40 books like The Murder Room

By P. D. James,

Here are 40 books that The Murder Room fans have personally recommended if you like The Murder Room. 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 Man with a Load of Mischief

Elizabeth Spann Craig Author Of Checked Out

From my list on enjoying the delicious coziness of murder.

Why am I passionate about this?

Ever since I was a child, I loved stories where an element of danger is introduced into a peaceful setting. Armchair sleuths can solve crimes alongside the detectives and in the comfort and relative security of their own homes. I cut my teeth on Nancy Drew, Trixie Belden, and The Hardy Boys before moving on to Agatha Christie. It’s such an interactive experience when we get the same clues as the detectives and try to come to similar conclusions. These books all replicate the experience well and put the reader in the driver’s seat.

Elizabeth's book list on enjoying the delicious coziness of murder

Elizabeth Spann Craig Why did Elizabeth love this book?

One of the biggest joys in this fine series is the pub settings. Each title is the name of a pub and each pub is the sort of spot you'd like to settle comfortably down with a drink and a chat with friends. Add onto this backdrop a puzzling murder, the wonderful Scotland Yard inspector Richard Jury, and his aristocratic sidekick Melrose Plant, and you've got a winning formula from Martha Grimes.

By Martha Grimes,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked The Man with a Load of Mischief as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

At the Man with a Load of Mischief, they found the dead body stuck in a keg of beer. At the Jack and Hammer, another body was stuck out on the beam of the pub’s sign, replacing the mechanical man who kept the time. Two pubs. Two murders. One Scotland Yard inspector called in to help. Detective Chief Inspector Richard Jury arrives in Long Piddleton and finds everyone in the postcard village looking outside of town for the killer. Except for one Melrose Plant. A keen observer of human nature, he points Jury in the right direction: into the darkest…

Book cover of Busman's Honeymoon

Tracy Grant Author Of The Seven Dials Affair

From my list on unraveling the secrets at the heart of a marriage.

Why am I passionate about this?

I've always been fascinated by stories about married couples, especially when there are secrets in the marriage. My series The Rannoch Fraser Mysteries follows Mélanie and Malcolm Rannoch, whose marriage began when Mélanie, a French agent, married British agent Malcolm to spy on him during the Napoleonic Wars. As the Rannochs investigate mysteries, they grapple with personal and political betrayals and the secrets between them. 

Tracy's book list on unraveling the secrets at the heart of a marriage

Tracy Grant Why did Tracy love this book?

I've always been fascinated by stories that show what happens to a couple after the wedding.

As wonderful as it is to watch Peter Wimsey and Harriet Vane fall in love and finally marry in the previous books in the series, I find it even more interesting to see them adjust to marriage and the challenges it brings. The final scene in particular has been a huge influence on my own writing.

By Dorothy L. Sayers,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Busman's Honeymoon as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The thirteenth book in Dorothy L Sayers' classic Lord Peter Wimsey series, introduced by crime writer Natasha Cooper - a must-read for fans of Agatha Christie's Poirot and Margery Allingham's Campion Mysteries.

They plan to have a quiet country honeymoon. Then Lord Peter Wimsey and his bride Harriet Vane find the previous owner's body in the cellar.

Set in a country village seething with secrets and snobbery, this is Dorothy L. Sayers' last full-length detective novel. Variously described as a love story with detective interruptions and a detective story with romantic interruptions, it lives up to both descriptions with style.…

Book cover of A Fatal Grace

L.L. Abbott Author Of Murder At First Light

From my list on whodumurder mysteries that will keep you guessing.

Why am I passionate about this?

I'm the author of The Lake Pines Mystery Series, as well as a multi-genre-inspired reader and writer. The story is what motivates my interest and captivates my attention. From my early fascination with Nancy Drew that drove me straight into my love of Agatha Christie, I'm passionately drawn to the traditional whodunnit murder mystery genre. I love creating red herrings and revel in the ‘ah-ha’ moments that give the reader pause and enjoyment. As a writer, I wanted to bring stories to life – to entertain and inform. Through murder mysteries I hope to give readers of this genre the satisfaction of a good ending, layered characters, and a good whodunnit.

L.L.'s book list on whodumurder mysteries that will keep you guessing

L.L. Abbott Why did L.L. love this book?

Louise Penny has become a Canadian icon. I often believed that Louise Penny belongs in a category of her own because her writing, plot lines, and characters are all so unique. That said, her Armand Gamache Series is a must-read for all mystery lovers. Filled with humorous and layered characters that each contribute to the unfolding of the plot. Everyone has a part to play in Louise Penny novels. Set in an idyllic town in Quebec, Chief Inspector Armand Gamache is soon investigating a crime as the village prepares for a Christmas celebration. A woman is electrocuted in the middle of a frozen lake in front of the entire village, and there seem to be no witnesses. A Fatal Grace is a perfectly layered whodunnit with a contemporary twist, and as always, the compassionate and brave Gamache is never far from danger himself as he searches for truth among the…

By Louise Penny,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Winner of the 2007 Agatha Award for Best Novel!

From the Dagger award winning author Louise Penny comes the second Armand Gamache mystery set in the stunning countryside of Quebec.

Welcome to winter in Three Pines, a picturesque village in Quebec, where the villagers are preparing for a traditional country Christmas, and someone is preparing for murder.

No one liked CC de Poitiers. Not her quiet husband, not her spineless lover, not her pathetic daughter―and certainly none of the residents of Three Pines. CC de Poitiers managed to alienate everyone, right up until the moment of her death.

When Chief…

Book cover of Murder at the Mendel

J.C. Paulson Author Of Adam's Witness

From my list on mystery in which you really want to hug the detective.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have been reading mysteries since childhood. You know the sort of thing: Trixie Belden, Nancy Drew, Enid Blyton books, The Bobbsey Twins. The desire to profoundly understand the battles of good versus evil, the delicious gathering of clues, and the hope of solving the cases never left me. As I grew, I began to read the adult-themed greats, and dominantly the women of crime fiction. I couldn't possibly count the number of mysteries I have read. Then, seven years ago, I was violently moved to write them as well. My “real” job as a journalist was little different. In a way, every story, every interview subject, has been a little mystery to unravel. 

J.C.'s book list on mystery in which you really want to hug the detective

J.C. Paulson Why did J.C. love this book?

To begin with, I was immediately drawn to this novel because (bless the author) it is located in my own hometown. For those in New York or Paris, this may not be a big deal; but if you live in a relatively small Canadian city, that’s quite exciting. The main character, Joanne Kilbourn, was also named for me. And yes, I have thanked Gail Bowen for this gift. 

All right, that’s not actually true, but one can dream. Joanne is a strong but gentle cozy detective with intense motherly instincts and an extremely sharp mind. I adore her.

By Gail Bowen,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Murder at the Mendel as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

As a child Joanne was friends with Sally Love and her parents, but the friendship languished after Sally’s father died and she moved away, eventually becoming a very controversial artist. When the Mendel Gallery opens an exhibition of Sally’s work, Joanne is eager to attend and to renew their friendship. But it’s not so easy being Sally’s friend anymore, and soon Joanne finds herself ensnared in a web of intrigue and violence. When the director of a local private gallery is brutally murdered, Joanne finds that the past she and Sally share was far more complicated, and far more sordid,…

Book cover of The Cater Street Hangman

Anastasia Hastings Author Of Of Manners and Murder: A Dear Miss Hermione Mystery

From my list on dark and stormy Victorian vibes.

Why am I passionate about this?

I confess to a life-long interest in both the Victorian era and in crime, and I blame my dad for both. Dad was a Cleveland Police detective who introduced me to the Holmes stories at an early age. We read Doyle and we both enjoyed Basil Rathbone’s take on Sherlock in the old black-and-white movies. Dad also gave me my first chance to practice my detecting skills when on his days off, he’d load me into the car, buy me an ice cream cone (no doubt to keep me quiet), and take me for a cruise around the city looking for stolen cars.  

Anastasia's book list on dark and stormy Victorian vibes

Anastasia Hastings Why did Anastasia love this book?

I will admit it’s been a while since I read this, the first Charlotte and Thomas Pitt mystery.

The fact that I still remember it and include it on this list says something. The mystery is convoluted enough to keep readers interested and the story of the lead characters going against societal norms (young woman from a good family attracted to a “lowly” police inspector) is intriguing. 

Throw in the foggy atmosphere of Victorian London and you’ve got a real winner. Be aware, though, Hangman is the first of 32 Charlotte and Thomas Pitt novels.

By Anne Perry,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In the debut of the New York Times–bestselling Victorian crime series, Inspector Thomas Pitt seeks an elusive strangler among upper-class British society.

Panic and fear strike the Ellison household when one of their own falls prey to the Cater Street murderer. While Mrs. Ellison and her three daughters are out, their maid becomes the third victim of a killer who strangles young women with cheese wire, leaving their swollen-faced bodies on the dark streets of this genteel neighborhood. Inspector Pitt, assigned to the case, must break through the walls of upper-class society to get at the truth. His in-depth investigation…

Book cover of The Jigsaw Man

Sam Holland Author Of The Echo Man

From my list on fictional serial killers.

Why am I passionate about this?

Having always been fascinated with the dark and macabre, I grew up hanging out in the library, forging a love of reading through Stephen King, Dean Koontz, and James Herbert. To write The Echo Man, I read more serial killer books than should be deemed healthy – anything from biographies to first-person accounts to psychology and profiling. So who better to recommend serial killer fiction, then a self-confessed serial killer nerd?!

Sam's book list on fictional serial killers

Sam Holland Why did Sam love this book?

The Jigsaw Man introduces us to DI Anjelica Henley and the Serial Crimes Unit as they investigate body parts found along the River Thames. Matheson pulls no punches with her portrait of her gritty East London, combined with pacey action and characters that quickly feel like old friends.

By Nadine Matheson,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

"A heart-pounding roller coaster ride."—Tami Hoag, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Boy

*A Crime Reads Most Anticipated Book of 2021*

A serial killer and his copycat are locked in a violent game of cat and mouse. Can DI Anjelica Henley stop them before it’s too late?

On the day she returns to active duty with the Serial Crimes Unit, Detective Inspector Anjelica Henley is called to a crime scene. Dismembered body parts from two victims have been found by the river.

The modus operandi bears a striking resemblance to Peter Olivier, the notorious Jigsaw Killer, who has…

Book cover of The Civil War in 50 Objects

Jeff Matthews Author Of One Must Tell the Bees: Abraham Lincoln and the Final Education of Sherlock Holmes

From my list on the Civil War without all the battlefield stuff.

Why am I passionate about this?

My twin passions are the fictional stories of Sherlock Holmes, and American history as told on the battlefields of the Civil War—and I have long thought that we make history boring, focusing on battles and dates, and not on the individuals who made it happen (Lincoln above all). So why not shake it up? In One Must Tell the Bees, the rational but very fictional Sherlock Holmes brings to life the accomplishments of the shrewd, incisive but very real Abraham Lincoln in a way that I hope adds to our understanding of Lincoln’s accomplishments, even as our country struggles to reassess the meaning of that portion of our history.

Jeff's book list on the Civil War without all the battlefield stuff

Jeff Matthews Why did Jeff love this book?

From a heartrending photograph of “Slave Shackles Intended for a Child” to Abraham Lincoln’s signature on a congressional resolution for the 13th Amendment abolishing slavery—and 48 other objects in between...

This book provides a fascinating, wide-ranging portrait of the Civil War that reminds readers how Lincoln managed to abolish slavery while also preserving the Union, something not many American politicians thought possible when he was first elected President.

By Harold Holzer, New-York Historical Society,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Civil War in 50 Objects as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The American companion to A History of the World in 100 Objects, a fresh, visual perspective on the Civil War

From a soldier's diary with the pencil still attached to John Brown's pike, the Emancipation Proclamation, and the leaves from Abraham Lincoln's bier, here is a unique and surprisingly intimate look at the Civil War.

Lincoln scholar Harold Holzer sheds new light on the war by examining fifty objects from the New-York Historical Society's acclaimed collection. A daguerreotype of an elderly, dignified ex-slave; a soldier's footlocker still packed with its contents; Grant's handwritten terms of surrender at Appomattox-the stories these…

Book cover of Lois Looks for Bob at the Museum

Natasha Wing Author Of Squeak-a-boo!

From my list on cute & cuddly animal lift-the-flap for kids.

Why am I passionate about this?

As an animal advocate and part-time pet sitter, I wanted to instill the love of animals to babies with a fun board book. I’ve always enjoyed the surprise factor of lift-the-flaps so I was thrilled when Squeak-a-boo! was published. These types of books make for wonderful interactive bonding moments between reader and baby. I hope you enjoy the books on this list, not only for their fun concepts and text, but also for their colorful illustrations. 

Natasha's book list on cute & cuddly animal lift-the-flap for kids

Natasha Wing Why did Natasha love this book?

Kids love cats and Lois is a wide-eyed black and white cat who is looking for her yellow bird friend, Bob.

In this museum location, Lois looks behind such things as a painting and a vase that are at the museum. She finds other animals but not Bob. Until the end of course! The colors are bright and in large blocks which 0-3 year olds will gravitate to.

This is one in series of Lois Looks for Bob books. Other topics include beach, home, and park. 

By Gerry Turley (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Lois Looks for Bob at the Museum as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Little readers will love helping Lois search for her friend Bob behind museum artifacts and encountering their friends along the way in this quirky lift-the-flap book with a retro feel.

The next title in this quirky lift-the-flap book series from illustrator Gerry Turley appeal with their offbeat humor. Little readers will love helping Lois search for her friend Bob behind museum artifacts and encountering their friends along the way.

Book cover of Museum of the Missing

Kaaron Warren Author Of The Grief Hole

From my list on stolen art.

Why am I passionate about this?

Shirley Jackson award-winner Kaaron Warren published her first short story in 1993 and has had fiction in print every year since. She was recently given the Peter McNamara Lifetime Achievement Award and was Guest of Honour at World Fantasy 2018, Stokercon 2019 and Geysercon 2019.  She has also been Guest of Honour at Conflux in Canberra and Genrecon in Brisbane.

She has published five multi-award winning novels (Slights, Walking the Tree, Mistification, The Grief Hole and Tide of Stone) and seven short story collections, including the multi-award winning Through Splintered Walls. Her most recent short story collection is A Primer to Kaaron Warren from Dark Moon Books. Her most recent novella, Into Bones Like Oil (Meerkat Press), was shortlisted for a Shirley Jackson Award and the Bram Stoker Award, winning the Aurealis Award. Her stories have appeared in both Ellen Datlow’s and Paula Guran’s Year’s Best anthologies.

Kaaron's book list on stolen art

Kaaron Warren Why did Kaaron love this book?

This book looks at thieves, liars, manipulators and of course the art itself. There’s a section on damaged goods, which taps into one of my obsessions about the difference in time and effort creation versus destruction takes. 

It’s full of pictures, ironic given that most of the pieces depicted are lost, never to be found. The Gallery of Missing Art is beautifully reproduced, and includes such masterpieces as Strindberg’s “Night of Jealousy”, so we can look at the works and marvel. But knowing that these pieces are…somewhere? Hidden away for a small audience, or perhaps destroyed? That’s heart-breaking.  

By Simon Houpt,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The masterpieces of art that have been stolen could fill a museum. Museum of the Missing offers readers a rare glimpse of the greatest gallery that never was. Simon Houpt brilliantly recounts the story of its valuable holdings and investigates some of the men and women involved in the thefts. Filled with beautiful illustrations and rarely seen photographs, this intriguing book is also a celebration of the ingenious few who are trying to get these treasures back.

Book cover of Strange Magic

Kirsten Weiss Author Of Bound

From my list on witch mysteries that treat paranormal seriously.

Why am I passionate about this?

I believe that magical systems and worlds based on folklore and existing magical practices feel more “real” to the reader... and are a lot more interesting. As an avid Tarot reader, I’ve taken some deep dives into the esoteric magical traditions and symbols behind the cards. I’m still coming up for air on the topic. I’ve been fortunate enough to be able to channel this arcane (and let’s face it, not otherwise very useful) knowledge into my own witch and paranormal mysteries. I hope you enjoy the witchy mystery novels on this list!

Kirsten's book list on witch mysteries that treat paranormal seriously

Kirsten Weiss Why did Kirsten love this book?

Most authors put their notes about what the book is based on at the back. Syd Moore puts it right up front—the true story of a witch hunt hysteria in England. And once that story’s in your head, it colors everything that follows in this paranormal mystery set around an Essex witch museum. Most of the laughs (and there are plenty) come from the wry and witty heroine of this intriguing mystery, packed with information about witchcraft past and present.

By Syd Moore,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Rosie Strange doesn't believe in ghosts or witches or magic. No, not at all. It's no surprise therefore when she inherits the ramshackle Essex Witch Museum, her first thought is to take the money and run.

Still, the museum exerts a curious pull over Rosie. There's the eccentric academic who bustles in to demand she help in a hunt for old bones, those of the notorious Ursula Cadence, a witch long since put to death. And there's curator Sam Stone, a man about whom Rosie can't decide if he's tiresomely annoying or extremely captivating. It all adds up to looking…

5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in museums, police, and London?

10,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about museums, police, and London.

Museums Explore 18 books about museums
Police Explore 227 books about police
London Explore 791 books about London