas, Ontario, as two mysteries converge. A discovery of the bones of murdered children is made on land that was once a county foster home. Now it's being developed as a brand new subdivision whose first residents are already railing against broken promises and corruption. But when three…


Desert Heat

By J. A. Jance,

Book cover of Desert Heat

Joanna Brady finds herself elected sheriff of Cochise County, Arizona, after her husband dies while campaigning for the same job. In this first book of the series, Sheriff Brady must clear her husband’s name of some ugly rumors while simultaneously searching for his killer. Joanna’s life is a complicated one, balancing motherhood and ranching on a small scale, while managing a sheriff’s department not used to having a woman at the helm. Add to the mix an unsympathetic mother-in-law and (later in the series) a new husband, and you have a protagonist constantly on the edge of chaos. We like this series especially for the author’s skill at portraying the way Brady manages her complicated life, while also evoking the environment and history in and around the former mining town of Bisbee. 

Desert Heat

By J. A. Jance,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Her obsessive hunt for a killer threatens to place both Joanna and her nine year old daughter Jenny in serious jeopardy. Because, in the desert, the truth can be more lethal than a rattlesnake's bite.


5 book lists we think you will like!

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