The best murder books

Who picked these books? Meet our 795 experts.

795 authors created a book list connected to murder, and here are their favorite murder books.
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What type of murder book?


Death of a Gossip

By M.C. Beaton,

Book cover of Death of a Gossip

Elizabeth Spann Craig Author Of Checked Out

From the list on enjoying the delicious coziness of murder.

Who am I?

Ever since I was a child, I loved stories where an element of danger is introduced into a peaceful setting. Armchair sleuths can solve crimes alongside the detectives and in the comfort and relative security of their own homes. I cut my teeth on Nancy Drew, Trixie Belden, and The Hardy Boys before moving on to Agatha Christie. It’s such an interactive experience when we get the same clues as the detectives and try to come to similar conclusions. These books all replicate the experience well and put the reader in the driver’s seat.

Elizabeth's book list on enjoying the delicious coziness of murder

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

Why did Elizabeth love this book?

The debut of the wonderful Hamish Macbeth, a charming but lazy police constable in the sleepy Scottish town of Lochdubh. When a gossip columnist ferrets out too many secrets, there are suspects aplenty following her murder. The balance between the murder investigation and life in Lochdubh is well-done and Hamish quickly starts feeling like a friend. Aside from suspects, the village is full of unusual characters you’ll want to visit in future books. And, if you enjoy series, this one has 33 books in it. 

By M.C. Beaton,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The very first Hamish Macbeth crime mystery, from internationally bestselling author M.C.Beaton

When society widow and gossip columnist Lady Jane Winters joins the local fishing class she wastes no time in ruffling the feathers - or should that be fins? - of those around her.

Among the victims of her sharp tongue is Lochdubh constable Hamish Macbeth, yet not even Hamish thinks someone would seriously want to silence Lady Jane's shrill voice permanently - until her strangled body is fished out of the river.

Now with the help of the lovely Priscilla Halburton-Smythe, Hamish must steer a course through the…

Honey Roasted

By Cleo Coyle,

Book cover of Honey Roasted

Meri Allen Author Of The Rocky Road to Ruin

From the list on culinary cozy mysteries with murder on the menu.

Who am I?

Nancy Drew was the gateway drug for my mystery reading and writing addiction. I love unusual sleuths, and sleuths with secrets such as Mrs. Pollifax, Miss Marple, and Stephanie Plum. Dubbed the “takeout queen” by my kids, I love cooking shows and had the good sense to marry a man who enjoys making ice cream.

Meri's book list on culinary cozy mysteries with murder on the menu

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

Why did Meri love this book?

Crime is always brewing near amateur sleuth Clare Cosi’s NYC Village Blend Coffeeshop. Though set in the city, the village surrounding the coffee shop is a close-knit community that comes together for gossip over a good cup of joe. The latest in Cleo Coyle’s series, Honey Roasted not only shows us how to brew a perfect cup of cappuccino, but also takes us into the world of urban beekeeping. The death of a friend mars Clare’s wedding plans, but she’s not going down the aisle until she unmasks the killer.

By Cleo Coyle,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

"Coyle's latest Coffeehouse mystery is a honey of a tale....A primer on bees, coffee, and some of New York's most unusual and exciting areas make for a fascinating and mysterious read."—Kirkus Reviews

Clare Cosi is busy as a bee planning her honeymoon when murder buzzes into the Village Blend in this all-new mystery in the beloved New York Times bestselling Coffeehouse series by Cleo Coyle.

While struggling to find a romantic (and affordable) destination for her upcoming honeymoon, coffeehouse manager Clare Cosi whips up a honey of a drink made from honey-processed coffee. Clare plans to serve her outstanding new…

Low Tide

By Dawn Lee McKenna,

Book cover of Low Tide

Don Rich Author Of Coastal Jury

From the list on coastal mystery and adventure.

Who am I?

I’m an entrepreneur who was born literally within sight of the Intracoastal Waterway in South Florida. Got my first boat (a dinghy) when I was six. I used to drive an airboat on Lake Okeechobee and learned to fly back when I was a teenager. Since then, I’ve flown over a dozen different types of planes and even a helicopter. As a kid, I spent a lot of time in the Bahamas, Virgin Islands, and the Antilles. In my late teens I worked on various private sportfishing boats in Florida, Georgia, and the Bahamas. With this much time spent on, in, under, or around the water, I was destined to write coastal novels. 

Don's book list on coastal mystery and adventure

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

Why did Don love this book?

Dawn Lee was a friend and an inspiration to me. Cancer took her from us way too soon, but she left behind a large legacy of great books that were set on the Gulf coast in the panhandle of Florida. Low Tide is the first book in her Forgotten Coast Florida Suspense series which launched her into the bestseller ranks. If you ask anyone who’s read her what makes her writing so special, they’ll all tell you it’s her uniquely crafted characters. The plots and the twists of her stories are top-notch as well, but the characters are simply amazing.

By Dawn Lee McKenna,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In Apalachicola, Florida, sinister things are afoot, as sinister things tend to be.Lt. Maggie Redmond is called to a crime scene on St. George Island, where she is met with the body of Gregory Boudreaux. The medical examiner calls it a suicide, but no one knows that Maggie has a horrible connection to the dead man.When Gregory’s uncle, Bennett Boudreaux, the richest and scariest man in town, takes a sudden interest in Maggie, people start to wonder, Maggie included. Maggie knows he may suspect her of killing his nephew, but she finds herself slowly drawn to the man. As Maggie…

Asking for Truffle

By Dorothy St. James,

Book cover of Asking for Truffle

Sarah Fox Author Of Six Sweets Under

From the list on culinary cozy mystery to satisfy your sweet tooth.

Who am I?

As a cozy mystery lover with a sweet tooth, I devour dozens of mystery novels every year (many featuring food) and I love to sample new series while also following my long-time favorites. I have also written and published more than 15 cozy mysteries of my own, many of which have a culinary theme. Although I grew up in Vancouver, British Columbia, I now live in a small town and I have a particular fondness for cozy small-town mysteries set by the ocean, as well as those featuring scrumptious treats.

Sarah's book list on culinary cozy mystery to satisfy your sweet tooth

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

Why did Sarah love this book?

I picked up Asking for Truffle because I love another series written by Dorothy St. James (the Beloved Bookroom Mysteries), and this series hooked me as well.

The quirky characters and seaside setting are the perfect ingredients for a delightful cozy mystery, and the chocolate at the center of the story adds a delicious note to the well-rounded and intriguing mystery plot.

By Dorothy St. James,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

When Charity Penn receives a letter saying she won a trip to Camellia Beach, South Carolina complete with free cooking lessons at the town’s seaside chocolate shop, The Chocolate Box, she’s immediately skeptical. She never entered any contest. Her former prep school friend offers to look into the phony prize—only to end up drowned in a vat of chocolate.

Struck with guilt, Penn heads to the southern beach town to investigate why he was killed. But as wary as she is of the locals, she finds herself lured into their eccentric vibe, letting her defenses melt away and even learning…

When Men Murder Women

By R. Emerson Dobash, Russell P. Dobash,

Book cover of When Men Murder Women

Martin Daly Author Of Killing the Competition: Economic Inequality and Homicide

From the list on why people sometimes kill one another.

Who am I?

When my late wife Margo Wilson suggested, over 40 years ago, that we should study homicides for what they might reveal about human motives and emotions, her idea seemed zany. But when we plunged into police investigative files and homicide databases, we quickly realized that we had struck gold, and homicide research became our passion. Our innovation was to approach the topic like epidemiologists, asking who is likely to kill whom and identifying the risk factors that are peculiar to particular victim-killer relationships. What do people really care about? Surveys and interviews elicit cheap talk; killing someone is drastic action.  

Martin's book list on why people sometimes kill one another

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

Why did Martin love this book?

Rebecca and Russell Dobash had studied men's violence against their female partners for decades and were already heroes of the women's movement when they began interviewing incarcerated killers in Britain. Two fine books have resulted, one focused on men who killed women, the other on men who killed men. It is the former, especially the section on intimate partner homicide, that I find most captivating. The Dobashes skilfully blend national statistics with the self-serving testimony of their interviewees, who minimize their lethal acts as things that "happened" rather than things that they did, and apparently believe themselves to be the victims. These insights are essential.    

By R. Emerson Dobash, Russell P. Dobash,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In the United States and Great Britain, 20-30% of all homicides involve the killing of a woman by a man, and it is far rarer when a woman is killed by another woman. Unfortunately, this is not a very well understood phenomenon. Most books on the topic discuss serial killings, but those only make up 2% of sexual murder-a sensationalist subset of a subset. There has never before been a comprehensive book that has covered the entire scope of homicide cases in which men
murder women.

Dobash and Dobash, two seasoned researchers and longtime collaborators in the study of violence…

Quarter to Midnight

By Karen Rose,

Book cover of Quarter to Midnight

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

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

Why did C.F. love this book?

Intricately woven romantic suspense set in New Orleans.

I love a book where the ending is a surprise, and the characters are entertaining and intelligent. You will fall in love with the secondary characters. Gabe is a chef who father is dead, but the authorities call it a suicide. He doesn’t believe it and hires a private investigator, Molly.

There are good cops and some really bad cops. Fantastic ride. Finished it in one sitting. 

By Karen Rose,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The truth of what happened that night lies with a secret witness.

Quarter to Midnight is the first thrilling novel in a brand new series by Sunday Times bestselling author Karen Rose, set in New Orleans.

Rocky Hebert walks into his death at quarter to midnight one New Orleans night.

His son Gabe cannot accept the official verdict of suicide and enlists the help of the Burke Broussard Private Investigation Agency to discover the real cause of death.

PI Molly Sutton knows what it's like to lose a father in tragic circumstances and will go to any lengths to crack…

Steel King

By Devney Perry,

Book cover of Steel King

Lena Hendrix Author Of The Badge

From the list on small town romances that bring the heat.

Who am I?

I am an author who writes hot-as-sin small-town romance. As an avid romance reader, when I found my love of all small-town things combined with high heat of steamy romance, I was hooked! With steamy, small-town romance you get feel-good, heartfelt romances with steamy, open-door scenes. If it can make you blush and warm your heart, I’m all in! In my list, I’ve included a variety of small-town romance authors that will tug at your heartstrings in one scene and have you fanning yourself in the next. 

Lena's book list on small town romances that bring the heat

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

Why did Lena love this book?

This book has less heat than my other recommendations (but still brings the feels!) but it also combines small-town romance with a dash of Motorcycle Club (MC). It’s definitely not a dark romance, as my MC romances are, but it has mystery, suspense, and action! This is the first book in the series (you do have to read them in order) and focuses on a spunky reporter and former MC members as they try to solve a murder mystery.

By Devney Perry,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

From USA Today Bestselling Author Devney Perry comes a small town, enemies to lovers romance.

The former Clifton Forge, Montana motorcycle club has everyone in town convinced they’ve locked their clubhouse doors and ripped off their patches. Everyone but Bryce Ryan. There’s more happening at the club’s garage than muscle car restorations and Harley rebuilds. Her instincts are screaming there’s a story—one she’s going to tell.

As the new owner of the small town’s newspaper, Bryce is hungry for more than birth announcements and obituaries. When a woman is brutally killed and all signs point to the club, Bryce is…

The Betrayal of Anne Frank

By Rosemary Sullivan,

Book cover of The Betrayal of Anne Frank: A Cold Case Investigation

Jo Horne Author Of Monica's War

From the list on unsung heroes of WWII.

Who am I?

I have had a lifelong passion for history—the choices and challenges faced by others in trying times. I find myself looking for connections and a visit to the Holocaust Museum in DC led me to just such a connection with the story of the White Rose Resistance group, sending me down a rabbit hole of research that has blossomed into years of looking for little known stories of WWII heroes and heroines. From there telling their stories through my stories has become my passion.

Jo's book list on unsung heroes of WWII

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

Why did Jo love this book?

The Diary of Anne Frank may be the most well-known story of the Holocaust. Millions have read or seen the movie about the young girl and her family hiding in an attic room in Amsterdam until they were betrayed and taken to Auschwitz. Having visited the hiding place in Amsterdam that still holds the memory of that time, I found Sullivan’s work fascinating. She takes a familiar tale to the next level as she explores the cold case re-opened after decades by Vincent Pankoke, a retired FBI agent who painstakingly follows the trail to a startling conclusion.

By Rosemary Sullivan,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?


'Hums with living history, human warmth and indignation' New York Times

Less a mystery unsolved than a secret well kept

The mystery has haunted generations since the Second World War: Who betrayed Anne Frank and her family? And why?

Now, thanks to radical new technology and the obsession of a retired FBI agent, this book offers an answer. Rosemary Sullivan unfolds the story in a gripping, moving narrative.

Over thirty million people have read The Diary of a Young Girl, the journal teenaged Anne Frank kept while living in an attic with her family and four other…

Defending Jacob

By William Landay,

Book cover of Defending Jacob

Otis Scarbary Author Of Leo's Redemption

From the list on regional criminal/legal mysteries with a twist.

Who am I?

I’m a southern boy. I practiced law for thirty-five plus years, the last twenty-nine plus as a prosecutor. I loved that time of my life and handled a lot of cases, but it eventually took its toll. I was ready to leave that part of me behind. When I retired, I promised I would let all that go, but I discovered I couldn’t. I started writing because I kept remembering stuff, and I thought I could do a credible job recording it. Writing has helped me to get over it. If you read any of my books, I hope you’ll like them, but I love getting feedback even if you don’t.

Otis' book list on regional criminal/legal mysteries with a twist

Discover why each book is one of Otis' favorite books.

Why did Otis love this book?

This is a legal drama/thriller/mystery that I couldn’t put down. The author does a credible job describing court scenes, but it’s not the thrust of the book. What really grabbed me was the psychological battles going on within the family. When you’re a prosecutor and your son is charged with a hideous crime, how do you handle that horror? Conflicts with your career are only part of it. Like other books on my list, this book was made into a theatrical release and was done credibly on the screen. The resolution of the story was done well, in my opinion, but it leaves you feeling somewhat dissatisfied. Like life, not everything turns out perfect.

By William Landay,

Why should I read it?

6 authors picked Defending Jacob as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

If your son was on trial for murder, what would you do?

Andy Barber's job is to put killers behind bars. And when a boy from his son Jacob's school is found stabbed to death, Andy is doubly determined to find and prosecute the perpetrator.

Until a crucial piece of evidence turns up linking Jacob to the murder. And suddenly Andy and his wife find their son accused of being a cold-blooded killer.

In the face of every parent's worst nightmare, they will do anything to defend their child. Because, deep down, they know him better than anyone.

Don't they?


By Laura Griffin,

Book cover of Flight

Savannah Kade Author Of Crash & Burn

From the list on steamy romantic suspense for savvy readers.

Who am I?

I'm a contemporary romance writer who does some series in paranormal romance and some in romantic suspense. I know lots of romance is about the fantasy and I write to that, but I want each of my romances to have you walking away believing in real-life love, too. I want heroes and heroines who could walk right off the page! I want to acknowledge smart women finding men who love a snappy comeback and a sharp brain. My favorite stories come together when our heroine is the only one who could solve this crime or mystery. I was first invited to write RS in the Dark Falls series and I shockingly won a Maggie for my first book. I loved the genre so much that I went on to build a whole series of my own!

Savannah's book list on steamy romantic suspense for savvy readers

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

Why did Savannah love this book?

This is the second book in the Texas Murder Files series and Griffin is the author who brought us the Tracers books (another great series. Go read it!) In Flight, Miranda is desperately trying to take a break and recoup from a far too stressful job. We can all relate. But when she stumbles upon a murder, her skills as a forensic photographer mean her break is over. Local Detective Joel is just the hero we need and the tension builds slowly and wonderfully. This is great romantic suspense!

By Laura Griffin,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

'Laura Griffin is one of those skilled writers who hook me with the first sentence' reader review

'Wow, this is an absolutely brilliant and hot crime read. I loved the characters and how real it all feels' reader review

If you love Karen Rose, Melinda Leigh and Lisa Gardner, you'll be gripped by Laura Griffin!
With her signature breathless pacing and suspenseful twists and turns, 'Laura Griffin never fails to put me on the edge of my seat' (USA TODAY).

'I love smart, sophisticated, fast-moving romantic thrillers and Laura Griffin writes them brilliantly' JAYNE ANN KRENTZ

'A pulse-pounding romantic thriller'…

An American Dream

By Norman Mailer,

Book cover of An American Dream

Ron Felber Author Of A Man of Indeterminate Value

From the list on the best crime fiction writers in the world.

Who am I?

I have some insight into the crime fiction genre that's unique. After graduating from Georgetown University I desperately wanted a job as a writer. Unfortunately, it was in the midst of a deep recession, and being $40,000 in debt with college loans decided to take a job that would help pay bills and give me insight into the criminal mind and the detectives that chase them for my literary endeavors. I became a deputy sheriff in Arlington, VA, transporting federal criminals from Washington, D.C. to sundry institutions. It was then that my writing career began in earnest as I started publishing stories about the crimes, criminals, and detectives I worked with in True Detective magazine.

Ron's book list on the best crime fiction writers in the world

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

Why did Ron love this book?

An American Dream beats with the pulse of some huge night carnivore. It’s a wild story set in Manhattan with its protagonist, Stephen Rojack, drunk, dismally in debt, and trapped in a kind of purgatory he calls “marriage”. What I particularly like about this novel is Mailer’s writing style. It is magical in that he somehow combines the gritty talk of a hipster with the edgy rhetoric of psychiatry. What comes out of that confluence is a prose as sharp and effective as a switchblade. This novel, I believe, redefines the American crime novel by presenting the most extreme of our realities–murder, love, and spirit strangulated, the corruption of power and the sacrifice of self to image, all of it mix mastered into murder,  booze, and heat-and-serve sex. A masterpiece that stands the test of time.

By Norman Mailer,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In this wild battering ram of a novel, which was originally published to vast controversy in 1965, Norman Mailer creates a character who might be a fictional precursor of the philosopher-killer he would later profile in The Executioner’s Song. As Stephen Rojack, a decorated war hero and former congressman who murders his wife in a fashionable New York City high-rise, runs amok through the city in which he was once a privileged citizen, Mailer peels away the layers of our social norms to reveal a world of pure appetite and relentless cruelty. One part Nietzsche, one part de Sade, and…

A Time to Kill

By John Grisham,

Book cover of A Time to Kill

David Rohlfing Author Of Cold Consequences

From the list on murder mysteries to keep you entertained and guessing.

Who am I?

I have always been a voracious reader of murder mysteries and thrillers. My business career took me to all but one continent and countless countries, mostly living and working in large metropolitan areas. After retiring, I moved to a small Midwest city and found it an excellent setting for a murder mystery when I sat down to write. Since I started, I've written two books in the Detective Sasha Frank Mystery Series, and I'm currently writing the third. The first book, Deliberate Duplicity, won a 2021 American Fiction Award. The second book in the series is Cold Consequences. I've been pleased with the reviews on Goodreads and other platforms.

David's book list on murder mysteries to keep you entertained and guessing

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

Why did David love this book?

A Time to Kill is the first book of a four-book fiction series written by world-renowned author John Grisham featuring Clanton, Mississippi, lawyer Jake Brigance. Grisham is one of my favorite authors, and although the titles in this series may not be as well known as many of his other books, A Time to Kill is an exciting introduction to this young lawyer. Set in a  time in the South that endured blatant racial injustice, Jake fights tirelessly for his client accused of avenging the rape of his daughter. Grisham's extraordinary storytelling shines through and takes you on a journey that defines his main character in this first book, which you'll enjoy reading in his subsequent books. I highly recommend A Time to Kill.

By John Grisham,

Why should I read it?

8 authors picked A Time to Kill as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?


John Grisham's first and most shocking novel, adapted as a film starring Samuel L. Jackson and Matthew McConaughey

When Carl Lee Hailey guns down the violent racists who raped his ten-year-old daughter, the people of the small town of Clanton, Mississippi see it as justice done, and call for his acquittal.

But when extremists outside Clanton - including the KKK - hear that a black man has killed two white men, they invade the town, determined to destroy anything and anyone that opposes their sense of justice. A national media circus descends on Clanton.



By James Lee Burke,

Book cover of Robicheaux

David Michael Dunaway Author Of Angry Heavens: Struggles of a Confederate Surgeon

From the list on celebrating an author’s literary style.

Who am I?

I'm a lifetime, passionate reader. During the summer vacations, my brother and I would often ride with our father to his job in downtown Mobile and walk to Mobile Public Library, where we would spend all day exploring and reading. Well-written novels with remarkable but believable characters—such as those I've noted here are my passion. I have included novels in my list where I can identify personally with the protagonist. My list of books is varied. They have one thing in common: believable characters who struggle with life—authored by legitimate wordsmiths. When I wrote Angry Heavens as a first-time novelist, it was my history as a reader that I used as a writer.

David's book list on celebrating an author’s literary style

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

Why did David love this book?

James Lee Burke is now 85 as of the date of this submission and writes every day. As I just turned 76 this month, his remarkable work habits are a goal to which I can aspire. 

James Lee Burke’s writing is filled with memorable metaphors and similes that no one uses quite as well as this Southern man of letters

In Robicheaux: A Novel, Burke reminds us that Robicheaux is plagued by the acts he committed in Vietnam, now manifested in the ghosts of his alcoholism and tendency to violence. Complicating his life even more is the sudden death of his beloved wife, Molly. The New Iberia man who killed Molly is also killed, and colleagues accuse Robicheaux of murdering the man who killed Molly.

Dave Robicheaux is a good man who does not tolerate evil deeds by others, even though he must battle his tendency to react violently when…

By James Lee Burke,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

James Lee Burke’s most beloved character, Dave Robicheaux, returns in this New York Times bestselling mystery set in the towns and backwoods of Louisiana: an “enthralling yet grim novel that…will captivate, start to finish” (Publishers Weekly).

Dave Robicheaux is a haunted man. From the acts he committed in Vietnam, to his battles with alcoholism, to the sudden loss of his beloved wife, Molly, his thoughts drift from one irreconcilable memory to the next. Images of ghosts pepper his reality. Robicheaux’s only beacon remains serving as a detective in New Iberia, Louisiana.

It’s in that capacity that Robicheaux crosses paths with…

Rosemary and Rue

By Seanan McGuire,

Book cover of Rosemary and Rue

Fran Laniado Author Of Beautiful: A Tale of Beauties and Beasts

From the list on faerie tales (that aren’t for children).

Who am I?

Since I was a child, I’ve loved stories of people who live, unseen, among or close to us. I prefer the spelling “Faerie.” Fairies are pretty, butterfly-like creatures that fly around gardens. “Faeries” suggest, to my mind, the word “fear.” They can be both benevolent and malevolent, but are primarily other. In my novel, Beautiful, and the follow up that’s in progress, faeries feature as characters both in their own realm and ours. They can cause a lot of trouble for humans, but also be well-intentioned. These books feature faeries that play similarly ambiguous roles. 

Fran's book list on faerie tales (that aren’t for children)

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

Why did Fran love this book?

October (Toby) Daye, is half human, half faerie. She’s done trying to earn the respect of her immortal relatives, and begins to make a nice, human life for herself. Until spell and a murder pull her back into the dangerous immortal tangle of shifting alliances and strange bedfellows. In spite of her supernatural origins, Toby isn’t a superhero. But when she gets sucked into the fantasy stuff there’s no “oh, no, this is impossible! How can this be real?” to wade through. She knows what the deal is and she dives, somewhat reluctantly, into it.

By Seanan McGuire,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The first instalment of the highly praised Toby Daye series. The world of Faerie never disappeared; it merely went into hiding, continuing to exist parallel to our own. Secrecy is the key to Faerie's survival: but no secret can be kept forever, and when the fae and mortal worlds collide, changelings are born. Outsiders from birth, these children spend their lives fighting for the respect of their immortal relations. Or in the case of October 'Toby' Daye, rejecting the fae completely. Toby has retreated into a 'normal' life - spending her nights stocking shelves at a San Francisco grocery store…

Dead Girls Dancing

By Graham Masterton,

Book cover of Dead Girls Dancing

Weldon Burge Author Of Harvester of Sorrow

From the list on police procedural series.

Who am I?

I’ve been a writer of nonfiction and fiction and full-time editor since my college years, and a publisher (Smart Rhino Publications). I’ve read horror and suspense fiction all my life, but it’s only been in the past decade or so that my reading has turned more and more toward police procedurals, noir, and crime fiction. It was only natural that I’d turn to writing a police procedural series, starting with Harvester of Sorrow. I hope you’ll read all the wonderful books I’ve recommended!

Weldon's book list on police procedural series

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

Why did Weldon love this book?

Graham Masterton grew to fame with his horror novels, including the best-selling novel The Manitou. It was only decades later that he began his Katie Maguire series of police procedurals, which have been equally successful. Having read Masterton over the years, I was fascinated by his shift from horror to crime fiction, often incorporating horror elements into his work. I started primarily as a horror writer, but have now shifted toward crime fiction. Masterton’s novels have been great “guides” in this respect.

By Graham Masterton,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In the middle of winter, a fire blazes through a dance studio.

Seventeen young dancers die. Their promising careers cut short by a tragic accident. But where others see tragedy, DCI Katie Maguire sees murder.

This is not the first fire to sweep through Cork. And in one recent case, the victims were dead before the fire was lit. Katie Maguire is determined to see justice done, unaware she's about to face her most chilling killer yet...

Something More Than Night

By Ian Tregillis,

Book cover of Something More Than Night

Jen Haeger Author Of Whispers of a Killer

From the list on unique narration.

Who am I?

My love of unusual narration probably stems from my rabid consumption of “Choose Your Own Adventure” books in my youth. Why read a book about someone else when the story could be yours? While I’m glad to say that my library has since expanded, I still appreciate the unusual and bizarre viewpoint when I read. Perhaps a self-portrait? In any case, I’ve also used some unique narrative tools in my own writing through the point of view of my fictional WHISPs and also through cryptic journal entries. If you’re looking for something different by way of narration, I’m confident you’ll enjoy these five best books.

Jen's book list on unique narration

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

Why did Jen love this book?

A fan of Raymond Chandler and all things noir? How about the strangest angel noir novel I’ve ever read, told from the point of view of a “fallen” angel? I could not put this book down and I cannot stop recommending it. The succulent, noir flavor of the book blends surprisingly well with its heavenly narrator, but be forewarned, not all angels are winged humanoids and not all angelic narrators are reliable.

By Ian Tregillis,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Something More Than Night as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Ian Tregillis's Something More Than Night is a Dashiell Hammett and Raymond Chandler inspired murder mystery set in Thomas Aquinas's vision of Heaven. It's a noir detective story starring fallen angels, the heavenly choir, nightclub stigmatics, a priest with a dirty secret, a femme fatale, and the Voice of God.

Somebody has murdered the angel Gabriel. Worse, the Jericho Trumpet has gone missing, putting Heaven on the brink of a truly cosmic crisis. But the twisty plot that unfolds from the murder investigation leads to something much bigger: a con job one billion years in the making.

Because this is…

Bury Your Dead

By Louise Penny,

Book cover of Bury Your Dead

Katie Tallo Author Of Dark August

From the list on Canadian thrillers about haunted messy characters.

Who am I?

Ten-year-old me once looked in the bathroom mirror wondering who I would become. I tried to memorize the patterns in the tiles to hold on to that moment and carry it with me. My fascination with memory and the past permeates my novels. I love a good cold case—and my August Monet thriller trilogy is all about how the past weaves through the present—informing it, haunting it, transporting secrets. Maybe it’s our long, dark winters, but I see this same fascination in the novels of my fellow Canadian thriller writers. Many have created messy characters haunted by their messy pasts. Here’s a list of my favourites.

Katie's book list on Canadian thrillers about haunted messy characters

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

Why did Katie love this book?

In the opening pages of Bury Your Dead, Penny gives us a heart-pounding glimpse into a moment that went horribly wrong.

Right away, she lays bare the terrible incident in the past that now haunts her beloved character, Chief Inspector Armand Gamache in the present. He’s come to Quebec City to get his head straight, to walk his friend’s dog, to disappear for a while. But nothing’s ever that simple.

A mystery bubbles up and Gamache can’t resist getting involved. It’s in his blood, despite still struggling with past demons. What I love about this novel is the snowy, history-laden atmosphere Penny creates that beautifully mirrors Gamache’s desire to hide away from the world, making it a wonderful book to snuggle up with on a cozy winter’s night.

By Louise Penny,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

'Outstanding ... a constantly surprising series' THE NEW YORK TIMES

There is more to solving a crime than following the clues.
Welcome to Chief Inspector Gamache's world of facts and feelings.

As Quebec City shivers in the grip of winter, its ancient stone walls cracking in the cold, Chief Inspector Armand Gamache plunges into the strangest case of his celebrated career.

A man has been brutally murdered in one of the city's oldest buildings - a library where the English citizens of Quebec safeguard their history. And the death opens a door into the past, exposing a mystery that has…

Easy Motion Tourist

By Leye Adenle,

Book cover of Easy Motion Tourist

Paul Mendelson Author Of The First Rule Of Survival

From the list on crime thrillers set in Africa.

Who am I?

Africa can easily become an obsession: an extraordinary continent, blessed with breath-taking beauty and wonderful people, yet cursed by climate, corruption, war, and… crime. This continent is the most incredible setting for stories about people driven to crime, victims of crime, the detection of crime. Based in the UK, but a frequent visitor to Southern Africa, having written many non-fiction books, South Africa (and Cape Town in particular) was always going to be my choice of setting for my crime novels. For me, a good novel – within any genre – transports the reader into an unfamiliar world, absorbs them in the lives of the characters, and reveals insights which touch on their own lives.

Paul's book list on crime thrillers set in Africa

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

Why did Paul love this book?

Visceral, immediate, and engrossing, Adenle’s debut novel features two main characters embroiled in a murder in Lagos. British journalist Guy Collins, an alien in a dangerous, fast-paced city is implicated in a gruesome crime. Amaka, a woman who has devoted herself to the protection of the city’s working girls, speaks for him, hoping that her intervention will be re-payed by Collins in the form of global publicity for her campaign against the people traffickers and body-parts smugglers. Both out of their depth, at great peril, and at the mercy of Nigeria’s mega-city and its huge cast of characters, they find themselves caught in a maze from which there appears no escape.

By Leye Adenle,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Guy Collins, a British hack, is hunting for an election story in Lagos. A decision to check out a local bar in Victoria Island ends up badly - a mutilated female body is discarded close by and Collins is picked up as a suspect. In the murk of a hot, groaning and bloody police station cell, Collins fears the worst. But then Amaka, a sassy guardian angel of Lagos working girls, talks the police station chief around. She assumes Collins is a BBC journo who can broadcast the city's witchcraft and body parts trade that she's on a one-woman mission…

Book cover of In a Dark, Dark Wood

Claire Cooper Author Of The Elevator

From the list on locked room thrillers to get your heart pounding.

Who am I?

There’s nothing I love more than a good thriller, especially one with a locked room setting. I’m fascinated by how people react to psychological pressure, and what it would take for any of us to behave in extreme ways. With The Elevator, I wanted to push that locked room scenario to its limits: two characters, trapped together in a tiny space. This might also be the book that’s been gestating inside me for longest – my mum was trapped in a lift when she was pregnant with me! I hope some of the books on this list appeal to you, and that you enjoy them as much as I did.

Claire's book list on locked room thrillers to get your heart pounding

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

Why did Claire love this book?

I was glued to every page of this book!

It’s a claustrophobic thriller with a startling visual image at its heart: an ultra-modern glass cabin in the middle of a deep, dark wood. At night, the light against the glass means you can’t see out – but anyone outside can see right in. I loved the way Ruth Ware turned the rickety old building cliché on its head, turning light from a source of comfort into a threat. 

By Ruth Ware,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked In a Dark, Dark Wood as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?


An NPR Best Book of the Year * An Entertainment Weekly Summer Books Pick * A Buzzfeed “31 Books to Get Excited About this Summer” Pick * A Publishers Weekly “Top Ten Mysteries and Thrillers” Pick * A Shelf Awareness Best Book of the Year * A BookReporter Summer Reading Pick * A New York Post “Best Novels to Read this Summer” Pick * A Shelf Awareness “Book Expo America 2015…

Furious Hours

By Casey Cep,

Book cover of Furious Hours: Murder, Fraud, and the Last Trial of Harper Lee

Rob St. Clair Author Of Saving Stacy: The Untold Story of the Moody Massacre

From the list on true crime tragedies.

Who am I?

Working as a prosecutor, trial lawyer for defendants, and as a magistrate, I’m always bothered by the misconception most people have of our criminal justice system. Unfortunately, cops are crooked, judges are corrupt, and witnesses lie on the stand. Not everyone, not every day, but more often than you would ever imagine. I write true crime books about cases where the underlying focus is on officials who are incompetent, derelict in their duties, or simply downright corrupt. The cases are always suspenseful, but justice is rarely served, and both the defendant and the public are the ones who lose.

Rob's book list on true crime tragedies

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

Why did Rob love this book?

Everyone loves Harper Lee, but not everyone knows her background as a reporter.

Reverend Willie Maxwell was a rural preacher accused of murdering five of his family members, but with the help of a savvy lawyer he escaped justice for years until a relative assassinated him at the funeral of his last victim. Despite hundreds of witnesses, Maxwell’s murderer was acquitted—thanks to the same attorney who had previously defended the reverend himself.

Sitting in the audience during the vigilante’s trial was Harper Lee, who spent a year in town reporting on the Maxwell case and many more trying to finish the book she called “The Reverend.” In this well-written true-crime story, Cep brings to life the horrifying murders, the courtroom drama, and the racial politics of the Deep South while offering a deeply moving portrait of Harper Lee.

By Casey Cep,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?


'A triumph on every level. One of the losses to literature is that Harper Lee never found a way to tell a gothic true-crime story she'd spent years researching. Casey Cep has excavated this mesmerizing story and tells it with grace and insight and a fierce fidelity to the truth.'
DAVID GRANN, author of Killers of the Flower Moon
The stunning…