100 books like The Monster of Florence

By Douglas Preston, Mario Spezi,

Here are 100 books that The Monster of Florence fans have personally recommended if you like The Monster of Florence. Shepherd is a community of 11,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic

Jane De Suza Author Of When Impossible Happens

From my list on books to make you laugh when you’re trying to look serious.

Why am I passionate about this?

Out of all the flattering reviews of my books, my favourite is of a reader choking on her lunch. My book was about death. The reader, who survived, said it made her laugh so hard. I write about tough times by bringing out the it’s okay to smile now bits. The Midnight Years is about teen mental health, Happily Never After is about loneliness, and Flyaway Boy is about stereotyping. Making people laugh through tears is a tough task. Here are some books that cracked it.

Jane's book list on books to make you laugh when you’re trying to look serious

Jane De Suza Why did Jane love this book?

Fun home is what the author and her family call the funeral home they were raised in. I was drawn into this graphic memoir of the author’s relationship with her father, with disturbing themes of suicide, unaccepted gender identities, and domestic abuse.

The story manages to stay buoyant despite it all, and the observations are funny. The author’s ability to capture her most painful memories in bright light and intricate detail catapulted this read to the top for me. 

By Alison Bechdel,

Why should I read it?

13 authors picked Fun Home as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

DISCOVER the BESTSELLING GRAPHIC MEMOIR behind the Olivier Award nominated musical.

'A sapphic graphic treat' The Times

A moving and darkly humorous family tale, pitch-perfectly illustrated with Alison Bechdel's gothic drawings. If you liked Marjane Satrapi's Persepolis you'll love this.

Meet Alison's father, a historic preservation expert and obsessive restorer of the family's Victorian home, a third-generation funeral home director, a high-school English teacher, an icily distant parent, and a closeted homosexual who, as it turns out, is involved with his male students and the family babysitter. When Alison comes out as homosexual herself in late adolescence, the denouement is…


Book cover of Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal?

Polly Hall Author Of Myrrh

From my list on capturing the experience of adoption.

Why am I passionate about this?

I was adopted as a baby, so I have first-hand experience of the emotions and challenges this presents. I am passionate about shining light on this often misunderstood and complex family trauma through my writing. My memoir Blood and Blood, an emotive exploration of the search for my birth relatives, was shortlisted for the Mslexia Prize. My research extends to fiction and non-fiction, where the psychological effects of adoption are referenced or highlighted. I am always keen to chat with fellow care-experienced people. I hope you find the books on this list helpful.

Polly's book list on capturing the experience of adoption

Polly Hall Why did Polly love this book?

One thing about being adopted is you have an in-built radar to seek out others who are too. I read Jeanette Winterson’s first novel, Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit when I was a teenager, and since then, I have been in awe of her as a writer and her ability to eloquently describe her personal experience as an adoptee. 

This book is her autobiography, and there were occasions while reading it that I had to stop and cry. Finally, someone else had written about what I had kept holed up inside me. Her final chapter, "The Wound," speaks so profoundly to me as an adopted adult. It is honest, sharp, and fierce.

By Jeanette Winterson,

Why should I read it?

7 authors picked Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal? as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The shocking, heart-breaking - and often very funny - true story behind Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit.

In 1985 Jeanette Winterson's first novel, Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit, was published. It was Jeanette's version of the story of a terraced house in Accrington, an adopted child, and the thwarted giantess Mrs Winterson. It was a cover story, a painful past written over and repainted. It was a story of survival.

This book is that story's the silent twin. It is full of hurt and humour and a fierce love of life. It is about the pursuit of happiness,…


Book cover of Angels & Demons

E. Chris Ambrose Author Of The Mongol's Coffin

From my list on weaving adventure and history.

Why am I passionate about this?

As an art school drop-out who'd been majoring in sculpture, I'm fascinated by material culture—artifacts created by early peoples that reveal their cultural values. Often, the relics and sites that engage both archaeologists and readers suggest unexpected depths of knowledge that show human ingenuity through the ages. I strive to incorporate the details of an artifact or monument's creation into the clues and descriptions in my work, hopefully illuminating a little-known historical realm, if only by torchlight as the adventure unfolds. The fact that I get to explore so many exotic locations, in research if not in person, is a definite plus!

E. Chris' book list on weaving adventure and history

E. Chris Ambrose Why did E. Chris love this book?

While most people associate Dan Brown with his more famous work, The DaVinci Code, this first novel in his Robert Langdon series really founded the archaeological thriller genre.

I loved how this book transports readers to the milieu so thoroughly that it was a bit of a spoiler when I recognized one key location from my own time in Rome before the secret was revealed—but that's a testament to how well he conveys the scene! Brown invites us behind the scenes of secret societies, sharing insider information to raise the stakes.

I had the great good fortune to take a workshop with Dan just before DaVinci Code came out, and benefit from his enormous skill as a teacher. The man tells a ripping yarn, full of puzzles that blend fact and fancy. 

By Dan Brown,

Why should I read it?

8 authors picked Angels & Demons as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

CERN Institute, Switzerland: a world-renowned scientist is found brutally murdered with a mysterious symbol seared onto his chest.

The Vatican, Rome: the College of Cardinals assembles to elect a new pope. Somewhere beneath them, an unstoppable bomb of terrifying power relentlessly counts down to oblivion.

In a breathtaking race against time, Harvard professor Robert Langdon must decipher a labyrinthine trail of ancient symbols if he is to defeat those responsible - the Illuminati, a secret brotherhood presumed extinct for nearly four hundred years, reborn to continue their deadly vendetta against their most hated enemy, the Catholic Church.

Origin, the spellbinding…


Book cover of The Order

Alec Peche Author Of Sicilian Murder

From my list on mysteries to explore the major cities of Italy.

Why am I passionate about this?

I love good stories and I like to learn about other cities even if it is in a work of fiction. With few exceptions, every story I’ve written is in a location I’ve visited. When you can’t visit a place, then reading about a city in modern-day fiction is a close substitute. How many readers feel like they know the English countryside after reading multiple British mysteries? Or feel like you know Boston when reading the Robert Parker Spenser series? That’s the point of a good mystery – to take you someplace you’re not.

Alec's book list on mysteries to explore the major cities of Italy

Alec Peche Why did Alec love this book?

Daniel Silva has written a long series about Israeli spy chief and art restorer Gabriel Allan. I enjoyed the series and there’s a subplot the author has long weaved together with Gabriel Allan and the Vatican. If you ever visit Anne Frank’s house in Amsterdam, you might hear the church bells from the Catholic Church next to her house. It’s a stunning contrast. I like the powerplay between Gabriel and the Vatican portrayed in the story, and I gain a little history even though it’s a work of fiction.

By Daniel Silva,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

From Daniel Silva, author of the #1 New York Times bestsellers The New Girl and The Other Woman, comes a stunning new action-packed thriller of high stakes international intrigue featuring the enigmatic art restorer and master spy Gabriel Allon.

LOST FOR CENTURIES,

ONE BOOK HOLDS THE KEY.

Legendary spy and art restorer Gabriel Allon has slipped into Venice for a much-needed holiday with his wife and two young children. But when Pope Paul VII dies suddenly, Gabriel is summoned to Rome by the Holy Father's loyal private secretary, Archbishop Luigi Donati. A billion Catholic faithful have been told that the…


Book cover of Transient Desires

Alec Peche Author Of Sicilian Murder

From my list on mysteries to explore the major cities of Italy.

Why am I passionate about this?

I love good stories and I like to learn about other cities even if it is in a work of fiction. With few exceptions, every story I’ve written is in a location I’ve visited. When you can’t visit a place, then reading about a city in modern-day fiction is a close substitute. How many readers feel like they know the English countryside after reading multiple British mysteries? Or feel like you know Boston when reading the Robert Parker Spenser series? That’s the point of a good mystery – to take you someplace you’re not.

Alec's book list on mysteries to explore the major cities of Italy

Alec Peche Why did Alec love this book?

With this book, we get to visit Venice which might be my favorite Italian city. Ms. Leon has written a long-running series always set in Venice. It features an Italian detective (Commissario Guido Brunetti), his professorial wife, two children, an incompetent supervisor, and a secretary that is an IT geek. I like the series as I can feel myself walking down the streets of Venice Island over bridges, and in boats on the canals. The inspector goes home for lunch most days, something that you don’t find in America. She does a good job of describing a way of life in Venice beyond the mystery story.

By Donna Leon,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In the landmark thirtieth installment of the bestselling series the New Yorker has called “an unusually potent cocktail of atmosphere and event,” Guido Brunetti is forced to confront an unimaginable crime

In his many years as a commissario, Guido Brunetti has seen all manner of crime and known intuitively how to navigate the various pathways in his native city, Venice, to discover the person responsible. Now, in Transient Desires, the thirtieth novel in Donna Leon’s masterful series, he faces a heinous crime committed outside his jurisdiction. He is drawn in innocently enough: two young American women have been badly injured…


Book cover of Suspicious

Alec Peche Author Of Sicilian Murder

From my list on mysteries to explore the major cities of Italy.

Why am I passionate about this?

I love good stories and I like to learn about other cities even if it is in a work of fiction. With few exceptions, every story I’ve written is in a location I’ve visited. When you can’t visit a place, then reading about a city in modern-day fiction is a close substitute. How many readers feel like they know the English countryside after reading multiple British mysteries? Or feel like you know Boston when reading the Robert Parker Spenser series? That’s the point of a good mystery – to take you someplace you’re not.

Alec's book list on mysteries to explore the major cities of Italy

Alec Peche Why did Alec love this book?

This is a cozy mystery that gives the reader a nice tour of Rome from a bargain tourist perspective. The story takes the reader north into Austria and Germany so you gain a feeling for the Alps. The couple that leads the story are suspects in a series of jewelry heists and work their way through Northern Italy and beyond to solve the thefts. It’s a light-hearted story with a little romance, no cuss words, and little violence.

By Sara Rosett,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Zoe and Jack’s trip to Rome was supposed to be a romantic one-year anniversary celebration with a little business on the side. Jack’s fledgling security company has landed the plum assignment of providing additional security for the opening night gala of a museum exhibit featuring priceless gems.However, the easy job turns complicated when they discover the exhibit is the next target of a cat burglar who has struck several times in recent months, snatching up a hoard of sparkling jewels. Opening night goes off without a hitch, but then the police accuse them of switching the real gems for fakes.With…


Book cover of Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI

Andrew Amelinckx Author Of Satellite Boy: The International Manhunt for a Master Thief That Launched the Modern Communication Age

From my list on narrative non-fiction that interweave crime and history.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been enthralled with history since childhood thanks to my late father, a college professor with a passion for the past. Our house was always filled with history books of all types and my father was a veritable encyclopedia who enjoyed answering my questions. When I became a crime reporter in the early 2000s, my predilection for history merged with my interest in crime and I ended up writing four books centered around historical crimes ranging in time from the 1700s to the 1960s. 

Andrew's book list on narrative non-fiction that interweave crime and history

Andrew Amelinckx Why did Andrew love this book?

David Grann’s Killers of the Flower Moon gives the viewer a window into a piece of Native American culture in 1920s Oklahoma as well as the inner workings of the brand-new FBI under its narcissistic and despotic head J. Edgar Hoover.

For me, the heart of the story is the Osage people and their struggle to prosper in the face of racism, corruption, and murder. That’s not to say that Grann doesn’t do a brilliant job with the FBI investigation into the killings. 

By David Grann,

Why should I read it?

17 authors picked Killers of the Flower Moon as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In the 1920s, the richest people per capita in the world were members of the Osage Indian nation in Oklahoma. After oil was discovered beneath their land, they rode in chauffeured automobiles, built mansions and sent their children to study in Europe.

Then, one by one, the Osage began to be killed off. As the death toll climbed, the FBI took up the case. But the bureau badly bungled the investigation. In desperation, its young director, J. Edgar Hoover, turned to a former Texas Ranger named Tom White to unravel the mystery. Together with the Osage he and his undercover…


Book cover of And the Sea Will Tell

Nicole Maggi Author Of The Forgetting

From my list on true crime to keep you up at night.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve always hated horror movies and anything scary—but I love true crime. I’m particular in how I consume it; I prefer to listen to it rather than read it and never at night. But give me a Dateline marathon and I’m a happy woman. While much of my own writing is far from true crime (Twin Willows Trilogy is YA urban fantasy, and What They Don’t Know is contemporary YA), my thriller The Forgetting explores dark subject matters—so dark, in fact, that my agent said to me, “But you seem so nice.” I am, for the most part…but I’m also not afraid to shine a flashlight into the darkness that lives in all of us.

Nicole's book list on true crime to keep you up at night

Nicole Maggi Why did Nicole love this book?

In 1974, two couples sailed into the Palmyra Atoll in search of a tropical paradise—but only one couple sailed back. When Eleanor “Muff” Graham’s body washes up on shore 6 years later, Buck Walker and his former girlfriend Stephanie Stearns are charged with her murder, but the outcome of their trials surprises everyone. Written by Stearns’ famed defense attorney Vincent Bugliosi, this story has everything: a tropical island teeming with tension, two couples whose ideologies were bound to come to a head, and a wild court case that will have you on the edge of your seat until the very end.

By Vincent Bugliosi, Bruce Henderson,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked And the Sea Will Tell as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

ALONE WITH HER NEW HUSBAND on a tiny Pacific atoll, a young woman, combing the beach, finds an odd aluminum container washed up out of the lagoon, and beside it on the sand something glitters: a gold tooth in a scorched human skull. The investigation that follows uncovers an extraordinarily complex and puzzling true-crime story. Only Vincent Bugliosi, who recounted his successful prosecution of mass murderer Charles Manson in the bestseller Helter Skelter, was able to draw together the hundreds of conflicting details of the mystery and reconstruct what really happened when four people found hell in a tropical paradise.…


Book cover of Justice: Crimes, Trials, and Punishments

Nicole Maggi Author Of The Forgetting

From my list on true crime to keep you up at night.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve always hated horror movies and anything scary—but I love true crime. I’m particular in how I consume it; I prefer to listen to it rather than read it and never at night. But give me a Dateline marathon and I’m a happy woman. While much of my own writing is far from true crime (Twin Willows Trilogy is YA urban fantasy, and What They Don’t Know is contemporary YA), my thriller The Forgetting explores dark subject matters—so dark, in fact, that my agent said to me, “But you seem so nice.” I am, for the most part…but I’m also not afraid to shine a flashlight into the darkness that lives in all of us.

Nicole's book list on true crime to keep you up at night

Nicole Maggi Why did Nicole love this book?

Every month when my copy of Vanity Fair arrived, I’d flip directly to Dominick Dunne’s column and savor every word. Each story in this collection reads like those columns: full of juicy details alongside human pathos. While most of the pieces cover the O.J. Simpson trial (for which Dunne was front and center in the courtroom every day), he also writes about other high-profile cases of the rich and infamous such as the Menendez Brothers and Sunny von Bulow. But the first story in the book is about the murder of Dunne’s own daughter, Dominique, reminding us that at the other end of these sensationalized stories is a real person whose life has tragically been cut short. One of the things that affected me most about Dunne’s writing is that he was always on the side of the victim, and that’s displayed here in spades.

By Dominick Dunne,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Dominick Dunne's mesmerizing tales of justice denied and justice affirmed.

For more than two decades, Vanity Fair published Dominick Dunne’s brilliant, revelatory chronicles of the most famous crimes, trials, and punishments of our time. Whether writing of Claus von Bülow’s romp through two trials; the Los Angeles media frenzy surrounding O.J. Simpson; the death by fire of multibillionaire banker Edmond Safra; or the Greenwich, Connecticut, murder of Martha Moxley and the indictment—decades later—of Michael Skakel, Dominick Dunne tells it honestly and tells it from his unique perspective. His search for the truth is relentless.


Book cover of Stay Sexy & Don't Get Murdered: The Definitive How-To Guide

Nicole Maggi Author Of The Forgetting

From my list on true crime to keep you up at night.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve always hated horror movies and anything scary—but I love true crime. I’m particular in how I consume it; I prefer to listen to it rather than read it and never at night. But give me a Dateline marathon and I’m a happy woman. While much of my own writing is far from true crime (Twin Willows Trilogy is YA urban fantasy, and What They Don’t Know is contemporary YA), my thriller The Forgetting explores dark subject matters—so dark, in fact, that my agent said to me, “But you seem so nice.” I am, for the most part…but I’m also not afraid to shine a flashlight into the darkness that lives in all of us.

Nicole's book list on true crime to keep you up at night

Nicole Maggi Why did Nicole love this book?

While not a true-crime book per se, this memoir from the hosts of the smash-hit podcast My Favorite Murder is written with humor and authenticity. The book is filled with anecdotes about all the dumb mistakes they made as teenagers that could’ve ended very badly, lists such as "Ten Starter Ideas For Self-Care Beginners," and stories about the origins of their true-crime obsession. My Favorite Murder stands out amongst all the other true crime podcasts because of the way Hardstark and Kilgariff use humor to cope with the darkness in our world, and their special blend of dark humor is on every page of their book.

By Karen Kilgariff, Georgia Hardstark,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Stay Sexy & Don't Get Murdered as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The instant #1 New York Times and USA Today best seller by Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark, the voices behind the hit podcast My Favorite Murder!

Sharing never-before-heard stories ranging from their struggles with depression, eating disorders, and addiction, Karen and Georgia irreverently recount their biggest mistakes and deepest fears, reflecting on the formative life events that shaped them into two of the most followed voices in the nation.

In Stay Sexy & Don’t Get Murdered, Karen and Georgia focus on the importance of self-advocating and valuing personal safety over being ‘nice’ or ‘helpful.’ They delve into their own pasts,…


5 book lists we think you will like!

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