29 books like The Likeness

By Tana French,

Here are 29 books that The Likeness fans have personally recommended if you like The Likeness. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

Shepherd is reader supported. When you buy books, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Book cover of The Silence of the Lambs

Peggy Webb Author Of Black Crow Cabin

From my list on books about crime that transcend the genre.

Why am I passionate about this?

I grew up on a small farm in Mississippi and discovered the wide world through a movable feast of books provided by the Bookmobile. The hayloft was my favorite reading spot. I could look across the lake to imagine myself in WWII Paris, the frozen tundras of Alaska, or anywhere beyond the pastures where Daddy’s cattle grazed. I fell in love with words when I was eight years old, a dreamer spinning stories inspired by the ones I read between the covers of my beloved books. I still love words and hear their music as they flow onto the pages of the thrillers I currently write.

Peggy's book list on books about crime that transcend the genre

Peggy Webb Why did Peggy love this book?

 When I find a book with wonderful, relatable characters, I’m hooked. Add a villain unlike any I’ve ever read, and I can’t put it down. Put me in the villain’s point of view, and I’ll lose sleep to find out why he’s so evil.

I raced through it the first time, then read it twice more to savor every detail. I even kept a record of how many points of view Harris used to make his story so spectacular!

He’s a splendid writer, and I always admire that. Silence of the Lambs is timeless, digs into the heart and soul of its characters, and is so well-written that it rises out of the thriller genre and ranks among the best books I’ve ever read.

By Thomas Harris,

Why should I read it?

19 authors picked The Silence of the Lambs as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

As part of the search for a serial murderer nicknames "Buffalo Bill," FBI trainee Clarice Starling is given an assignment. She must visit a man confined to a high-security facility for the criminally insane and interview him.

That man, Dr. Hannibal Lecter, is a former psychiatrist with unusual tastes and an intense curiosity about the darker corners of the mind. His intimate understanding of the killer and of Clarice herself form the core of Thomas Harris' The Silence of the Lambs--an unforgettable classic of suspense fiction.


Book cover of The Body Farm

Celina Grace Author Of Hushabye

From my list on kickass female detectives.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve always been interested in the dark side of the human psyche and how people choose or are driven to do the awful things that some of them do. Equally, I enjoy reading and writing stories that feature strong women, who may be scared and vulnerable at times, but who are brave, intelligent, and determined to see justice done. I began writing The Kate Redman Mysteries because I wanted to write about a detective who, despite an appalling upbringing and without much care and support, really believes in her career and in protecting the underdog. In the interests of equality, I like to include quite a few female villains too. 😉

Celina's book list on kickass female detectives

Celina Grace Why did Celina love this book?

Dr. Kay Scarpetta isn’t a professional detective – she’s the Chief Medical Examiner for Virginia. But that doesn’t mean she doesn’t get to be embroiled in all kinds of bizarre murder cases – including the baffling death of an innocent young girl which results in Kay having to visit the gruesome pathologist’s playground known as the Body Farm. Kay is tough, a good shot (which comes in handy in this case, I can tell you), and willing to use her incredible forensic skills to bring the guilty to justice.

By Patricia Cornwell,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The Body Farm - a research institute that tests the decomposition of corpses. Black Mountain, North Carolina: a sleepy little town where the local police deal with one homicide a year, if they're unlucky, and where people are still getting used to the idea of locking their doors at night. But violent death is no respecter of venue, and the discovery of the corpse of the corpse of an 11-year-old girl sends shock waves through the community. Dr Kay Scarpetta, Chief medical Examiner on a similar case in Virginia, is called in to apply her forensic skills to this latest…


Book cover of Nemesis

Celina Grace Author Of Hushabye

From my list on kickass female detectives.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve always been interested in the dark side of the human psyche and how people choose or are driven to do the awful things that some of them do. Equally, I enjoy reading and writing stories that feature strong women, who may be scared and vulnerable at times, but who are brave, intelligent, and determined to see justice done. I began writing The Kate Redman Mysteries because I wanted to write about a detective who, despite an appalling upbringing and without much care and support, really believes in her career and in protecting the underdog. In the interests of equality, I like to include quite a few female villains too. 😉

Celina's book list on kickass female detectives

Celina Grace Why did Celina love this book?

Nemesis is the final book to feature Miss Marple. She’s one of the most beloved female detectives of all time, and personally, one of my older-women goals. Miss Marple is a genteel, twittery, white-haired old lady, all of which is a most useful disguise for a mind like a steel trap, and a propensity to solve and avenge all manner of horrible crimes. Nemesis is not Christie’s best book, but it is surely one of Miss Marple’s most challenging and emotionally resonant cases. A posthumous request from an old friend, the millionaire Jason Rafiel, sends her off on a quest for justice, which proves both terrifying, melancholic, and yet, in her final triumph, oddly uplifting. 

By Agatha Christie,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Even the unflappable Miss Marple is astounded as she reads the letter addressed to her on instructions from the recently deceased tycoon Mr. Jason Rafiel, whom she had met on holiday in the West Indies (A Caribbean Mystery). Recognizing in her a natural flair for justice and a genius for crime-solving, Mr. Rafiel has bequeathed to Miss Marple a £20,000 legacy -- and a legacy of an entirely different sort. For he has asked Miss Marple to investigate...his own murder. The only problem is, Mr. Rafiel has failed to name a suspect or suspects. And, whoever they are, they will…


Book cover of When Will There Be Good News?

Celina Grace Author Of Hushabye

From my list on kickass female detectives.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve always been interested in the dark side of the human psyche and how people choose or are driven to do the awful things that some of them do. Equally, I enjoy reading and writing stories that feature strong women, who may be scared and vulnerable at times, but who are brave, intelligent, and determined to see justice done. I began writing The Kate Redman Mysteries because I wanted to write about a detective who, despite an appalling upbringing and without much care and support, really believes in her career and in protecting the underdog. In the interests of equality, I like to include quite a few female villains too. 😉

Celina's book list on kickass female detectives

Celina Grace Why did Celina love this book?

A horrific multiple murder opens this book but to understand the ramifications of it, we jump to the present where we meet DCI Louise Monroe. Her story runs parallel with that of the main protagonist Jackson Brodie, but Louise is a worthy character in her own right; fiercely feminist, brave, loyal, a reluctant but loving mother determined to keep other women safe. We meet her again in future books in the series which are also excellent. An honorable mention must also go to schoolgirl heroine Reggie Chase, another brave, intelligent character who does her best to solve one of the mysteries in the book.

By Kate Atkinson,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked When Will There Be Good News? as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The third Jackson Brodie novel, winner of Richard & Judy's Best Read: literary crime from the number-one bestselling author of Big Sky and Transcription.

'An exhilarating read. Her wry humour, sharp eye for the quirks of human behaviour and subtle characterisation are a constant joy' Daily Mail

In a quiet corner of rural Devon, a six-year-old girl witnesses an appalling crime. Thirty years later the man convicted of the crime is released from prison.

In Edinburgh, sixteen-year-old Reggie, wise beyond her years, works as a nanny for a G.P. But her employer has disappeared with her baby, and Reggie seems…


Book cover of The Mountains Wild

J. Woollcott Author Of A Nice Place to Die: A DS Ryan McBride Novel

From my list on Irish murder mysteries with great settings.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a Canadian writer born in Northern Ireland. My first book, A Nice Place to Die, introduced Northern Ireland detective DS Ryan McBride. In 2019, A Nice Place to Die won the RWA Daphne du Maurier Award for Mainstream Mystery and Suspense, was shortlisted in the Crime Writers of Canada Awards in 2021, and was a 2023 Silver Falchion Award finalist. As for my choices, each of these fabulous, atmospheric mysteries has richly drawn settings inhabited by characters the reader comes to care deeply about. This brings a book alive for me — each has a wonderful, compelling cast of characters and a clever, complex plot.

J.'s book list on Irish murder mysteries with great settings

J. Woollcott Why did J. love this book?

Sarah Stewart Taylor is an American writer who has lived and studied in Ireland.

Her books offer complex, intelligent plots filled with flawed yet compelling characters. Maggie D'arcy, a detective in the North Shore of Long Island and divorced mother of a teenage girl, offers to go to Ireland to follow up on a phone call her uncle Danny received.

His daughter, and Maggie’s cousin, Erin, has been missing for twenty-three years, since disappearing on a hike in the Wicklow mountains. Back then, Erin went to Dublin to try and find her, and became involved in the initial enquiry. Now the Irish police have found something, a buried scarf they believe belonged to Erin. And another girl has gone missing.

The settings are finely-drawn––you can feel the rain and smell the peat fires. A beautifully written novel, not to be missed. That rarest of treats, a literary mystery.

By Sarah Stewart Taylor,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Twenty-three years ago, Maggie D'arcy's family received a call from the Dublin police. Her cousin Erin has been missing for several days. Maggie herself spent weeks in Ireland, trying to track Erin's movements, working beside the police. But it was to no avail: no trace of her was ever found.

The experience inspired Maggie to become a cop. Now, back on Long Island, more than 20 years have passed. Maggie is a detective and a divorced mother of a teenager. When the Gardai call to say that Erin's scarf has been found and another young woman has gone missing, Maggie…


Book cover of The Trespasser

Adam Oyebanji Author Of A Quiet Teacher

From my list on fair play murder mysteries that are actually fair.

Why am I passionate about this?

I was born in Coatbridge, in the West of Scotland, more years ago than I care to remember. I recently took the big step of moving east to Edinburgh, by way of Birmingham, London, Lagos, Nigeria, Chicago, Pittsburgh, and New York: a necessary detour because traffic on the direct route is really, really bad. I’m a graduate of Birmingham University and Harvard Law School, and work in the field of counter-terrorist financing, which sounds way cooler than it is.  Basically, I write emails, fill in forms, and use spreadsheets to help choke off the money supply that builds weapons of mass destruction, narcotics empires, and human trafficking networks. And sometimes I write murder mysteries.

Adam's book list on fair play murder mysteries that are actually fair

Adam Oyebanji Why did Adam love this book?

Cynical, elegantly plotted, and beautifully written, in this, the sixth of French’s Dublin Murder Squad mysteries, a young woman is found dead in her home and the initial conclusion is that she’s a victim of domestic violence. Her boyfriend is hauled in and questioned and the Squad is convinced it’s an open and shut case. All except the deeply unpopular Antoinette Conway, who spots a number of inconsistencies that give her pause. Pushed to the limit by the hostility and harassment of her so-called colleagues, Conway probes deeper into the case—at the risk of sinking her precarious career for good.

By Tana French,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The bestselling novel by Tana French, author of the forthcoming novel The Searcher, is "required reading for anyone who appreciates tough, unflinching intelligence and ingenious plotting" (The New York Times). She "inspires cultic devotion in readers" (The New Yorker) and is "the most important crime novelist to emerge in the past 10 years" (The Washington Post).

"Atmospheric and unputdownable." -People


In bestselling author Tana French's newest "tour de force" (The New York Times), being on the Murder Squad is nothing like Detective Antoinette Conway dreamed it would be. Her partner, Stephen Moran, is the only person who seems glad she's…


Book cover of In the Woods

Raemi A. Ray Author Of A Chain of Pearls

From my list on unique, moody settings.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve loved mysteries since I was a kid and became hooked on the Fear Street books by RL Stine. In college, I took a class on suspense and mystery and was introduced to the greats: Chandler, Hammett, Collins, Christie, Doyle… I could go on and on. As I consumed more, I became enamored with mysteries that were more than just stories about victims but also used crime as a vehicle to comment on the region’s social and economic issues. My favorite mysteries are more than the sum of its body parts. They also scrutinize the worlds where these heinous crimes were allowed to occur.   

Raemi's book list on unique, moody settings

Raemi A. Ray Why did Raemi love this book?

French’s Dublin Murder Squad series introduces readers to the Dublin-based Gardai, who investigate and solve violent crimes in and around Dublin, Ireland. What I love most about this series is that each book follows a different detective within the same unit and their unique relationships with Dublin and the surrounding areas. French explores not just the crime but also the men and women who solve it. I love how these people are flawed, and they make mistakes while doing their jobs. 

In this installment, Rob Ryan returns to the site of his own childhood trauma to investigate a repeat of a twenty-year-old crime. I love a facing-one-demons plot, and this one doesn’t disappoint. 

By Tana French,

Why should I read it?

6 authors picked In the Woods as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The bestselling debut, with over a million copies sold, that launched Tana French, author of the forthcoming novel The Searcher and "the most important crime novelist to emerge in the past 10 years" (The Washington Post).

"Required reading for anyone who appreciates tough, unflinching intelligence and ingenious plotting." -The New York Times

Now airing as a Starz series.

As dusk approaches a small Dublin suburb in the summer of 1984, mothers begin to call their children home. But on this warm evening, three children do not return from the dark and silent woods. When the police arrive, they find only…


Book cover of Murder in G Major

Elizabeth Amber Love Author Of Full Body Manslaughter: A Farrah Wethers Mystery

From my list on women starting over.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve spent my life recreating myself as many times as Madonna. If things aren’t working, I move on to something new. I’ll go to classes, learn something else, change careers, and struggle the whole way as I look for pieces of life that fit the puzzle of me. It takes me a lot longer to read so when I try to diversify my bookshelf and don’t always stick to my genre (as the professionals tell an author to do). What I “stick to” is finding female characters who struggle and want to give up, but somehow, something deep inside them makes them move forward one step at a time.

Elizabeth's book list on women starting over

Elizabeth Amber Love Why did Elizabeth love this book?

Gethsemane Brown is a vibrant, ambitious, and brave. She’ll strike out anywhere in the world to be a Maestra as long as her life is filled with music.

The offers aren’t what she would like and takes a job in an Irish boys’ academy. The boys were rebellious (of course they are). The school won’t support her recommendations. As the only black woman in the village (and an American), the entire town knew her business before she could even unpack her boxes.

Readers should be prepared for a touch of the paranormal here. Gethsemane lives in a haunted house. Despite this quirk, the mystery is completely grounded in the realism of the town, its people, the church, etc. 

By Alexia Gordon,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked Murder in G Major as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

“The captivating southwestern Irish countryside adds a delightful element to this paranormal series launch. Gethsemane is an appealing protagonist who is doing the best she can against overwhelming odds.” – Library Journal (starred review) With few other options, African-American classical musician Gethsemane Brown accepts a less-than-ideal position turning a group of rowdy schoolboys into an award-winning orchestra. Stranded without luggage or money in the Irish countryside, she figures any job is better than none. The perk? Housesitting a lovely cliffside cottage. The catch? The ghost of the cottage’s murdered owner haunts the place. Falsely accused of killing his wife (and…


Book cover of The Guest List

Rosemary Kubli Author Of Gullible

From my list on crime novels about good people who do bad things.

Why am I passionate about this?

Mystery and crime novels have always been my favorite genre. I love the suspense and intrigue, the intricate storylines, and the clever plot twists. In middle school, while my friends were reading more age-appropriate books, I was reading The Godfather and The Spy Who Came In from the Cold. Is it any wonder then that Siena Ricci, the main character of my debut novel Gullible, is a shrewd and cunning female con artist? I had so much fun developing Siena’s story arc and creating the criminal world she inhabits that I decided to continue her narrative in a sequel, with plans for a third novel to round out the trilogy. 

Rosemary's book list on crime novels about good people who do bad things

Rosemary Kubli Why did Rosemary love this book?

I literally could not put this book down!

Not to brag, but I can usually spot whodunit early on in most murder mysteries. This novel, however, kept me in the dark as, one by one, each of the characters fell off Foley’s guest list and onto my suspect list.

The writing is suspenseful, the plot is fast-paced, and the story is cleverly told from numerous characters’ points of view. I truly did not see this ending coming! As a diehard murder mystery fan, Lucy Foley is my new Agatha Christie. I highly recommend this novel.

By Lucy Foley,

Why should I read it?

10 authors picked The Guest List as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

*The brand new thriller from Lucy Foley - THE PARIS APARTMENT - is available to pre-order now*

The No.1 Sunday Times bestseller

*Over 1 million copies sold worldwide*
*One of The Times and Sunday Times Crime Books of the Year*
*Goodreads Choice Awards winner for Crime & Mystery 2020*

A gripping, twisty murder mystery thriller from the No.1 bestselling author of The Hunting Party.

'Lucy Foley is really very clever' Anthony Horowitz
'Thrilling' The Times
'A classic whodunnit' Kate Mosse
'Sharp and atmospheric and addictive' Louise Candlish
'A furiously twisty thriller' Clare Mackintosh

On an island off the windswept Irish…


Book cover of A Study in Scarlet Women

Malka Older Author Of The Mimicking of Known Successes

From my list on Sherlock Holmes retellings.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve obviously read a lot of Holmes retellings. Part of the impetus behind my new novella was trying to figure out why I was so attracted to them. Part of it, I realized, is the neurodivergence aspect: fundamental to the Holmes story is the idea of someone who thinks differentlyand who finds a way to interact with the world that uses that as an asset. The other component I love is the Holmes-Watson dynamic. Whether it's romantic or not, the development of a relationship of affection between two people who think very differently is an emotional counterpoint to plot-driven mysteries. Those elements—along with stellar writing, gripping mysteries, and characters I love spending time with.

Malka's book list on Sherlock Holmes retellings

Malka Older Why did Malka love this book?

I just did a reread of this timed for the release of the seventh in the series, and every time I read it I’m blown away by the genius way Thomas deconstructs the Holmes mythology and then puts it back together again in a new, fascinating, plausible, entirely satisfying way.

In this retelling Holmes is not only a woman, but one who has been exiled from society forwell, behaving like Sherlock Holmes. The characterization—not only of Holmes, but also of her family, associates, and enemies—is rich and believable, and the mysteries are complex and gripping.

The whole series explores the fundamental injustice of women being treated differently from men, as well as the many ingenious ways women find to escape, avoid, and subvert that norm—and the price they pay.

By Sherry Thomas,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked A Study in Scarlet Women as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

USA Today bestselling author Sherry Thomas turns the story of the renowned Sherlock Holmes upside down in the first novel in this Victorian mystery series....
 
With her inquisitive mind, Charlotte Holmes has never felt comfortable with the demureness expected of the fairer sex in upper class society. But even she never thought that she would become a social pariah, an outcast fending for herself on the mean streets of London.
 
When the city is struck by a trio of unexpected deaths and suspicion falls on her sister and her father, Charlotte is desperate to find the true culprits and clear…


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in murder, murder mystery, and criminal investigations?

10,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about murder, murder mystery, and criminal investigations.

Murder Explore 910 books about murder
Murder Mystery Explore 478 books about murder mystery
Criminal Investigations Explore 441 books about criminal investigations