82 books like The Piper on the Mountain

By Ellis Peters,

Here are 82 books that The Piper on the Mountain fans have personally recommended if you like The Piper on the Mountain. 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 Nine Coaches Waiting

Elisabeth Grace Foley Author Of Land of Hills and Valleys

From my list on vintage mystery-suspense.

Who am I?

Ever since I was a little girl, I’ve loved history, devoured mystery fiction, and scribbled my own stories. Today I combine all those passions by writing books in classic mystery-suspense style, but set in the place and the period of history that fascinates me the most: the American West. I firmly believe that the Old West should be treated not merely as a myth or a set of tropes, but a historical period in its own right, and so I love to use it as the setting for character-driven stories drawing on my favorite elements of the mystery genre.

Elisabeth's book list on vintage mystery-suspense

Elisabeth Grace Foley Why did Elisabeth love this book?

This is one of those special books that made me think, “Oh my…I want to write like this.” The blend of old-world atmosphere, 1950s glamor, and gorgeously descriptive, suspenseful writing is magical. Linda Martin, a young Englishwoman with a secret of her own to guard, takes the post of governess to the small heir of a French chateau—a fairytale setting, but disturbing tensions run beneath its surface, and before long Linda finds herself caught up in a desperate attempt to foil a dangerous plot.

By Mary Stewart,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Nine Coaches Waiting as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A tense thrillerabout an English girl who becomes governess to a young French heir to great estates in Savoy. Having deceived her employers about her ability to speak French, she discovers that they are trying to kill her young charge.


Book cover of The Wheel Spins

Elisabeth Grace Foley Author Of Land of Hills and Valleys

From my list on vintage mystery-suspense.

Who am I?

Ever since I was a little girl, I’ve loved history, devoured mystery fiction, and scribbled my own stories. Today I combine all those passions by writing books in classic mystery-suspense style, but set in the place and the period of history that fascinates me the most: the American West. I firmly believe that the Old West should be treated not merely as a myth or a set of tropes, but a historical period in its own right, and so I love to use it as the setting for character-driven stories drawing on my favorite elements of the mystery genre.

Elisabeth's book list on vintage mystery-suspense

Elisabeth Grace Foley Why did Elisabeth love this book?

Traveling across Europe by train, Iris Carr re-enters her compartment to find that a friendly, talkative spinster who had befriended her has disappeared—and no one else will admit she was ever there at all. Why? The answer must be found before the train reaches its destination, and Ethel Lina White crafts a nail-biting race against time while also delving deep into the motivations of a tight cast of characters—exploring what leads some people to lie, and how an initially isolated and self-centered heroine becomes someone desperate to uncover the truth.

By Ethel Lina White,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Oldtown is a historic place where rich people live. The sisterhood also lives there. The group, known as the ""Black Nuns"", had healing powers. But in Oldtown, the killer works, and a series of murders plunged the inhabitants into blind, reckless horror.


Book cover of Postmark Murder

Elisabeth Grace Foley Author Of Land of Hills and Valleys

From my list on vintage mystery-suspense.

Who am I?

Ever since I was a little girl, I’ve loved history, devoured mystery fiction, and scribbled my own stories. Today I combine all those passions by writing books in classic mystery-suspense style, but set in the place and the period of history that fascinates me the most: the American West. I firmly believe that the Old West should be treated not merely as a myth or a set of tropes, but a historical period in its own right, and so I love to use it as the setting for character-driven stories drawing on my favorite elements of the mystery genre.

Elisabeth's book list on vintage mystery-suspense

Elisabeth Grace Foley Why did Elisabeth love this book?

Laura March is serving as temporary guardian of a little refugee girl who may be the next heir to a fortune when a man claiming to be the child’s father turns up at her door—and when shortly afterward he turns up dead, Laura is both a suspect and a target for the real killer in this atmospheric whodunit. The fun of this one lies in its wintry 1950s Chicago setting: the foggy streets, high-rise apartment buildings, corner phone booths and drugstores, and department stores decorated for Christmas.

By Mignon G. Eberhart,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

From one of the most prolific authors of the Golden Age of mystery: “A nice example of [Eberhart’s] powers . . . Intelligently complicated” (The New Yorker).
 When Conrad Stanley dies, Laura is the only heir not concerned with her slice of his estate. Orphaned at a young age, she was Stanley’s ward, and cannot celebrate the death of the only father she ever knew. The executors of Stanley’s will find that he had a Polish relative, Conrad Stanislowski, who is due part of the inheritance. A search for Stanislowski produces only his daughter: eight-year-old Jonny, who comes to Chicago…


Book cover of The Red Carnelian

Elisabeth Grace Foley Author Of Land of Hills and Valleys

From my list on vintage mystery-suspense.

Who am I?

Ever since I was a little girl, I’ve loved history, devoured mystery fiction, and scribbled my own stories. Today I combine all those passions by writing books in classic mystery-suspense style, but set in the place and the period of history that fascinates me the most: the American West. I firmly believe that the Old West should be treated not merely as a myth or a set of tropes, but a historical period in its own right, and so I love to use it as the setting for character-driven stories drawing on my favorite elements of the mystery genre.

Elisabeth's book list on vintage mystery-suspense

Elisabeth Grace Foley Why did Elisabeth love this book?

Whitney is one of the best-known American writers of romantic suspense, and her debut novel in the genre leans more strongly into the mystery side of the equation, kicking off with the narrator discovering her jilting ex-fiancee's body in the elaborate display window of the department store where she works. The plot may be a tad melodramatic but the vintage 1940s glamor is fun as she hunts clues and flees danger amid the lavish evening gowns and jewelry, the echoing elevators and corridors of the store.

By Phyllis A. Whitney,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A Chicago department store is the scene of gruesome crime in this mystery by a New York Times–bestselling Edgar Award winner.
 
Linell Wynn, copywriter for Chicago department store Cunningham’s, knows how to put a clever spin on everything. But she’s at a loss for words when, after closing time, she finds a corpse in a window display. There he is, as cold and lifeless as a mannequin, his skull pulverized with a golf club: valued store manager Michael “Monty” Montgomery. And while red might be the color for the new spring season, Linell never expected to see quite so much…


Book cover of A Stricken Field

Christina Lynch Author Of The Italian Party

From my list on women in wartime.

Who am I?

Doing the research for The Italian Party meant submerging myself in the Cold War Italy of the 1950s. But I found I couldn't understand that period without a better understanding of World War II and Italian Fascism. Cue an avalanche of books from which this list is culled, and the new novel I have just finished. I am drawn to first-hand accounts of women’s lives in wartime because I wonder how I would react and survive such challenges. Recent events in Europe have revived the nightmare of life under an occupying army. These stories are back at my bedside right now because I need their humor and wisdom.

Christina's book list on women in wartime

Christina Lynch Why did Christina love this book?

Most of us know Martha Gellhorn as a war correspondent and Mrs. Ernest Hemingway, but she was a brilliant novelist as well. A Stricken Field is the story of an American woman in Prague in 1938 as the Nazis move in and hunt down opponents of the regime. If you are looking for models of resistance to brutality (I am), this is your book.

By Martha Gellhorn,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Martha Gellhorn was one of the first - and most widely read - female war correspondents of the twentieth century. She is best known for her fearless reporting in Europe before and during World War II and for her brief marriage to Ernest Hemingway, but she was also an acclaimed novelist. In 1938, before the Munich pact, Gellhorn visited Prague and witnessed its transformation from a proud democracy preparing to battle Hitler to a country occupied by the German army. Born out of this experience, "A Stricken Field" follows a journalist who returns to Prague after its annexation and finds…


Book cover of The Good Soldier Svejk and His Fortunes in the World War

Tom Strelich Author Of Dog Logic

From my list on satires with one thing in common.

Who am I?

I consider myself not only a student of satire, but also as a master practitioner with an innate and instinctive aptitude for it—like those born with perfect pitch or hand-eye coordination, kind of like an idiot savant, only hopefully without the idiot part. Satire is the perfect literary platform because it allows both the writer and the reader to explore the landscape of the human experience, the absurdity, the grandeur, the mystery, the horror—not with a sermon or a polemic or a sigh, but with a laugh and a nodding smile of recognition.

Tom's book list on satires with one thing in common

Tom Strelich Why did Tom love this book?

It was thick book, a satire, and new translation from Czech, and I loved the illustrations, the setting, and that the new translation was restoring all of the salty language excised from the original/bowdlerized translation.

It’s the story of a simple dog breeder, presumed to be an imbecile (an acceptable term at the time), drafted into the army and his adventures making his way to WWI—always outwitting his (imbecilic) superiors and betters along the way.

It’s satirical, hilarious, often scatological, and the best part is that the book ends (because the author died) before he gets to the actual war, so we get to imagine Švejk surviving the war and moving to Florida in the ‘20s to raise Greyhounds or whatever.

It’s really good, in fact, I might just read it again.

By Jaroslav Hasek, Josef Lada (illustrator), Cecil Parrott (translator)

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Good Soldier Svejk and His Fortunes in the World War as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The inspiration for such works as Joseph Heller's Catch-22, Jaroslav Hasek's black satire The Good Soldier Svejk is translated with an introduction by Cecil Parrott in Penguin Classics.

Good-natured and garrulous, Svejk becomes the Austro-Hungarian army's most loyal Czech soldier when he is called up on the outbreak of the First World War - although his bumbling attempts to get to the front serve only to prevent him from reaching it. Playing cards, getting drunk and becoming a general nuisance, the resourceful Svejk uses all his natural cunning and genial subterfuge to deal with the doctors, police, clergy and officers…


Book cover of The Miracle Game

Simon Mawer Author Of Prague Spring

From my list on or around the Cold War from a child of the Cold War.

Who am I?

I’m a child of the Cold War. Until the collapse of the Iron Curtain in 1989 this strange standoff between the Soviet Union and the Western allies informed everyone’s life, but my own case was particular because my father served in the Royal Air Force. For three years he was even in command of three squadrons of nuclear bombers. With a background like that, how could I not be interested in the larger picture? Since then I have gone on to write novels with all kinds of settings but the other side of the now defunct Iron Curtain has always held a fascination... and has directly led to at least three of my own books.

Simon's book list on or around the Cold War from a child of the Cold War

Simon Mawer Why did Simon love this book?

Is there a Czech theme going on here? Well, the Czech lands have always produced artists, musicians and writers of the highest calibre and although he may not be widely known, Škvorecký is one of them. From exile in Canada following the Russian invasion of 1968, he wrote this extraordinary and fantastic novel about a miracle (a holy statue is seen to bow its head) in a Czech village in the first year of communist rule. Of course such irrational things couldn’t be allowed and the priest is condemned as a hoaxer. But now we’re in 1968 and everything is up for discussion including this forgotten event. Seen through the eyes of the author’s picaresque character, Danny Smiřický (who was present at the original miracle but unfortunately had dozed off at the vital moment so never actually saw St Joseph move), the whole story is relived and discussed. Part farce,…

By Josef Skvorecky,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

This energetic and hilarious novel is made even more important by the current final thawing of the long, Communist winter in Czechoslovakia. Moving between 1948, when our hero Danny Smiricky falls asleep in church while a miraculous event occurs, and 1968, when he observes the miracle of Prague Spring, The Miracle Game is a sharp look at the strange, sad, and silly things people do to survive.


Book cover of Sexual Liberation, Socialist Style: Communist Czechoslovakia and the Science of Desire, 1945-1989

Kristen R. Ghodsee Author Of Why Women Have Better Sex Under Socialism: And Other Arguments for Economic Independence

From my list on women and socialism.

Who am I?

As an ethnographer, I have been studying the lives of ordinary women in socialist and post-socialist countries in Eastern Europe for over twenty-five years. I have always been fascinated by the differences in women’s life options in the presence or absence of robust social safety nets. As a scholar, I’ve spent decades working in archives and interviewing people across the region, and I have written eight books about the various gendered experiences of everyday life in Eastern Europe. As a professor, I have taught a course called “Sex and Socialism,” almost every year for eighteen years and I am always reading widely in this field to look for new material for my syllabi.

Kristen's book list on women and socialism

Kristen R. Ghodsee Why did Kristen love this book?

Katerina Liskova’s intriguing sociological and historical study provides a deep dive into the creation of “expert knowledge” by progressive sexologists in the former socialist state of Czechoslovakia. She argues convincingly that while American housewives pottered around their kitchens in the 1950s, Czechoslovak women experienced a sexual revolution after abortion was legalized, same sex love was decriminalized, and scientists focused on how to improve women’s sex lives. State efforts to promote the ideal of full gender equality within romantic relations gave women new opportunities for education and professional advancement that their mothers and grandmothers could scarcely have dreamed of.

By Kateřina Lisková,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Sexual Liberation, Socialist Style as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This is the first account of sexual liberation in Eastern Europe during the Cold War. Katerina Liskova reveals how, in the case of Czechoslovakia, important aspects of sexuality were already liberated during the 1950s - abortion was legalized, homosexuality decriminalized, the female orgasm came into experts' focus - and all that was underscored by an emphasis on gender equality. However, with the coming of Normalization, gender discourses reversed and women were to aspire to be caring mothers and docile wives. Good sex was to cement a lasting marriage and family. In contrast to the usual Western accounts highlighting the importance…


Book cover of The Wall: Growing Up Behind the Iron Curtain

Ying Chang Compestine Author Of Dragon Noodle Party

From my list on Asian stories and voices.

Who am I?

Ying Chang Compestine is the multi-talented author of 25 books including fiction, picture books, and cookbooks. Frequently sought after by the media, Ying has been featured on numerous national television programs, is regularly profiled in prestigious news media outlets, and has been named one of the "50 Great Writers You Should Be Reading" by The Author's Show. Her keen interest in cuisine has led her to weave food into all of her writing–including cookbooks, novels, and picture books for young readers. Ying grew up in Wuhan, China during the Chinese Cultural Revolution. She uses these experiences, as well as her passion for food, in all her writing.

Ying's book list on Asian stories and voices

Ying Chang Compestine Why did Ying love this book?

The Wall is incredibly heartfelt and beautifully written.

This intimate memoir reflects the fear of powerlessness under tyranny, especially through the eyes of childhood innocence. It also confronts that fear with creativity and imagination.

It tugs at my heartstrings as someone raised in a similar environment.

By Peter Sis,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Wall as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 9, 10, 11, and 12.

What is this book about?

A NEW YORK TIMES BEST SELLER

"I was born at the beginning of it all, on the Red side―the Communist side―of the Iron Curtain." Through annotated illustrations, journals, maps, and dreamscapes, Peter Sís shows what life was like for a child who loved to draw, proudly wore the red scarf of a Young Pioneer, stood guard at the giant statue of Stalin, and believed whatever he was told to believe. But adolescence brought questions. Cracks began to appear in the Iron Curtain, and news from the West slowly filtered into the country. Sís learned about beat poetry, rock 'n' roll,…


Book cover of Believe in People

Dorian Lynskey Author Of The Ministry of Truth: The Biography of George Orwell's 1984

From my list on totalitarianism not written by George Orwell.

Who am I?

In The Ministry of Truth, I wanted to bring together two longstanding interests: dystopian fiction and the history of totalitarianism. Nineteen Eighty-Four is of course a landmark work in both categories. In trying to explain how and why Orwell came to write his masterpiece, and its subsequent influence on fiction and political thought, I read a huge range of books that wrestled with the horrors of Nazism and Stalinism and asked how they were able to hold sway, physically and mentally, over tens of millions of people. Many of them are gripping and valuable but these five in particular make for great companions to 1984.

Dorian's book list on totalitarianism not written by George Orwell

Dorian Lynskey Why did Dorian love this book?

Čapek was a kind of Czech Orwell. Best known for his satirical science fiction — RUR gave us the word “robot”; War with the Newts is mindbogglingly inventive — he was also a prolific journalist who decried the rise of totalitarianism while celebrating ordinary lives. This anthology is the perfect introduction to his abundant wit, insight and compassion, with subjects ranging from the dishonesty of political language to the joy of gardening. A courageous anti-fascist, Čapek died of pneumonia in 1939, shortly before the Nazis invaded Czechoslovakia and arrived at his door to arrest him.

By Šárka Tobrmanová-Kühnová,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Playful and provocative, irreverent and inspiring, Capek is perhaps the best-loved Czech writer of all time. Novelist and playwright, famed for inventing the word 'robot' in his play RUR, Capek was a vital part of the burgeoning artistic scene of Czechoslovakia of the 1920s and 30s. But it is in his journalism - his brief, sparky and delightful columns - that Capek can be found at his most succinct, direct and appealing.

This selection of Capek's writing, translated into English for the first time, contains his essential ideas. The pieces are animated by his passion for the ordinary and the…


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