100 books like The Listening Eye

By Patricia Wentworth,

Here are 100 books that The Listening Eye fans have personally recommended if you like The Listening Eye. 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 Death Comes as the End

Deb Richardson-Moore Author Of Murder, Forgotten

From my list on deviously twisted endings.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a lifelong Southerner and former journalist who believes that the region holds a unique place in American literature. I have a passion for the ultra-twisty ending because I try to incorporate it into each of my own mysteries. I want a reader to stay up late reading one of my books, then finish it in astonishment, thinking, “Wow! I didn’t see that coming!” (And then mention it to her friend over coffee the next morning.) I have read mysteries since I was 12 years old and always appreciate an author who can fool me.  

Deb's book list on deviously twisted endings

Deb Richardson-Moore Why did Deb love this book?

I don’t know if I’d feel as surprised if I read this book today for the first time. But when I encountered it decades ago, I was gobsmacked when the murderer was revealed. This is an unusual Agatha Christie mystery, set in ancient Egypt and inspired by her husband’s archeological digs. In my view, Christie can’t be topped. She’s also the one who introduced me to the unreliable narrator with her fabulous Murder of Roger Ackroyd

By Agatha Christie,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Death Comes as the End as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A novel of anger, jealousy, betrayal and murder in 2000 BC

It is Egypt, 2000 BC, where death gives meaning to life. At the foot of a cliff lies the broken, twisted body of Nofret, concubine to a Ka-priest. Young, beautiful and venomous, most agree that she deserved to die like a snake.
Yet Renisenb, the priest's daughter, believes that the woman's death was not fate, but murder. Increasingly, she becomes convinced that the source of evil lurks within her own father's household.

As the wife of an eminent archaeologist, Agatha Christie took part in several expeditions to the Middle…


Book cover of Catt Out of the Bag

Caron Allan Author Of Night and Day

From my list on classic mysteries you still haven’t read.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have been reading cozy mysteries since I was 8 years old. That’s over fifty years now, and I love, love, love them. Partly it’s the history: the setting and era so different from my own, and partly it’s the mystery element, I love to try to get to the answer before the sleuth, so that I can nod sagely and say, ‘I thought so.’ It’s also about people going through tough times, and seeing how those times can make or break them. I relate so much to their struggles with everyday life, and trying to fit an investigation around romance or vice versa, often during wartime.

Caron's book list on classic mysteries you still haven’t read

Caron Allan Why did Caron love this book?

This is a great one to curl up on a cold night with. A group of carolers go out to sing at Christmas. One disappears. That’s it. The stage is set in such a simple way, it’s masterful. Bring on the ‘sleuth’, John Rutherford, who manages to be the Watson to the official police investigators, along with his wife Molly. The story is witty, intriguing, and beautifully put together. 

Witting really deserves to be better known as his writing is definitely on a par with the Golden Age detective writer greats. Now being republished by Galileo Publishing.

By Clifford Witting,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Catt Out of the Bag as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Classic Golden Age reissue by one of this period's finest writers. A delightful Christmas setting, full of humour and a must for all fans of classic mysteries.


Book cover of The Nine Tailors

L.C. Blackwell Author Of Ready Aim MURDER: A Peter Dumas Mystery, Book 2

From my list on mysteries to take you places you’d like to visit.

Why am I passionate about this?

Puzzles intrigued me since I was a three-year-old. Puzzle pieces that fit into pre-sized spaces. Then, disassembling and reassembling small 3-D animal shapes. Crosswords were next. Finally, Nancy Drew entered my life. I was addicted. Sherlock and Agatha became my mentors. But I loved to paint as well, so art was my first major at Michigan State University. Changed it to advertising in my senior year. Shortly after, Leo Burnett hired me to write print and radio media for Buster Brown shoes. Television was next. I solved many advertising puzzles at Foote, Cone & Belding, but after retiring, mystery re-entered my life when I wrote my first book.

L.C.'s book list on mysteries to take you places you’d like to visit

L.C. Blackwell Why did L.C. love this book?

I highly recommend every mystery Sayers has written. She’s my kind of author — articulate, inspiring, a writer who writes about her surroundings with a realism that allows a reader to enter and learn more: In this book, death by the ringing of church bells in a small English village.

She’s complex but delivers layers of life and death with profound simplicity and understanding. The daughter of a minister, an advertising copywriter, a poet, she graduated from Oxford and used her life experiences to color every page she wrote.

I love her spunk and the exciting way she has written. But mostly, I love her monocled amateur sleuth, Lord Peter Whimsey who exploded on her typewriter in her first mystery.

By Dorothy L. Sayers,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

When his sexton finds a corpse in the wrong grave, the rector of Fenchurch
St Paul asks Lord Peter Wimsey to find out who the dead man was and how
he came to be there.

The lore of bell-ringing and a brilliantly-evoked village in the remote fens of
East Anglia are the unforgettable background to a story of an old unsolved crime
and its violent unravelling twenty years later.

'I admire her novels ... she has great fertility of invention, ingenuity and a wonderful
eye for detail' Ruth Rendell

(P)2015 Hodder & Stoughton


Book cover of Artists in Crime

Caron Allan Author Of Night and Day

From my list on classic mysteries you still haven’t read.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have been reading cozy mysteries since I was 8 years old. That’s over fifty years now, and I love, love, love them. Partly it’s the history: the setting and era so different from my own, and partly it’s the mystery element, I love to try to get to the answer before the sleuth, so that I can nod sagely and say, ‘I thought so.’ It’s also about people going through tough times, and seeing how those times can make or break them. I relate so much to their struggles with everyday life, and trying to fit an investigation around romance or vice versa, often during wartime.

Caron's book list on classic mysteries you still haven’t read

Caron Allan Why did Caron love this book?

I always like to get in at the beginning of an ongoing romance/relationship and this is the one where Alleyn meets Troy, the artist and his future wife. Actually, no I take that back, it’s a spoiler, don’t pay any attention. What if she’s the killer? Then where would the rest of these books be? 

You might think Marsh’s characters seem no different than Sayers’, Christie’s, etc well-to-do detectives and their privileged suspects, but there is a difference here. There is tension between Alleyn, his traditional outlook, his job, and Troy’s more liberal leanings. But like any great couple, together they make a great, if not very romantic, combination. 

By Ngaio Marsh,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

One of Ngaio Marsh's most famous murder mysteries, which introduces Inspector Alleyn to his future wife, the irrepressible Agatha Troy.

It started as a student exercise, the knife under the drape, the model's pose chalked in place. But before Agatha Troy, artist and instructor, returns to the class, the pose has been re-enacted in earnest: the model is dead, fixed for ever in one of the most dramatic poses Troy has ever seen.

It's a difficult case for Chief Detective Inspector Alleyn. How can he believe that the woman he loves is a murderess? And yet no one can be…


Book cover of Drawn from Life: A Memoir

Tessa Lunney Author Of Autumn Leaves, 1922: A Kiki Button Mystery

From my list on the 1920s.

Why am I passionate about this?

I started reading about the 1920s after I read Among the Bohemians by Virginia Nicholson in 2008. I kept reading about the 1920s, particularly 1920s Paris, through my Masters and then my Doctorate in war fiction. I would read about interwar Europe, or America, or Britain, when I needed to work on my doctorate but was too tired to read about trenches or trauma, and it became an obsession. Then it became the subject of two novels, which involved more and more particular research. I love the period's brittle gaiety, its dirty glamour, a time of cultural and political revolution as people fought for a better world.

Tessa's book list on the 1920s

Tessa Lunney Why did Tessa love this book?

This book should not be out of print. It is beautifully written – economical, witty yet discreet, and joyful. Bowen was a young woman from Adelaide, in South Australia, who set off to London to be an artist and landed there during the Great War. She had a long affair and daughter with writer Ford Madox Ford, painted and partied in Paris, moved her daughter back to England in time to watch German bombers fly overhead during the Blitz. This book became another guide for how to live the creative life, the bohemian life, a life full of honesty and art. Like Hemingway’s memoir, it’s full of anecdotes of other writers and artists that were her friends for a time. It reflects on what it means to be an artist, a woman artist, an artist and mother, ideas that still hold true as they are about the inner life of…

By Stella Bowen,

Why should I read it?

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


Book cover of At Home and Under Fire: Air Raids and Culture in Britain from the Great War to the Blitz

Lucy Noakes Author Of Dying for the Nation: Death, Grief and Bereavement in Second World War Britain

From my list on civilians in war.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have been fascinated by the Second World War since I was a child. I grew up with tales of London and Coventry in wartime, stories of family separation, rationing, and air raids. The stories that really gripped me included the streams of refugees passing my grandmother’s house in the suburbs of Coventry after that city was bombed, and the night my aunts and (infant) father spent waiting to be rescued from a bombed house in south London. As a historian I wanted to know more about stories like this, and about the ways that wars shape lives, and my books have returned again and again to the civilian experience of war.

Lucy's book list on civilians in war

Lucy Noakes Why did Lucy love this book?

This book made me think differently about air war, arguably the defining element of 20th and 21st-century conflicts. Grayzel traces its evolution and experience for Britain from the first bombing raids of the First World War to the start of the blitz in the Second. Unlike most other studies, which focus on military strategy and state policy, she interweaves the stories and experiences of the civilians who were to be the targets of this new technology. The book reminds us (if we needed reminding) of the shock of air raids, and the way that these impacted every aspect of life.

By Susan R. Grayzel,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked At Home and Under Fire as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Although the Blitz has come to symbolize the experience of civilians under attack, Germany first launched air raids on Britain at the end of 1914 and continued them during the First World War. With the advent of air warfare, civilians far removed from traditional battle zones became a direct target of war rather than a group shielded from its impact. This is a study of how British civilians experienced and came to terms with aerial warfare during the First and Second World Wars. Memories of the World War I bombings shaped British responses to the various real and imagined war…


Book cover of The London Journal of General Raymond E. Lee 1940-1941

Andrew Nagorski Author Of 1941: The Year Germany Lost the War

From my list on the view from London in 1941.

Why am I passionate about this?

Award-winning journalist and historian Andrew Nagorski was born in Scotland to Polish parents, moved to the United States as an infant, and has rarely stopped moving since. During a long career at Newsweek, he served as the magazine's bureau chief in Hong Kong, Moscow, Rome, Bonn, Warsaw, and Berlin. In 1982, he gained international notoriety when the Kremlin, angered by his enterprising reporting, expelled him from the Soviet Union. Nagorski is the author of seven books, including The Nazi Hunters and Hitlerland.

Andrew's book list on the view from London in 1941

Andrew Nagorski Why did Andrew love this book?

Lee was the popular, well-connected military attaché in the U.S. Embassy in London. A staunch supporter of U.S. aid for Britain, he played an important role in preparing for America’s entry into the war. During the Blitz, he castigated American correspondents who described London as “devastated” by the German bombing campaign. “London is not devastated, and if you want one soldier’s opinion, it will not be devastated,” he told them. His diary reflects his determination to counter the defeatist predictions of Joseph Kennedy, who had served as U.S. ambassador in London until 1940.

Book cover of The Secret History of the Blitz

Melvyn Fickling Author Of Blackbirds

From my list on the London Blitz and the bomber war.

Why am I passionate about this?

I lived in London for eighteen years and acquired an abiding affection for my nation’s capital. I wanted to write a sequel to Bluebirds and jumped at the chance of giving Bryan Hale an adventure where he could walk the streets that I knew and loved. The scars caused on the fair face of London by sticks of Nazi bombs landing in ragged lines across the streets and terraces may still be discerned from the incongruity of the buildings that have since risen to fill the gaps. London heals and thrives. Ultimately, I believe every English writer harbours an ambition to write a London novel. I did, and I did.

Melvyn's book list on the London Blitz and the bomber war

Melvyn Fickling Why did Melvyn love this book?

Today, it is almost impossible to imagine aircraft roaming freely over British cities, disgorging bombs onto the streets below. So, it’s vital for us to have access to the personal, unvarnished stories and contemporary accounts from those that actually lived through this particular horror. In The Secret History of the Blitz Levine pulls no punches as he documents the behaviour of ordinary people faced with extreme experiences. Some reacted with fortitude, uniting in neighbourhood solidarity and extending charity to strangers. Others exploited the chaos, breaking legal and moral codes for their own personal enrichment. To this day, the British psyche collectively benefits from the social concept of a Blitz Spirit. But we should remember it was always a two-sided coin.

By Joshua Levine,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The Blitz of 1940-41 is one of the most iconic periods in modern British history - and one of the most misunderstood. The 'Blitz spirit' is celebrated by some, whereas others dismiss it as a myth. Joshua Levine's thrilling biography rejects the tired arguments and reveals the human truth: the Blitz was a time of extremes of experience and behaviour. People werepulling together and helping strangers, but they were also breaking rules and exploiting each other. Life during wartime, the author reveals, was complex and messy and real.

From the first page readers will discover a different story to the…


Book cover of The Book Cat

Holly Webb Author Of The Story Puppy

From my list on animal stories to tug your heartstrings.

Why am I passionate about this?

My first animal story, Lost in the Snow, was based on stories that my mum and I invented together when I was very small, about our stray cat Rosie. She walked into my dad’s office and sat down in his chair when he was out at lunch! I loved imagining her adventures as a stray kitten, and those stories could be scary, sad, emotional as anything – because we knew she came home to live safe and happy with us. I’ve been creating stories about animals ever since. 

Holly's book list on animal stories to tug your heartstrings

Holly Webb Why did Holly love this book?

This gorgeously illustrated book is the story of Morgan, who becomes the Book Cat at the real publisher Faber. I adored TS Eliot’s Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats as a child, and Morgan was a real cat who was one of the inspirations for the poems. These are his adventures during the London Blitz – in some ways a familiar story, but so moving from a cat’s point of view! 

By Polly Faber, Clara Vulliamy (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

This is a classic wartime tale of a (real!) cat who made his home at the Faber offices and decided he'd never leave.

'This time we need to get you - get all of the kittens, safe out of London,' said Morgan decisively . . . 'To have a chance for a better life, well, let's just say, I've got an idea.'

Morgan is a young orphan who lives off scavenging - until he finds a cosy home at a famous London publishing house. Over time he learns a trade - and soon becomes the very best book cat in…


Book cover of The Night Watch

Janet Dean Knight Author Of The Peacemaker: A Novel

From my list on family secrets, trauma, and loss in wartime.

Why am I passionate about this?

When I was given a First World War soldier’s wallet containing family souvenirsa handwritten letter, a wedding photograph—I realised that it represented the story of my grandmother’s first marriage to a young man who died in the battle of the Somme in 1916. Brought up with my mother’s version of the story, I set out to find what truths I could. What I discovered is that there's no such thing as truth, only versions of what happened, and I wove these into a fictional narrative that tries to capture the experiences of families traumatized by war and explores how they made their peace despite the conflicts and tragedies they experienced.

Janet's book list on family secrets, trauma, and loss in wartime

Janet Dean Knight Why did Janet love this book?

The Night Watch is a chilling, atmospheric book that shows us the lives of a group of Londoners through the air raids of the 1940s. The story is told backwards from a point shortly after the war and reveals the motivations and characters of the story slowly, painfully, and with great care. A group of lesbian women, a woman entangled with a married man, and a young man punished for his part in a desperate pact: their personal stories are played out against a backdrop of fear and destruction. Perhaps my favourite of all Sarah Water’s fabulous novels, The Night Watch is so intricately and cleverly constructed it takes your breath away.

By Sarah Waters,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

I thought everything would change, after the war. And now, no one even mentions it. It is as if we all got together in private and said whatever you do don't mention that, like it never happened.

It's the late 1940s. Calm has returned to London and five people are recovering from the chaos of war.

In scenes set in a quiet dating agency, a bombed-out church and a prison cell, the stories of these five lives begin to intertwine and we uncover the desire and regret that has bound them together.

Sarah Waters's story of illicit love and everyday…


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in the London Blitz, Manchester England, and private investigators?

10,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about the London Blitz, Manchester England, and private investigators.

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