The most recommended Jack the Ripper books

Who picked these books? Meet our 35 experts.

35 authors created a book list connected to Jack the Ripper, and here are their favorite Jack the Ripper books.
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Book cover of An Insatiable Thirst for Murder: Serial Killer Henry Holmes - The Novel

Sian B. Claven Author Of Buried

From my list on classic horror fiction fanatic.

Why am I passionate about this?

Not only have I been a fan of the genre since my early childhood, I’ve also submerged myself from an author's perspective. I've honed my craft through several courses, research, and networking so that I know what I’m putting out is the best work I can produce. I love the familiar style of description and a plot woven into a well-versed tale of good versus evil, especially if the reader is left questioning whether it really was good that won in the end. My love for horror started young when I delved into Stephen King’s Bag of Bones, and I have devoured a lot of classic horror fiction since then.

Sian's book list on classic horror fiction fanatic

Sian B. Claven Why did Sian love this book?

I went into this book blind, I can’t remember the exact circumstances but if I’m not mistaken it was when I was advertising myself as a reviewer for indie authors. This takes the serial killer theme to all new levels as based on a truth fiction tale. Hammott has an enjoyable writing style that flows and draws the reader in. It is an excellent retelling that kept me wanting to know more about Holmes. I have subsequently researched the killer and found Hammott's accounts to be factually correct which just makes the story that much more chilling. 

By Ben Hammott, Bill Wilkinson,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

If your hear him lock the door, you are already dead!

"An atmospheric dramatization of a true crime mystery using source documents and the investigations carried out by detective Frank Geyer to portray a believable and disturbing account of the heinous murders and crimes of the serial killer, Henry H. Holmes."

"Insightful thoughts of some characters during their impending death make it too easy to identify with the horror of what they experienced. By the time I got to the end of some parts, I was out of breath, literally!"

"Grabs your concentration by the throat with every horrific and…


Book cover of A Night in the Lonesome October

John Haas Author Of Cults of Death and Madness

From my list on Lovecraftian fiction you might have missed.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been reading Lovecraft, and those inspired by him, since I was in high school. I’ve always been fascinated by the idea that there could be a whole world just outside of sight that we never see, and once we do see we can never un-see. After I’d been writing for a few years a friend of mine suggested/demanded I write a story for him inspired by Lovecraft’s world. Mostly I started it to satisfy him but once the jar was open it all spilled out. I wove in real elements from history, including historical figures. This story ended up winning a major award, but there was still so much more to tell.

John's book list on Lovecraftian fiction you might have missed

John Haas Why did John love this book?

This is such a wonderful mash-up of different elements all brought together.

Frankenstein, the werewolf, Dracula, Jack the Ripper, elder gods, and so much more. This book showed me that a writer can take a traditionally bleak subject and turn it around into something fun. One of the most interesting parts of this book comes from the readers rather than the author.

The book is split into thirty-one chapters, one for each day in October. Fans of this novel will read it one chapter per night throughout that month, experiencing each occurrence at the same time as the characters.

By Roger Zelazny, Gahan Wilson (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked A Night in the Lonesome October as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"One of Zelazny's most delightful books: Jack the Ripper's dog Snuff narrates a mad game of teams to cause or prevent armageddon." NEIL GAIMAN

All is not what it seems.

In the murky London gloom, a knife-wielding gentleman named Jack prowls the midnight streets with his faithful watchdog Snuff - gathering together the grisly ingredients they will need for an upcoming ancient and unearthly rite. For soon after the death of the moon, black magic will summon the Elder Gods back into the world. And all manner of Players, both human and undead, are preparing to participate.

Some have come…


Book cover of The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie

Larissa Lyons Author Of A Snowlit Christmas Kiss: A Warm and Witty Winter Regency

From my list on utterly smashing historical romance with scarred or damaged heroes.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been reading romance since my grandmother would sneak me “approved” books when I was twelve. I’ve always felt like I was born in the wrong century, so it makes sense that historicals would be my favorites. After experiencing some autoimmune issues, I relate to characters dealing with physical or mental challenges, and those are the books that tend to draw me in. I believe many people read to escape “real life” and its accompanying stress (I know I do!). As a writer, my goal is to bring a bit of laughter and light into someone’s life for the few hours they spend with my characters.

Larissa's book list on utterly smashing historical romance with scarred or damaged heroes

Larissa Lyons Why did Larissa love this book?

This book seduced me from page one. I already liked Jennifer Ashley’s contemporary shifters, but this was my first historical romance of hers and I was captivated. 

Ian is a hero like no other. From collecting Ming pottery (but only after “tasting”/testing the glaze) to his personality quirks (he’s on the spectrum, but that certainly wasn’t something being discussed nor understood in the 1800s), he is fascinating. Match him with a strong-willed woman who has her own opinions and desires? And I found this to be the recipe for a thoroughly entertaining and memorable read.

By Jennifer Ashley,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A woman is drawn to a dangerously intruiging man in this unique historical romance from New York Times bestselling author Jennifer Ashley.

It was whispered all through London Society that Ian Mackenzie was mad, that he’d spent his youth in an asylum, and was not to be trusted—especially with a lady. For the reputation of any woman caught in his presence was instantly ruined.
 
Yet Beth found herself inexorably drawn to the Scottish lord whose hint of a brogue wrapped around her like silk and whose touch could draw her into a world of ecstasy. Despite his decadence and his…


Book cover of The Whitechapel Horrors

Craig McDonald Author Of One True Sentence

From my list on suspenseful thrillers where fact & fiction meet.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a career journalist/communications specialist and historical suspense novelist, the intersection of fact and fiction has always been a fascination and an inspiration. In journalism and nonfiction reportage, the best we can hope to ascertain are likely facts. But in fiction—particularly fiction melded with history—I believe we can come closest to depicting something at least in the neighborhood of truth. My own novels have consistently employed real people and events, and as a reader, I’m particularly drawn to books that feature a factual/fictional mix, something which all five of my recommended novels excel in delivering with bracing bravado.

Craig's book list on suspenseful thrillers where fact & fiction meet

Craig McDonald Why did Craig love this book?

Victorian serial killer Jack the Ripper and fictional detective Sherlock Holmes have squared off countless times on screen and in various novels to varying degrees of success, but for me, this is the best story pitting the still unidentified serial killer against the most famous of fictional detectives.

Steeped in an immersive Victorian atmosphere and detail that drew me in, Hanna also effectively breathes life into several historical figures associated with the notorious case while remaining faithful to Arthur Conan Doyle's overall spirit.

In my opinion, Hanna’s version of Holmes subtly suggests inspiration was drawn from the late great Jeremy Brett, arguably the finest screen Holmes, while also giving Dr. Watson his intellectual due.

By Edward B. Hanna,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Sherlock Holmes takes on the investigation of the horrific murders committed by Jack the Ripper


Book cover of The Witches of Chiswick

Mark Roman and Corben Duke Author Of The Worst Man on Mars

From my list on thigh-slappingly funny science fiction.

Why are we passionate about this?

Who, apart from the innately humorless, doesn’t like a good laugh? We do, whether it’s at Mark Roman’s opera singing or at Corben Duke’s naked balloon dance. We also enjoy funny science fiction books. We’ve tried writing them, too, but it’s devilishly difficult. So, time and time again, we turn to the masters in the field to see how they did it, studying the words they used, the way they joined them together, and where they inserted the punctuation marks. Most instructive. Here are our top five and their funny SF books.

Mark's book list on thigh-slappingly funny science fiction

Mark Roman and Corben Duke Why did Mark love this book?

If you’ve gone through life thinking that a sprout can’t be funny, this book will convince you otherwise. Barry the Sprout is the star of the show, lodged in the head of lead character Will Starling. But the whole book is a joy. Highly inventive and very funny. It involves time travel, weird conspiracy theories, Queen Victoria, the Elephant Man, Jack the Ripper, the Brentford Snail Boy, and many more. 

By Robert Rankin,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

We have all been lied to. A great and sinister conspiracy exists to keep us from uncovering the truth about our past.

Have you ever wondered how Victorians dreamed up all that fantastic futuristic fiction? Did it ever occur to you that it might just have been based upon fact? That THE WAR OF THE WORLDS was a true account of real events? That Captain Nemo' s Nautilus even now lies rusting at the bottom of the North Sea? That there really was an invisible man?

And what about the other stuff? Did you know that Queen Victoria had a…


Book cover of Anno Dracula

Abbas Daya Author Of Demonheart

From my list on fantasy with kiss-ass female protagonists.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve always loved reading but really fell in love with fantasy in my mid teens when I discovered the Lord of the Rings and Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone’s Fighting Fantasy gamebook series. I haven’t looked back since. My love of fantasy literature and games led me into a degree in English Lit and writing. My first novel, Demonheart, dark fantasy, was published in 2017. As a fantasy writer, I have to fuel up on a steady diet of fantasy novels and I hope you enjoy my recommended list!

Abbas' book list on fantasy with kiss-ass female protagonists

Abbas Daya Why did Abbas love this book?

I love that this book is set in an alternative Victorian-era Britain where vampires are citizens rubbing shoulders with humankind. At the heart of the book is the Jack the Ripper mystery with vampire, rather than human, prostitutes.

The crimes are investigated by Charles Beauregard, assisted by one of Newman’s original creations – a 400-year-old female vampire, Geneviève Dieudonné.

Along the way, the pair encounter other monsters – with humans as monstrous as the undead – as well as popular 19th-century literary figures and political events like the growth of communism/socialism.

I loved the main characters and unique mystery but also the fascinating cast Newman spiced and seasoned the story with – figures taken from the literature of Conan Doyle, Bram Stoker, and Alexander Dumas among others.

By Kim Newman,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Anno Dracula as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

It is 1888 and Queen Victoria has remarried, taking as her new consort Vlad Tepes, the Wallachian Prince infamously known as Count Dracula. Peppered with familiar characters from Victorian history and fiction, the novel follows vampire Genevieve Dieudonne and Charles Beauregard of the Diogenes Club as they strive to solve the mystery of the Ripper murders.

Anno Dracula is a rich and panoramic tale, combining horror, politics, mystery and romance to create a unique and compelling alternate history. Acclaimed novelist Kim Newman explores the darkest depths of a reinvented Victorian London.


Book cover of The Five: The Untold Lives of the Women Killed by Jack the Ripper

Blessin Adams Author Of Great and Horrible News: Murder and Mayhem in Early Modern Britain

From my list on bloody true crime.

Why am I passionate about this?

As an ex-police officer, I have experienced many of the things that I write about, albeit in the modern age: I’ve investigated scenes of sudden and violent death, attended post-mortems, and chased the odd suspected criminal through the streets. After a few years on the beat, I left the force and went to university as a mature student, where I received a PhD for my research into early modern law and literature. I now combine my love of all things true crime with my passion for early modern legal history in the books I write about historical crime, murder, and violent death.

Blessin's book list on bloody true crime

Blessin Adams Why did Blessin love this book?

Finally, a book that is wholly focused on the victims of one of history’s most notorious (and anonymous) serial killers.

Moreso than the descriptive details of five gruesome murders, I think the importance of this book is the conclusion Rubenhold reaches on women, sexuality, poverty, law, and justice in the Victorian age. 

By Hallie Rubenhold,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

THE #1 SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER
WINNER OF THE BAILLIE GIFFORD PRIZE FOR NONFICTION 2019
'An angry and important work of historical detection, calling time on the misogyny that has fed the Ripper myth. Powerful and shaming' GUARDIAN

Polly, Annie, Elizabeth, Catherine and Mary-Jane are famous for the same thing, though they never met. They came from Fleet Street, Knightsbridge, Wolverhampton, Sweden and Wales. They wrote ballads, ran coffee houses, lived on country estates, they breathed ink-dust from printing presses and escaped people-traffickers.

What they had in common was the year of their murders: 1888.

Their murderer was never identified, but…


Book cover of The Invention of Murder: How the Victorians Revelled in Death and Detection and Created Modern Crime

Michael Mullin Author Of Gothic Revival

From my list on books that bring us closer to Frankenstein’s monster.

Why am I passionate about this?

Most people think of Mary Shelley’s masterpiece as horror, but the truth is – and I love this fact! – Frankenstein is widely considered to be the first science fiction novel. I’ve always been fascinated with the origin story of the novel: Lord Byron’s ghost-story writing competition proposed among friends at Geneva’s Villa Diodati in 1816. I’ve watched every movie version of that iconic gathering. (Most are bad. Oh well.) As a college professor, I taught Frankenstein in a writing class. (I was also a preschool teacher. Honest! Those kids read other books.)

Michael's book list on books that bring us closer to Frankenstein’s monster

Michael Mullin Why did Michael love this book?

Another meticulously researched work of nonfiction, this book opened my eyes to the connection between real-life murders in Victorian England and the start of the public’s obsession with detective fiction.

As a fan of mysteries and thrillers in which not all characters survive, I was fascinated to see how the genre literally began. I’ve read a bunch of the old serialized tales, the “Penny Dreadfuls” talked about in this book, and I loved seeing them placed into their larger historical and cultural context.

By Judith Flanders,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

'We are a trading community, a commercial people. Murder is doubtless a very shocking offence, nevertheless as what is done is not to be undone, let us make our money out of it.' Punch

Murder in the 19th century was rare. But murder as sensation and entertainment became ubiquitous - transformed into novels, into broadsides and ballads, into theatre and melodrama and opera - even into puppet shows and performing dog-acts.

In this meticulously researched and compelling book, Judith Flanders - author of 'The Victorian House' - retells the gruesome stories of many different types of murder - both famous…


Book cover of Did You Hear What Eddie Gein Done?

Clay McLeod Chapman Author Of Whisper Down the Lane

From my list on bad neighbors.

Why am I passionate about this?

Neighbors. We’ve all got ‘em, right? We believe we’re the good ones, and we pray we don’t live next door to the bad ones… but sometimes it’s inevitable that we share our property lines with those ill-suited for neighborly behavior. Horror books about bad neighbors are the perfect window into our own communities. We can peer into the lives of others without worry of getting caught. We can tiptoe through their rooms and rummage through their drawers… Who knows what we might find. Are they witches? Serial killers? Devil worshippers? Only their dirty laundry will tell. 

Clay's book list on bad neighbors

Clay McLeod Chapman Why did Clay love this book?

So few books give me chills, but I could feel my temperature downright drop the deeper into this graphic novel I went. Certainly not for the weak-hearted, or stomached for that matter, Powell and Schechter plunge into one of the most depraved characters of the Midwest… none other than Ed Gein himself. There is an odd beauty to the madness at display here. It just goes to show you never know what’s going on behind the closed doors of your next-door neighbors.

By Harold Schechter, Eric Powell,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Did You Hear What Eddie Gein Done? as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 16, and 17.

What is this book about?



“It is fantastic! Not only is Eric Powell's art on point, but Harold Schechter introduces some new ideas about Ed Gein that have never been heard.” - THE LAST PODCAST ON THE LEFT

“A natural choice for true-crime fans.”―BOOKLIST

“As extensively researched as the Alan Moore/Eddie Campbell Jack the Ripper graphic novel From Hell, ”Did You Hear What Eddie Gein Done?” is a masterpiece of the form, standing as the best possible dramatization of Ed Gein's tale in any medium.”―BLOODY DISGUSTING

“This is a new true crime comics essential.”―SYFY WIRE

One of the greats in the field of true crime…


Book cover of The Beast Within

Martin M. Winkler Author Of Classical Literature on Screen: Affinities of Imagination

From Martin's 3 favorite reads in 2023.

Why am I passionate about this?

Author Bibliophile Cinephile Mystery buff

Martin's 3 favorite reads in 2023

Martin M. Winkler Why did Martin love this book?

This 1890 novel, also called The Beast in Man, may be the most intense among the twenty novels that comprise Zola’s cycle about the fortunes and vicissitudes of the Rougon-Macquart, a fictional clan. Its complex plot is set in the railroad milieu and involves homicidal mania, seduction, adultery, murder, social hypocrisy, and a harrowing train wreck.

Zola’s novels were controversial at his time, not least because of his indictments of social, political, economic, and class issues, but now stand as magnificent achievements in literary realism. Equally powerful is Zola’s "You Are There!" manner of storytelling, which is unsurpassed in its immediacy. A case in point is this novel’s unforgettable ending. 

By Emile Zola,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

His haunting, impressionistic study of a man's slow corruption by jealousy, Emile Zola's The Beast Within (La Bete Humaine) is translated from the French with an introduction and notes by Roger Whitehouse in Penguin Classics.

Roubaud is consumed by a jealous rage when he discovers a sordid secret about his young wife's past. The only way he can rest is by forcing her to help him murder the man involved, but there is a witness - Jacques Lantier, a fellow railway employee. Jacques, meanwhile, must contend with his own terrible impulses, for every time he sees a woman he feels…