100 books like The Life We Bury

By Allen Eskens,

Here are 100 books that The Life We Bury fans have personally recommended if you like The Life We Bury. 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 Thursday Murder Club

Keith Hartman Author Of The Gumshoe, the Witch, and the Virtual Corpse

From my list on unique settings for a mystery novel.

Why am I passionate about this?

I love mysteries, but I find that after a while, a lot of them tend to run together in my head. So I just love it when I find a book with a setting so unique that it sticks in my mind forever. And it’s even better when the author uses that setting to show me something new about human nature, history, or society while still delivering me a plot that keeps me turning pages.

Keith's book list on unique settings for a mystery novel

Keith Hartman Why did Keith love this book?

This was a book that I picked up because my Mom recommended it. And she struck gold with this one. The book is set in a British retirement community, where a group of old-timers spend their time trying to solve cold cases. But over the course of the book, they get themselves caught up in one very hot case. 

The POV shifts between different characters, who all have interesting voices and skill sets.

By Richard Osman,

Why should I read it?

21 authors picked The Thursday Murder Club as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A New York Times bestseller | Soon to be a major motion picture from Steven Spielberg at Amblin Entertainment

"Witty, endearing and greatly entertaining." -Wall Street Journal

"Don't trust anyone, including the four septuagenarian sleuths in Osman's own laugh-out-loud whodunit." -Parade

Four septuagenarians with a few tricks up their sleeves
A female cop with her first big case
A brutal murder
Welcome to...
THE THURSDAY MURDER CLUB

In a peaceful retirement village, four unlikely friends meet weekly in the Jigsaw Room to discuss unsolved crimes; together they call themselves the Thursday Murder Club.

When a local developer is found dead…


Book cover of Finlay Donovan Is Killing It

Katie Tietjen Author Of Death In The Details

From my list on mystery books starring kick-butt female sleuths.

Why am I passionate about this?

I grew up on a steady diet of Nancy Drew and Encyclopedia Brown. Then, in a plot twist that surprised exactly no one, I became an English teacher, a librarian (did you know you can recommend books for a LIVING???), and an author. I love books where the sleuth must not only solve the case at hand, but also wrestle with some sort of ongoing personal problem–bonus points if they can simultaneously pull the curtain back on societal issues and make me feel like I’m getting to experience life in a place where I don’t actually live (I’m looking at you, London and L.A.). 

Katie's book list on mystery books starring kick-butt female sleuths

Katie Tietjen Why did Katie love this book?

I enjoyed being along for this wacky ride as Finlay accidentally gets herself hired as a contract killer, disposes of a body, and navigates the criminal underworld–all while raising her two small children and dealing with her infuriating ex-husband. There’s a love triangle in this book, but the relationship I enjoyed most was the friendship that develops between Finlay and Vero, her former nanny turned partner in crime.

This story is completely absurd, laugh-out-loud funny, and very suspenseful. 

By Elle Cosimano,

Why should I read it?

6 authors picked Finlay Donovan Is Killing It as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"Getting the job done" for one single mom takes on a whole new meaning in Finlay Donovan is Killing It.

One of Suspense Magazine's "Best Thrillers of 2021"
One of New York Public Library's Best Books of 2021
Nominated for the Left Coast Crime 2022 Lefty Award for the Best Humorous Mystery

“Funny and smart, twisty and surprising.”—Megan Miranda

Finlay Donovan is killing it . . . except, she’s really not. She’s a stressed-out single-mom of two and struggling novelist, Finlay’s life is in chaos: the new book she promised her literary agent isn’t written, her ex-husband fired the nanny…


Book cover of In the Presence of the Enemy

Vee Kumari Author Of Dharma: A Rekha Rao Mystery

From my list on families disguised as mysteries.

Why am I passionate about this?

Being an immigrant from India, a culture that places family values above all else, I am drawn to books that explore family conflicts, secrets, and the triumph of love against all odds. When an author incorporates these themes into a mystery, the book becomes more than a simple formulaic whodunnit story that educates me about the complexities of our lives.

Vee's book list on families disguised as mysteries

Vee Kumari Why did Vee love this book?

Threat of exposure of a scandalous affair takes Lynley and his sidekick Havers from London into the countryside, where they reveal how a hidden past and the mistaken identity of a father by his son, led to murder. I love it for the writing style – George's later books became too big for me – the characters she creates with such clarity and passion, who are put into situations that threaten their lives, reputation, and ideals.

By Elizabeth George,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked In the Presence of the Enemy as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

As the editor of a popular left-wing tabloid, Dennis Luxford has made a career out of scandal. But this time the scoop involves his own daughter. To save the life of his child, Luxford must expose the girl's mother - Eve Bowen, now Under Secretary of State for the Home Office. And Eve refuses to involve the police, convinced that Charlotte's disappearance is just one more shabby tabloid ploy.

Only when events take an unbearable turn is New Scotland Yard brought in, in the guise of Inspector Thomas Lynley and his partner, Barbara Havers. And as their investigations move from…


Book cover of Death in Lover's Lane

Vee Kumari Author Of Dharma: A Rekha Rao Mystery

From my list on families disguised as mysteries.

Why am I passionate about this?

Being an immigrant from India, a culture that places family values above all else, I am drawn to books that explore family conflicts, secrets, and the triumph of love against all odds. When an author incorporates these themes into a mystery, the book becomes more than a simple formulaic whodunnit story that educates me about the complexities of our lives.

Vee's book list on families disguised as mysteries

Vee Kumari Why did Vee love this book?

One of the best Henrie O novels, I love it that this takes place within the hallowed halls of the academia at the fictitious Thorndyke University, where the sixty-something journalism professor-turned sleuth encourages an ambitious student to dig up the dirt on three unsolved local crimes. Of course, the student gets killed, and against the wishes of the police and the powers-that-be Henrie O gets involved, dredging up a past everyone wants to keep buried. I now realize that not knowingly, but at a subconscious level, this novel inspired me to write mine!

By Carolyn G. Hart,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Death in Lover's Lane as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A Pulitzer Prize-winning ex-reporter and journalism teacher at ivy-covered Thorndyke University, Henrietta "Henrie O" Collins demands of her students the same steadfast dedication to the truth that was the cornerstone of her own illustrious career. So when beautiful, ambitious Maggie Winslow decides to investigate a trio of hitherto unresolved local crimes, Henrie O urges her to pursue the story with uncommon vigor.

But the gifted future journalist's zeal may have cost her her life. The next day Maggie's corpse is discovered in Lovers' Lane--the very site of one of the unsolved mysteries the extraordinary young woman was exploring at the…


Book cover of The Sinner

Vee Kumari Author Of Dharma: A Rekha Rao Mystery

From my list on families disguised as mysteries.

Why am I passionate about this?

Being an immigrant from India, a culture that places family values above all else, I am drawn to books that explore family conflicts, secrets, and the triumph of love against all odds. When an author incorporates these themes into a mystery, the book becomes more than a simple formulaic whodunnit story that educates me about the complexities of our lives.

Vee's book list on families disguised as mysteries

Vee Kumari Why did Vee love this book?

This novel gave me an insight into the cloistered grounds of a convent where two nuns are found, one dead, one mortally wounded. The killings appear to be without motive, without an obvious suspect, and are further complicated by the murder and mutilation of a third woman. A medical examiner Maura Isles and a homicide detective Jane Rizzoli (both introduced in earlier Tess Gerritsen novels) uncover an ancient horror that connects these terrible slaughters. I love the camaraderie between Isles and Rizzoli despite their contrasting personalities, and the fact that the story takes us to a distant land where it all started.

By Tess Gerritsen,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

***NOW WITH A SNEAK PREVIEW OF TESS GERRITSEN'S LATEST THRILLER, I KNOW A SECRET***

JUDGEMENT DAY IS COMING . . .

'Absolutely riveting - you won't be able to put this down' Mo Hayder

Two nuns are brutally attacked within the walls of their convent. There seems to be no shred of motive. But during the autopsy Forensic Pathologist Maura Isles discovers something entirely unexpected.

And when a second, heavily mutilated body is found and linked to the case, she and Detective Jane Rizzoli find themselves in the midst of a terrifying investigation that seems to implicate everyone.

Because who…


Book cover of In the Midst of Winter

Vee Kumari Author Of Dharma: A Rekha Rao Mystery

From my list on families disguised as mysteries.

Why am I passionate about this?

Being an immigrant from India, a culture that places family values above all else, I am drawn to books that explore family conflicts, secrets, and the triumph of love against all odds. When an author incorporates these themes into a mystery, the book becomes more than a simple formulaic whodunnit story that educates me about the complexities of our lives.

Vee's book list on families disguised as mysteries

Vee Kumari Why did Vee love this book?

Having loved Allende’s previous novels, this tale of history and suspense took me into the magical worlds of South American culture, to gain a better understanding of what the immigrant experience is really like for other people. Redacting from a reviewer’s comment, “this story filled with Allende's signature lyricism and ingenious plotting, teaches us what it means to respect, protect, and love.”

By Isabel Allende,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked In the Midst of Winter as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

New York Times and worldwide bestselling author Isabel Allende returns with a sweeping novel that journeys from present-day Brooklyn to Guatemala in the recent past to 1970s Chile and Brazil that offers “a timely message about immigration and the meaning of home” (People).

During the biggest Brooklyn snowstorm in living memory, Richard Bowmaster, a lonely university professor in his sixties, hits the car of Evelyn Ortega, a young undocumented immigrant from Guatemala, and what at first seems an inconvenience takes a more serious turn when Evelyn comes to his house, seeking help. At a loss, the professor asks his tenant,…


Book cover of The Word is Murder

Jessica Sherry Author Of Sea-Devil

From my list on mystery featuring everyday heroes.

Why am I passionate about this?

I love a good mystery. Quirky, amateur sleuths using their wits and grit to solve tough cases while juggling regular lives like real people deliver a double-thrill—one for justice and another for the everyday oddball taking the win (like me, when I publish a book). This inspired my Delilah Duffy series and this list.

Jessica's book list on mystery featuring everyday heroes

Jessica Sherry Why did Jessica love this book?

Another writer-hero, Anthony Horowitz writes as himself in this page-turning whodunit. Well-known for his television work on Midsomer Murders, Poirot, and Foyle’s War, Horowitz knows how to craft a mystery. When ex-cop turned private investigator Nathaniel Hawthorne approaches Horowitz about ghostwriting a book about his cases, Horowitz isn’t interested. Annoying and eccentric, Hawthorne isn’t someone Horowitz wants to be around, let alone write about. But when a famous actor’s wealthy mother is murdered six hours after planning her own funeral, Horowitz gets pulled into the investigation anyway. Though very much a Sherlock Holmes and Watson relationship, Hawthorne and Horowitz are more adversarial, making them an entertaining team. You want them to be friends, but then again, you don’t. The word isn’t just murder, but funny, engaging, and endearing, too.  

By Anthony Horowitz,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Word is Murder as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'EASILY THE GREATEST OF OUR CRIME WRITERS' Sunday Times

Chosen as one of Crime Time's books of the year! If you enjoyed BBC's Sherlock, you'll LOVE The Word is Murder.
_________________

Buried secrets, murder and a trail of bloody clues lie at the heart of Anthony Horowitz's page-turning new detective series.

SHE PLANNED HER OWN FUNERAL. BUT DID SHE ARRANGE HER OWN MURDER?

A woman is strangled six hours after organising her own funeral.

Did she know she was going to die? Did she recognise her killer?

Daniel Hawthorne, a recalcitrant detective with secrets of his own, is on the…


Book cover of The Secret, Book & Scone Society

ACF Bookens Author Of Publishable By Death

From my list on mysteries about books.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a book lover from in utero. My mom was an avid and very fast reader, and I grew up finding respite, insight, and understanding in the pages of books. When I went to college, I studied English, and then got a Masters in literature before going on to learn more about writing the books I loved in an MFA program. This formal education just built on what I already knew – books are my first love, my guide through life, and often, the things that save me from the darkest moments of this world.

ACF's book list on mysteries about books

ACF Bookens Why did ACF love this book?

I adore books about women in friendship, maybe because my female friendships have been the stable place of safety throughout my life. So Adams’ book about a group of women who bring their pain and hope for healing to one another as they read books resonates with me deeply. Plus, the bookstore in this series is stellar what with the tchotchkes, quirky coffee mugs, and bibliotherapy themes. A great cozy for anyone who appreciates a bit of depth to their light reading. 

By Ellery Adams,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Secret, Book & Scone Society as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

First in the mystery series from the New York Times-bestselling author: “Anyone who loves novels that revolve around books will savor this tasty treat.”—Library Journal (starred review)
 
A quirky club in small-town North Carolina holds the keys to health, happiness, friendship—and even solving a murder—all to be found within the pages of the right book…

Strangers flock to Miracle Springs hoping the natural hot springs, five-star cuisine, and renowned spa can cure their ills. If none of that works, they often find their way to Miracle Books, where, over a fresh-baked “comfort” scone, they exchange their stories with owner Nora…


Book cover of Maisie Dobbs

Ellen Barker Author Of East of Troost

From my list on magical books for realists.

Why am I passionate about this?

I write and read realistic fiction. I’m not a fan of fantasy, sci-fi, ghost stories, or magical (other than, you know, Tolkien). I don’t want to have to suspend a lot of belief and buy into an alternate reality. And yet, and yet. . . . All these books have a little element of something going on, and they each grabbed me and kept my attention, and I didn’t roll my eyes once. The supernatural is just a little extra kick and, in every case, as believable as it can possibly be. 

Ellen's book list on magical books for realists

Ellen Barker Why did Ellen love this book?

This book is about a private investigator in London in the early 1900s. It is the first of a long series about Maisie’s cases and the people who are dear to her.

This first book gives us an introduction to Maisie and her working-class background, the people who influenced her, and the way she uses her own version of second sight to understand both clients and criminals. Her description of Maisie mimicking someone’s body movements to figure out their motives actually made me try it out.

I also got a strong sense of London during the difficult years of wars and depression and a bedraggled peace. If you enjoy this one, you’ll have a nice backlog to return to whenever you need more.

By Jacqueline Winspear,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A favorite mystery series of Hillary Clinton (as mentioned in What Happened, The New York Times Book Review, and New York Magazine)
A New York Times Notable Book of the Year
Agatha Award Winner for Best First Novel
Macavity Award Winner for Best First Novel
Alex Award Winner

Fiercely independent Maisie Dobbs has recently set herself up as a private detective. Such a move may not seem especially startling. But this is 1929, and Maisie is exceptional in many ways.

Having started as a maid to the London aristocracy, studied her way to Cambridge and served as a nurse in…


Book cover of Picnic at Hanging Rock

Debbie Young Author Of Dastardly Deeds at St Bride's

From my list on fiction set in boarding schools.

Why am I passionate about this?

As the author of comedy cosy mystery novels, including a series set in an eccentric boarding school for girls, I’m always attracted by the notion of closed, clearly-defined worlds as colourful settings for stories of crimes and misdemeanours. Having worked for 13 years in a girls’ boarding school, where I loved being part of its lively and spirited community, I am very familiar with the quirks and foibles, as well as the practicalities, of boarding school life, and I really enjoy reading other people’s impressions and interpretations of boarding schools of all kinds. 

Debbie's book list on fiction set in boarding schools

Debbie Young Why did Debbie love this book?

Finally, a serious, sombre book, and a modern classic. Set at a strict boarding school for girls, Appleyard College in Australia, it tells the story of an ill-fated outing to a local beauty spot at which a teacher and two pupils go missing. Lindsay brilliantly sets up the mystery with all kinds of backstories, and (plot spoiler alert) it’s never truly resolved, but the haunting story lingers with the reader long after they’ve finished the book. This has also been made into a film, but as always, it’s worth reading the original story – Lindsay’s writing is as evocative as any film. 

By Joan Lindsay,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Picnic at Hanging Rock as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

**A BBC BETWEEN THE COVERS BIG JUBILEE READ PICK**

'A sinister tale' Guardian

The classic, atmospheric Australian thriller about the mysterious disappearance of a group of young girls.

A cloudless summer day in the year nineteen hundred...

Everyone at Appleyard College for Young Ladies agreed it was just right for a picnic at Hanging Rock. After lunch, a group of three girls climbed into the blaze of the afternoon sun, pressing on through the scrub into the shadows of Hanging Rock. Further, higher, till at last they disappeared.

They never returned.

Is Picnic at Hanging Rock fact or fiction? Only…


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