100 books like The PMS Outlaws

By Sharyn McCrumb,

Here are 100 books that The PMS Outlaws fans have personally recommended if you like The PMS Outlaws. 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 Where All Light Tends to Go

James Wade Author Of River, Sing Out

From my list on Southern novels with prose.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m from East Texas, which is closer in culture and climate to the South than the Southwest. The southern voice in American literature has given us countless classics, specifically when it comes to dealing with our very dark, very human nature. Violence, racism, religion, and redemption are all explored under the Southern Gothic umbrella. My own upbringing exposed me to much of the darkness that still exists in these shadowed pockets of the country. I want to illuminate some of those places, and each of these books serves as a massive spotlight. 

James' book list on Southern novels with prose

James Wade Why did James love this book?

I don’t read many current authors. It’s not their fault I’m a slow reader and have so many older novels to work through. But there are exceptions and David Joy is certainly one of those. I’d recommend starting at his beginning with Where All Light Tends to Go. His voice helped (and is still helping) usher in a new generation of southern authors. Joy, unlike the other authors on this list, tends to lean toward spare prose, which creates a bingeable quality to his work. Bonus points for a perfect ending. 

By David Joy,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Where All Light Tends to Go as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A Finalist for the Edgar Award for Best First Novel

“Remarkable . . . This isn’t your ordinary coming-of-age novel, but with his bone-cutting insights into these men and the region that bred them, Joy makes it an extraordinarily intimate experience.”—Marilyn Stasio, The New York Times Book Review

"Lyrical, propulsive, dark and compelling. Joy knows well the grit and gravel of his world, the soul and blemishes of the place."--Daniel Woodrell

In the country-noir tradition of Winter's Bone meets 'Breaking Bad,' a savage and beautiful story of a young man seeking redemption.

The area surrounding Cashiers, North Carolina, is home…


Book cover of Skinny Dip

Eve Gaal Author Of The Happy War

From my list on adventure books that will make you forget reality.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a survivor. Whether flaming engines on a plane, a hurricane, or breast cancer, I have made many unusual journeys. The way I see it, I am also a writer, and God keeps giving me material for my adventure novels. Of course, I’m also a reader and could fill this page with more than five recommendations. Hopefully, you’ll want to read one of these awesome books. I guarantee they will make you escape reality.

Eve's book list on adventure books that will make you forget reality

Eve Gaal Why did Eve love this book?

I love any book written by Carl Hiaasen for the simple fact that he’s not boring, and of course, his writing, though somewhat politically incorrect, makes me laugh. I can forget about everything when reading one of his books.

In this novel, there’s a twist that the bad guy doesn’t think about when he pushes his wife off a cruise ship. The book is seriously hilarious. If you want to disappear into some Floridian madness, you’ll want to read this book.

By Carl Hiaasen,

Why should I read it?

6 authors picked Skinny Dip as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Joey Perrone is a woman with a mission. She's just been pushed overboard from a cruise liner by Chaz, her scumbag husband, and survived to tell the tale. But rather than reporting him to the police, she decides to stay dead and - with a little help from her friends and a few of Chaz's enemies - instead of getting mad, she's going to get even.

Filled with a host of endearingly offbeat characters, and a narrative that is hilarious, romantic and thought-provoking by turns, Skinny Dip takes us on a journey through the warped politics of Southern Florida and…


Book cover of Double Whammy

Larissa Reinhart Author Of Portrait of a Dead Guy

From my list on southern humorous mysteries to make you snort.

Why am I passionate about this?

My first editor informed me I was a mystery writer and my first mystery conference categorized me as a Southern humorous mystery writer. I didn’t intend to write Southern humorous mysteries but find the world-view of my characters and the world they live in quite comical and southern (my characters and I live in Georgia). I also abhor crime, so the dead bodies that keep appearing in my stories need to be dealt with lightly. I’m happy to be a Wall Street Journal bestselling and international award-winning author with eighteen books and counting in three series, Cherry Tucker Mysteries, Maizie Albright Star Detectives, and Finley Goodhart Crime Capers. 

Larissa's book list on southern humorous mysteries to make you snort

Larissa Reinhart Why did Larissa love this book?

Casinos often bring to mind noirish characters set in stories riddled with vice and violence. The Davis Way Crime Capers are riddled with serpentine plots exploding with quirky characters in hilarious situations. Set in a Biloxi, Mississippi, casino with a smart, edgy heroine hired as a security expert, Davis Way is constantly embroiled in saving the casino, its employees, and her small-town friends and family from more disasters than a tornado in a trailer park. Archer’s distinct voice brings humor to the pages of a byzantine mystery that puts her heroine through the wringer. Likable, smart, and sassy, I thoroughly loved Davis Way from Pine Apple, Alabama. The other characters are engaging and the plot is superbly crafted. Double Whammy is the first book in the series and my favorite.

By Gretchen Archer,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

"Funny & wonderful & human. It gets the Stephanie Plum seal of approval." (Janet Evanovich)

Davis Way thinks she's hit the jackpot when she lands a job as the fifth wheel on an elite security team at the fabulous Bellissimo Resort and Casino in Biloxi, Mississippi. But once there, she runs straight into her ex-ex-husband, a rigged slot machine, her evil twin, and a trail of dead bodies. Davis learns the truth, and it does not set her free - in fact, it lands her in the pokey. 

Buried under a mistaken identity, her hot streak runs cold until her…


Book cover of Savannah Blues

Larissa Reinhart Author Of Portrait of a Dead Guy

From my list on southern humorous mysteries to make you snort.

Why am I passionate about this?

My first editor informed me I was a mystery writer and my first mystery conference categorized me as a Southern humorous mystery writer. I didn’t intend to write Southern humorous mysteries but find the world-view of my characters and the world they live in quite comical and southern (my characters and I live in Georgia). I also abhor crime, so the dead bodies that keep appearing in my stories need to be dealt with lightly. I’m happy to be a Wall Street Journal bestselling and international award-winning author with eighteen books and counting in three series, Cherry Tucker Mysteries, Maizie Albright Star Detectives, and Finley Goodhart Crime Capers. 

Larissa's book list on southern humorous mysteries to make you snort

Larissa Reinhart Why did Larissa love this book?

I love Andrews’ combination of Women’s Fiction and Mystery, and I think this series creates a wonderful bridge between Andrews’ writing style between the two genres and her pen names (originally, she wrote mysteries as Kathy Hogan Trocheck). Savannah Blues is more character- than plot-driven, but for those looking for a light mystery in a sultry southern setting with all the ubiquitous eccentrics and some BFFs bent on ex-husband revenge, you’ll enjoy the story like I did. You learn a bit about antiquing and Savannah architecture while cheering on amateur sleuth Weezie and enjoy a lot of laughs with her friend Bebe Loudermilk. By the end of Savannah Blues, I wanted to move across Georgia and have Weezie dress me up at home in Savannah.

By Mary Kay Andrews,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

“Mary Kay Andrews has perfect pitch when it comes to endearing, smart-mouth heroines, and she has caught the languid looniness of the Low Country perfectly.” — Anne Rivers Siddons

Meet Weezie (aka Eloise) Foley, a feisty antiques “picker,” banished by her spiteful ex-husband from the house she herself restored in Savannah’s historic district, who must come to terms with a life that has suddenly changed…and not, it seems, for the better.

In Mary Kay Andrews’s delectable New York Times bestseller, Savannah Blues, readers will feel the sultry Georgia breezes and taste sea salt in the air, as they lose themselves…


Book cover of Them Bones

DK Coutant Author Of Evil Alice and the Borzoi

From my list on mysteries with sleuths who love their dogs.

Why am I passionate about this?

I don’t remember a moment in my life when there wasn’t a dog in it.  They are members of my family, and I identify with protagonists who have the same connection in their lives. In my day job, I write mysteries and forecast geopolitical events. Mysteries with dogs help me balance the darkness in the world with the sheer delight that can be found with a dog.

DK's book list on mysteries with sleuths who love their dogs

DK Coutant Why did DK love this book?

I always like to start a series from the beginning, and in this one, little 6-lb Chablis (a dog) plays a critical role in the plot. A wannabe New York actress, Sarah Boothe Delaney, returns to her family home sans the family with her tail between her legs. She has money trouble, man trouble, and ghost trouble. She begins the story disgusted with Chablis but quickly falls in love with her friend’s pup.

It is a cozy mystery with just a hint of paranormal added. The writing is lovely, and the author includes a range of appealing and diverse characters. And if you are a large dog fan, a hound dog named Sweetie Pie joins the team in a later book. 

By Carolyn Haines,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Them Bones as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Meet Sarah Booth Delaney, an unconventional Southern belle whose knack for uncovering the truth is about to make her the hottest detective in Zinnia, Mississippi . . . if it doesn't make her the deadest.

No self-respecting lady would allow herself to end up in Sarah Booth’s situation. Unwed, unemployed, and over thirty, she’s flat broke and about to lose the family plantation. Not to mention being haunted by the ghost of her great-great-grandmother’s nanny, who never misses an opportunity to remind her of her sorry state—or to suggest a plan of action, like ransoming her friend’s prize pooch to…


Book cover of If I'd Killed Him When I Met Him...

Hy Conrad Author Of Sins of the Family: A Callie McFee Mystery

From my list on mystery plots that both surprise and delight.

Why am I passionate about this?

At an early age, I became a fan of tightly plotted mysteries that play fair with the reader. This led to my career in mystery games and videos and a dozen books of short mysteries. It also led to my TV career.  When the creator of Monk realized he needed some twisty plots, he visited a bookstore, found my books, and tracked me down. Since then, I’ve been plying my trade on the small screen as well, working with some very talented people, like Steve Martin, who needed a mystery guy to come in and add some structure to their ideas.   

Hy's book list on mystery plots that both surprise and delight

Hy Conrad Why did Hy love this book?

A forensic anthropologist tackles three murders, separated by time but united by their theme, the evil that men do – and by men, I mean the male of the species. The outrageous humor and atmospheric southern setting draw you in, and you don’t realize until too late how your expectations have been overturned.

The eighth book in the Elizabeth MacPherson series.

By Sharyn McCrumb,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked If I'd Killed Him When I Met Him... as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

When forensic anthropologist Elizabeth MacPherson becomes the official P.I. for her brother Bill's fledgling Virginia law firm, she quickly takes on two complex cases.  Eleanor Royden, a perfect lawyer's wife for twenty years, has shot her ex-husband and his wife in cold blood. And Donna Jean Morgan is implicated in the death of her Bible-thumping bigamist husband.

Bill's feminist firebrand partner, A. P. Hill, does her damnedest for Eleanor, an abused wife in denial, and Bill gallantly defends Donna Jean. Meanwhile, Elizabeth's forensic expertise, including her special knowledge of poisons, gives her the most challenging case of her career. .…


Book cover of When Science Sheds Light on History: Forensic Science and Anthropology

C. A. Asbrey Author Of Innocent Bystander

From my list on for writers of Victorian mysteries.

Why am I passionate about this?

I write historical mysteries, and developed an interest in early forensics when I was a police officer. I have worked in private industry, as a civilian police worker, and in a department connected to the Home Office. Historical mysteries particularly appeal to me as they present a different, and very specific, challenge. There’s no lab to process evidence, and everything needs to be double-checked for anachronisms, even down to the colour of light from gas lamps in different areas. Extensive research acted as the foundation for developing the characters in The Innocents Mystery Series. I like my mysteries twisty, complex, and intricate; through a fog of history and a touch of light humour.  

C. A.'s book list on for writers of Victorian mysteries

C. A. Asbrey Why did C. A. love this book?

This is exactly the kind of book I find fascinating, with real-life historical mysteries being explored and researched using cutting-edge scientific methodologies. It covers so many aspects of forensics, from facial reconstruction to DNA. If you are the kind of person who loves seeing famous people from history analysed for poisons, seeing mummies facing the same medical problems as we do, and wonder if a skull found in an attic belongs to a king, then this is the book for you.    

By Philippe Charlier, David Alliot, Isabelle Ruben (translator)

Why should I read it?

1 author picked When Science Sheds Light on History as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Did Richard the Lionheart really die from just a crossbow wound, or was there foul play? Who are the two infant children buried in Tutankhamen's tomb? Could a skull found in a tax collector's attic be the long-lost head of Henri IV? In When Science Sheds Light on History, Philippe Charlier, the "Indiana Jones of the graveyards," travels the globe with his forensics team to unravel these and other historic mysteries. To get answers, Charlier looks for clues in medical records, death masks, fingerprints, and bloodstains. He even enlists the help of perfume experts to smell and identify embalming materials.…


Book cover of Déjà Dead

Delvin Chatterson Author Of No Easy Money

From my list on where the action hero is everyone.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have always been a storyteller and I’m fascinated by the use of language and how a story can be told well. I’ve used storytelling as an entrepreneur, executive, and management consultant, and my two business books for enlightened entrepreneurship use real-life stories to make the messages and lessons learned more memorable. Fictional versions of those stories were wandering through my imagination to make them more fun to read (and to write) for about fifteen years before they emerged in the Dale Hunter crime thriller series to show that entrepreneurs are not all evil, selfish monsters; sometimes they’re the hero!     

Delvin's book list on where the action hero is everyone

Delvin Chatterson Why did Delvin love this book?

This book is the best model for me of what I wanted to write with my own Dale Hunter crime thriller series: a scientist, entrepreneur, or professional as the hero, not a private detective or law enforcement officer, and it’s set in Montreal with all the unique characteristics of that fascinating, multicultural historic city, including the bilingual dialogue unique to Montrealers that Reichs manages to untangle for readers to follow easily.

In addition, she tells the terrifying story of a forensic anthropologist helping to track down a serial killer who finds herself to be the next targeted victim. Déjà Dead is the novel that launched Tempe Brennan novels and the award-winning Bones TV series.      

By Kathy Reichs,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Bagged and discarded, the dismembered body of a woman is discovered in the grounds of an abandoned monastery.

Dr Temperance Brennan, Director of Forensic Anthropology for the province of Quebec, has been researching recent disappearances in the city.

Soon she is convinced that a serial killer is at work. But when no one else seems to care, her anger forces her to take matters into her own hands. Her determined probing has placed those closest to her in mortal danger, however.

Can Tempe make her crucial breakthrough before the killer strikes again?


Book cover of Monday Mourning

Colin Cotterill Author Of The Coroner's Lunch

From my list on reads whilst awaiting radiology and/or death.

Why am I passionate about this?

When you write a book, it’s natural to put yourself in it. You’re the avenger, the rookie agent, the hard-drinking detective. But how many of us volunteer to be the corpse? I sit here every day in the cancer unit at a public Thai hospital and smile at folks who won’t be around much longer. I wrote fifteen books in a series about a coroner. I painted the victims colorfully when they were still alive but how much respect did I show them once they were chunks of slowly decaying meat? From now on my treatment of the souls that smile back at me will take on a new life.

Colin's book list on reads whilst awaiting radiology and/or death

Colin Cotterill Why did Colin love this book?

I’m cheating here a bit. I know Kathy and I like her a lot. Unlike me, she is a genius. I don’t need to tell any of her readers that. She is a well-respected forensic anthropologist who goes out of her way to uncover the secrets that the remains conceal. She writes about bones with the same affection we usually reserve for loved ones. I would be delighted to have her run her massive intellect over my skeleton when I’m gone.

By Kathy Reichs,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

___________________________________
A gripping Temperance Brennan novel from world-class forensic anthropologist Kathy Reichs, the international no. 1 bestselling crime thriller writer and the inspiration behind the hit TV series Bones.

Three skeletons are found in a Montreal basement.

The building is old, and the homicide detective in charge dismisses the remains as historic. Not his case. Not his concern.

Forensic anthropologist Dr Temperance Brennan is not so sure. Something about the bones of these three young women suggests a different message: murder.

Soon she finds herself drawn ever deeper into a web of evil from which there may be no escape.…


Book cover of Bones of Paradise: A Big Island Mystery

Eric Redman Author Of Bones Of Hilo

From my list on under-appreciated about Hawai'i.

Why am I passionate about this?

In the early 1980s, I fell in love with the Big Island of Hawaiʻi, its people – including my wife’s Native Hawaiian relatives – and its history. My wife and I owned a home on the South Kohala Coast of the Big Island for twenty years, where I assembled a library of Hawaiian history and began reading all things Hawaiian, including detective fiction. Every year, Hawaiʻi inspires so many books, fiction and non-fiction, well-publicized or obscure, that it’s fun to mention some that Hawaiʻi lovers and residents may have missed.  

Eric's book list on under-appreciated about Hawai'i

Eric Redman Why did Eric love this book?

In Hawaiʻi as elsewhere, bodies can end up in shallow graves – or so Hawaiʻi detective fiction would have it. 

When skeletal remains turn up, Mimi Charles, forensic anthropologist, sets out to recover them and unlock their secrets for the (naturally) less-expert Big Island police. The author is a forensic anthropologist herself, with plenty of real-world cases in Hawaiʻi and on the mainland to her credit, and she knows that in post mortem-focused mysteries, every forensic detail counts. 

She constructs an ingenious plot, in which a rare and boisterous dog plays a key part. Unlike more cautious authors who won’t dare to let their characters speak Hawaiian pidgin, Lasswell Hoff confidently sprinkles in just the right (and intelligible) amount. 

There’s a final and unique plot twist that makes the reader stop and marvel: How did the author manage to bring us here?  

By Jane Lasswell Hoff,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

BONES OF PARADISE - A Big Island Mystery -Even in paradise, people do die. And it’s the job of Mimi Charles, Forensic Anthropologist, to analyze the bodies that aren’t found right away – skeletons, mostly. Mimi and her colleagues at the Medical Examiner’s office are a tightly-knit team that relishes solving the mysteries presented by each case. But outside of the office, their lives in the sweet little town of Hilo, Hawaii, flow in a gentle island rhythm. None of them is prepared for the disappearance of one of their own, right from the building where they work (or the…


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