The most recommended books like Downton Abbey

Who picked these books? Meet our 13 experts.

13 authors created a book list connected to Downton Abbey, and here are their favorite Downton Abbey books.
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Book cover of The Housekeepers

Krista Van Dolzer Author Of The Multiplying Mysteries of Mount Ten

From Krista's 3 favorite reads in 2023.

Who am I?

Author Reader Writer Genealogist Eggplant parmigiana aficionado Suffering BYU football fan

Krista's 3 favorite reads in 2023

Krista Van Dolzer Why did Krista love this book?

I'm a sucker for a good historical, so The Housekeepers immediately caught my eye—and when the MC was dismissed from her post as a housekeeper in a palatial London townhome in the very first chapter, I was immediately hooked.

The less you know about this one, the better, so I'll just say that if you love Downton Abbey or Ocean's Eleven, read this book because it's both.

By Alex Hay,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The night of London's grandest ball, a bold group of women downstairs plot a daring revenge heist against Mayfair society in this dazzling historical novel about power, gender, and class

Named a Best Book of Summer by The Washington Post * Good Housekeeping * Harper's Bazaar * Reader's Digest

“Rollicking fun and entirely original... Anyone who relishes a good party gone wrong will devour this.”
—Sarah Penner, New York Times bestselling author of The Lost Apothecary

Mrs. King is no ordinary housekeeper. Born into a world of con artists and thieves, she’s made herself respectable, running the grandest home in…


Book cover of The Saltwater Murder

Tessa Floreano Author Of Slain Over Spumoni

From my list on Jazz Age mysteries by the sea.

Who am I?

I am fascinated by all that was happening in the world before WWII. Amidst a silent, looming economic collapse, many social norms were turned on their head, women broke out of their molds, and art, literature, technology, and music all flourished. And a heady mix of cultures blended not altogether seamlessly to influence the Roaring Twenties like no other decade before it. The juxtaposition of this exciting yet challenging tumult lures me into reading books and writing immigrant-forward stories about this period—and as an author with deep roots in the boot—I particularly enjoy doing so through an Italian lens.

Tessa's book list on Jazz Age mysteries by the sea

Tessa Floreano Why did Tessa love this book?

Even if there’s just a hint of something Italian in a story by the sea, I’m smiling. When you first meet Miss Posie Parker in this story, she’s wearing a scent reminiscent of Parma Violet, first distilled by the second wife of Napoleon I. For the next 300 pages, I couldn’t stop thinking about how wonderful Posie smells and how she must leave behind a whiff of her violet-scented perfume everywhere she goes a-sleuthing. Such a telling detail about a character and one that stayed with me as I tried in vain to solve the mystery.

By L.B. Hathaway,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

MURDERED WITH A BOX OF TEARS…

London, 1924

Posie Parker has been called to her most baffling case yet.

Amyas Lyle, London’s top young lawyer, has been found with his head in a box of poisoned saltwater.

It’s the perfect murder. But who hated him enough to do such a thing?

Following a trail of strange notes, all of which speak of the sea, and saltwater, Posie travels from London to the seaside resort of Whitley Bay, looking for answers. But nothing can prepare her for what she finds there.

Can Posie find Amyas Lyle’s cold-blooded killer before further deaths…


Book cover of Codename Charming: A Novel

Bethany Bennett Author Of Any Rogue Will Do

From Bethany's 3 favorite reads in 2023.

Who am I?

Author Hopeless romantic Traveler Celiac baker Cat lady

Bethany's 3 favorite reads in 2023

Bethany Bennett Why did Bethany love this book?

I’ve enjoyed everything by Lucy Parker, but this one was special. It takes place in a royal household but focuses on two staff members, not the royals themselves.

So there’s a little bit of a Downton Abbey vibe there, even though it’s a modern timeline. I love the way she writes the chaos/stoic contrast of these two wildly different characters while somehow making their romance feel organic and believable.

There’s a fabulous twist at the end that made my heart grow two sizes. I can’t wait to read what she writes next.

By Lucy Parker,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Following Battle Royal, beloved author Lucy Parker pens another delicious romantic comedy about a fake relationship between a grumpy royal bodyguard and the charming, sunny assistant who melts his cold, hard exterior.

Petunia De Vere enjoys being the personal assistant to lovable, bumbling Johnny Marchmont. But the job has its share of challenges, including the royal's giant, intimidating bodyguard, Matthias. Pet and Matthias are polar opposites-she's spontaneous and enthusiastic, he's rigid and stoic-but she can sense there's something softer underneath that tough exterior...

For Matthias Vaughn, protecting others is the name of the game. But keeping his royal charge out…


Book cover of A Countess Below Stairs

Anna Campbell Author Of One Wicked Wish

From my list on classic historical romance.

Who am I?

I’ve always loved historical romance, ever since my mother gave me my first Georgette Heyer when I was eight, and my grandmother gave me my first Barbara Cartland shortly after. The fascination has never waned, which is a good thing because I grew up to become a historical romance author myself. Since publishing my first romance in 2006, I’ve written nearly 50 books, mainly set during the Regency period (first quarter of the 19th century). I’ve always adored how a good historical romance whisks me away to a larger-than-life world replete with dashing rakes, smart-mouthed ladies, and glittering high society, not to mention witty banter, glamour, and heart-stopping romance.

Anna's book list on classic historical romance

Anna Campbell Why did Anna love this book?

This is my favorite comfort read, the perfect book for days when life has too many sharp corners. I must have read this one at least twenty times. It has all the virtues of a classic fairytale: a pure-hearted, brave heroine; an honorable, steadfast hero; and a happy ending earned through suffering and effort and against all the odds. It tells the story of Countess Anna Grazinsky, a young refugee from the Russian Revolution, who finds work as a maid at a stately home in the English countryside, where she falls in love with the gallant war hero who owns the house. But the Earl of Westholme is promised to another woman. Heartwarming, triumphantly romantic, wise, and funny, A Countess Below Stairs is one of those rare books that makes the world seem a better place.  

By Eva Ibbotson,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked A Countess Below Stairs as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 12, 13, 14, and 15.

What is this book about?

Eva Ibbotson's charming and warm-hearted tale, A Secret Countess was originally published as A Countess Below Stairs.

Anna, a young countess, has lived in the glittering city of St Petersburg all her life in an ice-blue palace overlooking the River Neva. But when revolution tears Russia apart, her now-penniless family is forced to flee to England. Armed with an out-of-date book on housekeeping, Anna determines to become a housemaid and she finds work at the Earl of Westerholme's crumbling but magnificent mansion. The staff and the family are sure there is something not quite right about their new maid -…


Book cover of The Country House: Past, Present, Future: Great Houses of The British Isles

James Peill Author Of The English Country House: New Format

From my list on country houses.

Who am I?

I have loved visiting country houses ever since I was a child. There is something unique about the combination of art, architecture, and people. Over my lifetime, I have been privileged to visit all sorts of houses and castles. I used to work at Christie’s and during that time I visited many country houses, some of which were completely private. It was a natural progression when I moved to Goodwood and became the curator of the art collection, enjoying the house as part of my daily life. The view from my office looks out through the columns of the portico, across the park, with the sea glinting in the distance. What could be better?  

James' book list on country houses

James Peill Why did James love this book?

This book combines superb photographs with scholarly text by two of the most eminent writers on the country house today, with additional essays by other authors who are respected experts in their fields.  I like nothing more than to just open it up and flick through the pages, dipping into the text and enjoying the images. The book is a beautiful object in itself. 

By David Cannadine, Jeremy Musson,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

From The Crown to Downton Abbey, the country house speaks to our fantasies of rustic splendour, style, and escape. Featuring three hundred photos from the National Trust, this lavish book draws back the curtain on the finest and most important historic homes in England, Wales, Scotland, and Ireland, revealing these great houses' intriguing pasts, grand interiors, and vi-brant reinventions for the enjoyment of modern-day visitors, residents, and armchair travellers. Locations include Knole, Cragside, Castle Howard, Chatsworth, Polesden Lacey, Petworth, Castle Bodiam, Blenheim, Longleat, and dozens more. Illuminating essays by country house expert Jeremy Musson, legendary British author and historian David…


Book cover of The Red Cross Letters: A Real Life Account 1944-1946

Karen Berkey Huntsberger Author Of I'll Be Seeing You: Letters Home from a Navy Girl

From my list on women in uniform in World War II.

Who am I?

I’ve been devoted to reading memoirs since childhood. My favorite memoirs are based on letters written by people who served in World War II. Their letters encapsulate their experiences with an intimacy meant only for their loved ones. I am fascinated with the immediacy of their personal experience, the longing for home, and the courage to carry on that is expressed in these letters. I continue to be astonished and inspired by the lives of “ordinary” people who tell their own extraordinary stories better than anyone else could. I am the author of two non-fiction books based on letters and my current project is a World War II-era historical novel.

Karen's book list on women in uniform in World War II

Karen Berkey Huntsberger Why did Karen love this book?

My favorite thing about this book is that it contains copies of the actual letters sent home by Dorothy, about half handwritten and the other half typed. The accompanying photos and newspaper clippings enhance the narrative of her work and travel in England. This is one of the most complete sets of letters I’ve ever seen. Dorothy was the Red Cross secretary at a U.S. Army hospital located at a country estate (think Downton Abbey). I love her conversational tone, charming descriptions, and positive attitude. I almost felt like I was her mother reading the letters as they arrived so many years ago.  

By Dorothy Trebilcox,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Like many American women during World War II, Dorothy F. Trebilcox (Eiland) wanted to be a part of the war effort. She found her opportunity by serving in the Red Cross in England. This book contains her numerous letters home, exactly as she wrote them, describing her life and adventures from 1944 to 1946. Leaving Sacramento by train, she describes the journey eastward, crossing the Atlantic under threat of U-boats, and daily life in the Red Cross in England during these tumultuous times.


Book cover of The Television Genre Book

Ben Lamb Author Of You're Nicked: Investigating British Television Police Series

From my list on studying film and television in a fun way.

Who am I?

I’ve always been fascinated by film and television. No matter how challenging life can be at times, we're forever united by what stories captivate us on the gold and silver screens. Whatever challenges the world may throw at this type of storytelling be it a world war, the internet, Covid, or TikTok, nothing beats sitting down on your sofa to enjoy the finest entertainment the world has to offer. Critically studying our most treasured past time might sound like the best way of sucking the life out of it. But I’m here to show you how this isn't the case. Join me on a quest through the best writings that can capture your imagination.

Ben's book list on studying film and television in a fun way

Ben Lamb Why did Ben love this book?

The Television Genre Book is a smorgasbord of leading international scholars who come together to offer an accessible yet comprehensive introduction to the debates, issues, and concerns of what it is that makes unique television genres so appealing.

From the news and quiz shows to soaps and serious HBO dramas I still remember first opening this book and being enthralled by my newfound ability to look at our favourite pastime differently and critically.

By Glen Creeber (editor),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Genre is central to understanding the industrial context and visual form of television. This new edition of the key textbook on television genre brings together leading international scholars to provide an accessible and comprehensive introduction to the debates, issues and concerns of the field. Structured in eleven sections, The Television Genre Book introduces the concept of 'genre' itself and how it has been understood in television studies, and then addresses the main televisual genres in turn: drama, soap opera, comedy, news, documentary, reality television, children's television, animation and popular entertainment. This third edition is illustrated throughout with case studies of…


Book cover of Murder in Manhattan

Vickie Carroll Author Of It's Only Murder

From my list on cozy mysteries about women at work.

Who am I?

As a cozy-style mystery writer, I get to live in a world where I know that everything will work out as it should in the end. I look for this in the books that I read and recommend. Do they give the reader something interesting to ponder as they go along with the sleuth (amateur or “real detective)? My father was a police captain, and I grew up looking at things through the eyes of “the law”, I admit. Most people find comfort reading about a small town where nothing will go too wrong. The bad stuff and the bad people are kept at arm’s length, and all is well.

Vickie's book list on cozy mysteries about women at work

Vickie Carroll Why did Vickie love this book?

I was late coming to this author, but once I discovered her I knew I’d go back to her earlier books in the Lady Eleanor Swift series.

In this book, Lady Swift leaves England to see what Manhattan is all about. With her butler, Clifford, (and her dog Gladstone) in tow, she is soon ensconced in a high-end apartment and is giving and attending all of the parties with the rich and famous. But her society status is put on hold when she witnesses the doorman of her building killed in a hit and run.

This is soon followed by another murder connected to the doorman. She, of course, gets involved and is determined to right the wrong. The book is a perfect bit of escapism, written with humor. 

By Verity Bright,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Glitzy parties, sightseeing at the Statue of Liberty and strolls through Central Park with Gladstone the bulldog… Lady Eleanor Swift is loving her first trip to the city that never sleeps, until she witnesses a murder!

After crossing from England on the SS Celestiana, Lady Eleanor Swift sets up her home-away-from-home in a lavish apartment in New York City. She is soon the toast of the town, with no high-class soirée complete without her presence. Of course, she drags her butler Clifford and Gladstone the bulldog along to every party too.

But when she witnesses the charming doorman of her…


Book cover of The Governess of Highland Hall

Carolyn Miller Author Of The Breakup Project

From my list on for romance-loving Christians.

Who am I?

I’m a long-time lover of Christian romance, and now with over a dozen Christian historical romance books published, and a similar amount of Christian contemporary romances published or soon to be, I think I’m someone who has a true appreciation for romance that is soul-stirringly Christian, not just clean or sweet, but which contains truths that will inspire and encourage as well as entertain with swoon-worthy romance.

Carolyn's book list on for romance-loving Christians

Carolyn Miller Why did Carolyn love this book?

If you’re like me and a fan of Downton Abbey, then you’ll appreciate the well-researched Edwardian period details found in this charming story, as well as the sweet romance. Julia Foster is not your usual governess, having a remarkable backstory of her own, but the way she cares for the widowed William and his children is heart-warming and will captivate your heart. 

By Carrie Turansky,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

More Than 200 5-Star Reviews on Amazon.Finalist for the ACFW Carol Award and the Gayle Wilson Award of ExcellenceWhen a crisis strikes Julia's family in India, she returns to England and takes the position at Highland Hall, a magnificent English country estate. Will she be able to find her place when a governess is neither upstairs family nor downstairs help?
 
Family drama, romance, and inspiration for those who love Downton Abbey and Jane Eyre. Missionary Julia Foster loves working alongside her parents, ministering and caring for young girls in India. But when the family must return to England due to…


Book cover of The Custom of the Country

Eleanor Wilton Author Of Agnes Merriweather

From my list on classics featuring exceptional female protagonists.

Who am I?

I first read and fell in love with Jane Austen's novels at the age of thirteen, and thus began a lifelong enthusiasm for nineteenth-century and early twentieth-century literature. Though I studied English Literature and Art History at university, I embarked on a professional career working in an entirely unrelated field. I never lost my childhood desire to write fiction. Inspiration came, as it will, unexpectedly. I sat down one day in the grand Reading Room of the New York Public Library, pad and pen in hand, and began to write. I happened to be suffering a spell of insomnia at the time, and before I knew it, I had a draft of my first novel.

Eleanor's book list on classics featuring exceptional female protagonists

Eleanor Wilton Why did Eleanor love this book?

Is Undine Spragg Edith Wharton’s least admiral protagonist? Perhaps. But as well, she is her most beguiling.

With her modest mid-western roots and her hunger for something more, she personifies the American dream, only she incarnates its less noble form. Cunning and beautiful, she uses her every charm exclusively in service to her ambition.

There is something thoroughly modern about her self-belief, her perpetual reinvention. It’s impossible to look away as she ruthlessly forges her own future, defying expectations and conventions time and again. 

They say what goes around comes around; but when it comes to Undine Spragg we are constantly left wondering if the truism can hold.

By Edith Wharton,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked The Custom of the Country as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Edith Wharton’s classic story of one woman’s quest for wealth and status after the turn of the twentieth century

Beautiful, selfish, and driven, Undine Spragg arrives in New York with all of the ambition and naiveté that her midwestern, nouveau riche upbringing afforded her. As cunning as she is lovely, Undine has but one goal in life: to ascend to the upper echelons of high society. And so with a single-minded tenacity, Undine continues to maneuver through life, finding all the while that true satisfaction remains just beyond her grasp.

Hailed by Elizabeth Hardwick as “Edith Wharton’s finest achievement,” The…