The best Alfred Hitchcock books

1 authors have picked their favorite books about Alfred Hitchcock and why they recommend each book.

Soon, you will be able to filter by genre, age group, and more. Sign up here to follow our story as we build a better way to explore books.

Shepherd is reader supported. When you buy through links on our website, we may earn an affiliate commission (learn more).

The 39 Steps

By John Buchan,

Book cover of The 39 Steps

Buchan’s books are full of DIY heroes, men thrown into impossible situations but who manage to survive through their wits, a healthy dose of humor - and if necessary, with their fists. The book follows the hero Hannay, as he tries to escape German spies, first through England and then the wilderness of Scotland. The odds are stacked high against Hannay, but his bravura and strong will help him solve the mystery and dissolve the spy ring. Some of the views expressed in Buchan’s books are no longer politically correct and his works should always be understood in the context of his times, yet they make for very compelling reading.

The 39 Steps

By John Buchan,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The 39 Steps as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.


Who am I?

Clemens P. Suter is an author of adventure novels. His books deal with people that overcome impossible, life-changing situations. These are entertaining adventure books, with dystopian, post-apocalyptic, and Scifi elements.


I wrote...

Rebound

By Clemens P. Suter,

Book cover of Rebound

What is my book about?

Together with his three dogs, Alan, the adventurer travels the lonely roads of Armageddon. A deadly pandemic has caused a societal collapse after billions have died. He is soon joined by Imani, a young woman, and a victim of gang violence. Together they set out to discover the truth about the cause of the catastrophe. During their travels from San Francisco to the European Alps, they soon discover a danger that could wipe out the final remnants of humanity. In a world ruled by anarchy, with the last humans fighting for control, Alan’s and Imani’s chances of success or even survival look bleak. Can they save humankind from ultimate disaster?

To Catch A Thief

By David Dodge,

Book cover of To Catch A Thief

This is another great diamond yarn where the movie by Alfred Hitchcock is better known than the book. A series of high-end robberies is plaguing the French Riviera. Police suspect that retired jewel thief John “The Cat” Robie may not be as retired as he claims. They come to arrest him. Robie escapes. To prove his innocence, he persuades an insurance broker to give him a list of the wealthiest diamond owners on the Cote d’Azur, so he can intercept and apprehend the new “Cat” committing the robberies, and thus clear his name. On the list is a wealthy American, with whose daughter, played by Grace Kelly, Robie develops a romance. The plot plays out in the ravishing landscape, but the real message is the diamond industry’s favorite—that owning diamonds makes you part of a glamorous world.

To Catch A Thief

By David Dodge,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked To Catch A Thief as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

TO CATCH A THIEF is David Dodge's most famous novel, and rightly so. Alfred Hitchcock firmly cinched its place in the annals of crime fiction by adapting it into an Academy Award winning film starring Cary Grant and Grace Kelly. The story centers on John Robie, American expatriate and skilled gymnast, who once-upon-a-time was Le Chat, the famous and elusive cat burglar who worked the South of France. The legend of Le Chat grew with each crime. Following the war, Robie retires to a quiet life in France and vows to leave his past behind. His retirement is shattered when…

Who am I?

I live in New York City, where I write thrillers about diamonds. My interest began when news broke of a diamond discovery in the Canadian Arctic. A reporter looking for a story, I climbed on a plane the next day. The discovery made Canada the world’s third largest diamond miner—one of the stories told in my non-fiction book, Diamond: the History of a Cold-Blooded Love Affair. I went on to write about diamonds for many publications, including Vanity Fair and the London Times, until finally, seduced by the glitter of the possibilities, I turned to fiction. The Russian Pink appeared in November 2020. The next in the series, Ice Angel, comes out in September.


I wrote...

The Russian Pink

By Matthew Hart,

Book cover of The Russian Pink

What is my book about?

The Russian Pink sends Treasury agent Alex Turner and his lover, the Russian femme fatale and diamond thief known as Slav Lily, on a chase from the old diamond city of Antwerp to the dangerous beaches of the South African diamond coast as they rush to discover the truth behind a fabulous pink diamond. Racing against time, they must unravel the secret scheme of Harry Nash, an unscrupulous, dashing titan, and Matilda Bolt, a powerful U.S. Senator—an intrigue that entangles the dark forces of government and a transnational business empire with the megawatt allure of the stunning jewel. It’s a scorpion of a plot with a stinger in the tail!

Book cover of Hitchcock's Films Revisited

Wood’s book Hitchcock’s Films made the case that Hitchock was a major artist, not merely a manipulative “master of suspense” but someone who reflected profoundly on human limits, power, and authority, comedy and tragedy, men and women. He paved the way for later critics like William Rothman, who demonstrated that Hitchock’s films were richly rewarding frame by frame. Wood is always attentive to the human value of the movies he discusses, inquiring into the world of each film and wondering what it has to tell us. His book is great fun, but at the same time, it takes Hitchcock seriously as one of our deepest contemporary artists.

Hitchcock's Films Revisited

By Robin Wood,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Hitchcock's Films Revisited as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

When "Hitchcock's Films" was first published, it quickly became known as a new kind of book on film - one that came to be considered a necessary text in the Hitchcock bibliography. When Robin Wood returned to his writings on Hitchcock's films and published "Hitchcock's Films Revisited" in 1989, the multi-dimensional essays took on a new shape - one that was tempered by Wood's own development as a critic. This new revised edition of "Hitchcock's Films Revisited" includes a substantial new preface in which Wood reveals his personal history as a film scholar - including his coming out as a…

Who am I?

It all goes back to growing up in the 1970s, when PBS would show the same handful of classic foreign movies over and over—Bergman, Truffaut, Fellini. And there was the rest of TV, too, where I discovered John Ford, Orson Welles, Hitchcock, Billy Wilder, and much more. On the late late show, you could usually find Casablanca. I saw Kubrick’s 2001 a few years after it came out and was knocked out by the first mainstream movie that asked its viewers to wonder—to actively speculate in awestruck fashion about what was happening on screen. The movies have always been a passion for me. The movie screen is where we dream and float away and sink within ourselves all at once. As the critic David Thomson put it, “Not even heroin or the supernatural ever went this far.”


I wrote...

Stanley Kubrick: American Filmmaker

By David Mikics,

Book cover of Stanley Kubrick: American Filmmaker

What is my book about?

Stanley Kubrick by David Mikics has been called by Dwight Garner of the NY Times "A cool, cerebral book about a cool, cerebral talent.” “Mikics is an adept student of Kubrick’s uncanny art. He unpeels the way that Kubrick’s movies, packed as they are with impieties, challenge, infuriate and entertain,” Garner wrote, and “ “Mikics has a flair for nailing a performance.”

Kubrick grew up in the Bronx, a doctor’s son. From a young age, he was consumed by photography, chess, and, above all else, movies. He was a self-taught filmmaker and self-proclaimed outsider, and his films exist in a unique world of their own outside the Hollywood mainstream. Obsessed with rebellion against authority, war, and male violence, Kubrick was himself a calm, coolly masterful creator and a talkative, ever-curious polymath immersed in friends and family. Drawing on interviews and new archival material, David Mikics for the first time explores the personal side of Kubrick’s films.

The Kind Worth Killing

By Peter Swanson,

Book cover of The Kind Worth Killing

Domestic Thrillers: I love Harlan Coben and Gillian Flynn and a half-dozen other authors that pen domestic thrillers, but I picked up Swanson’s Eight Perfect Murders last summer, loved it, and began snarfing up his other novels, of which my favorite is The Kind Worth Killing. It’s like strangers on a plane instead of strangers on a train (nuff said). Swanson certainly is a fan of classic mystery authors (Agatha Christie, Patricia Highsmith, etc.) as well as Alfred Hitchcock films. He’s got another half-dozen books in play, all of which deserve your immediate attention.

The Kind Worth Killing

By Peter Swanson,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

You should never talk to strangers...Gone Girl meets Strangers on a Train in this year's must-read psychological thriller. "Extremely hard to put down". (Sophie Hannah). "Chilling and hypnotically suspenseful". (Lee Child). 'Hello there.' I looked at the pale, freckled hand on the back of the empty bar seat next to me in the business class lounge of Heathrow airport, then up into the stranger's face. 'Do I know you?' Delayed in London, Ted Severson meets a woman at the airport bar. Over cocktails they tell each other rather more than they should, and a dark plan is hatched - but…

Who am I?

I’ve been a bookworm ever since my grandfather lent me his Louis L'Amour books when I was in grade school. Eventually, I gravitated towards mystery/thrillers as my all-time favorite reads (including the various subgenres brought up in my book recommendations). In addition, I’ve been writing mystery/thrillers for the past dozen years. I am the author of the Mace Reid K-9 mystery series about the danger Reid and his pack of human remains detection dogs (cadaver dogs) get into and, hopefully, out of.


I wrote...

The Finders

By Jeffrey B. Burton,

Book cover of The Finders

What is my book about?

Jeffrey B. Burton's The Finders is the beginning of a fast-paced new series featuring a heroic golden retriever cadaver dog named Vira and her handler, Mason “Mace” Reid. Reid lives on the outskirts of Chicago and specializes in human remains detection. He trains dogs to hunt for the dead. He adopts a rescue dog with a mysterious past—a golden retriever named Vira. And when Reid begins training Vira as a cadaver dog, he comes to realize just how special the newest addition to his family truly is.

Suddenly, Reid and his prize pupil find themselves hurled into a taxing murder case. Mace must put all his trust in Vira's abilities to thwart a serial killer who has now set his sights on Mace himself.

Book cover of Plotting and Writing Suspense Fiction

No one can deny that Patricia Highsmith knew how to create suspense. Alfred Hitchcock saw that Strangers on a Train was the ideal spine-tingler for a great movie. Other directors have found the Ripley series perfect nail-biting stories to work with. Highsmith takes us through the process of building suspense from the germ of an idea through the plotting, the drafts, and the revisions, using examples from her own work, short stories, and novels. I’m not surprised this book has stayed in print for over fifty years. I still dip into it and get inspired.

Plotting and Writing Suspense Fiction

By Patricia Highsmith,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Plotting and Writing Suspense Fiction as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Named by The Times as the all-time number one crime writer, Patricia Highsmith was an author who broke new ground and defied genre cliches with novels such as The Talented Mr Ripley and Strangers on a Train.
In the classic creative writing guide Plotting and Writing Suspense Fiction, Highsmith reveals her secrets for producing world-class crime and thrillers, from imaginative tips for generating ideas to useful ways of turning them into stunning stories.


Who am I?

My introduction to mystery writing was a competition for a first crime novel. I was lucky enough to win with Wobble to Death, about a Victorian long-distance race. When I went to collect the prize, I was startled to be asked if I was already at work on the next one. The publishers Macmillan had started a crime list and were looking for a career writer. I knew practically nothing about the genre and had to give myself a crash course. How I needed the support of books like these! After five years, I had the confidence to give up the day job and have made my living from mystery writing for almost fifty years. 


I wrote...

The Last Detective

By Peter Lovesey,

Book cover of The Last Detective

What is my book about?

Originally intended as a one-off book, this won the Anthony Award for best novel at the Bouchercon and generated a series of twenty mystery novels that I am still writing. Diamond of the Bath police is a good man and a smart detective, but he creates havoc around him and drives his team to despair. Fortunately, the women in his life know how to keep this maverick functioning. Here he investigates a body found floating in a lake and his investigation of her last hours leads him into Jane Austen territory and university infighting, with disastrous personal consequences for Diamond.

Fergus

By Brian Moore,

Book cover of Fergus

In the mid-‘60s, acclaimed Irish-Canadian novelist Brian Moore unhappily spent time grappling with the script problems plaguing director Alfred Hitchcock’s 1966 spy thriller Torn Curtain. In this frankly autobiographical 1971 novel, a Hitchcock-esque producer comes in for knocks when a Moore-like novelist-screenwriter gets lured to Hollywood to work on the screenplay for a famous moviemaker’s next film. (Moore described his brush with Hitchcock as “awful, like washing floors.”) Waiting to learn whether he’s going to be forced to do another script rewrite, the novelist agonizes over his ongoing divorce and his relationship with his new girlfriend. Mostly, though, he’s confronted by the ghosts of friends and family members past, notably his father’s. So sharply funny, painfully honest a book that one almost wishes Hitchcock had filmed it instead of Torn Curtain.

Fergus

By Brian Moore,

Why should I read it?

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


Who am I?

A Southern California-based writer, screenwriter, and journalist whose adventures in and around the film business have led to hundreds of feature stories and film reviews for such magazines as Vibe, Playboy, American Film, Smithsonian, and Movieline. His books include three dedicated to Disney animated classics and a volume on the art of American movie posters. His lovingly satirical book Bad Movies We Love, co-written with Edward Margulies, inspired a Turner Network movie marathon series, his Alfred Hitchcock and the Making of Psycho was filmed in 2012. His next non-fiction book will be published in 2024.   


I wrote...

Alfred Hitchcock and the Making of Psycho

By Stephen Rebello,

Book cover of Alfred Hitchcock and the Making of Psycho

What is my book about?

First released in June 1960, Psycho, directed by Alfred Hitchcock, forever altered the landscape of horror films. But just as compelling as the movie itself is the story behind it, which was adapted as the 2012 movie starring Anthony Hopkins as Hitchcock, Helen Mirren as his wife Alma Reville, and Scarlett Johansson. as Janet Leigh. Stephen Rebello brings to life the creation of one of Hollywood’s most iconic films, from the story of Wisconsin murderer Ed Gein, the real-life inspiration for the character of Norman Bates, to Hitchcock’s groundbreaking achievements in cinematography, sound, editing, and promotion.

Packed with captivating, firsthand insights from the film’s stars, writers, and crewmembers, Alfred Hitchcock and the Making of Psycho has been hailed as “indispensable and marvelously readable,” “the bedrock on which all Psycho mansions are built,” and “a meticulous history of a single film production. It is a riveting and definitive history of a signature Hitchcock cinematic masterpiece."

Alfred Hitchcock Presents

By Alfred Hitchcock (editor),

Book cover of Alfred Hitchcock Presents: Stories That Scared Even Me

These stories were picked out by the master of suspense, himself, Alfred Hitchcock. These stories are both horrific and suspenseful. With tales involving a flesh-eating troll, something creepy lurking about in the woods that kills anything that comes into its path, and an uninvited odd boy that comes to a party with evil intentions, one will not be able to put this book down. It might even make you want to leave the lights on during the night.

Alfred Hitchcock Presents

By Alfred Hitchcock (editor),

Why should I read it?

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


Who am I?

I'm a former journalist who has written for several newspapers in Kansas and Texas. Ever since I was young, I had an incredible imagination, a love for storytelling, and an adventurous spirit. I started writing my first novel Waves Crashing, a suspense romance, when I was a senior at McPherson High School; then I worked on it some in college, and it was published in 2019. I'm also the author of the science fiction novels The Death Firm and The Re-Creation of the Death Firm. I'm currently working at Grinnell College in Grinnell, Iowa, as an administrative assistant in data and records. I plan on starting to write my fourth novel in 2023. 


I wrote...

Waves Crashing

By Lisa M. Lucero,

Book cover of Waves Crashing

What is my book about?

Waves Crashing is a suspense romance novel about a mysterious gentleman with a dark past and a beautiful, successful oceanographer that will cross paths in the city of Portland, Maine. Their relationship will take a turn for the worse after oceanographer Corona Bowser discovers the broodingly handsome Andrew Harkins' evil secret. Her life is at stake when Andrew reveals his true nature to her and threatens to kill her. Andrew escapes the police and is on the run. Corona has to lay low for a while until Andrew is captured. She meets Andrew's brother who at first doesn't believe her story, then later finds himself fond of Corona. Corona isn't sure she can trust him.

The Strange Case of Mr Pelham

By Anthony Armstrong,

Book cover of The Strange Case of Mr Pelham

This book, for me, stands alongside The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde as a necessary stepping stone toward all modern 'dark double' fiction. I actually first encountered the book via one of its looser adaptations, The Man Who Haunted Himself, starring Roger Moore. I must have seen that some time in the 70s, and it stuck with me across five decades without losing its core power. The Armstrong original, written in 1940 then expanded later, is still a legitimately creepy tale, particularly in terms of the questions it refuses to answer. Watching Pelham's slow-motion collapse into paranoia and chaos is a genuinely uneasy experience, like seeing The Picture of Dorian Gray through the eyes of the portrait itself.

The Strange Case of Mr Pelham

By Anthony Armstrong,

Why should I read it?

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


Who am I?

Robert-Houdin, Houdini's first and greatest inspiration, famously said that a magician is an actor playing the role of a sorcerer. When I started out writing professionally, I quickly found myself drawn to characters who are at odds with themselves, living in their own shadows. There's a core tension in the stories these people inhabit that, for me, reflects the structure of a magic trick, with its misdirection and layered realities. I always try to incorporate the principles of magic into my writing, and the figurative masks my characters wear to function in worlds that alienate them are a major part of that.


I wrote...

Indifference Engine

By Cy Dethan, Rob Carey (illustrator),

Book cover of Indifference Engine

What is my book about?

Responding to a strangely specific job advertisement, underachieving suburban slacker Alan Blake suddenly finds himself the newest recruit of an interdimensional task force staffed entirely by superhuman alternate-reality versions of himself. Blackmailed by an insane supercomputer, Alan is forced to kill in order to live. With every murder he commits, another world ends—but, inevitably, the only person he ever hurts is himself.

Rebecca

By Daphne du Maurier,

Book cover of Rebecca

Rebecca was the first book that made me fall off my chair. I had read so many “nice” stories that followed expected patterns, and this one seemed to start out the same way, and then BAM—everything’s upside down. One brief statement made by the hero, and the entire book, everything that has happened, means something completely different. The hero’s pain and grief, the intense feelings toward his late wife, it all means the opposite of what we think, and it ratchets up the suspense like a rollercoaster suddenly spinning you upside down. This book’s twisty plot totally thrilled me, and it gave me “permission” to break from formulaic plots and chase down every dark shadow and abandoned castle my heart longed to write about.

Rebecca

By Daphne du Maurier,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

* 'The greatest psychological thriller of all time' ERIN KELLY
* 'One of the most influential novels of the twentieth century' SARAH WATERS
* 'It's the book every writer wishes they'd written' CLARE MACKINTOSH

'Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again . . .'

Working as a lady's companion, our heroine's outlook is bleak until, on a trip to the south of France, she meets a handsome widower whose proposal takes her by surprise. She accepts but, whisked from glamorous Monte Carlo to brooding Manderley, the new Mrs de Winter finds Max a changed man. And the memory…


Who am I?

I’m an expert on twists not as a writer, but as a reader. I could see through most mystery and romance novel twists, having read so many, but once I discovered gothic fiction, which is built around unpredictable twists and delightfully shadowed settings, abandoned old manor homes, locked doors, and secret tunnels, I had hit the jackpot. At last, my type of story! I read and re-read these novels until I could see how the author managed to shock me (I love to be shocked). I’d use what I learned, as well as “writing blind” (without plotting), to make certain my writing always surprised me—and my readers too. 


I wrote...

A Rumored Fortune

By Joanna Davidson Politano,

Book cover of A Rumored Fortune

What is my book about?

Tressa Harlowe's father did not trust banks, but neither did he trust his greedy extended family. He kept his vast fortune hidden somewhere on his estate in the south of England and died suddenly, without telling anyone where he had concealed it. Tressa and her ailing mother are left with a mansion and an immense vineyard and no money to run it. It doesn't take long for a bevy of opportunists to flock to the estate under the guise of offering condolences. Tressa knows what they're really up to. She'll have to work with the rough and rusticated vineyard manager to keep the laborers content without pay and discover the key to finding her father's fortune—before someone else finds it first.

The Thirty-Nine Steps

By John Buchan,

Book cover of The Thirty-Nine Steps

I could never forget the name of Richard Hannay from this book as it’s chiselled into my heart. The first review I had on the first novel I wrote came from a Scottish woman, who was a school headmistress, comparing my protagonist to John Buchan’s (a Scottish Writer) Richard Hannay in his The Thirty-Nine Steps. That review caught the eye of a film producer and the rest, as they say, is history. I had a great time doing about twenty-five or more Waterstone’s Book shop signings and having a six-year paid option for the book to become a thirty-million-dollar film. 

The Thirty-Nine Steps

By John Buchan,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Thirty-Nine Steps as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Richard Hannay has just returned to England after years in South Africa and is thoroughly bored with his life in London. But then a murder is committed in his flat, just days after a chance encounter with an American who had told him about an assassination plot which could have dire international consequences. An obvious suspect for the police and an easy target for the killers, Hannay goes on the run in his native Scotland where he will need all his courage and ingenuity to stay one step ahead of his pursuers.

Who am I?

My father died before I knew him, when I was sixteen, but once he called me; deceitful. I took that as a compliment, as it came from someone who knew what was deceitful. He was part of an intelligence unit interrogating captured Axis troops at the end of WWII. He told some stories of these deceitful people. It left me to build on those I could remember using my imagination that was shaped, to some extent, by my time in the London Police Force. Most of those books I’ve recommended were rescued from Book Fairs held on rainy Saturday mornings, where the books smelled musty and the people; damp.  


I wrote...

The Desolate Garden

By Daniel Kemp,

Book cover of The Desolate Garden

What is my book about?

Harry Paterson receives a phone call from his estranged father, Lord Elliot Paterson saying he had discovered a vast quantity of money erased from the family-run secret intelligence services bank, dating all the way back to 1936. Mysterious initials and an address in Leningrad—a major port in former Soviet Union—are his only clues. A few months later Lord Elliot is found murdered.

Harry is summoned to London where he must work with the enigmatic Judith Meadows, from MI5, to unravel his father's mysterious death—and figure out the mystery that’s hidden in the files of the Royal Government Bank.

Or, view all 16 books about Alfred Hitchcock

New book lists related to Alfred Hitchcock

All book lists related to Alfred Hitchcock

Bookshelves related to Alfred Hitchcock