46 books like The Whites

By Richard Price,

Here are 46 books that The Whites fans have personally recommended if you like The Whites. 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 The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie

Yvonne Kjorlien Author Of Memoirs of a Reluctant Archaeologist

From my list on kick-ass women come from screwed up families.

Why am I passionate about this?

On the surface, my childhood was characterized by 1980s unsupervised country freedom in rural Alberta. Deeper in, my history involved emotional abuse and neglect. I wanted nothing more than to be seen and loved for my true self. The library was a refuge, but the fiction section allowed me to find the community I so greatly desired. I was seen and loved by the characters I read. They showed me it was possible to be myself–loudly and audaciously–and still be accepted. I read and now write books that delve into themes of identity, autonomy, and acceptance because I still struggle with these themes today. 

Yvonne's book list on kick-ass women come from screwed up families

Yvonne Kjorlien Why did Yvonne love this book?

I admit it: I underestimated Flavia de Luce.

She is 11 years old, self-schooled, and lives outside a small English town in the 1950s. She is overlooked and underestimated by everyone. Deep inside, I’m still 11 years old, underestimated, and overlooked. I had an insatiable desire to learn about my environment, and I often saw things others didn’t. Flavia also reminds me of my childhood living in the country in the 1980s. I ran unchecked, safe, and constantly delighted in discovering new things about my corner of the world. I wince at the de Luce family politics. I cheer Flavia’s investigations and her fearlessness. I want nothing more than to stay in Flavia’s 11-year-old world forever. She is the kick-ass kid I wanted to be. 

By Alan Bradley,

Why should I read it?

9 authors picked The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Meet Flavia: Mystery Solver. Master Poisoner. 11 Years Old.

England 1950. At Buckshaw, the crumbling country seat of the de Luce family, very-nearly-eleven-year-old Flavia is plotting revenge on her older sisters.

Then a dead bird is left on the doorstep, which has an extraordinary effect on Flavia's eccentric father, and a body is found in the garden. As the police descend on Buckshaw, Flavia decides to do some investigating of her own.

Praise for the historical Flavia de Luce mysteries:
'The Flavia de Luce novels are now a cult favourite' Mail on Sunday

'A cross between Dodie Smith's I Capture…


Book cover of Slow Horses

Lee Goldberg Author Of Calico

From my list on humor that makes us human.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been writing crime stories since I was a child. They entertained me and helped me cope with a lot of family strife. My first novel was published in college and sold to the movies, which got me into screenwriting, leading to writing hundreds of hours of TV and fifty novels to date. The one thing all of my stories share is humor because I believe it’s an essential part of life–and of memorable story-telling. Humor makes characters come alive, revealing shades of personality and depths of emotion you wouldn’t otherwise see. Here are five books that taught me that it’s true and that continue to influence me as a writer. 

Lee's book list on humor that makes us human

Lee Goldberg Why did Lee love this book?

Spy novels, especially the British ones, are densely plotted, densely written, densely serious stories full of politics and betrayals…without a smile to be had by the characters or the reader. The only funny ones are satires. But this book is different.

I could enjoy all the pleasures of a spy novel, with all the betrayals and plot twists, and find myself laughing even as I was caught up in the suspense and surprises. If anything, the laughs made the twists more twisty and the tragedies more tragic.

This book revitalized an entire genre for me…by knowing where to find the humor in what was always portrayed as a humorless job in a humorless world. 

By Mick Herron,

Why should I read it?

10 authors picked Slow Horses as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

*Now a major TV series starring Gary Oldman*

'To have been lucky enough to play Smiley in one's career; and now go and play Jackson Lamb in Mick Herron's novels - the heir, in a way, to le Carre - is a terrific thing' Gary Oldman

Slough House is the outpost where disgraced spies are banished to see out the rest of their derailed careers. Known as the 'slow horses' these misfits have committed crimes of drugs and drunkenness, lechery and failure, politics and betrayal while on duty.

In this drab and mildewed office these highly trained spies don't run…


Book cover of The Old Man

Mike Lawson Author Of Alligator Alley: A Joe DeMarco Thriller

From my list on crime from authors who never disappoint readers.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m the Edgar and Barry Award nominated author of twenty novels, sixteen in my Joe DeMarco series, three in my Kay Hamilton Series, and my standalone, Redemption. Prior to becoming a writer, I was a senior civilian executive working in the U.S. Navy’s nuclear propulsion program.  My books are mostly set in and involve characters in Washington, D.C., because Washington is a target-rich environment for a writer—and now more so than ever.

Mike's book list on crime from authors who never disappoint readers

Mike Lawson Why did Mike love this book?

I’ve always been a Thomas Perry fan going all the way back to The Butcher’s Boy, and thoroughly enjoyed his Jane Whitefield series. His novel, The Old Man, was recently adapted for television, starring Jeff Bridges, who’s perfect as the protagonist. The thing I’ve always appreciated about Perry’s books is his careful plotting and attention to detail, which is particularly noticeable in the Jane Whitefield books.  The other thing about his books is the way he can turn a villain —like the Butcher’s Boy—into a likable protagonist.  

By Thomas Perry,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

NOW A MAJOR TV SERIES

A finalist for the Barry Award for Best Thriller

To all appearances, Dan Chase is a harmless retiree in Vermont with two big dogs and a grown daughter with a
life of her own. But most sixty-year-old widowers don't have multiple drivers' licenses, savings stockpiled in banks across the country and two Beretta nanos stashed in the spare bedroom closet. Most have not spent decades on the run.

Now, the toppling of a Middle Eastern government suddenly makes Dan Chase, and the stunt he pulled thirty-five years ago as a young hotshot in army intelligence,…


Book cover of Rules of Prey

Mike Lawson Author Of Alligator Alley: A Joe DeMarco Thriller

From my list on crime from authors who never disappoint readers.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m the Edgar and Barry Award nominated author of twenty novels, sixteen in my Joe DeMarco series, three in my Kay Hamilton Series, and my standalone, Redemption. Prior to becoming a writer, I was a senior civilian executive working in the U.S. Navy’s nuclear propulsion program.  My books are mostly set in and involve characters in Washington, D.C., because Washington is a target-rich environment for a writer—and now more so than ever.

Mike's book list on crime from authors who never disappoint readers

Mike Lawson Why did Mike love this book?

John Sandford’s books aren’t as “literary” as those written by Mick Herron or Richard Price, but I love his books for their pacing—they always start out with a bang—and for Sandford’s sense of humor. I also admire the way he’s aged the recurring characters in the Prey books, taking Lucas Davenport from a young man in his thirties to the age of almost sixty in the last book. You can’t go wrong with any of the thirty-plus books in the Prey series, and I’m holding my breath for the next one. 

By John Sandford,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked Rules of Prey as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

**Don't miss John Sandford's brand-new thriller Ocean Prey - out now**

#1 New York Times bestselling author John Sandford's 'haunting, unforgettable, ice-blooded thriller' - first in the Lucas Davenport series!

The killer was mad but brilliant.

He left notes with every woman he killed. Rules of murder: Never have a motive. Never follow a discernible pattern. Never carry a weapon after it has been used...So many rules to his sick, violent games of death.

But Lucas Davenport, the cop who's out to get him, isn't playing by the rules.

***Praise for RULES OF PREY***

'Terrifying... Sandford has crafted the kind…


Book cover of Death From a Top Hat: A Great Merlini Mystery

Tom Mead Author Of The Murder Wheel: A Locked-Room Mystery

From my list on mystery with a hint of magic.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a devourer of Golden Age Detective Fiction, and a writer of locked-room mysteries inspired by the classics. When it comes to old-school mystery writers, my favourites are John Dickson Carr, Ellery Queen, and of course Agatha Christie. What I love about that era is the brilliance of the puzzles, and the way those writers really engaged with the reader and (in some cases) addressed them directly, challenging them to solve the crime along with the detective. Additionally, I’m fascinated by stage illusions (though I’m terrible at performing them myself), and this has also had a major influence on my writing.

Tom's book list on mystery with a hint of magic

Tom Mead Why did Tom love this book?

The main character in Death From A Top Hat is the enigmatic magician, The Great Merlini, and he is certainly a beguiling and intriguing character!

The perfect amateur sleuth, with everything I love about this particular “stock character.” He’s funny, he’s smart, and he has – quite literally – plenty of tricks up his sleeve. This book, along with the rest of the Merlini series, offers many brilliant insights into the world of professional illusion.

But most important of all, this book offers an irresistible mystery that certainly kept me guessing!

By Clayton Rawson,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Death From a Top Hat as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A detective steeped in the art of magic solves the mystifying murder of two occultists.

Now retired from the tour circuit on which he made his name, master magician The Great Merlini spends his days running a magic shop in New York’s Times Square and his nights moonlighting as a consultant for the NYPD. The cops call him when faced with crimes so impossible that they can only be comprehended by a magician’s mind. In the most recent case, two occultists are discovered dead in locked rooms, one spread out on a pentagram, both appearing to have been murdered under…


Book cover of Arab Jazz

Jake Lamar Author Of Viper's Dream

From my list on social thrillers about money, race, and power.

Why am I passionate about this?

I was born in the Bronx, New York. I arrived in Paris, France at the age of 32. Thought I would stay for one year. That was thirty years ago. I'm still in Paris, and the author of a memoir, a play, and seven novels. Many of my novels fit the term "social thriller," popularized by Jordan Peele to define his ground-smashing classic film Get Out. Peele identified a genre that has been with us, particularly when it comes to crime fiction, for a long time. I've always been fascinated by dark, suspenseful stories that explore the nature of greed, of racism, of political power. And how the three are so often wrapped around each other.

Jake's book list on social thrillers about money, race, and power

Jake Lamar Why did Jake love this book?

This witty and suspenseful tour-de-force is set in a Paris most tourists never see: the Nineteenth Arrondissement, a sprawling, multicultural district where working-class grit coexists uneasily with encroaching gentrification.

The author, who doubles as a well-known documentary filmmaker, is also a friend of mine from the French noir world.

Arab Jazz, first published in 2012, sardonically explores the religious fanaticism of Jews, Muslims and evangelical Christians while weaving a thrilling intrigue that earned it France's top prize for crime fiction.

By Karim Miske, Sam Gordon (translator),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Kosher sushi, kebabs, a second-hand bookshop and a bar: the 19th arrondissement in Paris is a cosmopolitan district where multicultural citizens live, love and worship alongside one another. This peace is shattered when Ahmed Taroudant's melancholy daydreams are interrupted by the blood dripping from his upstairs neighbour's brutally mutilated corpse.

The violent murder of Laura Vignole, and the pork joint placed next to her, set imaginations ablaze across the neighbourhood, and Ahmed finds himself the prime suspect. But detectives Rachel Kupferstein and Jean Hamelot are not short of other leads. What is the connection between a disbanded hip-hop group and…


Book cover of Heart of Stone

David B. Coe Author Of The Chalice War: Stone

From my list on fantasy that made me say ‘wow!'.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have been writing fantasy professionally for more than twenty-five years, and have published novels of epic fantasy, contemporary urban fantasy, supernatural thriller, and (as D.B. Jackson) historical fantasy. I have devoted my professional life to the genre because I love writing about magic and the people who wield it. I believe fantasy novels should thrill and intrigue, but also touch our emotions, and carry us through narratives with beautiful writing. That is what I try to do with my books, and that is what draws me to the novels I have listed here. I hope you enjoy them as much as I have.

David's book list on fantasy that made me say ‘wow!'

David B. Coe Why did David love this book?

I am a huge fan of urban fantasy, and have written several myself, including my newest project.

Of all the UFs I have read, C.E. Murphy’s Negotiator series is my favorite. Heart of Stone, the first book in the sequence, introduces us to a magically reimagined New York City that is populated by dragons, vampires, and gargoyles that come to life at night and slumber in their stone form by day.

It also introduces us to Magrit Knight, a smart, powerful, fearless hero who will capture your heart and have you cheering (when you’re not breathlessly rushing to see what happens to her next)!

By C. E. Murphy,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

WHAT SECRETS LIE SHROUDED IN DARKNESS?

Okay, so jogging through Central Park after midnight wasn't a bright idea. But Margrit Knight never thought she'd encounter a dark new world filled with magical beings―not to mention a dying woman and a mysterious stranger with blood on his hands. Her logical, lawyer instincts told her it couldn't all be real― but she could hardly deny what she'd seen…and touched.

The mystery man, Alban, was a gargoyle. One of the fabled Old Races who had hidden their existence for centuries. Now he was a murder suspect, and he needed Margrit's help to take…


Book cover of Styx & Stone

Jennifer Kincheloe Author Of The Secret Life of Anna Blanc

From my list on smart historical mysteries that start a series.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a public health research scientist who writes humorous historical mysteries set in 1900s Los Angeles among the police matrons of the LAPD. Like you, I read. I love smart, well-researched historical fiction with strong female protagonists and a good romantic subplot. Extra points if the book is funny because studies show laughter is good for you. 

Jennifer's book list on smart historical mysteries that start a series

Jennifer Kincheloe Why did Jennifer love this book?

Ellie Stone, a young alcoholic newspaper reporter in 1960s New York, makes her own rules while searching for a killer. The series is an incredible window into the era and the protagonist is superb. Booksellers, publishers, authors—we all know who James Ziskin is—simply one of the most decorated mystery authors writing today. This series has won so many awards, I can’t begin to list them all here. In spite of this, James Ziskin remains a secret to most readers. This baffles me and the only thing that can explain it is that we happen to be in that one alternate universe where James Ziskin, who is a bestselling author in every other multiverse, randomly hasn’t caught fire in this universe. Yet.

By James W. Ziskin,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Ellie Stone is a professed modern girl in 1960s' New York City, playing by her own rules and breaking boundaries while searching for a killer among the renowned scholars in Columbia University's Italian Department.

"If you were a man, you'd make a good detective."

Ellie is sure that Sgt. McKeever meant that as a compliment, but that identity-a girl wanting to do a man's job-has throttled her for too long. It's 1960, and Ellie doesn't want to blaze any trails for women; she just wants to be a reporter, one who doesn't need to swat hands off her behind at…


Book cover of One Was a Soldier

Alicia Dill Author Of Beyond Sacrifice

From my list on thrillers on veterans beyond “thank you for your service".

Why am I passionate about this?

Before I’m a writer, I’m a reader and I need the realness when it comes to military service. I started as an Army journalist so the details matter to me. When I pick up a book to relax and the main character draws me with a story I can get all the five senses of it, I’m in! On the other hand, I'm usually turned off by books that use veterans as props or either heroes or villains with nothing in between. That’s not who I served with. Where was the gray of the human existence in veteran characters? Gimme books that bring more depth to characters that round out personal experience. 

Alicia's book list on thrillers on veterans beyond “thank you for your service"

Alicia Dill Why did Alicia love this book?

This book is from a series but I picked this one out because it was perfectly targeting why veterans talking to other veterans can heal. These fictional characters have real backstories that resonated with me. This is set in a small town with the dichotomy of military and law enforcement and is an easy, mystery read. 

By Julia Spencer-Fleming,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked One Was a Soldier as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

On a warm September evening in the Millers Kill community center, five veterans sit down in rickety chairs to try to make sense of their experiences in Iraq. What they will find is murder, conspiracy, and the unbreakable ties that bind them to one another and their small Adirondack town.

The Rev. Clare Fergusson wants to forget the things she saw as a combat helicopter pilot and concentrate on her relationship with Chief of Police Russ Van Alstyne. MP Eric McCrea needs to control the explosive anger threatening his job as a police officer. Will Ellis, high school track star,…


Book cover of The Socialite's Guide to Murder

T.A. Willberg Author Of Marion Lane and the Deadly Rose

From my list on historical mysteries with female protagonists.

Why am I passionate about this?

Books have always been an escape for me, historical mysteries in particular. Getting lost in another world, another time and someone else’s life is like therapy for me and something I will never tire of. Which is perhaps why I went on to write my own historical mystery trilogy. The Marion Lane series consists of The Midnight Murder, The Deadly Rose, and The Raven’s Revenge—all set in 1950’s London, in a mystical private detective agency concealed beneath the city streets. 

T.A.'s book list on historical mysteries with female protagonists

T.A. Willberg Why did T.A. love this book?

Set in 1958, Manhattan, at the fictional Pinnacle Hotel, this is a closed-setting, classic cozy mystery that I really adored. The story’s lead—Evelyn Elizabeth Grace Murphy (first off, what a name, right?)—is such a brilliantly written character. I love how ditzy and superficial she seems at the beginning, but as the plot unravels, and her sleuthing skills are put to the test, we get to see her complexities and flaws and learn to love her. What I love even more is that this book is the first in a (hopefully) long-running series. Encore, Evelyn! 

By S. K. Golden,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Socialite's Guide to Murder as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The hotel was her refuge, but scandal is afoot—and a killer stalks the halls in this charming series debut perfect for fans of Rhys Bowen and Ashley Weaver.

It’s 1958 and Evelyn Elizabeth Grace Murphy has not left the Pinnacle Hotel in fourteen months. She suffers from agoraphobia, and what’s more, it’s her father’s hotel, and everything she needs is there. Evelyn’s always been good at finding things, she discovered her mother dead in a Manhattan alleyway fifteen years earlier. Now she’s finding trouble inside her sanctuary. At a party for artist Billie Bell, his newest work is stolen, and…


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