The most recommended FBI books

Who picked these books? Meet our 135 experts.

135 authors created a book list connected to the FBI, and here are their favorite FBI books.
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What type of FBI book?


Gone Tomorrow

By Lee Child,

Book cover of Gone Tomorrow

Susan Fleet Author Of Guilty

From the list on crime with a quirky series character.

Who am I?

My print-journalist father covered the crime beat. He often took me with him to the police station and I got hooked on crime. My background is eclectic, a professional trumpet player with a BA in Mathematics and a Masters in Fine Arts. While teaching at Berklee College of Music in Boston, I discovered my dark side and began writing crime thrillers. Most are inspired by actual events or news reports about stalkers, domestic homicides, or serial killers. In 2001, I moved to New Orleans. My crime thriller series features NOPD Homicide Detective Frank Renzi. I'm fortunate to be able to consult three former NOPD homicide detectives who advise me on police procedures and investigations.

Susan's book list on crime with a quirky series character

Why did Susan love this book?

Picture Jack Reacher on an NYC subway car at 2 AM with a suicide bomber. Will she blow up the car and everyone in it? I love how Lee Child keeps us in suspense, not just for a page or two, for twenty-seven pages! Reacher finds out the woman had a dangerous secret, but everyone he talks to lies to him. Each chapter ends with a cliffhanger and more questions. 

But many people want Reacher to stop asking questions: a former Delta Force operative running for the US Senate, two Al Qaeda agents, NYC cops, and FBI agents. They want Reacher to get lost and forget the suicide bomber. Fat chance! The complex plot will intrigue you. The climactic ending will terrify you even more than the suicide bomber.

By Lee Child,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Enhances his status as a mythic avenger. . .You'll be left with a thumping heart and a racing pulse but, be warned, Chapter 63 will give you nightmares." (Evening Standard)

Suicide bombers are easy to spot.
They give out all kinds of tell-tale signs.There are twelve things to look for.No one who has worked in law enforcement will ever forget them.

New York City.The subway, two o'clock in the morning.
Jack Reacher studies his fellow passengers.Four are OK.The fifth isn't.
The train brakes for Grand Central Station.

Will Reacher intervene, and save lives?
Or is he wrong?Will his intervention cost…

Murder Notes

By Lisa Renee Jones,

Book cover of Murder Notes

Nancy Brown Author Of Mr. Black: A Black Stone Series - Book 1

From the list on romantic thrillers to escape your busy life.

Who am I?

I am a voracious reader who loves to escape my hectic busy life with a good book when I don’t have the opportunity to do so in person. I’m a sucker for a good love story with a little angst and mystery. I read all genres but sexy romantic thrillers are my absolute favorite. I love them so much I started writing my own sexy stories in this genre. It has become my passion. I currently have three published books, Mr. Black, Mr. Stone, and Mr. Bennett, books one, two, and three of A Black Stone Series. My fourth book, Luke, the first book in my new Cross Security series is scheduled for release later this year.

Nancy's book list on romantic thrillers to escape your busy life

Why did Nancy love this book?

Definitely a page-turner. A dark mystery/thriller/romance that is fed to you through FBI profiler Lilah Love's eyes. FBI agent Lilah Love leads a complicated life. She's engaged to Kane Mendez, a man most call dangerous, but hey birds of a feather, do flock together. She's dangerous, too, and in ways only Kane understands. As for their happily ever after, well that might have to wait. Right now, an old enemy who should be dead is still living, Junior, her mystery letter writer, is stirring up trouble, and her family is trying to prove they're crazier than her. On top of that, she has a new case: a dead woman in a bloody wedding dress. And since Lilah knows all too well there is no such thing as coincidence, clearly, someone is sending her yet another message. If you love romantic suspense novels, secrets, and scandals with a bit of profiling…

By Lisa Renee Jones,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

As an FBI profiler, it’s Lilah Love’s job to think like a killer. And she is very good at her job. When a series of murders surface—the victims all stripped naked and shot in the head—Lilah’s instincts tell her it’s the work of an assassin, not a serial killer. But when the case takes her back to her hometown in the Hamptons and a mysterious but unmistakable connection to her own life, all her assumptions are shaken to the core.Thrust into a troubled past she’s tried to shut the door on, Lilah’s back in the town where her father is…

Blood Lines

By Eileen Wilks,

Book cover of Blood Lines

Fannie Price Author Of After the Flesh

From the list on urban fantasy and paranormal mystery featuring POC.

Who am I?

I’ve been a fan of creature features movies and the old classic horror stories since childhood. Once I discovered urban fantasy it became my new genre of choice as far as reading. I love each author’s storytelling, worldbuilding, character development, etc. I find it helps me to read the negative reviews. Readers know when a writer is being authentic in their work vs when they are phoning it in. Listening to readers and understanding what puts them off, helps me craft a better story by avoiding the pitfalls that become cliché or annoying.

Fannie's book list on urban fantasy and paranormal mystery featuring POC

Why did Fannie love this book?

Part of me identified with the profession of Lily, the main female protagonist of this novel being an FBI agent. I admire how the author took the “fated lovers” with 100% none of the cliché tropes that usually go with this type of storyline. I loved that Lily had real problems outside of her work and has to solve cases in addition to juggling a wedding and everything else going on in her world. Ms. Wilks constructed a very real world and gave the supporting characters their own storylines and arcs which is extremely hard to do while staying true to the overall plot.

By Eileen Wilks,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

FBI agent Cynna Weaver teams up with sorcerer Cullen Seabourne to help identify elected officials who have accepted demonic pacts. But the passion simmering between them-and their investigation-spiral out of control when an ancient prophecy is fulfilled.

Hot Season

By Susan DeFreitas,

Book cover of Hot Season

Aimee Hoben Author Of The Third Way

From the list on activism to inspire and mobilize.

Who am I?

I began as an activist in high school, knocking on doors to enlist support for clean water and air, and more recently, for my favorite candidates for local, state, and federal office. Some of my most meaningful work was as a lawyer and volunteer on land conservation deals for an agricultural land trust. Fiction has an amazing power to recharge us and to shift our perspectives to imagine the world differently. My favorite books are always ones that teach me something interesting. My recent activism has been motivated by my frustration with our political process, including the 2010 Supreme Court case of Citizens United declaring corporations to be “persons” under the law.

Aimee's book list on activism to inspire and mobilize

Why did Aimee love this book?

This story about three restless college students at a liberal arts enclave in the southwestern desert who become embroiled in a protest to stop a pipeline reminded me of my days as a malcontent at the University of Colorado Boulder. When the FBI comes to town in pursuit of an alum wanted for “politically motivated crimes of property,” rumor has it that undercover agents are enrolled in classes, making the college dating scene that much stranger. The characters variously discover a passion for activism, the seduction of the unknown, and their own voices. This book is fun, interesting, and evocative. 

By Susan DeFreitas,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In the tinder-dry Southwest, three roommates—students at Deep Canyon College, known for its radical politics—are looking for love, adventure, and the promise of a bigger life that led them West.

But when the FBI comes to town in pursuit of an alum wanted for “politically motivated crimes of property,” rumor has it that undercover agents are enrolled in classes, making the college dating scene just a bit more sketchy than usual.

Katie, an incoming freshman, will discover a passion for activism that will put her future in jeopardy; Jenna, in her second semester, will find herself seduced by deception; and…

Nazi Spies in America

By William Breuer,

Book cover of Nazi Spies in America: Hitler's Undercover War

David A. Taylor Author Of Cork Wars: Intrigue and Industry in World War II

From the list on spies and espionage in WW2.

Who am I?

As a child I found the history and biography books in our school library, and was enthralled. When I got older and discovered historical archives, the tension between public history in books and the secret or forgotten histories tucked away was irresistible. Writing books has taken me to five continents on journeys into everything from medicinal black markets to the traces of a wartime commercial spy network. For my latest book, digging through classified OSS files showed me what amazing stories still lie waiting for us.

David's book list on spies and espionage in WW2

Why did David love this book?

This Times bestseller is a page-turner of true crime that combines our fascination with spy games and a real-world FBI detective story, an epic stretching from the 1920s to a "floodtide of espionage" in the late 1930s and the counterintelligence war through a foiled sabotage mission to blow up U.S. bridges and waterworks (which the FBI's Hoover nearly botched then spun for favorable publicity) to V-E day.

By William Breuer,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Recounts Hitler's pre-World War II battle to arm the Third Reich with U.S. military secrets and technology by filling major American cities with spies

Second Wind

By Alison Henderson,

Book cover of Second Wind

Leah St. James Author Of Adrienne's Ghost

From the list on series that should be made into movies or TV shows.

Who am I?

Aside from reading (preferably at the beach), one of my favorite pastimes is watching movies or TV with my husband. We enjoy analyzing plots and talking about what we do or don’t like, what surprised us, or how we might have handled a scene differently. It seems the better ones are most often based on novels, usually with strong, well-developed characters, emotional punch, interesting settings, and/or hard-to-guess plot twists. This is my list of stories I think are strong in those characteristics and would make great movies or TV shows/series.

Leah's book list on series that should be made into movies or TV shows

Why did Leah love this book?

This story is filled with quirky characters, a beautiful backdrop, suspense, and sweet romance, perfect for a romantic comedy. Escaping an abusive fiancé, Laurel McDowell flees with her feisty feline Rufus and her few belongings to her family home in California’s Big Sur. Trouble quickly follows. Soon, she is embroiled in a money laundering conspiracy and finds herself in the cross-hairs of the Russian Mafia. Luckily, FBI forensic accountant Jake Carlson is on the case. This author has a gift for humor, and I found myself chuckling as I read. The supporting characters—Laurel’s restaurateur mother, her two artist sisters, and a high school friend—are likable to the point I wish I could take a cross-country drive to visit. 

By Alison Henderson,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Action. Suspense. Mystery. Romance.

Desperate to escape her abusive fiancé, sculptor Laurel McDowell pawns her engagement ring, loads everything she owns into her VW Beetle, and heads for the sanctuary of her family home in Big Sur.

After her ex’s body washes up on Carmel beach, she finds herself dragged into a scheme involving money-laundering Russians, a pair of bikers named Snowflake and Twitchy, and a hot FBI number-cruncher who’s more comfortable in a T-shirt and shorts than a suit.

Book cover of A Serial Killer's Daughter: My Story of Faith, Love, and Overcoming

Kathryn Canavan Author Of Lincoln's Final Hours: Conspiracy, Terror, and the Assassination of America's Greatest President

From the list on true crime stories written by insiders and experts.

Who am I?

One of my first newspaper jobs was as a crime writer, covering and discovering crime stories in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. There's a lot of chaff among the wheat in the true crime genre. Some books are padded with the author's personal lives. Some have paper-thin plots. The books I've recommended are well-told, well-researched stories that are hard to put down.

Kathryn's book list on true crime stories written by insiders and experts

Why did Kathryn love this book?

When an FBI agent came to Kerri Rawson's house to talk about the BTK killer, she made him show her his badge because her father Dennis Rader had always warned her to do that to be safe. 

When the agent mentioned the BTK killer, Rawson blurted out, "Has something happened to my Grandma? Has my Grandma been murdered?"

She never imagined he was there to tell her that her Dad, a church president and scout leader, was the BTK killer. 

She writes with humor about how her childhood home was sold at a public auction and her life was temporarily derailed due to her father's actions. With her faith and her family's love, she learned to live with it. 

Her humor is evident from the first page to the last. The first chapter title is "Whatever Doesn't Kill You..." At the end there's a handy list of "Eight Things Not…

By Kerri Rawson,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked A Serial Killer's Daughter as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

What is it like to learn that your ordinary, loving father is a serial killer?

In 2005, Kerri Rawson opened the door of her apartment to greet an FBI agent who shared the shocking news that her father had been arrested for murdering ten people, including two children.

That's also when she first learned that her father was the notorious serial killer known as BTK, a name he'd given himself that described the horrific way he committed his crimes: bind, torture, kill. As news of his capture spread, the city of Wichita celebrated the end of a thirty-one-year nightmare. For…


By Julie Garwood,

Book cover of Heartbreaker

Bobbi Smith Author Of The Lady & the Texan

From the list on great hunks for heroes.

Who am I?

I love romances because the stories always end happily, and also because of the heroes! They are my ideal men—handsome, of course, but always strong and honorable. They always do the right thing, even if it requires hardship and sacrifice, and at the end of the story, when they pledge their love to the heroine, we know that love will be forever. I sold my first book back in 1982, and in every one of my stories I feature this kind of hero.

Bobbi's book list on great hunks for heroes

Why did Bobbi love this book?

I got soooo hooked on Julie’s contemporary suspense books. In Heartbreaker, as the story opens, we learn our hero agent Nick Buchanan has just saved a young boy’s life by taking out a serial killer who held him captive. Nick then gets to take some time off for a vacation, and as he’s on the plane waiting to depart, he stops an armed man from trying to free a prisoner another lawman has on the plane. He is definitely the white knight showing up at just the right time. When he meets up with his best friend, he learns a serial killer is after his friend’s sister. I couldn’t wait to see how he was going to protect the heroine, Laurant, from the psychopath and bring him in. This is my kind of hero—courageous, up for anything, never afraid to put his life in danger to right a wrong.

By Julie Garwood,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

When a serial killer reveals the identity of his next victim--a beautiful woman named Laurant Madden--FBI agent Nick Buchanan steps in to protect her, but quickly finds his mission complicated by his feelings for her. Reissue.

The Art of Murder

By Claire Ripley,

Book cover of The Art of Murder

Julie Navickas Author Of I Loved You Yesterday: Book One in the Trading Heartbeats Trilogy

From the list on romance that will both shatter and stitch your heart.

Who am I?

I grew up watching soap operas and swapping novels with my grandma and mom. Romantic stories have been a part of who I am ever since I was old enough to get my hands on Nora Roberts! Now, thanks to my love for the books that inspire love, I’m a romance novelist myself, having penned the Trading Heartbeats trilogy. Each novel is a recipient of a first place BookFest award and has been traditionally published by Inkspell Publishing. I write with raw emotion and work to really shatter hearts of readers—only to repair them on the final pages. I have dual master’s degrees in organizational communication and English studies from Illinois State University. 

Julie's book list on romance that will both shatter and stitch your heart

Why did Julie love this book?

I’m usually one for a light and easy romance, but The Art of Murder really had me second-guessing my preferences!

Fast-paced, heart-stopping, and fabulous, Claire Ripley gives you everything you want in a romantic suspense novel. The author knows how to artfully weave together external conflict with a roller coaster of emotions. The characters are well-written, and the plot really kept me turning pages.

This is a quick, fun read that’ll leave you guessing and cheering for a (spoiler alert!) happily-ever-after. 

By Claire Ripley,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

From a small town in Alabama to Charleston, South Carolina, witnessing a murder is not part of the plan.

Emma is relieved to have left her small town behind and make a fresh start in Charleston to make her living as an artist. What she doesn’t expect is witnessing a murder puts her life in danger and the alluring FBI agent demanding answers from her.

As Emma and Connor are thrust together more and more, she discovers everything is not as it seems.

Although Emma is determined to keep working, she can’t ignore the danger that lurks in the city…

Donnie Brasco

By Joseph D. Pistone,

Book cover of Donnie Brasco: My Undercover Life in the Mafia - A True Story by FBI Agent Joseph D. Pistone

Craig McGuire Author Of Carmine and the 13th Avenue Boys: Surviving Brooklyn's Colombo Mob

From the list on diving deep into the dark side of Brooklyn.

Who am I?

It’s no wonder South Brooklyn, in the latter half of the last century, is the setting for so many remarkable dramas for both page and screen. In fact, when legendary former NYPD Detective Thomas Dades offered to make introductions to a Colombo Crime Family associate who cooperated with the federal government, I leapt at the opportunity. I was born in Greenpoint in 1971 and grew up on 16th Avenue in the heart of Bensonhurst. It’s not just South Brooklyn’s raw, urban chaotic physical setting, but the sheer volatility of this period in time, where so many transformational trends of the larger culture were evident, and some even epi-centered.

Craig's book list on diving deep into the dark side of Brooklyn

Why did Craig love this book?

Donnie Brasco follows FBI agent Joseph D. Pistone’s six-year infiltration into the Mafia.

Posing as a street-level jewel thief, Pistone provides a bottoms-up look into the underbelly of the Brooklyn Bonanno’s in Brooklyn, from the family’s epicenter in pre-gentrified Williamsburg and Greenpoint. This rank-and-file rundown shines a harsh light on the petty lives of street soldiers and their conniving capos in their natural habitat, from scrounging for scraps in wood-paneled clubhouses to lording over their turf from pigeon-cooped rooftops.

In fact, the juxtaposition of setting, in flipping between sinister South Brooklyn and sizzling South Florida, is a masterful use of setting to set the tone. As Pistone goes native, becoming more and more Bonanno, we wonder what he sees in The Life led in these cramped apartments, velour-draped dives, and dingy clubhouses.

Locations of interest: The Motion Lounge nightclub on Graham Avenue in Williamsburg; Brooklyn Armory in Park Slope; The…

By Joseph D. Pistone,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In 1978, the US government waged a war against organised crime. One man was left behind the lines. From 1976 until 1981, Special Agent Pistone lived undercover with the Mafia. Only able to visit his young family once every few months, Pistone - under the alias Donnie Brasco - ate, drank, partied, worked and sometimes killed with the wiseguys. He got so close that his Mafia partner, Lefty Ruggiero, asked him to officiate as best man at his wedding. Pistone's eventual testimony, in such spectacular prosecutions as 'the Pizza Connection' and 'the Mafia Commission' resulted in more than 200 indictments…

A Cold Dark Place

By Toni Anderson,

Book cover of A Cold Dark Place

C.F. Francis Author Of Sanctuary Island

From the list on romantic suspense twists to make your head spin.

Who am I?

I walked to the library every Saturday to find a new mystery. I think I read everyone and read some more than once. As I matured, I discovered the mixture of romance and suspense I was hooked. I literally read every book in the genre’ at my local library. 

C.F.'s book list on romantic suspense twists to make your head spin

Why did C.F. love this book?

A romantic suspense with an unlikely hero with a dark, murderous past and a female FBI agent with a history that haunts her.

It is packed with action and an ending that will shock you. It’s a story of redemption, self-forgiveness, and righting wrongs. A real page-turner.

Alex Parker has become one of my all-time favorite characters. A former CIA agent and now a computer wizard is forced to kill those that escape justice to settle a debt. 

By Toni Anderson,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked A Cold Dark Place as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

She's an FBI agent hunting her twin sister's killer. He's an assassin who'll die to keep her safe. His secret will destroy them both.

Read this award-winning novel from a New York Times bestselling author with over five-thousand 5-star reviews on Goodreads!

FBI agent Mallory Rooney spent the last eighteen years searching for her identical twin sister’s abductor. With a serial killer carving her sister’s initials into the bodies of his victims, Mallory thinks she may finally have found him.

Former soldier Alex Parker is a highly decorated but damaged war hero with a secret—he’s a covert government assassin who…

Cutting Edge

By Allison Brennan,

Book cover of Cutting Edge

Melinda Colt Author Of Dare Game

From the list on mysteries and thrillers to challenge your mind and grip your heart.

Who am I?

I’m a writer and avid reader of crime fiction. Since I was four, my parents instilled in me a love for books, which has become a part of who I am. Before I became a bestselling and award-winning author, I was a reader, and I’ve always wanted to create stories that I love to read. I’m passionate about plots that stimulate my mind and characters that sneak into my heart and stay there. When I’m not writing, I work as a graphic designer. In my spare time, I watch crime shows and true crime documentaries. And when my mind needs a break from crime, I switch to my alter ego and write romantic comedies.

Melinda's book list on mysteries and thrillers to challenge your mind and grip your heart

Why did Melinda love this book?

Cutting Edge was my first book by Allison Brennan. The story started strong and captured me from the beginning into what turned out to be a fantastic plot.

I loved how the author gave us insight into the villain’s mind yet still managed to insert plenty of unexpected twists. I liked and identified with the heroine, Nora English, from the first paragraphs. The supporting characters were just as well constructed. This book had a little bit of everything, including a love story, which was a plus because I like romance in all books; it makes them real to me. 

By Allison Brennan,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?


When security specialist Duke Rogan’s state-of-the-art computer system fails at a controversial bio-tech firm, a raging inferno spreads, and a grotesquely charred body is discovered in the aftermath. With an extremist anti-technology group claiming responsibility, the case grows even more complex when the victim’s autopsy unexpectedly reveals that he bled to death. Heading the FBI’s domestic terrorism unit, Agent Nora English is fiercely determined to track and stop a sadistic assassin.

The Ransomware Hunting Team

By Renee Dudley, Daniel Golden,

Book cover of The Ransomware Hunting Team: A Band of Misfits' Improbable Crusade to Save the World from Cybercrime

Leslie Shannon Author Of Interconnected Realities: How the Metaverse Will Transform Our Relationship with Technology Forever

From the list on when hot new technology meets reality.

Who am I?

I’m the Head of Trend and Innovation Scouting for Nokia, and I’ve been with the company since the glory days of Nokia mobile phone world dominance. I know first-hand what happens when a company focuses exclusively on the technology, not the humans that use it, and how quickly that can lead to disaster. One of the lessons that I see repeated continuously in the field of innovation is that a huge amount of attention gets paid to the new technology, and not nearly enough on how the technology will interact with our existing systems, beliefs, attitudes, and culture. Learning from the mistakes is the best way to make sure that the future doesn’t repeat them!

Leslie's book list on when hot new technology meets reality

Why did Leslie love this book?

Stepping away from the topic of immersive technology, The Ransomware Hunting Team instead looks at the realities of cybercrime in the US, and why especially our government infrastructure has such a hard time fighting it effectively. 

Like all the other books on my list, it’s an examination of what happens when the rubber meets the road with a new technology, and how we humans often just aren’t very good at adapting to change.  

Part of the key problem is that hackers – including the white hat hackers that you want on your side to bring down the bad guys – tend not to be social animals, and our official organizations are far happier hiring a smiling guy in a suit than a scowling nerd who would rather work from his dark bedroom at home.  (Apologies for the stereotypes, but – this really is a problem!) 

This book is an absorbing…

By Renee Dudley, Daniel Golden,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Scattered across the world, an elite team of code-cracking techies is working tirelessly on your behalf to thwart the most notorious cyber scourge of our time. You've probably never heard of them. But if you work for a school, a business, a hospital, or a municipal government, especially if its cybersecurity is imperfect, chances are that you're painfully familiar with the group's sworn enemy: ransomware. Again and again, these ordinary people, mostly self-taught and often struggling to make ends meet, have outwitted the shadowy networks of hackers and criminal gangs that lock computer networks and extort huge payments in return…

Stone and Spark

By Sibella Giorello,

Book cover of Stone and Spark: Book 1 in the Raleigh Harmon Mysteries

Susan Page Davis Author Of Blue Plate Special

From the list on cozy mysteries by contemporary authors.

Who am I?

A good puzzle will draw me in every time, and I’ve always loved mysteries. When I was a kid, Trixie Belden was my favorite sleuth. In junior high, I tried my hand at writing a few mystery stories. I also discovered logic puzzles about this time. In a mystery, you have to locate the clues and put them together in a logical manner to solve the riddle. Now I’m the author of 100 published books. Many of them are mysteries, and most of the ones that aren’t have elements of mystery within the story. 

Susan's book list on cozy mysteries by contemporary authors

Why did Susan love this book?

While I love the old classics, I’ve discovered several contemporary authors whose cozy mysteries draw me in. I read this prequel after having devoured several books about Raleigh Harmon as an adult working for the FBI and then as a private investigator. They’re all great, but the three in the Prequel series (or Young Raleigh Harmon series) are now my favorites. I love the teenage Raleigh, who must solve serious mysteries while dealing with her difficult family. I love her genius best friend, Drew. And I love the way Raleigh uses her passion for geology and her common sense in every mystery.

By Sibella Giorello,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

During the worst week of her life, Raleigh Harmon discovers her destiny.
Her best friend is a smart-mouthed genius girl named Drew Levinson. But Drew is gone. Nowhere to be found. Everybody insists Drew ran away. But Raleigh suspects something worse.

Armed with one rock hammer, an encyclopedic knowledge of city criminal codes, and a stubborn streak wide as the Chesapeake Bay, Raleigh searches for clues.

Did Drew secretly meet somebody? Did her loony parents finally push her over the edge? Or is Raleigh’s hunch dead-on: Drew didn’t choose to leave….

The first book in the best-selling Raleigh Harmon prequel…

Tell No One

By Harlan Coben,

Book cover of Tell No One

Alex Davidson Author Of The Padre

From the list on crime with a cinematic sensibility.

Who am I?

I have always been fascinated by the sociopathic mind. I sometimes feel that sociopaths are, in many ways, freer than the rest of us. They are divorced from the crippling feelings of guilt and remorse. Throughout my writing career, I have interacted with both cops and career criminals and I have become convinced that they share similar mindsets. They may not be full-blown sociopaths (though some are), but they have what I would call “a touch” of the sociopathic mind. They are essentially the same people. This is a theme that I find my writing continually dwells on—the freedom of having an anti-social personality and its consequences for both society and the individual.

Alex's book list on crime with a cinematic sensibility

Why did Alex love this book?

I love a good page-turner. I love to write them and I love to read them. I strive to write novels that the reader will binge. Novels as addictive as a drug. I want each chapter I write to be like another hit—a re-up that floods the reader’s brain with dopamine. Tell No One by Harlan Coben is a novel that I binged. It keeps you guessing until the end. And while some of the payoffs may seem a little over-the-top, I am able to overlook it because this novel (like much of Coben’s work) is just so damn addictive!

By Harlan Coben,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Tell No One as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Every year, the Doctor David Beck and his young wife, Elizabeth, meet at the same deserted lake to rediscover their love for each other, and inscribe one more year into 'their' tree. But that year was the last. Elizabeth was kidnapped and Beck knocked unconscious. By the time he woke up, his wife had been discovered dead, and horribly mutilated. For eight years he grieves. Then one afternoon, he receives an anonymous e-mail telling him to log on to a certain web-site at a certain time, using a code that only the two of them knew. The screen opens onto…

Book cover of Even Cowgirls Get the Blues

Tom Strelich Author Of Dog Logic

From the list on satires with one thing in common.

Who am I?

I consider myself not only a student of satire, but also as a master practitioner with an innate and instinctive aptitude for it—like those born with perfect pitch or hand-eye coordination, kind of like an idiot savant, only hopefully without the idiot part. Satire is the perfect literary platform because it allows both the writer and the reader to explore the landscape of the human experience, the absurdity, the grandeur, the mystery, the horror—not with a sermon or a polemic or a sigh, but with a laugh and a nodding smile of recognition.

Tom's book list on satires with one thing in common

Why did Tom love this book?

Because it was not only a thick* book, but it proved that you can think a book is crap one day, and absolutely love it the next**. 

I was going to have an impacted wisdom tool chiseled out and wanted a book for my convalescence. It had a great cover, so I flipped open to the first page and read the opening line—something like, “Amoebas don’t have bones…”.

I bought it and had the wisdom tooth removed, which evidently actually removed the wisdom needed to appreciate the writing.

Time passed, and I gave the book another try—evidently the wisdom had returned because what had once been chaotic and confusing and stupid, was now delightfully random and effortlessly insightful, and really really fun. I loved this book.

* At least it seemed thick to me at that age.

** Actually, it wasn’t the next day, it was actually about a year…

By Tom Robbins,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Even Cowgirls Get the Blues as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Starring Sissy Hanshaw-flawlessly beautiful, almost. A small-town girl with big-time dreams and a quirk to match-hitchhiking her way into your heart, your hopes, and your sleeping bags...

Featuring Bonanza Jellybean and the smooth-riding cowgirls of Rubber Rose Ranch. Chink; a lascivious guru of yams and yang. Julian; a Mohawk by birth; asthmatic aesthete and husband by disposition. Dr. Robbins, preventive psychiatrist and reality instructor...

Follow Sissy's amazing odyssey from Virginia to chic Manhattan to the Dakota Badlands, where FBI agents, cowgirls, and ecstatic whooping cranes explode in a deliciously drawn-out climax...

Book cover of Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI

Nicole Willson Author Of The Shadow Dancers of Brixton Hill

From Nicole's 3 favorite reads in 2023.

Who am I?

Author Crazy cat lady Horror fan Home cook Aspiring vampire

Nicole's 3 favorite reads in 2023

Why did Nicole love this book?

This account of a real-life American horror story is nonfiction but reads like a thriller.

When the Osage tribe was moved to land in Oklahoma that turned out to be sitting on oil fields, white criminals resolved to do anything—including murder—to get that oil money from the Osage.

I’d never heard about any of this before reading the book, and it’s a devastating story full of greed, betrayal, racism, and death. I have yet to see the film based on the book, but it’s hard to imagine a movie being any more horrifying than the actual story.

By David Grann,

Why should I read it?

13 authors picked Killers of the Flower Moon as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In the 1920s, the richest people per capita in the world were members of the Osage Indian nation in Oklahoma. After oil was discovered beneath their land, they rode in chauffeured automobiles, built mansions and sent their children to study in Europe.

Then, one by one, the Osage began to be killed off. As the death toll climbed, the FBI took up the case. But the bureau badly bungled the investigation. In desperation, its young director, J. Edgar Hoover, turned to a former Texas Ranger named Tom White to unravel the mystery. Together with the Osage he and his undercover…

Mortal Prey

By John Sandford,

Book cover of Mortal Prey

Gary J. Rose Author Of The Fourth Reich

From the list on protagonists that helps the reader solve the crime.

Who am I?

As a retired police officer, I believe that my insight into police procedures helps move my novels along. By creating a strong female protagonist, FBI Agent Jeannie Loomis, my readers get the best of both worlds. A somewhat flawed female main character who is still a dedicated law enforcement officer who believes, similarly to Lucas Davenport of the Prey Novel series, and Jack Reacher of the Reacher novels, that the ends, justify the means.

Gary's book list on protagonists that helps the reader solve the crime

Why did Gary love this book?

Great follow-up novel in Sanford’s Prey Series concerning a serial female killer. Sanford leaves the reader from a previous prey novel, where the female serial killer escapes.  This leaves his readers with a desire to learn more….a continuing storyline…and he more than satisfies that with her return in Mortal Prey.

By John Sandford,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Years ago, Lucas Davenport almost died at the hands of Clara Rinker, a pleasant, soft-spoken, low-key Southerner, and the best hitwoman in the business. Now retired and living in Mexico, she nearly dies herself when a sniper kills her boyfriend, the son of a local druglord, and while the boy's father vows vengeance, Rinker knows something he doesn't: The boy wasn't the target-she was-and now she is going to have to disappear to find the killer herself. The FBI and DEA draft Davenport to help track her down, and with his fiancie deep in wedding preparations, he's really just as…

Ghost in the Wires

By Kevin Mitnick, William L. Simon,

Book cover of Ghost in the Wires: My Adventures as the World's Most Wanted Hacker

Jeremy N. Smith Author Of Breaking and Entering: The Extraordinary Story of a Hacker Called Alien

From the list on hackers and hacking.

Who am I?

Jeremy N. Smith is the author of three acclaimed narrative non-fiction books, including Breaking and Entering, about a female hacker called “Alien” and the birth of our information insecurity age. He has written for The Atlantic, Discover, Slate, and the New York Times, among other outlets, and he and his work have been featured by CNN, NPR, NBC Nightly News, The Today Show, and Wired. He hosts The Hacker Next Door podcast and lives in Missoula, Montana.

Jeremy's book list on hackers and hacking

Why did Jeremy love this book?

A famous hacker’s real-life story, told from his own perspective, Ghost in the Wires explains how criminal hackers think and act and the diverse techniques they use, no keyboard necessary—all, in this case, with little motive beyond a compulsion to explore and exploit. The hacking community has no bigger characters than Kevin Mitnick and no better first-person accounts of the art of “social engineering,” or human hacking—manipulating people (including, in Mitnick’s case, the FBI and other would-be pursuers) to your own advantage.

By Kevin Mitnick, William L. Simon,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In this "intriguing, insightful and extremely educational" novel, the world's most famous hacker teaches you easy cloaking and counter-measures for citizens and consumers in the age of Big Brother and Big Data (Frank W. Abagnale).

Kevin Mitnick was the most elusive computer break-in artist in history. He accessed computers and networks at the world's biggest companies -- and no matter how fast the authorities were, Mitnick was faster, sprinting through phone switches, computer systems, and cellular networks. As the FBI's net finally began to tighten, Mitnick went on the run, engaging in an increasingly sophisticated game of hide-and-seek that escalated…

The Pelican Brief

By John Grisham,

Book cover of The Pelican Brief

Catyana Skory Falsetti Author Of Facing Death: A Julia Rawson Mystery

From the list on solve mysteries & learn something at the same time.

Who am I?

I've always wanted to be a detective. I remember writing stories on my mom's old typewriter and playing pretend investigator with my childhood friend. I have had an appetite for stories and mysteries for as long as I remember. I was intrigued by human behavior and had the desire to find justice. This led me to study forensics and use my fine art ability and critical mind to get answers for victims and their families. I have a Master's Degree in Forensic Science and years of government and experience as a forensic artist and investigator, making my writing as authentic as possible. My story and personal struggles, and life's discoveries are highlighted by my stories.

Catyana's book list on solve mysteries & learn something at the same time

Why did Catyana love this book?

I devoured all of Grisham’s books as they came out. The legal thrillers make studying the law extremely fascinating. The Pelican Brief is still one of my favorites because of my own love of New Orleans, the environment, and how I saw myself as a passionate environmentalist at one time. The Pelican Brief shows us how intertwined law, land use, the environment, and murder can be. We see how a young woman with a curious mind can see patterns that others have not and the lengths she has to go to to find justice.

By John Grisham,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Two Supreme Court Justices are dead, their murders unsolved.
But one woman might have found the answer - if she can live to tell it.

Darby Shaw is a brilliant New Orleans legal student with a sharp political mind. For her own amusement, she draws up a legal brief showing how the judges might have been murdered for political reasons, and shows it to her professor. He shows it to his friend, an FBI lawyer.

Then the professor dies in a car bombing.

And Darby realises that her brief, which pointed to a vast presidential conspiracy, might be right.…