10 books like The Simple Art of Murder

By Raymond Chandler,

Here are 10 books that authors have personally recommended if you like The Simple Art of Murder. Shepherd is a community of 7,000+ authors sharing their favorite books with the world.

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The Late Show

By Michael Connelly,

Book cover of The Late Show

It's true to say Michael Connelly is a master at this kind of crime fiction. He paints such vivid pictures with words that I truly felt part of the action. As a writer, he certainly knows how to reach the reader's emotions. His writing skills encompass all it takes to make a thoroughly satisfying crime fiction book.

So much of this author's writing resonates with me. At times I was transported back 'to the day.' I enjoyed the part where the psychiatrist is interviewing Ballard about her fitness to return to duty. The shrink goes into soliloquy mode about "the darkness" surrounding crime and the need to find an escape mechanism from it. So true!

Real crime is a very dark place. I'm pleased that crime fiction of this quality can give so much enjoyment.

The Late Show

By Michael Connelly,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In this first installment of the Renée Ballard series, #1 bestselling author Michael Connelly introduces a "complicated and driven" young detective fighting to prove herself on the LAPD's toughest beat (The New York Times).
Renee Ballard works the midnight shift in Hollywood, beginning many investigations but finishing few, as each morning she turns everything over to the daytime units. It's a frustrating job for a once up-and-coming detective, but it's no accident. She's been given this beat as punishment after filing a sexual harassment complaint against a supervisor.
But one night Ballard catches two assignments she doesn't want to part…


Thirteen

By Steve Cavanagh,

Book cover of Thirteen

"The serial killer isn’t on trial he’s on the jury."

Actor Bobby Solomon is accused of murdering his wife and bodyguard in a frenzied attack. Eddie Flynn, former conman turned lawyer, is brought in to assist the defence team. Eddie’s the full package—resourceful, quick-witted, a masterful cross-examiner, and he can handle himself in a fight. He also believes in Bobby’s innocence. But he’s up against an ingenious, ruthless killer who will stop at nothing to achieve his cause. 

If the central premise—that of a killer infiltrating the jury and undermining the entire justice system—isn’t sufficiently terrifying, then the array of corrupt police officers and self-serving lawyers (on both sides) should tip you over the edge. Happily, Eddie stands head and shoulders above them all.

Thirteen

By Steve Cavanagh,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

THE SERIAL KILLER ISN'T ON TRIAL.

HE'S ON THE JURY...

****************

'THIRTEEN is my favourite read of the year.' Sarah Pinborough

'Outstanding.' Lee Child

'Smart and original. This is a belter of a book.' Clare Mackintosh

****************

They were Hollywood's hottest power couple. They had the world at their feet. Now one of them is dead and Hollywood star Robert Solomon is charged with the brutal murder of his beautiful wife.

This is the celebrity murder trial of the century and the defence want one man on their team: con artist turned lawyer Eddie Flynn.

All the evidence points to…


Capital Kill

By Marc Rainer,

Book cover of Capital Kill

Capital Kill is a classic example of an author “writing what he knows.” Marc Rainer is a former prosecutor in the courts of Washington D.C. and a former lawyer with the US Air Force's Judge Advocate General (JAG) Corps. He is married to a former Air Force OSI Special Agent.

His protagonist, Jeff Trask, shares the same background. In the book we also get to meet Lynn, an Air Force OSI Special Agent.

This is the first in a series based on Jeff Trask and it is labelled as “crime drama.” It is. But it is also a delightful mix of police procedural and legal courtroom thriller. I loved it!

Capital Kill

By Marc Rainer,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A few short blocks from the safety of the museums and monuments on the National Mall, a ruthless killer prowls the streets of Washington, D.C. Federal prosecutor Jeff Trask joins a team of FBI agents and police detectives as they try to solve the series of brutal murders. As the body count rises, the investigation leads to a chilling confrontation with the leader of an international drug smuggling ring, and no one is safe, not even the police.

Written by former Washington prosecutor Marc Rainer, Capital Kill is a swirling thrill ride through the labyrinth of a major federal investigation…


Rabette Run

By Nick Rippington, Emma Mitchell (editor),

Book cover of Rabette Run

Not only did this novel remind me of Lewis Carroll's works, but it also reminded me of the Beatles' Magical Mystery Tour and other works of theirs in their hallucinogenic-inspired songs and albums. Rippington himself is aware of that in his writing as he references both Alice in Wonderland and the phrase 'magical mystery tour.'

So far, I may have misled you because this book is a real thriller. It travels along at the speed of sound and though the things happening to Emerson Rabette are fantastic, they are so believable at the same time. That's difficult to do as a writer but Mr. Rippington manages it with ease and much panache.

Rabette Run

By Nick Rippington, Emma Mitchell (editor),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

What the readers are saying...
★★★★★ The perfect escapist read for our times
‘★★★★★ The sort of book you ‘watch’ while reading... utterly brilliant
★★★★★ If possible, I would have awarded this 10 stars. This book is much more than amazing.
★★★★★ The author, Nick Rippington, himself describes it as "Alice in Wonderland... with guns." Well, he's right and it's not hype.

Graphic designer Emerson Rabette is forced to use the London Underground to get to a meeting with his employers. There's a problem, as he's terrified of the tube. He is no ordinary commuter and this is no ordinary…


The Shortest Way to Hades

By Sarah Caudwell,

Book cover of The Shortest Way to Hades

Narrator Professor Hilary Tamar’s habits and character traits invite non-stop laughter; and yet amazingly the three young barrister characters are every bit as funny in an entirely different way. One of the barristers always carries the action; but Hilary is no Dr. Watson gasping at their brilliance; in every book, her perspicacity and specialist knowledge enable the murder motive to be unravelled and the murderer brought to justice.

These books are rich in comic dialogue, often given as indirect speech. Caudwell’s unique spin on technical legal language will have you laughing out loud. 

The storyline is enchanting. Without Hilary’s specialist knowledge of ancient Greek texts, there might well have been many more murders! And yet so cleverly is this charming novel plotted, that we almost feel her esoteric expertise is only what might be expected of any amateur sleuth worthy of the name.  

The Shortest Way to Hades

By Sarah Caudwell,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Everyone in the family had decided that changing the trust arrangement seemed the perfect way to avoid three million in taxes. However, when dreary cousin Deirdre has a mysterious accident after demanding a fee for her signature, the young London barristers handling the trust seek advice from mentor Hilary Tamar.

Julia believes it's murder; whilst Hilary wonders why the raven-haired heir did not die. But with more deadly accidents occurring, it is Hilary who is given the perilous quest of unmasking the killer.


The Secret Barrister

By The Secret Barrister,

Book cover of The Secret Barrister: Stories of the Law and How It's Broken

This anonymously written and entertaining book will tell you what your barrister is really thinking, behind the polite smile and measured language, when they are defending you against a criminal charge. An insider’s view of the UK criminal justice system and its failings. Ever wondered why there are so many miscarriages of justice? Not just those which make the headlines. The writer contrasts the professionalism of the crown court trial, with its judge and jury, with the wild west of the magistrates’ court, in which more than 91% of UK criminal prosecutions begin and end.

The Secret Barrister

By The Secret Barrister,

What is this book about?

An anonymous barrister's darkly comic and moving first-hand account of life in the legal system, and how it's failing us all.

The Sunday Times number one bestseller.
Winner of the Books are My Bag Non-Fiction Award.
Shortlisted for Waterstones Book of the Year.
Shortlisted for Specsavers Non-Fiction Book of the Year.

'Eye-opening, funny and horrifying' - Observer

You may not wish to think about it, but one day you or someone you love will almost certainly appear in a criminal courtroom. You might be a juror, a victim, a witness or - perhaps through no fault of your own -…


Rumpole of the Bailey

By John Clifford Mortimer,

Book cover of Rumpole of the Bailey

I first met Rumpole, the Old Bailey Hack, as he called himself, on the PBS Masterpiece series. John Mortimer’s books about the curmudgeonly old barrister are even more delightful. As a former trial attorney, I love how the collections of short stories in his books give me a peek inside the British legal system—and how they present plenty of puzzles to solve, filled with irascible good wit. 

Rumpole of the Bailey

By John Clifford Mortimer,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A collection of stories featuring Rumpole of the Bailey, including "Rumpole and the Younger Generation", "Rumpole and the Alternative Society", "Rumpole and the Honourable Member", "Rumpole and the Married Lady, "Rumpole and the Learned Friends" and "Rumpole and the Heavy Brigade".


Without Prejudice

By Nicola Williams,

Book cover of Without Prejudice

When Armani-loving lawyer, Leanne Mitchell, is asked to defend millionaire Clive Omartian on fraud charges, she believes her career is on an upward trajectory. But her success puts her at odds with the head of her Chambers, who is desperate to be awarded ‘Silk’ and with her instructing solicitor and old friend, as she begins to suspect he knows more about their client than he is letting on. Before she realises, she’s being dragged into dangerous waters.

Oozing authenticity, twisty and turny, the reader shares Lee’s pain, not just the wounds she suffers from courtroom barbs, but in her everyday experience as a young, black, working-class woman barrister in a mainly white, male, privileged world. Despite huge challenges she remains feisty and principled. A real hero for our times.

Without Prejudice

By Nicola Williams,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Without Prejudice as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'Impressive and unique. As relevant today as it was over two decades go' Bernardine Evaristo, from the Introduction

A gripping, propulsive courtroom thriller following barrister Lee Mitchell as she uncovers the dark secrets of London's obscenely rich

Lee Mitchell is a thirty-year-old barrister from a working-class Caribbean background: in the cut-throat environment of the courtroom, everything is stacked against her.

After she takes on the high-profile case of notorious millionaire playboy Clive Omartian - arrested along with his father and stepbrother for eye-wateringly exorbitant fraud - the line between her personal and professional life becomes dangerously blurred.
Spiralling further into…


The Law in 60 Seconds

By Christian Weaver,

Book cover of The Law in 60 Seconds: A Pocket Guide to Your Rights

This entertaining quick-fire legal reference book provides instant help for any difficult situation. A pocket-sized book to be carried with you at all times. The book comes alive with examples taken from the author’s own life experience. It is about the basic human rights which belong to all of us and what they mean in our lives.

The Law in 60 Seconds

By Christian Weaver,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Law in 60 Seconds as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'An indispensable guide to the law and your rights, giving you a lawyer in your pocket for a multitude of legal questions and problems that crop up in everyday life. ... Exceptional' - The Secret Barrister
'Brilliant and generous and very necessary' - Sarah Langford, author of In Your Defense
'A triumph of a book. It should form the basis for a national curriculum in law.' - Joanna Hardy-Susskind

From junior barrister Christian Weaver comes an indispensable guide to your basic legal rights.

We engage with the law every day: when we leave the house, and even when we don't,…


Murder by Misrule

By Anna Castle,

Book cover of Murder by Misrule: A Francis Bacon Mystery

In Elizabethan England, Christmas revelries were presided over by a Lord of Misrule. During this season of legitimized misconduct, the brilliant Sir Francis Bacon requires surreptitious help in solving the murder of a fellow barrister in hopes of regaining the queen’s favor, from which he’s been ousted. It falls to his protégé, Thomas Clarady, to probe through disguises and earn the trust of a range of women, from the educated to the bawdy, in order to find the answers in time to prevent catastrophe. I love the Tudor period with all its riches, and this first entry in the Francis Bacon Mystery Series feels emotionally and historically credible.

Murder by Misrule

By Anna Castle,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Brilliant Francis Bacon is at a loss -- and in danger.
Bacon must put down his books and investigate the murder of a fellow barrister at Gray's Inn in order to regain the queen's favor. He recruits his unwanted protégé, Thomas Clarady, to do the tiresome legwork. The son of a wealthy privateer, Tom will gladly do anything to climb the Elizabethan social ladder. The first clues point to a Catholic conspirator, but other motives for murder quickly emerge. Rival barristers contend for the victim's legal honors and wealthy clients. Highly-placed courtiers are implicated as the investigation reaches from Whitehall…


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