33 books like The Way Some People Die

By Ross Macdonald,

Here are 33 books that The Way Some People Die fans have personally recommended if you like The Way Some People Die. 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 Farewell, My Lovely

Ray C Doyle Author Of The Defector's Diary

From my list on mystery thrillers ripped from news headlines.

Why am I passionate about this?

I guess my real interest in writing about the good and bad in crime and politics and the good and bad characters involved started with my first job as a junior in a local newspaper. The 60s was a time of great change. I was in the right place at the right time and got involved in reporting local government politics. I graduated later to cover Britain’s role within the EU in Brussels. I was fascinated, not so much by the politics but by the politicians and fellow news reporters involved. They inspired the creation of my fictional character, Pete West, a hardboiled political columnist. 

Ray's book list on mystery thrillers ripped from news headlines

Ray C Doyle Why did Ray love this book?

“I needed a drink, I needed a lot of life insurance, I needed a vacation, I needed a home in the country. What I had was a coat, a hat, and a gun.” The first line of one of the great Phillip Marlowe books that I fell in love with. 

As a young man, I often went to work with a Raymond Chandler paperback in my pocket. I couldn't put him down. I wanted to be Marlowe and talk like him. Chandler created a hero who taught me American slang language and how to talk the talk. The book follows Marlowe as he looks for the lost girlfriend of a guy just released from prison.

This is a wonderful noir work about a hard-boiled private detective. 

By Raymond Chandler,

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked Farewell, My Lovely as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The renowned novel from crime fiction master Raymond Chandler, with the "quintessential urban private eye" (Los Angeles Times), Philip Marlowe • Featuring the iconic character that inspired the forthcoming film Marlowe, starring Liam Neeson

Philip Marlowe's about to give up on a completely routine case when he finds himself in the wrong place at the right time to get caught up in a murder that leads to a ring of jewel thieves, another murder, a fortune-teller, a couple more murders, and more corruption than your average graveyard.


Book cover of The Thin Man

Will Zeilinger and Janet Elizabeth Lynn Author Of Strange Markings: A Skylar Drake Mystery

From my list on golden age detective stories.

Why are we passionate about this?

Janet and I have traveled extensively and found inspiration and story ideas at every destination. As writers for more than 10 years and as fans of classic detective stories, we feel qualified to tackle this genre.

Will's book list on golden age detective stories

Will Zeilinger and Janet Elizabeth Lynn Why did Will love this book?

This is a classic detective story with his wife and dog as sidekicks. The mystery is great and a little levity in the form of banter between Nick and Nora are superb. That is why this book is considered a classic. Being from the upper crust of their time, Nick and Nora Charles invite the reader into their world. Their dog, Asta, adds a touch of “humanity” to an otherwise morbid subject.

By Dashiell Hammett,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

'When I opened my eyes and sat up in bed Nora was shaking me and a man with a gun in his hand was standing in the bedroom doorway.'

Ex-detective Nick Charles attracts trouble like a magnet. He thinks his sleuthing days are over, but when Julia Wolf, a former acquaintance, is found dead, her body riddled with bullets, Nick - along with his glamorous wife, Nora - can't resist making a few enquiries. Clyde Miller Wynant, Julia's lover and boss, has disappeared. Everyone is after him, but Nick is not convinced Wynant is the murderer - and when he…


Book cover of Kiss Me, Deadly

Will Zeilinger and Janet Elizabeth Lynn Author Of Strange Markings: A Skylar Drake Mystery

From my list on golden age detective stories.

Why are we passionate about this?

Janet and I have traveled extensively and found inspiration and story ideas at every destination. As writers for more than 10 years and as fans of classic detective stories, we feel qualified to tackle this genre.

Will's book list on golden age detective stories

Will Zeilinger and Janet Elizabeth Lynn Why did Will love this book?

Mickey Spillane created Mike Hammer, a hard-boiled detective who was (according to the books) quite the lady’s man. This detective story involves millionaires, organized crime, and revenge, which makes for a great read. Hammer is depicted as a hard-drinking, hard-fighting guy that has acted as a prototype for many imitators.

By Mickey Spillane,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Before Jack Reacher . . . there was Mike Hammer

One night, a blonde jumps out in front of PI Mike Hammer's car. She's so scared he doesn't have much choice but to give her a ride. At a police roadblock, he discovers she's on the run from a sanatorium, but he passes her off as his wife. Other people besides the police are after the blonde, and these people play rough. Real rough.

The blonde turns out to be the star witness against some big-time mobsters. Mike has blundered into something unimaginably big, but the Feds don't want him…


Book cover of Mischief

Will Zeilinger and Janet Elizabeth Lynn Author Of Strange Markings: A Skylar Drake Mystery

From my list on golden age detective stories.

Why are we passionate about this?

Janet and I have traveled extensively and found inspiration and story ideas at every destination. As writers for more than 10 years and as fans of classic detective stories, we feel qualified to tackle this genre.

Will's book list on golden age detective stories

Will Zeilinger and Janet Elizabeth Lynn Why did Will love this book?

Not a detective story, but one that will get your heart racing and blood boiling. Set in New York City a rich family hires a babysitter who goes off the deep end. Women authors give a different point of view to crime stories and this one is proof of that.

By Charlotte Armstrong,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A child is left in the care of a disturbed babysitter in “surely one of the finest pure terror-suspense stories ever written” (The New York Times).
 
Bunny’s parents shouldn’t have brought her to New York City, but her father has an important speech to make, and her mother couldn’t bear to be away from their darling nine-year-old daughter. And when her mommy and daddy leave for the speech, Bunny will stay in the hotel with a babysitter, sound asleep and perfectly safe. What could possibly go wrong?
 
The sitter is Nell, a plain young woman from Indiana. She puts Bunny…


Book cover of The Barbarous Coast

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?

This twisty, hypnotic story by the great Ross Macdonald focuses on the dark side of the Hollywood dream.

Private detective Lew Archer is drawn into the search for a missing woman, Hester Campbell-Wall, who seemed poised on the cusp of success via an oblique connection to Helio-Graff Studios when she vanished after a frantic phone call to her estranged husband.

Against his better judgment Archer agrees to look for Hester, a quest that pits him against the powerful and corrupt studio head, Simon Graff. The book is full of complex characters who are neither all good nor all bad, despite their acts of betrayal, deceit, and even murder.

That’s what makes them so poignant and believable: in various ways, they are all broken by dreams that didn’t come true. 

By Ross Macdonald,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The beautiful, high-diving blonde had Hollywood dreams and stars in her eyes but now she seems to have disappeared without a trace. Hired by her hotheaded husband and her rummy “uncle,” Lew Archer sniffs around Malibu and finds the stink of blackmail, blood-money, and murder on every pricey silk shirt. Beset by dirty cops, a bumptious boxer turned silver screen pretty boy and a Hollywood mogul with a dark past, Archer discovers the secret of a grisly murder that just won't stay hidden.Lew Archer navigates through the watery, violent world of wealth and privilege, in this electrifying story of obsession…


Book cover of Thirteen Hours

Natalie Conyer Author Of Present Tense: A Schalk Lourens Mystery

From my list on crime featuring flawed detectives.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve always read and loved crime fiction – so much so I did a doctorate in it. I believe good crime fiction has the capacity to explore particular societies, places, and times in interesting and enjoyable ways. I also like crime fiction’s focus on character, and particularly in crime series which show a character evolving over time. That’s why I chose the theme of ‘flawed detective’ and that’s what I’m trying to do in my Schalk Lourens series, of which Present Tense is the first. I hope you enjoy it, and also the other books I’ve recommended here.

Natalie's book list on crime featuring flawed detectives

Natalie Conyer Why did Natalie love this book?

Deon Meyer is one of South Africa’s best crime writers, and this novel is the second in a series featuring policeman Benny Griessel. Benny is a good cop and an ordinary guy. He’s also an alcoholic and his drinking has destroyed his family. Thirteen Hours is set in Cape Town and the action, as the title suggests, spans thirteen hours. A backpacker goes missing and the cops must find her before the bad guys do. It’s an edge-of-the-seat ride and I promise you’ll be cheering Benny on.

By Deon Meyer, K.L. Seegers (translator),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A Sunday Times '100 best crime novels and thrillers since 1945' pick!

Shortlisted for the CWA International Dagger Award 2010

They killed her best friend. Now they are chasing Rachel Anderson through the streets of Cape Town. The young tourist doesn't dare trust anyone - except her father, back home in America. When he puts pressure on the politicians, they know that to protect their country's image, they must find Rachel's hiding place before the killers.

So Benny Griessel - detective, maverick and father of teenagers himself - has just 13 hours to crack open a conspiracy which threatens the…


Book cover of After the Funeral

Elizabeth Flynn Author Of Game, Set and Murder

From my list on unravelling knotty murder mysteries.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve always enjoyed murder mysteries, with spy novels coming a very close second. I like the puzzle aspect of the story and the unravelling thereof. From early in my childhood I have written and it has never occurred to me to write in any other genre than Crime Fiction. I do like, however, both in my own output and that which I read, to gain an insight into other people’s lives and histories. I like to learn about the surroundings in which the stories are set. Also, for me a must, the characters have to be rounded and three dimensional.

Elizabeth's book list on unravelling knotty murder mysteries

Elizabeth Flynn Why did Elizabeth love this book?

Agatha Christie has got to be considered as one of the master craftsmen of the “whodunnit”. In this novel, she presents us with an intriguing mystery and brings in her famous character, Hercule Poirot to solve it. As always, Poirot faces a varied array of possible suspects and the highly-credible reasons as to why he/she may be the guilty party. The pace is consistent and keeps the reader turning the page and trying to guess until the unmasking at the very end.

By Agatha Christie,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Hercule Poirot is called on to investigate the murder of a brother and sister, in this classic Agatha Christie mystery now available in an updated edition with a foreword Sophie Hannah.

 “He was murdered, wasn’t he?”

When Cora Lansquenet is savagely murdered, the extraordinary remark she had made the previous day at her brother Richard’s funeral suddenly takes on a chilling significance. At the reading of Richard’s will, Cora was clearly heard to say, “It’s been hushed up very nicely, hasn’t it. But he was murdered, wasn’t he?”

Did Cora’s accusation a dark truth that sealed her own fate? Or…


Book cover of The Laws of Murder

L.C. Blackwell Author Of Ready Aim MURDER: A Peter Dumas Mystery, Book 2

From my list on mysteries to take you places you’d like to visit.

Why am I passionate about this?

Puzzles intrigued me since I was a three-year-old. Puzzle pieces that fit into pre-sized spaces. Then, disassembling and reassembling small 3-D animal shapes. Crosswords were next. Finally, Nancy Drew entered my life. I was addicted. Sherlock and Agatha became my mentors. But I loved to paint as well, so art was my first major at Michigan State University. Changed it to advertising in my senior year. Shortly after, Leo Burnett hired me to write print and radio media for Buster Brown shoes. Television was next. I solved many advertising puzzles at Foote, Cone & Belding, but after retiring, mystery re-entered my life when I wrote my first book.

L.C.'s book list on mysteries to take you places you’d like to visit

L.C. Blackwell Why did L.C. love this book?

Charles Finch grabbed my attention with his wonderful character Charles Lenox, an English Gentleman with a penchant for detection.

Finch creates Victorian mystery at its most unyielding moments. He delivers wonderful scenes of London, so real you can almost feel the fog settling on the city. And Lenox proves his mettle, despite being the second son of a titled father. Early London habits and culture give this book an engaging backstory that draws me in as a reader.

By Charles Finch,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

It's 1876, and Charles Lenox, once London's leading private investigator, has just given up his seat in Parliament after six years, primed to return to his first love, detection. With high hopes he and three colleagues start a new detective agency, the first of its kind. But as the months pass, and he is the only detective who cannot find work, Lenox begins to question whether he can still play the game as he once did.

Then comes a chance to redeem himself, though at a terrible price: a friend, a member of Scotland Yard, is shot near Regent's Park.…


Book cover of Mrs. Sherlock Holmes: The True Story of New York City's Greatest Female Detective and the 1917 Missing Girl Case That Captivated a Nation

Kathleen Brunelle Author Of She's Gone: Five Mysterious Twentieth-Century Cold Cases

From my list on true crime about mysterious disappearances.

Why am I passionate about this?

I grew up on the ocean, surrounded by stories of pirates and mystery. Back then, I became enthralled with old detective series like Nancy Drew. Today, I am hooked on Agatha Christie. Though I primarily read and write nonfiction, they retain that mysterious element that has always intrigued me. In my teaching, writing, and research, I work with genealogy and true crime. I’m also obsessed with true crime books and podcasts. I hope you enjoy the list I have picked for you! 

Kathleen's book list on true crime about mysterious disappearances

Kathleen Brunelle Why did Kathleen love this book?

Brad Ricca's book is a fascinating look at the difference one person can make in an unsolved case. In February 1917, eighteen-year-old Ruth Cruger disappeared after she left home to pick up a pair of ice skates at a local repair shop.

In his expertly researched book, Ricca recounts the story of Grace Humiston—the lawyer, detective, and one-time U.S. District Attorney—who eventually solved the case of the missing girl.

This book has all the elements I love—a historical case, a compelling mystery, and a strong female who trusts her instincts and fights for the missing when no one else will. 

By Brad Ricca,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Mrs. Sherlock Holmes tells the incredible story of Mrs. Grace Humiston, the New York lawyer and detective who solved the famous cold case of Ruth Cruger, an 18-year-old girl who disappeared in 1917. Grace was an amazing lawyer and traveling detective during a time when no women were practicing these professions. She focused on solving cases no one else wanted and advocating for innocents. Grace became the first female U.S. District Attorney and made ground-breaking investigations into modern slavery. One of Grace's greatest accomplishments was solving the Cruger case after following a trail of corruption that lead from New York…


Book cover of A Drop of the Hard Stuff

Norman Green Author Of Shadow of a Thief: A Thriller

From my list on unexpected turns change and redemption.

Why am I passionate about this?

Some of us are confronted, amid life, with the need to look at ourselves and to change. It’s usually a question of survival. Do I want to live? Better stop this, better start that. I consider myself fortunate to have been forced down this path. So, who am I, really? Will I double down on my past mistakes, or can I change up and make some new ones? I love stories of the pain that precedes growth, redemption, and freedom that comes with it. Here are five of my favorite novels about recognizing what you are and becoming something new.

Norman's book list on unexpected turns change and redemption

Norman Green Why did Norman love this book?

Redemption is not just about stopping this or quitting that. Whether your problems are chemical or behavioral, those simple changes are a necessary beginning, but they are rarely enough to get the monkey’s teeth out of your neck.

In this novel, Block’s protagonist from 8 Million Ways to Die wrestles with the post-addiction problem of who you are, really, after that thing that has been propping you up is taken away. Redemption isn’t about what happens when you stop digging the hole. It’s about what happens when you climb out of the hole and start becoming.

By Lawrence Block,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked A Drop of the Hard Stuff as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Detective Matt Scudder is on the trail of a killer - but solving the case might be his undoing...

Matt Scudder and Jack Ellery were at school together but never exactly friends. Twenty years later, when Scudder was a detective and Jack was standing on the other side of the one-way glass in a police line-up, it was clear their lives had taken very different paths.

What they shared, however, was a battle with alcohol. Now Jack is on the ninth step of the AA program and it's time to make amends to the people he's wronged over the years…


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