69 books like The Old Man

By Thomas Perry,

Here are 69 books that The Old Man fans have personally recommended if you like The Old Man. 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 Get Shorty

Marjorie McCown Author Of Final Cut

From my list on crime about Hollywood.

Why am I passionate about this?

I've been hooked on the magic of storytelling since childhood, always eager to go wherever imagination can take me. I think that early fascination led me to become a costume designer because costume design is about using clothing to help tell a story. I spent 27 years working on the costume design teams for films like Forrest Gump, Apollo 13, Angels & Demons, and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. When I decided to take what felt like a logical creative step, to write my own stories, I knew I wanted to write murder mysteries. And I thought the world behind the scenes of a movie would make the perfect setting.   

Marjorie's book list on crime about Hollywood

Marjorie McCown Why did Marjorie love this book?

Elmore Leonard knew the vagaries of the movie business back to front, and he serves them up on a platter of delicious satire in this story about an East Coast loan shark, Chili Palmer, who comes to Los Angeles chasing a deadbeat debtor and winds up in his own fractured fairy tale version of the Hollywood dream.

Chili’s an endearing character, street smart with a unique blend of humility and self-confidence. When his collection job throws him into company with a group of movie people, he sees them and their milieu with clear-eyed objectivity.

Talking to an underworld associate, he says, “The movie business, you can do anything you want because there’s nobody in charge.” Leonard’s mastery of dialogue and character, along with his wit and sly affection for the industry he’s skewering combine to make this book a complete delight. 

By Elmore Leonard,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A thriller filled with Leonard's signatures - scathing wit, crackling dialogue, twisted plot, mad scams - and set in the drug sodden world of Hollywood.


Book cover of The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie

Yvonne Kjorlien Author Of Memoirs of a Reluctant Archaeologist

From my list on kick-ass women come from screwed up families.

Why am I passionate about this?

On the surface, my childhood was characterized by 1980s unsupervised country freedom in rural Alberta. Deeper in, my history involved emotional abuse and neglect. I wanted nothing more than to be seen and loved for my true self. The library was a refuge, but the fiction section allowed me to find the community I so greatly desired. I was seen and loved by the characters I read. They showed me it was possible to be myself–loudly and audaciously–and still be accepted. I read and now write books that delve into themes of identity, autonomy, and acceptance because I still struggle with these themes today. 

Yvonne's book list on kick-ass women come from screwed up families

Yvonne Kjorlien Why did Yvonne love this book?

I admit it: I underestimated Flavia de Luce.

She is 11 years old, self-schooled, and lives outside a small English town in the 1950s. She is overlooked and underestimated by everyone. Deep inside, I’m still 11 years old, underestimated, and overlooked. I had an insatiable desire to learn about my environment, and I often saw things others didn’t. Flavia also reminds me of my childhood living in the country in the 1980s. I ran unchecked, safe, and constantly delighted in discovering new things about my corner of the world. I wince at the de Luce family politics. I cheer Flavia’s investigations and her fearlessness. I want nothing more than to stay in Flavia’s 11-year-old world forever. She is the kick-ass kid I wanted to be. 

By Alan Bradley,

Why should I read it?

9 authors picked The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Meet Flavia: Mystery Solver. Master Poisoner. 11 Years Old.

England 1950. At Buckshaw, the crumbling country seat of the de Luce family, very-nearly-eleven-year-old Flavia is plotting revenge on her older sisters.

Then a dead bird is left on the doorstep, which has an extraordinary effect on Flavia's eccentric father, and a body is found in the garden. As the police descend on Buckshaw, Flavia decides to do some investigating of her own.

Praise for the historical Flavia de Luce mysteries:
'The Flavia de Luce novels are now a cult favourite' Mail on Sunday

'A cross between Dodie Smith's I Capture…


Book cover of The Big Sleep

Charles Ardai Author Of Death Comes Too Late

From my list on hardboiled crime novels that will move you to tears.

Why am I passionate about this?

I created Hard Case Crime 20 years ago to revive the look, feel, and storytelling style of the great paperback crime novels of the 1940s and 50s: slender, high-velocity tales with irresistible premises, crackling dialogue, and powerful emotions, all presented behind gorgeous painted covers in the classic pulp style. Since then, I’ve had the opportunity to publish Stephen King, Joyce Carol Oates, Ray Bradbury, James M. Cain, Erle Stanley Gardner, Mickey Spillane, Brian De Palma, Ed McBain, and many more extraordinary authors.

Charles' book list on hardboiled crime novels that will move you to tears

Charles Ardai Why did Charles love this book?

The first novel about legendary private eye Phillip Marlowe is also the first mystery novel that ever made me cry when I turned the last page.

Marlowe’s poetic narration and bruised outsider’s voice offer a cynical but also strangely hopeful perspective on both the shady underworld types and the corrupt high-society folk who fill the “mean streets” down which Marlowe must walk (in Chandler’s much-quoted phrase).

Why hopeful when death–the big sleep–awaits us all? Because a man of principles like Marlowe can still bring a measure of justice in this unjust world, sometimes just by bearing witness.

By Raymond Chandler,

Why should I read it?

18 authors picked The Big Sleep as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Raymond Chandler's first three novels, published here in one volume, established his reputation as an unsurpassed master of hard-boiled detective fiction.

The Big Sleep, Chandler's first novel, introduces Philip Marlowe, a private detective inhabiting the seamy side of Los Angeles in the 1930s, as he takes on a case involving a paralysed California millionaire, two psychotic daughters, blackmail and murder.

In Farewell, My Lovely, Marlowe deals with the gambling circuit, a murder he stumbles upon, and three very beautiful but potentially deadly women.

In The High Window, Marlowe searches the California underworld for a priceless gold coin and finds himself…


Book cover of Slow Horses

Lee Goldberg Author Of Calico

From my list on humor that makes us human.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been writing crime stories since I was a child. They entertained me and helped me cope with a lot of family strife. My first novel was published in college and sold to the movies, which got me into screenwriting, leading to writing hundreds of hours of TV and fifty novels to date. The one thing all of my stories share is humor because I believe it’s an essential part of life–and of memorable story-telling. Humor makes characters come alive, revealing shades of personality and depths of emotion you wouldn’t otherwise see. Here are five books that taught me that it’s true and that continue to influence me as a writer. 

Lee's book list on humor that makes us human

Lee Goldberg Why did Lee love this book?

Spy novels, especially the British ones, are densely plotted, densely written, densely serious stories full of politics and betrayals…without a smile to be had by the characters or the reader. The only funny ones are satires. But this book is different.

I could enjoy all the pleasures of a spy novel, with all the betrayals and plot twists, and find myself laughing even as I was caught up in the suspense and surprises. If anything, the laughs made the twists more twisty and the tragedies more tragic.

This book revitalized an entire genre for me…by knowing where to find the humor in what was always portrayed as a humorless job in a humorless world. 

By Mick Herron,

Why should I read it?

10 authors picked Slow Horses as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

*Now a major TV series starring Gary Oldman*

'To have been lucky enough to play Smiley in one's career; and now go and play Jackson Lamb in Mick Herron's novels - the heir, in a way, to le Carre - is a terrific thing' Gary Oldman

Slough House is the outpost where disgraced spies are banished to see out the rest of their derailed careers. Known as the 'slow horses' these misfits have committed crimes of drugs and drunkenness, lechery and failure, politics and betrayal while on duty.

In this drab and mildewed office these highly trained spies don't run…


Book cover of The Ranger

Mike Attebery Author Of Firepower

From my list on crime novels if you appreciate style and humor.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have loved mysteries and crime thrillers since I worked at the legendary R.J. Julia Booksellers in high school. A lifelong love of books and movies led me to pursue a career in screenwriting and later in indie publishing. My most popular books, including Seattle On Ice, Chokecherry Canyon, and The Grimwood Trilogy all mix fast-paced action with film references and plenty of humor.

Mike's book list on crime novels if you appreciate style and humor

Mike Attebery Why did Mike love this book?

Ace Atkins is a master of the crime genre. It’s no wonder Robert B. Parker’s estate tapped him to carry on the Spenser series. He’s great at capturing places and the internal monologues of weary men. He’s also able to tell stories just seedy enough to keep readers curious, without making them cringe. The first book in Atkins’ Quinn Colson series is on par with Elmore Leonard’s Raylan Givens books. Quinn seems entirely real, the small town he returns to after a years-long absence feels lived in and believable. And the pacing is masterful. Whereas Perry drags readers along for the action, Atkins makes you feel as though you’re sitting in the backseat, riding down the winding roads of Tibbehah County in northeast Mississippi as Quinn uneasily approaches another backcountry crime scene.    

By Ace Atkins,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Northeast Mississippi is hill country, rugged and notorious for outlaws since the Civil War, where killings are as commonplace as they were in the Old West. To Quinn Colson, just back from a tour of Afghanistan, it's home. But home has changed.

Quinn returns to a place overrun by corruption. His uncle, the county sheriff, is dead - officially it was suicide, but others whisper murder. In the days that follow, it will be up to Colson, now an Army Ranger, to discover the truth - not only about his uncle, but also about his family, friends, hometown and himself.…


Book cover of The Thursday Murder Club

Why am I passionate about this?

During a time of turmoil in my life, I discovered the soul-calming world of the cozy when I happened upon the Thrush Green series by Miss Read (Doris Saint). A former fan of thrillers, my time spent in these rural British villages was a revelation. Who knew how peaceful the mundane could be when seasoned with a pinch of humor and common sense? I expanded my reading to include cozy mysteries like the ones I’ve recommended. Having reached the age of many of the ladies in these books, I appreciate even more their determination to continue to make a difference by using their unique experiences and skills.

J.B.'s book list on mature amateur sleuths who use their years of experience and wisdom to help solve crimes with aplomb

J.B. Hawker Why did J.B. love this book?

As a confirmed Anglophile, I became aware of Richard Osman’s wit and unique humor from watching British game shows where he appears as either a panelist or presenter. When I learned he had authored a book, I couldn’t wait to read it and had high expectations. The Thursday Murder Club did not disappoint.

The eclectic group of characters, from the Old Age Pensioners of the retirement village to the detectives they encounter (and frustrate), are engaging and richly developed. Even the evil-doers are written with more than the usual depth.

The plot is rich, with unexpected twists. I love a good, clean mystery that respects both the characters and the readers. Richard Osman has created a delightful series. I can’t wait for his next installment. 

By Richard Osman,

Why should I read it?

24 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 Rules of Prey

Mike Lawson Author Of Alligator Alley: A Joe DeMarco Thriller

From my list on crime from authors who never disappoint readers.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m the Edgar and Barry Award nominated author of twenty novels, sixteen in my Joe DeMarco series, three in my Kay Hamilton Series, and my standalone, Redemption. Prior to becoming a writer, I was a senior civilian executive working in the U.S. Navy’s nuclear propulsion program.  My books are mostly set in and involve characters in Washington, D.C., because Washington is a target-rich environment for a writer—and now more so than ever.

Mike's book list on crime from authors who never disappoint readers

Mike Lawson Why did Mike love this book?

John Sandford’s books aren’t as “literary” as those written by Mick Herron or Richard Price, but I love his books for their pacing—they always start out with a bang—and for Sandford’s sense of humor. I also admire the way he’s aged the recurring characters in the Prey books, taking Lucas Davenport from a young man in his thirties to the age of almost sixty in the last book. You can’t go wrong with any of the thirty-plus books in the Prey series, and I’m holding my breath for the next one. 

By John Sandford,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked Rules of Prey as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

**Don't miss John Sandford's brand-new thriller Ocean Prey - out now**

#1 New York Times bestselling author John Sandford's 'haunting, unforgettable, ice-blooded thriller' - first in the Lucas Davenport series!

The killer was mad but brilliant.

He left notes with every woman he killed. Rules of murder: Never have a motive. Never follow a discernible pattern. Never carry a weapon after it has been used...So many rules to his sick, violent games of death.

But Lucas Davenport, the cop who's out to get him, isn't playing by the rules.

***Praise for RULES OF PREY***

'Terrifying... Sandford has crafted the kind…


Book cover of The Whites

Mike Lawson Author Of Alligator Alley: A Joe DeMarco Thriller

From my list on crime from authors who never disappoint readers.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m the Edgar and Barry Award nominated author of twenty novels, sixteen in my Joe DeMarco series, three in my Kay Hamilton Series, and my standalone, Redemption. Prior to becoming a writer, I was a senior civilian executive working in the U.S. Navy’s nuclear propulsion program.  My books are mostly set in and involve characters in Washington, D.C., because Washington is a target-rich environment for a writer—and now more so than ever.

Mike's book list on crime from authors who never disappoint readers

Mike Lawson Why did Mike love this book?

Richard Price, in my opinion, is one of today’s best writers in any genre. The Whites, a book about five detectives finally getting the criminal that always eluded them, was just the most recent book of his I’ve read. His classics—Clockers, Freedomland, The Night of, Sea of Love—were all adapted for the big screen. His prose is cliché free, no one captures New York City and its denizens the way Price does, and the dialogue in his books is pitch perfect and realistic.

By Richard Price,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
FINALIST FOR THE L.A. TIMES BOOK PRIZE 2015 IN THE MYSTERY/THRILLER CATEGORY

Every cop has a personal 'White': a criminal who got away with murder - or worse - and was able to slip back into life, leaving the victim's family still seeking justice, the cop plagued by guilt.

Back in the 1990s, Billy Graves was one of the Wild Geese: a tight-knit crew of young mavericks, fresh to police work and hungry for justice, looking out for each other and their 'family' of neighbourhood locals. But then Billy made some bad headlines by accidentally shooting…


Book cover of Every Last Cuckoo

M. Jean Pike Author Of The Little Things

From my list on family relationships with strong mother figures.

Why am I passionate about this?

I lost my mother unexpectedly when I was a young mother myself. Oh, how I missed the gentle wisdom that had guided me my whole life! As I journeyed through the various stages of life, there was so much I wanted to ask her. She would be in her eighties now, but in my mind, she is and will always be fifty-seven. Gone now, but I still feel the influence of her kindness, wisdom, and compassion in my life and decisions. I’m drawn to stories about families and the far-reaching influence a mother has on her daughters’ lives. Though I mostly write romance, many of my novels contain older women who've had such an influence.

M.'s book list on family relationships with strong mother figures

M. Jean Pike Why did M. love this book?

This lovely story is one of loss, tragedy, hope, family, and new beginnings that come in the most unexpected ways.

Seventy-five-year-old Sarah has a good life. She’s been married to Charles, a man she adores, for fifty years. She assumes they will live out the rest of their lives together in the tranquil setting of their Vermont country home. But when Charles unexpectedly passes away, Sarah’s beautiful life is shattered.

With her children grown and raising families of their own, she finds herself alone in her big house, no one to nurture, no place to put her love. Until a collection of displaced characters begin to find shelter in her home. Working through her grief, Sarah discovers interests she never took the time to explore, and in pouring into others, soon finds her own cup overflowing. 

This story provides perspective on what things are important, and what are not. So…

By Kate Maloy,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Sarah Lucas imagined the rest of her days would be spent living peacefully in her rural Vermont home in the steadfast company of her husband. But now, with Charles's sudden passing, seventy-five-year-old Sarah is left inconsolably alone.

As grief settles in, Sarah's mind lingers on her past: her imperfect but devoted fifty-year marriage to Charles; the years they spent raising their three very different children; and her childhood during the Great Depression, when her parents opened their home to countless relatives and neighbors. So, when a variety of wayward souls come seeking shelter in Sarah's own big, empty home, her…


Book cover of The Resilient Farm and Homestead: An Innovative Permaculture and Whole Systems Design Approach

Anna Hess Author Of The Ultimate Guide to Soil

From my list on for beyond-organic gardeners.

Why am I passionate about this?

If I'm honest, I became a gardener because I like getting dirty. Beatrix Potter's The Tale of Tom Kitten is the story of my childhood (and my adulthood too, only now I don't have to pretend I'm going to stay clean). Of course, high-quality soil leads to high-quality produce, and I deeply adore the flavors of strawberries growing in deep, dark soil. Biting into a juicy, homegrown tomato still warm from the summer sun is bliss.

Anna's book list on for beyond-organic gardeners

Anna Hess Why did Anna love this book?

This book has all of the same selling points as Carol Deppe's but is geared a bit more toward those with larger homesteads rather than a simple backyard plot. Even if you're an urban homesteader, though, the title is well worth a read to drum up outside-the-box ideas.

By Ben Falk,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A practical, comprehensive, and essential how-to manual with information on growing perennial crops, soil fertility, water security, nutrient dense food, and more!

"Essential reading for the serious prepper as well as for everyone interested in creating a more resilient lifestyle."-Carol Deppe, author of The Resilient Gardener

The Resilient Farm and Homestead is for readers ready to not just survive, but thrive in changing, unpredictable times. It offers the tools to develop durable, beautiful, and highly functional human habitat systems anchored by preparation, regeneration, and resiliency.

Ben Falk is a land designer and site developer whose research farm has drawn national…


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in Vermont, fugitives, and intelligence officers?

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