100 books like Whispers of the Dead

By Simon Beckett,

Here are 100 books that Whispers of the Dead fans have personally recommended if you like Whispers of the Dead. 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 Forensic Medicine

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 thought I should include a book you have no chance of finding without dredging the second-hand book warehouses in Hay, Wales. (Which is where I found it). Like my protagonist, I had no idea about forensic medicine. But I couldn’t begin my studies in this day and age of CSI and DNA. I had to find a textbook that my Dr. Siri might use to solve cases back in the seventies. This was it, plus hundreds of gruesome photos for your coffee table. Like a true scientist, Dr. Simpson affords the dead not a shred of dignity.  

By Keith Simpson,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Good reference. Many photos, some pretty gruesome. Shipped in cardboard mailer.


Book cover of Critical

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?

If only half of Cook’s medical exposures were true, we would probably never voluntarily go to a hospital again. But his forensic pathologists (a married couple team) go out of their way to prove him right. And in this 2008 thriller there are enough warnings about looming pandemics to make a reader wonder why covid came as such a surprise. The cadavers told us to be wary.

By Robin Cook,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Critical as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 14.

What is this book about?

New York City medical examiners Laurie Montgomery and Jack Stapleton return in this stunning new novel from the 'master of the medical thriller' (New York Times) a ripped-from-the-headlines tale of an innovative doctor's dangerous downward spiral.


Book cover of Black Notice

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?

You don’t necessarily have to like an author to admire their grasp of the subject matter and few writers have a better slab-side manner than Cornwell. She knows her stuff and you can perhaps forgive her the smartarsery that she can’t resist. But she does go out of her way to give the victims and their families closure. 

By Patricia Cornwell,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In this #1 New York Times bestseller Dr. Kay Scarpetta is on a deadly mission that will pull her in two opposite directions: toward protecting her career or toward the truth...

Remains were all that was left of the stowaway. He arrived in Richmond's Deep Water Terminal-the ghastly cargo of a ship from Belgium. The decomposed body gives Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Kay Scarpetta no clues to its identity-or the cause of death. But an odd tattoo soon leads her on an international search to Interpol's headquarters in Lyon, France-and towards a confrontation with one of the most savage killers…


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 Missing Susan

Sharon Dunn Author Of Romance Rustlers & Thunderbird Thieves

From my list on that made me laugh out loud.

Why am I passionate about this?

While I love books that reflect strong family values, I don’t like sugary sweetness to the point of unrealism. I prefer to read about real people who can make fun of themselves and the world. That sarcastic and biting edge seems to tap into a deeper honesty about life while making me roll around on the floor and break all my furniture.  

Sharon's book list on that made me laugh out loud

Sharon Dunn Why did Sharon love this book?

Imagine being in a tour group with the most annoying person in the world, Susan. Every tour group has that one person who talks non-stop about things that don’t matter. The difference here is that the tour guide Rowan Rover is an inept hitman who can’t seem to bump Susan off. An added element of fun is that the group is touring England’s most famous murder sites. When I was learning to write mysteries, I had two prominent influences, Sue Grafton and Sharyn McCrumb. Both taught me how to construct a solid mystery. Sue Grafton opened my eyes to the power of connection created by writing in first person. And Sharyn McCrumb showed me the importance of using humor even when talking about dark subjects like murder. 

By Sharyn McCrumb,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Edgar Award winner Sharyn McCrumb brings you her sixth Elizabeh MacPherson mystery novel.
The unsinkable Elizabeth is on tour of England's most famous murder sites, when Rowan Rover, the group leader, is quietly asked to commit murder. He does, of course, but not without misgivings--not the least of which is having Elizabeth MacPherson, canny observer and all-around murder spoiler, on his tail...
"Sharyn McCrunb is definitely a rising star in the New Golden Age of mystery fiction. I look forward to reading her for a long time to come."
Elizabeth Peters


Book cover of All That Remains: A Renowned Forensic Scientist on Death, Mortality, and Solving Crimes

Tim Sullivan Author Of The Monk

From my list on forensic investigation in murder cases.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve always been fascinated with crime and crime fiction. From my early obsession with the novels of Raymond Chandler to my embarrassingly late discovery of Agatha Christie. I directed epsiodes of Sherlock Holmes with Jeremy Brett for Masterpiece theatre, which was a dream come true. But it frustrates me when television dramas tread roughshod over forensic science, making absurd claims for what can be done, when the truth, as mundane as it often can be, is so much more fascinating. To this end I have just graduated with an Mlitt from the University of Dundee in Crime Fiction and Forensic Investigation. I hope this will lend my books an air of authenticity and dramatic drive.

Tim's book list on forensic investigation in murder cases

Tim Sullivan Why did Tim love this book?

I was drawn to this book initially because Baroness Sue Black, formerly professor of Anatomy forensic anthropology at Dundee where I did an MLitt degree in crime fiction and forensic investigation.

It was an unexpected pleasure. Not at all macabre or gruesome – alright maybe in bits. But essentially, I loved this book because it’s such a personal reflection of life from someone whose daily business is to deal with the dead. I found her descriptions of how the body works and in the end the processes that happen when we die fascinating.

Humane, compassionate, and thought provoking. A great read.

By Sue Black,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Book of the Year, Saltire Literary Awards
A CrimeReads Best True Crime Book of the Month

For fans of Caitlin Doughty, Mary Roach, Kathy Reichs, and CSI shows, a renowned forensic scientist on death and mortality.

Dame Sue Black is an internationally renowned forensic anthropologist and human anatomist. She has lived her life eye to eye with the Grim Reaper, and she writes vividly about it in this book, which is part primer on the basics of identifying human remains, part frank memoir of a woman whose first paying job as a schoolgirl was to apprentice in a butcher shop,…


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 Spider Bones

Gary Gerlacher Author Of Last Patient of the Night: An AJ Docker Thriller

From my list on thrillers featuring a medical professional.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a pediatric emergency physician turned author, and I am passionate about sharing an insider’s view of the emergency room, as well as addressing larger health issues that should be more visible to the general public. The emergency room is a world unlike any other, filled with humor, drama, emotions, and energy twenty-four hours a day, and I like to bring that energy to my stories. I’ve worked in many different medical settings, and every day, I find a new story that is worth sharing. 

Gary's book list on thrillers featuring a medical professional

Gary Gerlacher Why did Gary love this book?

It takes talent to make a forensic pathologist a hero, but Temperance Brennan is equal to the task.

This is the thirteenth book in the series and my favorite because of the complexity of the plot and investigation. Literature needs more smart female heroes, and Dr. Brennan leads the way. This is a top-notch science-nerd action-thriller at its best. 

By Kathy Reichs,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Spider Bones 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.

Dr Temperance Brennan spends her life working amongst the decomposed and the skeletal. So the newly-dead body she is called to examine holds little to surprise her. Until she discovers it is the body of an ex-soldier apparently killed in Vietnam in 1968. So who is buried in his grave?

The case takes Tempe to the heart of the American military, where she must examine the remains of anyone with a…


Book cover of Killing For Company

David Wilson Author Of A History Of British Serial Killing: The Shocking Account of Jack the Ripper, Harold Shipman and Beyond

From my list on true crime about murder and serial murder.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a former Prison Governor who has had to work with a number of murderers and serial murderers – and who now writes about them as Emeritus Professor of Criminology – my professional life has inevitably been dominated by violent men. As they might say in the United States, I have “walked the walk” before doing my talking and I try and bring this applied dimension into my written and more academic work.

David's book list on true crime about murder and serial murder

David Wilson Why did David love this book?

This is a superb and beautifully written book about one of Britain’s most notorious serial killers – Dennis Nilsen. 

Brian Masters bases his text on documents, letters, and other materials that Nilsen sent, or shared with him and whilst the two would later fall out – Nilsen was a notoriously touchy and narcissistic man, this remains a detailed and forensic account of him and the crimes that he committed. In my own work I got to know Nilsen well and would often check out some of the things that he claimed to me by returning to Killing For Company.  

By Brian Masters,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Killing For Company as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The definitive story of the Dennis Nilsen case featured in BBC's The Nilsen Tapes, and the book behind ITV's Des, starring David Tennant

***WINNER OF THE GOLD DAGGER AWARD FOR CRIME NON-FICTION and THE NUMBER ONE SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER***
__________________
Dennis Nilsen, who died in May 2018, admitted to killing at least 15 people before his arrest in 1983. This ground-breaking criminal study of his killings was written with Nilsen's full cooperation, resulting in a fascinating - and horrifying - portrait of the man who worshipped death.

In February 1983, residents of Muswell Hill had been plagued by blocked drains.…


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. .…


5 book lists we think you will like!

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