The best missing person books

Who picked these books? Meet our 304 experts.

304 authors created a book list connected to missing persons, and here are their favorite missing person books.
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What type of missing person book?


Pursuit of the Truth

By K.D. Richards,

Book cover of Pursuit of the Truth

Delia C. Pitts Author Of Murder Take Two

From the list on featuring Black private eyes.

Who am I?

I’m a nerd by temperament (raised by a psychologist and a librarian, what else could I be?) and by profession (decades working as a U.S. diplomat and an academic administrator honed my people-watching faculties to a fine edge). So, of course, I’ve always been drawn to my opposite: that cynical loner whose pursuit of justice requires hard fists and a bent moral compass. Private eye mysteries are my perfect place. In them, I can exercise my passion for intellectual puzzles and my love for thrilling action. I enjoy the combination of social commentary and sheer entertainment I find when I dive into reading (or writing) a private eye mystery.

Delia's book list on featuring Black private eyes

Discover why each book is one of Delia's favorite books.

Why did Delia love this book?

This first-in-series thriller revved my engine with its fun combination of action and romance. New Yorker Ryan West is an expert in personal protection who runs his own security firm. But he wasn’t prepared for the personal fall-out from falling for the tough-minded hotel boss he’s hired to guard. She’s brainy and resourceful, the kind of modern-day princess who can save herself but doesn’t mind engaging with a dashing prince of a private eye.

By K.D. Richards,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Her secrets could get them killed...

After hotel CEO Nadia Shelton barely escapes an attack, security expert Ryan West realises someone will kill to find the brother Nadia thought was dead. And the only way Ryan can protect her as they uncover the truth, is to stay strictly professional. But the sparks igniting between them refuse to be ignored...

Book cover of Mystery of Black Hollow Lane

Jacqueline West Author Of Long Lost

From the list on mysteries to keep you reading all night.

Who am I?

I’m the author of eleven novels for young readers (so far!). I’m also a lifelong bookworm, and I’ve got a special love for all things creepy, fantastical, and odd. Growing up, I adored mysteries from Scooby-Doo to Sherlock Holmes, and you could often find me hiding under the covers with a stack of books and a flashlight long after I should have been asleep. Here are five more recent middle-grade mysteries that I've loved. If they’d been around when I was a kid, they would have kept me up hours past my bedtime.  

Jacqueline's book list on mysteries to keep you reading all night

Discover why each book is one of Jacqueline's favorite books.

Why did Jacqueline love this book?

This story has so many delicious ingredients—ancient boarding schools, secret societies, enigmatic notes slipped into pockets, young allies banding together against a powerful enemy—and they all combine to make the kind of book that classic mystery fans will devour.  

By Julia Nobel,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

For fans of The Mysterious Benedict Society and The Blackthorn Key series comes an award-winning boarding school mystery about twelve year old Emmy, who's shipped off to a prestigious British school. But her new home is hiding a secret society ... and it may be the answer to Emmy's questions about her missing father.
With a dad who disappeared years ago and a mother who's a bit too busy to parent, Emmy is shipped off to Wellsworth, a prestigious boarding school in England, where she's sure she won't fit in.
But then she finds a box of mysterious medallions in…

The Last Sun

By K. D. Edwards,

Book cover of The Last Sun

Kayleigh Nicol Author Of Crystal Awakening

From the list on found family in fantasy.

Who am I?

There's a song lyric I've fallen in love with that sums up my feelings on found families perfectly: “Soulmates aren't found, they're made.” To me, it means that no one is tailor-made to fit any one person's every whim and need. Instead, relationships are about compromise, communication, and standing shoulder-to-shoulder when it's time to circle the wagons. Relationships are about facing the fire together and coming out stronger—and in a genre like fantasy, that fire isn’t just metaphorical! The best found family stories are about individuals finding something that unites them, bringing them closer together than any one of them thought possible, and becoming stronger because of that bond. Because families aren't found, they're made.

Kayleigh's book list on found family in fantasy

Discover why each book is one of Kayleigh's favorite books.

Why did Kayleigh love this book?

I fell deeply in love with the bond between Rune and Brand because, at the very beginning, that's all they had: each other. It doesn't stay that way for long, as Rune is tricked into taking on a ward from another house at the start of the first novel. As challenging and unexpected as this first new family member is, Rune and Brand must adapt quickly because their little family only grows larger from there—and as an ongoing series, I hope it's not finished growing yet! While love, healing, and family are at the root of this series, it absolutely does not lack action, political intrigue, mystery, and magic; making it fast-paced and thrilling while also being genuine and heart-warming. One of my very favorite new series, I cannot recommend The Tarot Sequence enough!

By K. D. Edwards,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In this debut novel and series starter, the last member of a murdered House searches for a missing nobleman, and uncovers clues about his own tortured past. Rune Saint John, last child of the fallen Sun Court, is hired to search for Lady Judgment's missing son, Addam, on New Atlantis, the island city where the Atlanteans moved after ordinary humans destroyed their original home. With his companion and bodyguard, Brand, he questions Addam's relatives and business contacts through the highest ranks of the nobles of New Atlantis. But as they investigate, they uncover more than a missing man: a legendary…

Ladder of Years

By Anne Tyler,

Book cover of Ladder of Years

Nancy Crochiere Author Of Graceland

From the list on runaway moms.

Who am I?

As a young working mom, I occasionally longed to follow the example of columnist Erma Bombeck and hide from my family in the car. Instead, I channeled the mayhem of family life into a humor column called “The Mother Load,” which detailed the day-to-day challenges of running a business while caring for two daughters, one husband, two guinea pigs, and a dancing rabbit. When I decided to pursue my life-long dream to write fiction, my debut novel was a humorous story about a mother-daughter-grandmother road trip/chase from Boston to Memphis. Although my writing doesn’t shy away from serious issues, I choose to see the world through a humorous and ultimately hopeful lens.

Nancy's book list on runaway moms

Discover why each book is one of Nancy's favorite books.

Why did Nancy love this book?

While on a beach vacation, the forty-year-old mother/protagonist of this book, Delia Grinstead, walks away from her distant husband and three surly children – seemingly on a whim – to try out a new life.

Anne Tyler’s characters are unfailingly quirky, and Delia can be both frustrating and charming, but the book engagingly details the mid-life crisis of a woman eager to learn who she is.

By Anne Tyler,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • From the beloved Pulitzer Prize–winning author of Breathing Lessons


The headlines are all the same: Beloved mother and wife Delia Grinstead was last seen strolling down the Delaware shore, wearing only a bathing suit and carrying a beach tote with five hundred dollars tucked inside. To the best of her family's knowledge, she has disappeared without a trace. But Delia didn't disappear. She ran.

Exhausted with her routine and everyone else's plans for her, Delia needed an out, a chance to make a new life for herself and to…

Build Your House Around My Body

By Violet Kupersmith,

Book cover of Build Your House Around My Body

Molly Patterson Author Of Rebellion

From the list on time-jumping with multiple protagonists.

Who am I?

I’ve always loved “big books,” novels that are described as sagas and chronicles yet whose primary focus is on singular, nuanced characters. I like seeing the ways that lives intersect and reflect each other across decades, and I enjoy being immersed in one world and then dropped, with the turn of a page, into another equally engrossing one. I am the author of the novel Rebellion as well as numerous short stories and essays. Raised in St. Louis, Missouri, I spent several years living in China and a year as the Writer-in-Residence at St. Albans School in Washington, D.C. I now live in Wisconsin, where I write and teach creative writing.

Molly's book list on time-jumping with multiple protagonists

Discover why each book is one of Molly's favorite books.

Why did Molly love this book?

Not many books are both frightening and funny, but Kupersmith’s debut novel certainly checks those boxes for me. Like Winnie, a young American in Vietnam, I taught English abroad for a couple of years in my early twenties, and I laughed in recognition of her experiences and outlook early in the novel. But as I turned the pages, I found myself more and more spooked by the hauntings and possessions (not to mention the snakes), and ultimately very moved by the characters and plot. Kupersmith lays out several narratives and then plaits them together, but it’s so gradual that you don’t see how enmeshed all the characters are until you’re neck-deep in the book. It’s horror and humor and history, all rolled into one.

By Violet Kupersmith,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Build Your House Around My Body as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Part puzzle, part revenge tale, part ghost story, this ingenious novel spins half a century of Vietnamese history and folklore into “a thrilling read, acrobatic and filled with verve” (The New York Times Editors’ Choice).

“Fiction as daring and accomplished as Violet Kupersmith’s first novel reignites my love of the form and its kaleidoscopic possibilities.”—David Mitchell, author of Cloud Atlas

Two young women…

The Strangler Vine

By M.J. Carter,

Book cover of The Strangler Vine

Jyoti Guptara Author Of Fortune's Favor

From the list on Indian adventures with a multicultural cast.

Who am I?

My father hails from India, where my first book became a national bestseller when I was 17. My co-author Thomas Locke has written over a dozen thrillers and even more adventure novels. We are both fascinated by India as a land of endless contrasts. From its cuisine and customs to the diverse people and landscape, India can be overwhelming, but never boring. The ancient backdrop of beautiful buildings and interwoven histories whisper secrets and beckon for adventure. Both of us have visited over 40 countries and enjoy reading and writing about multicultural characters. Especially when they want to conquer or save the world!

Jyoti's book list on Indian adventures with a multicultural cast

Discover why each book is one of Jyoti's favorite books.

Why did Jyoti love this book?

I love a Sherlock and Watson kind of relationship, and this one fit the early days of the British Raj perfectly. Two Brits in the employ of the East India Trading company who could not be more different. Avery is very much part of the system and eager to please. His mysterious guide, Jeremiah Blake, is critical of the Company and gets on far better with the wide cast of locals. I soaked up the historical setting, and the growing intrigue tided me over to the last third, which delivers everything you’d want in a historical thriller.

By M.J. Carter,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Set in the untamed wilds of nineteenth-century colonial India, this dazzling historical thriller introduces Blake and Avery—an unforgettable investigative pair.

India, 1837: William Avery is a young soldier with few prospects except rotting away in campaigns in India; Jeremiah Blake is a secret political agent gone native, a genius at languages and disguises, disenchanted with the whole ethos of British rule, but who cannot resist the challenge of an unresolved mystery. What starts as a wild goose chase for this unlikely pair—trying to track down a missing writer who lifts the lid on Calcutta society—becomes very much more sinister as…

Book cover of The Devil and the Dark Water

Gigi Pandian Author Of Under Lock & Skeleton Key: A Secret Staircase Mystery

From the list on mysteries with solutions you’ll never see coming.

Who am I?

I’ve always been drawn to locked-room mysteries, the baffling mysteries where the crime looks truly impossible. The mystery becomes not only who did it, but also how. It’s the ultimate puzzle. The best locked-room mysteries include gothic elements that make you wonder if something supernatural is responsible, but then are resolved with a satisfying rational explanation—like Scooby-Doo for adults. I’ve written more than a dozen mystery novels, but until now, I’ve only focused on locked-room mysteries in my short fiction. In my new Secret Staircase mystery series, I’m focusing on these puzzles in my novels. Here, I’m sharing some of my favorite locked-room mysteries that feature truly ingenious puzzles. 

Gigi's book list on mysteries with solutions you’ll never see coming

Discover why each book is one of Gigi's favorite books.

Why did Gigi love this book?

Set on a treacherous sea voyage in 1634, this impossible crime is cloaked by an atmospheric setting. Is a demon hiding on the ship—or is there a very real killer stalking victims in the claustrophobic setting? This was unlike any locked-room mystery I’d ever read, and it was impossible not to get swept up in the adventure on the high seas. With detective Samuel Pipps accused of a crime and imprisoned in cramped quarters on the ship, it’s up to his bodyguard to act on his behalf and prove a human hand—not a demon—is responsible for the murder and mayhem aboard.

By Stuart Turton,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

'If you read one book this year, make sure it's this one' Daily Mail CHOSEN AS A BOOK OF THE YEAR BY THE GUARDIAN, SUNDAY TIMES, DAILY MAIL, FINANCIAL TIMES, DAILY EXPRESS AND i PAPER WINNER OF THE BOOKS ARE MY BAG READERS AWARD FOR FICTION SELECTED FOR THE BBC TWO BOOK CLUB BETWEEN THE COVERS AND THE RADIO 2 JO WHILEY BOOK CLUB An impossible murder A remarkable detective duo A demon who may or may not exist It's 1634 and Samuel Pipps, the world's greatest detective, is being transported from the Dutch East Indies to Amsterdam, where he…

The Missing American

By Kwei Quartey,

Book cover of The Missing American

Michael Stanley Author Of A Deadly Covenant

From the list on African noir thrillers.

Who are we?

Michael Stanley is actually two people—Michael Sears and Stanley Trollip both South Africans, passionate about Africa and its cultures. We read a lot of books set in or concerning Africa. We think of African thrillers as Sunshine Noir—things are always at their most deadly in the glare of the sun! The diverse cultures generate complex character clashes and intriguingly original plots. We believe some of the best thrillers anywhere are set in Africa and written by African writers. Michael writes an article every month titled Africa Scene for the International Thrillers Writers magazine (The Big Thrill) where he interviews an author about a new thriller set in Africa.

Michael's book list on African noir thrillers

Discover why each book is one of Michael's favorite books.

Why did Michael love this book?

Emma Djan is a policewoman turned private investigator in Ghana. Her assignment is to track down the missing American who came out to Ghana to meet a woman who is almost certainly the fictional creation of internet scammers—the sakawa boys. We love Emma Djan’s combination of commitment and naiveté as she takes on the scammers, and the way Quartey weaves the local culture—complete with fetish priests and celebrities—into an intriguing plot. If you like to travel, visit Ghana. Great lead character, great plot, great sense of place. What’s not to like? A worthy Shamus Award winner.

By Kwei Quartey,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

When Gordon Tilson falls victim to an online scam, he finds himself alone in the whirlwind city of Accra. But his decision to confront those responsible leads him into unimaginable danger. Now his son Derek has lost all contact with him and has no choice but to travel into the heart of Ghana to begin a near impossible search for his father.

Frustrated by the inadequate local police, Derek turns to Emma Djan, a young private detective desperate to prove her worth. In a heart-stopping race against time, they must expose those at the very centre of Accra's power who…

Great Circle

By Maggie Shipstead,

Book cover of Great Circle

Penny Haw Author Of The Woman at the Wheel

From the list on historical fiction on women who follow their dreams.

Who am I?

My maternal grandmother was an unconventional woman and a feminist in every way that matters. Although she was raised according to Victorian norms when girls were expected to remain in patriarchal shadows, she was fiercely independent. She was my hero and encouraged me to forge my own future. She also nurtured in me a love of reading and writing, which led to me becoming a journalist and author. My grandmother and I shared a great love of animals. It’s no coincidence that my debut historical fiction, The Invincible Miss Cust is based on the true story of Britain and Ireland’s first female veterinary surgeon. I’m intrigued by strong, interesting women driven to follow their dreams.   

Penny's book list on historical fiction on women who follow their dreams

Discover why each book is one of Penny's favorite books.

Why did Penny love this book?

Great Circle tells the story of Marian Graves who, born in 1914, falls in love with flight at a young age and, despite difficult circumstances, is determined to chart her own course in life as one of the world’s earliest female aviators.

I loved Marian’s passion for planes and flying and her determination to circumnavigate the world by flying over the North and South Poles. It’s an epic novel, which weaves in the present-day story of actor, Hadley Baxter who is cast to play Marian in a film about her disappearance in Antarctica.

I thoroughly enjoyed following the lives of the two very driven, liberated, and adventurous women, and was particularly fascinated—sometimes gobsmacked—by the history of female aviation. 

By Maggie Shipstead,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • A TODAY SHOW #ReadWithJenna BOOK CLUB PICK • The unforgettable story of a daredevil female aviator determined to chart her own course in life, at any cost: an “epic trip—through Prohibition and World War II, from Montana to London to present-day Hollywood—and you’ll relish every minute” (People).

After being rescued as infants from a sinking ocean liner in 1914, Marian and Jamie Graves are raised by their dissolute uncle in Missoula, Montana. There--after encountering a pair of barnstorming pilots passing through town in beat-up biplanes--Marian commences her lifelong love affair with flight. At fourteen she…

The Informationist

By Taylor Stevens,

Book cover of The Informationist

Julie C. Gilbert Author Of Money Makes It Deadlier

From the list on sassy or determined female leads.

Who am I?

I’m a multi-genre writer who loves hearing the characters’ voices and getting their stories out there in the world. A lot of my characters are shaped by their gifts, whether they have supernatural ones or not. The things that happen to them shape who they are and how they react to future events. I exist on sarcasm, sass, and hot tea, so many of my characters do too.

Julie's book list on sassy or determined female leads

Discover why each book is one of Julie's favorite books.

Why did Julie love this book?

It’s been a while since I read this book, but I remember thinking every place described felt real. It hits all the right notes of thriller with a fallible yet strong heroine who gets the job done, sometimes at great personal cost. Michael is as close to a shapeshifter as normal humans can be. She can become anybody. (Content warning – contains strong language)

By Taylor Stevens,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Governments pay her.
Criminals fear her.
Nobody sees her coming.

Vanessa “Michael” Munroe deals in information—expensive information—working for corporations, heads of state, private clients, and anyone else who can pay for her unique brand of expertise. Born to missionary parents in lawless central Africa, Munroe took up with an infamous gunrunner and his mercenary crew when she was just fourteen. As his protégé, she earned the respect of the jungle's most dangerous men, cultivating her own reputation for years until something sent her running. After almost a decade building a new life and lucrative career from her home base in…

Yellow Bird

By Sierra Crane Murdoch,

Book cover of Yellow Bird: Oil, Murder, and a Woman's Search for Justice in Indian Country

Gary Krist Author Of Empire of Sin: A Story of Sex, Jazz, Murder, and the Battle for Modern New Orleans

From the list on narrative nonfiction involving murder and mayhem.

Who am I?

I'm a former novelist who now writes historical narrative nonfiction, mainly about American cities and the people who give them life. Each book focuses on an important turning point in the history of a specific metropolis (I've written about Chicago, New Orleans, Los Angeles, and San Francisco), often when the city goes from being a minor backwater to being someplace of significance. And I try to tell this story through the lives of real individuals who help to make that transformation happen. My goal is to use the skills I developed as a fiction writer to create historical narratives that maintain strict standards of scholarship while being as compelling and compulsively readable as novels.

Gary's book list on narrative nonfiction involving murder and mayhem

Discover why each book is one of Gary's favorite books.

Why did Gary love this book?

As a former novelist, I'm especially alert to characters in nonfiction who are as vivid and complex as anything a writer of fiction can invent.

Sierra Crane Murdoch gives us just that in the story of Lissa Yellow Bird, an Arikara woman who, after her release from prison in 2009, becomes obsessed with investigating the recent disappearance of a white oil industry worker from the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation.

Lissa is a human dynamo – resourceful, quick-witted, sometimes charming, sometimes troublesome, and unrelentingly persistent: truly one of the most memorable characters you're likely to meet in contemporary fiction or nonfiction.

By Sierra Crane Murdoch,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The gripping true story of a murder on an Indian reservation, and the unforgettable Arikara woman who becomes obsessed with solving it—an urgent work of literary journalism.
“I don’t know a more complicated, original protagonist in literature than Lissa Yellow Bird, or a more dogged reporter in American journalism than Sierra Crane Murdoch.”—William Finnegan, Pulitzer Prize–winning author of Barbarian Days


When Lissa Yellow Bird was released from prison in 2009, she found her…

Book cover of The Left-Handed Booksellers of London

Devri Walls Author Of Magic Unleashed

From the list on not requiring a genealogy chart to track the story.

Who am I?

As a bullied teenager I wanted to escape and fantasy was my drug of choice. (My parents may have grounded me from the library, which by the way—not cool.) I love working within fantasy worlds and magic systems but my true passion lies in the story itself. I write character based books focusing on the inner workings of all of us. Occasionally when writing a battle scene in a gladiator arena with three levels, multiple characters with magical abilitiesm and a secondary magical system in the background, I wonder why I can’t just tell a story in freaking Chicago for goodness sake! But fantasy is where it's at for this girl! 

Devri's book list on not requiring a genealogy chart to track the story

Discover why each book is one of Devri's favorite books.

Why did Devri love this book?

This book is an effortless blending of fantasy with the modern world. Frankly, a lot of urban fantasies fall flat for me. ( I know, I know, unpopular opinion) I think it probably comes from my desire to escape the modern world completely when I read fantasy. But Garth Nix manages to create characters that are both living in the modern world while being so ridiculously fantastical themselves you can’t help but love it. And did I mention it has a handsome, young, cross-dressing wizard? What’s not to like?

By Garth Nix,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Left-Handed Booksellers of London as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A girl's quest to find her father leads her to an extended family of magical fighting booksellers who police the mythical Old World of England when it intrudes on the modern world. From the bestselling master of fantasy, Garth Nix.

In a slightly alternate London in 1983, Susan Arkshaw is looking for her father, a man she has never met. Crime boss Frank Thringley might be able to help her, but Susan doesn't get time to ask Frank any questions before he is turned to dust by the prick of a silver hatpin in the hands of the outrageously attractive…

Book cover of Moonlight and the Pearler's Daughter

T.A. Willberg Author Of Marion Lane and the Deadly Rose

From the list on historical mysteries with female protagonists.

Who am I?

Books have always been an escape for me, historical mysteries in particular. Getting lost in another world, another time and someone else’s life is like therapy for me and something I will never tire of. Which is perhaps why I went on to write my own historical mystery trilogy. The Marion Lane series consists of The Midnight Murder, The Deadly Rose, and The Raven’s Revenge—all set in 1950’s London, in a mystical private detective agency concealed beneath the city streets. 

T.A.'s book list on historical mysteries with female protagonists

Discover why each book is one of T.A.'s favorite books.

Why did T.A. love this book?

This historical mystery slash adventure novel is set in 1886 in Australia and follows the plucky, headstrong Eliza Brightwell as she attempts to unravel the mystery behind the disappearance of her beloved father—a renowned pearler. I was so riveted by this heart-wrenching, atmospheric story and its unique setting. A great one for those who’d like to try something different in the historical mystery space.

By Lizzie Pook,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Moonlight and the Pearler's Daughter as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

For readers of The Light Between Oceans and The Island of Sea Women, a feminist adventure story set against the backdrop of the dangerous pearl diving industry in 19th-century Western Australia, about a young English woman who sets off to uncover the truth about the disappearance of her eccentric father.

Western Australia, 1886. After months at sea, a slow boat makes its passage from London to the shores of Bannin Bay. From the deck, young Eliza Brightwell and her family eye their strange, new home. Here is an unforgiving land where fortune sits patiently at the bottom of the ocean,…


By Katherine Rundell, Terry Fan (illustrator),

Book cover of Rooftoppers

Natasha Lowe Author Of The Courage of Cat Campbell (Poppy Pendle)

From the list on quirky fantasies with feisty “take charge” girls.

Who am I?

I write books about feisty girls who follow their dreams and don’t let fear stand in their way. Growing up in London I was an extremely shy child with a full-blown fantasy life, but at eighteen decided it was time to channel my inner “feisty girl”, take charge of my destiny, and travel to America to pursue my dream of becoming a writer. Now, many years later I am the proud author of five middle-grade novels, and the mother of four amazing children who are all off following their own dreams. When I’m not writing books about feisty girls, I’m reading other people's. Here are some of my favorites.

Natasha's book list on quirky fantasies with feisty “take charge” girls

Discover why each book is one of Natasha's favorite books.

Why did Natasha love this book?

“On the morning of its first birthday, a baby was found floating in a cello case in the English Channel.” From the opening line this is a story you will fall in love with!  Sofie, the orphaned baby in the cello case, is rescued from a shipwreck by an elderly gentleman called Charles who decides to raise her himself. He does an excellent job and I adore Sofie’s bravery, her love of knowledge, and her passion for adventure. Certain that her mother is still alive, Sofie and Charles set off for Paris to look for her, believing that you “never ignore a possible.” This is a fabulous book about pursuing your dreams and the power of hope. Plus the writing is just gorgeous!  

By Katherine Rundell, Terry Fan (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Go on an adventure with Katherine Rundell... _______________ Winner of the Waterstones Children's Book Prize and the Blue Peter Book Award Shortlisted for the CILIP Carnegie Medal From the winner of the Costa Children's Book Prize _______________ 'I enjoyed it tremendously ... The next time I go to Paris I will be looking up at the rooftops' - Jacqueline Wilson 'A writer with an utterly distinctive voice and a wild imagination' - Philip Pullman 'Read everything she writes' - Daily Mail _______________ Everyone tells Sophie that she was orphaned in a shipwreck - found floating in a cello case on…

A Flicker in the Dark

By Stacy Willingham,

Book cover of A Flicker in the Dark

Tessa Wegert Author Of Death in the Family

From the list on atmospheric mysteries that transport you to a dark place.

Who am I?

Atmosphere can play a critical role in crime fiction, and I always find the most satisfying and memorable stories convey a strong sense of place. My own mysteries are set in the Thousand Islands, where many residents live in island homes built by gilded age titans of industry, and this setting is integral to Death in the Family and the entire Shana Merchant series. For twenty years I’ve been a regular visitor to the area, which extends from Upstate New York to Ontario, Canada. The human dangers in my books may be imagined, but the remote and rugged nature of the region always contributes to my contemporary, Agatha Christie-style plots. 

Tessa's book list on atmospheric mysteries that transport you to a dark place

Discover why each book is one of Tessa's favorite books.

Why did Tessa love this book?

Be prepared to plunge into the Louisiana swamp and discover the dark side of Baton Rouge. Chloe Davis may have escaped her convicted killer father’s horrific legacy, but when young women start to go missing in the city where she now lives, Chloe is dragged back to the hometown that haunts her. The Louisiana setting feels wholly authentic and adds an eeriness to this dark story. A Flicker in the Dark is a must-read for fans of unpredictable page-turners and tense, high-stakes serial killer thrillers.

By Stacy Willingham,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

She thought the murders had stopped. She was wrong.

'A smart, edge-of-your-seat story with plot twists you'll never see coming' Karin Slaughter

'Spectacular' Daily Mail

'Tense, twisty and threatening, A Flicker in the Dark will make you abandon your box sets' Val McDermid

The instant New York Times bestseller, soon to be a major TV series, developed by Emma Stone

Chloe Davis' father is a serial killer.
He was convicted and jailed when she was twelve but the bodies of the girls were never found, seemingly lost in the surrounding Louisiana swamps. The case became notorious and Chloe's family was…

The Carriage House

By Carla Neggers,

Book cover of The Carriage House

Kelly Moran Author Of Ghost of A Promise

From the list on paranormal romances with a ghostly twist.

Who am I?

I adore all things ghostly, from TV shows to books to movies. I immerse myself. For me, I think it began as a young girl with poems from my grandmother’s favorite book and films or programs we’d watch together. The what-if factor and the vast unknown is addicting. It chronically makes us think or sit at the edge of our seats. I’ve even visited haunted locations before and had a couple of experiences. Romance ties into that for me. We all strive for it and hope to find it. It can be as elusive as fog. By combining the two genres, readers like me get the best of all worlds. 

Kelly's book list on paranormal romances with a ghostly twist

Discover why each book is one of Kelly's favorite books.

Why did Kelly love this book?

Though this is a romantic suspense, it has that haunted house theme in the backdrop, and I was captivated. I’ve always been fascinated by a home’s history. Who lived there? What were they like? Did they die there? Do they still roam the halls? This took those elements, plus romance, and got me thinking about writing a similar book with that kind of twist. The setting is Boston’s north shore in a 19th-century carriage house, and wow. I wanted the place to be real, to go there and explore myself. There are more books in the series. Carla is a wonderfully warm and engaging author, also. She always responds to her readers.

By Carla Neggers,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Revisit the Carriage House series with this classic tale of romantic suspense from New York Times bestselling author Carla Neggers.

Fun and a little hard work. That’s all Tess Haviland has in mind when Ike Grantham pays her for her graphic design work on the run-down nineteenth-century carriage house on Boston’s North Shore.

Then Ike disappears and Tess finds herself with much more than a simple weekend project to get her out of the city. It’s not just the rumors that the carriage house is haunted—it’s the neighbors: six-year-old Dolly Thorne, her reclusive babysitter, Harley Beckett…and especially Dolly’s father, Andrew…

And Then She Was Gone

By Rosalind Noonan,

Book cover of And Then She Was Gone

Kate Robards Author Of The Three Deaths Of Willa Stannard

From the list on missing children.

Who am I?

A missing child is every parent’s worst nightmare. Emotionally driven, tense, full of despair and hope, these stories captivate me. When I decided to include a cold case mystery of a toddler’s disappearance in my debut novel, I dove deep into both true crime and fictional novels on the subject. These books represent a range of gripping mysteries about not only finding missing children, but the scrutiny and heartache their mothers face. I hope you find these stories as absorbing, powerful, and suspenseful as I do!

Kate's book list on missing children

Discover why each book is one of Kate's favorite books.

Why did Kate love this book?

This book is haunting, and different from other missing child stories in that the child returns home early in the story.

And Then She Was Gone is about the healing journey of the victim and family, with a captivating mystery at its core. It’s intensely emotional, thought-provoking, and deeply believable. The changing points of view are well done, and each character stands on their own.

By Rosalind Noonan,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Eleven-year-old Lauren O'Neil vanished one sunny afternoon as she walked home from school. Six years later, her parents Rachel and Dan still tirelessly scour their Oregon hometown and beyond, always believing Lauren will be found. Then one day, the call comes.

Lauren has been rescued from a secluded farm mere miles away, and her abductor has confessed. Yet her return is nothing like Rachel imagined. Though the revelations about what Lauren endured are shocking, most heartbreaking of all is to see the bright-eyed, assertive daughter she knew transformed into a wary, polite stranger.

Lauren's first instinct is to flee. For…

The English Wife

By Lauren Willig,

Book cover of The English Wife

Tracy Grant Author Of The Seven Dials Affair

From the list on unraveling the secrets at the heart of a marriage.

Who am I?

I've always been fascinated by stories about married couples, especially when there are secrets in the marriage. My series The Rannoch Fraser Mysteries follows Mélanie and Malcolm Rannoch, whose marriage began when Mélanie, a French agent, married British agent Malcolm to spy on him during the Napoleonic Wars. As the Rannochs investigate mysteries, they grapple with personal and political betrayals and the secrets between them. 

Tracy's book list on unraveling the secrets at the heart of a marriage

Discover why each book is one of Tracy's favorite books.

Why did Tracy love this book?

The English Wife had me racing to unravel the secrets at the heart of Annabelle and Bay's marriage. And at the same time I was savoring the fascinating characters and brilliant writing.

The twists and turns of the plot had me gasping, but the biggest mystery was understanding the central characters and their relationship.

By Lauren Willig,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Annabelle and Bayard Van Duyvil live a charmed life in New York: he's the scion of an old Knickerbocker family, she grew up in a Tudor house in England, they had a fairy-tale romance in London, they have three-year-old twins on whom they dot, and he's recreated her family home on the banks of the Hudson and named it Illyria.

Yes, there are rumours that she's having an affair with the architect, but rumours are rumours and people will gossip. But then Bayard is found dead with a knife in his chest on the night of their Twelfth Night ball,…

Here There Are Monsters

By Amelinda Bérubé,

Book cover of Here There Are Monsters

Dawn Kurtagich Author Of Teeth in the Mist

From the list on YA horror creepy creatures to keep you up at night.

Who am I?

I am and have always been fascinated with supernatural creatures, particularly if they have horns and dwell in the dark swamps of wooded hinterlands. I spent a greater part of my childhood in the African bush. A formative experience was the day an isangoma (witchdoctor) cast knuckle bones at me in a particularly energetic frenzy. Rather than being scared, I was fascinated by the power these little bones had to command spirits and creatures I had only seen in my nightmares. An obsession was born.

Dawn's book list on YA horror creepy creatures to keep you up at night

Discover why each book is one of Dawn's favorite books.

Why did Dawn love this book?

When I went into this book, I sensed that Amelinda would pull zero punches. I was so right it was glorious. Skye is fed up. Fed up of being responsible for her insufferable little sister, Dierdre. Fed up with the stories, with the games, with their endless childhood fantasies. Moving halfway across the country seems like the perfect chance to start over. Finally, in this new, isolated neighbourhood, Skye is managing to fit in. Not Dierdre, though. No, Dierdre seems to be slipping more and more into a world of her own. And then one day: Dierdre vanishes. When a creature unlike anything Skye has ever seen comes scratching at her door claiming to know who took Dierdre, Skye is going to have to suspend her disbelief and re-enter a childhood of warped imagination.

By Amelinda Bérubé,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Here There Are Monsters as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A bone-chilling read about creating monsters, sisterhood turned toxic, and secrets that won't stay buried, perfect for fans of The Night She Disappeared, Wilder Girls, and The Blair Witch Project.
Sixteen-year-old Skye is done playing the knight in shining armor for her insufferable younger sister, Deirdre. And moving across the country seems like the perfect chance to start over as someone different.
In their isolated new neighborhood, Skye manages to fit in, but Deirdre withdraws from everyone, becoming fixated on the swampy woods behind their house and building monstrous sculptures out of sticks and bones.
Then Deirdre disappears.
And when…

Blue Monday

By Nicci French,

Book cover of Blue Monday

Jenny Twist Author Of A Gift for Murder: A Tommy Ross mystery

From the list on crime fiction with memorable plots and characters.

Who am I?

I’ve been reading crime fiction all my life. I love following the detective sifting through the evidence—the clues, the false trails, and the eventual denouement. It was a crime fiction book that made me realise that history is not fixed but is, in fact, detective work. It changes as more evidence is discovered or a new interpretation is accepted. That book made me decide to take history as my subject at university and I spent six deliriously happy years examining evidence, evaluating it, and, reaching conclusions. Amongst my case studies were the princes in the tower, the gunpowder plot, and witchcraft. Happy days!

Jenny's book list on crime fiction with memorable plots and characters

Discover why each book is one of Jenny's favorite books.

Why did Jenny love this book?

Frieda Klein is a psychotherapist dedicated to helping her patients overcome their private horrors. She tells them that they are in a safe place with her—nothing will go beyond these walls. Until one day, a patient’s dreams and desires accord so closely to the case of a missing child that she decides to break that promise.

She finds herself involved in a complex police investigation that can only be solved with her specialist insight. The tension mounts to breaking point as she tracks down the killer, ending in a shocking climax that comes straight out of the left field.

By Nicci French,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The first book in the Frieda Klein Mystery series

"Complex psychological suspense at its best." -Booklist (starred review)

Immensely intelligent and poignantly human, Frieda Klein has captivated book critics and crime readers everywhere with her debut outing as Blue Monday's iconoclastic heroine. A psychotherapist and insomniac who spends her nights walking along the ancient rivers that lie beneath modern London, Frieda stars in a dazzling new crime series in which the terrors of the mind spill over into real life.

When five-year-old Matthew Farraday is abducted, Frieda cannot ignore the fact that his photograph perfectly matches the boy one of…