35 books like The Virgin in the Ice

By Ellis Peters,

Here are 35 books that The Virgin in the Ice fans have personally recommended if you like The Virgin in the Ice. 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 All the Light We Cannot See

Bruce Borgos Author Of The Bitter Past

From my list on a protagonist who has extraordinary capabilities.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve always loved peculiar heroes and heroines. Characters with strange gifts and an equal number of challenges. It started with Sherlock Holmes, whose mind fascinated me. As a child, I gravitated to the unnatural protagonist, Tarzan, in the Edgar Rice Burroughs novels and Bilbo Baggins in The Lord of the Rings trilogy. I was never a big fan of Superman, I preferred people who adapted quickly to new surroundings and could think on their feet. Once I began my writing career, I kept those protagonists in my mind. Four novels in, I do my best to capture their spirit and determination to overcome whatever lands in front of them.

Bruce's book list on a protagonist who has extraordinary capabilities

Bruce Borgos Why did Bruce love this book?

I loved this book because it’s a World War II story (my favorite time period), which I can’t get enough of, and its protagonist, Marie-Laure, is a young blind girl. By the time she’s twelve, she has learned to navigate Nazi-occupied Paris from a miniature of the city her father has built for her.

This is a girl with many fears, her blindness being just one, but she pushes through them all in order to help her country overcome its worst nightmare. Her bravery is off the charts!

By Anthony Doerr,

Why should I read it?

38 authors picked All the Light We Cannot See as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

WINNER OF THE 2015 PULITZER PRIZE FOR FICTION
NATIONAL BOOK AWARD FINALIST
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
WINNER OF THE CARNEGIE MEDAL FOR FICTION

A beautiful, stunningly ambitious novel about a blind French girl and a German boy whose paths collide in occupied France as both try to survive the devastation of World War II

Open your eyes and see what you can with them before they close forever.'

For Marie-Laure, blind since the age of six, the world is full of mazes. The miniature of a Paris neighbourhood, made by her father to teach her the way home. The microscopic…


Book cover of A Vow of Silence

Elizabeth Bailey Author Of The Gilded Shroud

From my list on mysteries to escape the now and voyage the past.

Why am I passionate about this?

Even as a child, I wanted to escape from current times and visit bygone or future eras. History and literature were favourites and I gleaned most of what I know of the past by reading. Then I found Georgette Heyer, prompting a lifetime love affair with all things Georgian and Regency. Agatha Christie got me into mystery. I loved both the puzzle of whodunit and being whirled away into Poirot, Marple, or Cadfael territory. A good mystery and a deep dive into history as well? Heaven! Best of all is the author who draws me so completely into their imaginary world that the real one fades away.

Elizabeth's book list on mysteries to escape the now and voyage the past

Elizabeth Bailey Why did Elizabeth love this book?

Sister Joan is yet another religious sleuth. Set in the early 1990s, I think this series now qualifies as a historical mystery. It is a lighter read than my other choices, but one I absolutely loved and, like Cadfael, I dived in and devoured the lot. Vow of Silence is the first and hooked me straight away. The religious life fascinates me and I enjoyed the way the ceremonial routine of the convent was woven into the mysteries. This detail serves to immerse you in the life of Sister Joan, a down-to-earth heroine who drew my admiration. The mysteries unfold naturally into the setting and don’t seem incongruous. A more gentle read than the others I have chosen, but acutely satisfying.

By Veronica Black,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

When one nun dies in a bizarre accident and another disappears, hushed whispers of virgin sacrifice, Mother Goddess worship, suicide, and murder spread among the Sisters at Cornwall House convent and Sister Joan is sent to investigate


Book cover of L.A. Confidential

Scott Lord Author Of Come November

From my list on thrillers to make you wish you lived in another time.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a longtime Los Angeles trial lawyer, as well as a writer and librettist. I graduated with honors from the University of California at Santa Cruz and from the Santa Clara University School of Law where I was a member of the Law Review. Me and my wife, Susan, are the parents of six children and live in Santa Monica, California. My previous novel, The Logic Bomb, a legal thriller, was published in 2015.

Scott's book list on thrillers to make you wish you lived in another time

Scott Lord Why did Scott love this book?

Part of Ellroy’s L.A. Quartet series, presenting postwar Los Angeles in all its seedy sunlit glory. This is Ellroy’s best series, and LA Confidential is the best of those four books.

Indelible and involving characters are interwoven with a carefully constructed plot. The fiction is tied in so well with the history, it all sounds true. Ellroy has a unique hard-driving style which suggests Chandler and Cain but does them one better.

By James Ellroy,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked L.A. Confidential as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Christmas 1951, Los Angeles: a city where the police are as corrupt as the criminals. Six prisoners are beaten senseless in their cells by cops crazed on alcohol. For the three LAPD detectives involved, it will expose the guilty secrets on which they have built their corrupt and violent careers. The novel takes these cops on a sprawling epic of brutal violence and the murderous seedy side of Hollywood. One of the best (and longest) crime novels ever written, it is the heart of Ellroy's four-novel masterpiece, the LA Quartet, and an example of crime writing at its most powerful.


Book cover of The Murder of Patience Brooke

Elizabeth Bailey Author Of The Gilded Shroud

From my list on mysteries to escape the now and voyage the past.

Why am I passionate about this?

Even as a child, I wanted to escape from current times and visit bygone or future eras. History and literature were favourites and I gleaned most of what I know of the past by reading. Then I found Georgette Heyer, prompting a lifetime love affair with all things Georgian and Regency. Agatha Christie got me into mystery. I loved both the puzzle of whodunit and being whirled away into Poirot, Marple, or Cadfael territory. A good mystery and a deep dive into history as well? Heaven! Best of all is the author who draws me so completely into their imaginary world that the real one fades away.

Elizabeth's book list on mysteries to escape the now and voyage the past

Elizabeth Bailey Why did Elizabeth love this book?

With Charles Dickens investigating, I had to check this out. The author’s imaginative use of Dickens as a sleuth is rooted in facts new to me. I didn’t know he had set up a sanctuary for fallen women, for example. Having read much Dickens, I found the voice authentic. His Victorian world, so intense in his novels, was equally immersive here – the poverty, the dirt, the inequality and I became thoroughly involved in the story and the unfolding investigation. If an author can draw me into their world and hold me… this did, due to impressive detailed research. I was particularly struck by the compassion visible in this Dickens which made me realise how much his books also demonstrate this aspect of his character.

By J. C. Briggs,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

An intriguing detective series featuring Charles Dickens! Perfect for fans of Sherlock Holmes, Victorian crime mysteries, A Christmas Carol and David Copperfield…

A brutal murder in Victorian London forces a famous writer to solve the mystery… London, 1849Charles Dickens has set up Urania Cottage as a sanctuary for fallen women.

But he is shocked when the matron’s assistant – Patience Brooke – is found hanging outside the property, covered in blood.

Desperate to protect the reputation of the Home and to stop a scandal from spreading, Dickens takes the investigation into his own hands.

With the help of his good…


Book cover of Untrue Till Death

Elizabeth Bailey Author Of The Gilded Shroud

From my list on mysteries to escape the now and voyage the past.

Why am I passionate about this?

Even as a child, I wanted to escape from current times and visit bygone or future eras. History and literature were favourites and I gleaned most of what I know of the past by reading. Then I found Georgette Heyer, prompting a lifetime love affair with all things Georgian and Regency. Agatha Christie got me into mystery. I loved both the puzzle of whodunit and being whirled away into Poirot, Marple, or Cadfael territory. A good mystery and a deep dive into history as well? Heaven! Best of all is the author who draws me so completely into their imaginary world that the real one fades away.

Elizabeth's book list on mysteries to escape the now and voyage the past

Elizabeth Bailey Why did Elizabeth love this book?

This story seized my imagination from the off for its unusual setting and sleuth. I mean, you don’t get to be transported to the Netherlands in the 17th Century every day of the week. Our narrator is a priest – always a fascinating field for a sometime convent schoolgirl. And he’s an unusual priest at that. Master Mercurius is not always at ease with his calling and even less keen on the spying task he is set by William of Orange. I was lost in Mercurius’s world even before the murder and the escalating twists and turns kept me on tenterhooks. This is a series to be savoured.

By Graham Brack,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Untrue Till Death as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Join Mercurius in another mysterious investigation! Perfect for fans of Andrew Taylor, C J Sansom, S J Parris and Ken Follett.

This time murder has hit close to home… 1674, Leiden, The NetherlandsAfter successfully solving the case of the missing girls in Delft, Master Mercurius has made a name for himself as a private investigator.

With unrest occurring both nationally and internationally, William of Orange is obsessed by plots against his leadership.

He calls on Mercurius to help spy on state officials. But before Mercurius has a chance to investigate, his colleague at the University of Leiden is killed.

And…


Book cover of The Brief

Elizabeth Bailey Author Of The Gilded Shroud

From my list on mysteries to escape the now and voyage the past.

Why am I passionate about this?

Even as a child, I wanted to escape from current times and visit bygone or future eras. History and literature were favourites and I gleaned most of what I know of the past by reading. Then I found Georgette Heyer, prompting a lifetime love affair with all things Georgian and Regency. Agatha Christie got me into mystery. I loved both the puzzle of whodunit and being whirled away into Poirot, Marple, or Cadfael territory. A good mystery and a deep dive into history as well? Heaven! Best of all is the author who draws me so completely into their imaginary world that the real one fades away.

Elizabeth's book list on mysteries to escape the now and voyage the past

Elizabeth Bailey Why did Elizabeth love this book?

This one had me on the edge of my seat. More telling for me to be thrown back in time to the 1960s. I didn’t live this life, but the background was familiar. I remember the Kray brothers and I did once briefly have a job in the sleazy sort of club where the boss had his goons hold a guy so he could punch him in the gut. Scary. Simon Michael’s story is all too believable and it is a testament to his ability to pull me into that world that it threw up long-gone memories. The story is told in first person which works to keep you guessing along with the protagonist barrister sleuth. For me it was a thrill ride into the past.

By Simon Michael,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The legal thriller series you need to read! Perfect for fans of John Grisham, Robert Bailey, Michael Connelly and Robert Dugoni.

Guilty until proven innocent…

London, 1960

Barrister Charles Holborne is not popular. A Jewish East Ender with a rough past, he is ostracised by his anti-Semitic and class-conscious colleagues who don’t want him in their prestigious Establishment profession.

And the bitterness Charles feels at work is spilling over into his personal life, putting his marriage under strain.

When a high-profile murder case lands on his desk, Charles is hopeful his fortunes will turn around. But after a shocking crime…


Book cover of Triple

Scott Lord Author Of Come November

From my list on thrillers to make you wish you lived in another time.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a longtime Los Angeles trial lawyer, as well as a writer and librettist. I graduated with honors from the University of California at Santa Cruz and from the Santa Clara University School of Law where I was a member of the Law Review. Me and my wife, Susan, are the parents of six children and live in Santa Monica, California. My previous novel, The Logic Bomb, a legal thriller, was published in 2015.

Scott's book list on thrillers to make you wish you lived in another time

Scott Lord Why did Scott love this book?

It was hard to choose one among this prolific author’s many wonderful historical thrillers. 

Triple makes my list because of the intricate and enthralling plot about the race among Middle East enemies Israel and Egypt to develop nuclear weapons. It has compelling characters, a riveting love story, and takes place in part in the pivotal year of 1947.

By Ken Follett,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

It is 1968. Israeli Intelligence has learned that Egypt, with Soviet help, will develop atomic bombs within months -- an untimely end for the young nation unless a source of uranium for Israeli bombs can be found. Impossible, of course, unless someone as improbable as the plan can be found to steal it. Working alone, Israeli agent Nat Dickstein concocts an ingenious scenario for the biggest, and quietest, hijacking in history. Against him are the Russian KGB, Egyptian Intelligence and the Arab extremists Fedayeen. With him is a half-English, half-Arab young woman of uncertain allegiance, who discovers Dickstein's Achilles' heel.


Book cover of Ordinary Heroes

Scott Lord Author Of Come November

From my list on thrillers to make you wish you lived in another time.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a longtime Los Angeles trial lawyer, as well as a writer and librettist. I graduated with honors from the University of California at Santa Cruz and from the Santa Clara University School of Law where I was a member of the Law Review. Me and my wife, Susan, are the parents of six children and live in Santa Monica, California. My previous novel, The Logic Bomb, a legal thriller, was published in 2015.

Scott's book list on thrillers to make you wish you lived in another time

Scott Lord Why did Scott love this book?

Scott Turow, author of numerous legal thrillers, turns his hand to historical fiction Ordinary Heroes, which manages to combine action and suspense with the touching personal journey of a journalist looking for the truth about his father and what he did during and after World War II.

The father, a JAG lawyer, is on the hunt for a rogue OSS agent and on the way, falls in love, finds himself in the middle of the Battle of the Bulge, and uncovers the horrors of a concentration camp. 

Far removed from his usual Kindle County milieu – Turow, often unjustly pigeonholed as a genre writer – turns in some of his best writing. Its ending left me in tears.

As a post-script, I was so moved by the book that I did something I almost never do – I emailed Turow a fan letter. I got a call from his…

By Scott Turow,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

From the bestselling author of Presumed Innocent comes Ordinary Heroes, Scott Turow's Second World War story of family and bravery.

All parents keep secrets from their children. My father, it seemed, kept more than most . . .

Whilst mourning the death of his father, journalist Stewart Dubin decides to research the life of a man he had always respected, always admired, but possibly never quite knew . . .

As a young, idealistic lawyer during the last terrible months of the Second World War, David Dubin was sent to the European Front - ostensibly to bring charges against a…


Book cover of Monk's-Hood: The Third Chronicle of Brother Cadfael

Toni Mount Author Of The Colour of Bone

From my list on murder mysteries to challenge your brain cells.

Why am I passionate about this?

Many years ago, when I’d read my first medieval mystery, I decided I wanted to write my own. But mine would be as realistic as I could manage; I wanted the reader to smell medieval London and to be there with me. A lot had been written about Kings and Queens but not much about ordinary life so that became the center of my academic study leading eventually to my Master's Degree in medieval medicine. As well as my novels I now write popular factual books and I’m pleased to say people have taken the time to say how much they enjoy the fine details I share.

Toni's book list on murder mysteries to challenge your brain cells

Toni Mount Why did Toni love this book?

A real classic whodunnit and an old-school case of poisoning.

I loved every word of Ellis Peter’s third book in her Brother Cadfael series, taking me back to the turbulent times of King Stephen and the Empress Matilda in the twelfth century – a period I find intriguing. And with the wise and friendly Cadfael, the abbey’s herbalist and unraveller of dastardly deeds to guide the reader, I was hooked from the start.

And what happens when a celibate monk encounters an old flame? Do sparks fly? I couldn’t wait to find out. Cadfael is a proper page turner. 

By Ellis Peters,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Monk's-Hood as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Brother Cadfael, Benedictine monk and self-appointed detective of Shrewsbury Abbey, defends a young man accused of poisoning his stepfather, a guest at the abbey, and pursues several seemingly obscure clues to expose the murderer


Book cover of The Leper of Saint Giles

Lyn Farrell Author Of The Blind Switch

From my list on mysteries that carry us to different worlds.

Why am I passionate about this?

I taught myself to read when I was 4 and have been an omnivorous reader ever since. By the time I was in high school, I was reading the Grand Dame Agatha Christie’s wonderful mysteries. The cozy genre captured me with its deft characterization and clever solutions to “who dunnit.” I wanted to be a writer, received a B.A. and M.A. degree in Literature and later a Ph.D. Once retired from full-time work, I returned to my original desire and as Lia Farrell wrote and published The Mae December Mysteries. Since then, as Lyn Farrell, I have written The Rosedale Investigations series. Together the books have sold 30,000 copies.

Lyn's book list on mysteries that carry us to different worlds

Lyn Farrell Why did Lyn love this book?

Ellis Peters—the penname of Edith Pargeter—wrote eighteen Brother Cadfael mysteries as well as a set of Inspector Felese Mysteries and a separate Trilogy.

All her stories take place during the twelve years when two English monarchs (King Steven and his cousin the Empress Maud) are fighting each other for the throne. Brother Cadfael is a monk who lives in the Abbey of Shrewsbury. A marriage has been arranged between an aging nobleman and a young woman (Iveta, a wealthy heiress), coerced by her greedy guardians. Both parties arrive at the Abbey where the wedding is to take place.

Unbeknownst to her guardians, Iveta has fallen in love with Joscelin, a squire to the bridegroom (Picard). The night before the wedding, Picard goes to visit his long-held mistress and on his return to the Abbey, he is killed. Joscelin is immediately suspected and hunted by the sheriff and his men. He…

By Ellis Peters,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Brother Cadfael sets out to visit the Saint Giles leper colony outside Shrewsbury, knowing that a grand wedding is due to take place at the Abbey of Saint Peter and Saint Paul. As he arrives at Saint Giles the nuptial party passes the colony's gates. He sees the fragile bride, looking like a prisoner between her two stern guardians, and the groom, an arrogant, fleshy aristocrat old enough to be her grandfather. With his usual astuteness he suspects that this union may be more damned than blessed. He is horrifically proved right when a savage murder disrupts the May-December marriage…


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