35 books directly related to police procedurals 📚

All 35 police procedural books as recommended by authors and experts. Updated weekly.

Book cover of Right to Kill: A gripping Yorkshire murder mystery for 2022 (DS Joe Romano crime thriller series book 1)

Why this book?

When a local drug dealer goes missing in the small town of Wortley, West Leeds, no one cares. No one except Detective Sergeant Joe Romano, back on home turf in ‘God’s Own County’ of Yorkshire. And even when the drug dealer turns up dead some believe it poetic justice. Romano believes every life counts though, and with the killer about to strike again he puts everything on the line, including his career, to prove that no one has the right to kill. This is a very modern take on the classic police procedural novel, a world-weary cop fighting against the world-weary system in order to do the right thing. 

Right to Kill: A gripping Yorkshire murder mystery for 2022 (DS Joe Romano crime thriller series book 1)

By John Barlow,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The first in a gripping new crime thriller series set in Yorkshire, for fans of Ian Rankin and Joseph Knox. 'A striking debut' Peter Robinson

On a Thursday night in February, DS Joe Romano finds himself back on home turf in Wortley, West Leeds. He's following up on the disappearance of drug dealer Craig Shaw.

It's the start of a case that could make or break Romano's career. Because Shaw is about to go from missing to murdered.

While some don't think Shaw's killer should be brought to justice, Romano believes every life counts. But he's running out of time.…


Ghosts

By Ed McBain,

Book cover of Ghosts

Why this book?

Ghosts was the first book of Ed McBain’s 87th Precinct series that I read, primarily because I was interested in the paranormal aspect—I’ve always been a sucker for ghost stories. This was the first true police procedural I’d read, and I was most impressed with McBain’s mastery of writing dialogue. I was hooked and I’ve read most of the series since. As I wrote my own debut novel I referred to McBain’s novels many times to see how he handled dialogue tags and beats throughout his books. His dialogue is almost seamless. I’d recommend the 87th Precinct series to any writer serious about writing police procedurals.

Ghosts

By Ed McBain,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A young woman stops at the grocery store after work, but she never makes it home—at least not all the way. She is stabbed to death in front of her building, her groceries strewn across the cold pavement. Upstairs her neighbor and popular ghost story author Gregory Craig lay dead as well, stabbed in his apartment. When Craig’s publisher is found murdered just days later, Detective Steve Carella has a deadly mystery on his hands, one unlike any he’s ever had before.

Searching for clues, Carella instead finds Craig’s girlfriend, a medium whose spooky predictions keep him guessing. When some…

Dead Girls Dancing: Volume 8

By Graham Masterton,

Book cover of Dead Girls Dancing: Volume 8

Why 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.

Dead Girls Dancing: Volume 8

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...


A Clubbable Woman

By Reginald Hill,

Book cover of A Clubbable Woman

Why this book?

I seem to be addicted to long-running series with British detectives, though not all written by British authors, and A Clubbable Woman is the first book in this twenty-one-book series by Reginald Hill.

When I began to write fiction and worked on creating Corelli and Parker, Hill was one of the authors I looked to for inspiration. Although his Yorkshire detectives, the abrupt and rude Detective Superintendent Andrew "Andy" Dalziel and the educated, calm, and well-mannered Detective Sergeant Peter Pascoe, did not fit my vision for my own characters, I enjoyed their antics and read the entire series. The books are fun and challenging and this is a great beginning.

A Clubbable Woman

By Reginald Hill,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Detective Superintendent Andy Dalziel investigates a murder close to home in this first crime novel featuring the much-loved detective team of Dalziel and Pascoe.

'So far out in front that he need not bother looking over his shoulder' Sunday Telegraph

Home from the rugby club after taking a nasty knock in a match, Sam Connon finds his wife more uncommunicative than usual. After passing out on his bed for a few hours, he comes downstairs to discover communication has been cut off forever - by a hole in the middle of her forehead.

Andy Dalziel, a long-standing member of the…


The Devil's Detective

By Simon Kurt Unsworth,

Book cover of The Devil's Detective

Why this book?

I bought this book in Hatchard’s bookshop because I liked the cover, and because I like stories about Hell. A great choice on my part—this wonderful crime/fantasy novel features a detective called Thomas Fool in the most lawless land there can be. Thomas has to investigate a series of grisly murders which threaten the Devil’s domain; and to make his police procedural story work Unsworth has to invent a whole new mythology of Hell in which murder is even possible. The writing is stunningly evocative and the logic of the world building is remarkable even if it is,  ultimately, bonkers. This book and its sequel, The Devil’s Evidence, are the noirest of noirs and are completely unputdownable. 

The Devil's Detective

By Simon Kurt Unsworth,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

WELCOME TO HELL.

Solving crimes was the purpose of Hell's Information Men, yet they almost never achieved it, and even when they did, the facts they scraped free were lost, buried again in the labyrinthine mess of the infernal Bureaucracy.

When an unidentified, brutalised body is discovered in Hell, the case is assigned to Thomas Fool. But how do you investigate a murder where death is commonplace and everyone is guilty of something?


Book cover of The Medical Detectives: The Classic Collection of Award-Winning Medical Investigative Reporting

Why this book?

Ever since my seventh-grade science teacher used my flyaway hair to demonstrate static electricity, I have loved science, and I also like mystery stories. This classic collection of short pieces is a favorite in both arenas. It is like a true crime series in which the villains are microorganisms and molecules. Unraveling puzzles involving all manner of medical issues, from rabies to toxic chemicals, these case-study stories kept me riveted from beginning to end. Mostly written from the 1940s to the 1960s, they also touch on some shocking medical practices that one hopes are now outdated.

The Medical Detectives: The Classic Collection of Award-Winning Medical Investigative Reporting

By Berton Roueché,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The classic collection of award-winning medical investigative reporting.

What do Lyme's disease in Long Island, a pig from New Jersey, and am amateur pianist have in common? All are subjects in three of 24 utterly fascinating tales of strange illnesses, rare diseases, poisons, and parasites-each tale a thriller of medical suspense by the incomparable Berton Roueche. The best of his New Yorker articles are collected here to astound readers with intriguing tales of epidemics in America's small towns, threats of contagion in our biggest cities, even bubonic plague in a peaceful urban park.

In each true story, local health authorities…

A Matter of Blood

By Catherine Maiorisi,

Book cover of A Matter of Blood

Why this book?

Being a New Yorker, I’m a sucker for any true New York books, and this one is as authentic as they come. I also really appreciated how believable Chiara Corelli is. She has all the right mix of ethical and tough, but she is also a fully realized person with both external and internal goals and needs. Really good police procedural with a healthy dose of humanity. 

A Matter of Blood

By Catherine Maiorisi,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Just back from her second tour in Afghanistan, NYPD Detective Chiara Corelli goes undercover to expose a ring of dirty cops. But when she’s ordered to kill to prove her loyalty, she aborts the operation without having identified the leaders. Now, Corelli is the one exposed. With her brothers and sisters in blue ostracizing her, can she trust Detective P.J. Parker to watch her back?

Parker is the daughter of a vehement critic of the NYPD. But that doesn’t stop her from wanting to work in the homicide division. And wanting to learn from the best. Unfortunately, Chiara Corelli is…

The Darkest Evening

By Ann Cleeves,

Book cover of The Darkest Evening

Why this book?

Detective Chief Inspector Vera Stanhope, while driving home during a blizzard, becomes disorientated and loses her way on the backcountry roads of Northumberland in England. Off the beaten track she finds a car abandoned, one door open, and a baby in the back seat. I can’t imagine anything more alarming. Where are the mother and father? When she takes the child with her, Vera realizes she is mere feet from her father’s ancestral home. Hector was the black sheep of the Stanhope Clan. The place is lit up and welcoming but Vera’s cousin was not expecting her, but invited guests for a dinner party and certainly not a baby. Then to discover the child’s mother murdered on their grounds. I fell in love with Vera in the first book and want to be just like her when I grow up. I like the police procedural rhythm of these books and have incorporated something similar in my Adam Norcross mysteries.

The Darkest Evening

By Ann Cleeves,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

DCI Vera Stanhope returns in The Darkest Evening, the ninth novel in No. 1 Sunday Times bestseller Ann Cleeves's phenomenally popular crime series.

The darkest nights can hide the deadliest secrets . . .

Driving home during a swirling blizzard, Vera Stanhope's only thought is to get there quickly.

But with the snow driving down heavily, she becomes disorientated and loses her way, eventually stumbling on another car abandoned on the road. With the driver's door open, Vera assumes the driver has sought shelter but is shocked to find a young toddler strapped in the back seat.

Afraid they will…


Capital Kill

By Marc Rainer,

Book cover of Capital Kill

Why this book?

Capital Kill is a classic example of an author “writing what he knows.” Marc Rainer is a former prosecutor in the courts of Washington D.C. and a former lawyer with the US Air Force's Judge Advocate General (JAG) Corps. He is married to a former Air Force OSI Special Agent.

His protagonist, Jeff Trask, shares the same background. In the book we also get to meet Lynn, an Air Force OSI Special Agent.

This is the first in a series based on Jeff Trask and it is labelled as “crime drama.” It is. But it is also a delightful mix of police procedural and legal courtroom thriller. I loved it!

Capital Kill

By Marc Rainer,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A few short blocks from the safety of the museums and monuments on the National Mall, a ruthless killer prowls the streets of Washington, D.C. Federal prosecutor Jeff Trask joins a team of FBI agents and police detectives as they try to solve the series of brutal murders. As the body count rises, the investigation leads to a chilling confrontation with the leader of an international drug smuggling ring, and no one is safe, not even the police.

Written by former Washington prosecutor Marc Rainer, Capital Kill is a swirling thrill ride through the labyrinth of a major federal investigation…


I See You

By Clare Mackintosh,

Book cover of I See You

Why this book?

Zoe commutes to her job every day on a crowded train on the London underground. She discovers that someone is posting advertisements in a local paper saying which women take which trains. And there's a photograph of herself, claiming she's up for some "discreet casual action." Who is behind this and why? Zoe becomes suspicious of everyone in her life—her boss, her significant other—wondering who is cruel enough to set up unsuspecting women that commute by train. She's shocked when she finds out the truth, part of which she never discovers. A final zinger.

I See You

By Clare Mackintosh,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Discover the twisty, gripping Richard & Judy Book Club pick and Sunday Times Number One bestseller. And don't miss the next nail-biting thriller from Clare Mackintosh. Hostage is out now.

You do the same thing every day.
You know exactly where you're going.
You're not alone . . .

When Zoe Walker sees her photo in the classifieds section of a London newspaper, she is determined to find out why it's there. There's no explanation: just a grainy image, a website address and a phone number. She takes it home to her family, who are convinced it's just someone who…

The Department of Sensitive Crimes

By Alexander McCall Smith,

Book cover of The Department of Sensitive Crimes

Why this book?

If you aren’t ready for Scandinavian Noir, perhaps you’d like a dose of Scandinavian Blanc. Alexander McCall Smith excels at mysteries on the lighter side—which isn’t to say this book isn’t very strange, with its own hints of darkness. Detective Ulf Varg and his colleagues solve crimes that are deemed too weird for the regular police: a possible werewolf menacing a spa, a non-lethal knee-stabbing, and a missing (imaginary) person. AMS’s great gift is imbuing small puzzles with weight and humanity. And if the human cast here isn’t off-kilter enough for you, be reassured…there’s also a dog who can lipread in Swedish.

The Department of Sensitive Crimes

By Alexander McCall Smith,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In the Swedish criminal justice system, certain cases are considered especially strange and difficult, in Malmö, the dedicated detectives who investigate these crimes are members of an elite squad known as the Sensitive Crimes Division.

These are their stories.

The first case: the small matter of a man stabbed in the back of the knee. Who would perpetrate such a crime and why? Next: a young woman's imaginary boyfriend goes missing. But how on earth do you search for someone who doesn't exist? And in the final investigation: eerie secrets that are revealed under a full moon may not seem…

The Empty Room

By Brian McGilloway,

Book cover of The Empty Room

Why this book?

Brian McGilloway’s novel is told in the first person from the perspective of a grieving mother who tries to pick through the lies and secrets to uncover what happened to her only child. On her journey she uncovers the brutal truth; everybody lies. The book takes a realistic look at Dora Condron’s emotional descent into a bleak world where she comes to believe that no one will tell the truth. I like most of all that it is crime novel, a mystery, and a family drama that is told from the single perspective. The mother’s introspection about her failings as a parent really hits home when we consider what our own last words might have been to a loved one who walks out the door and never walks back in. 

The Empty Room

By Brian McGilloway,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

What do you do when your child disappears?

'A hugely compelling story of loss, grief and vengeance, The Empty Room is probably the best novel yet by one of our finest mystery writers. Unmissable.' John Connolly

'The tension and heartbreak kept me turning the pages' Patricia Gibney

'A searing, thrilling and heartbreaking look at life, loss and revenge, expertly handled by a hugely talented storyteller' Chris Whitaker

Pandora - Dora - Condron wakes one morning to discover her 17-year old daughter Ellie, has not come home after a party.

The day Ellie disappears, Dora is alone as her husband Eamon…


After Atlas

By Emma Newman,

Book cover of After Atlas

Why this book?

The second book in the Planetfall series. Emma Newman writes reflective and profound science fiction with characters trying to find their way in a complex future Earth society. 

After Atlas deals with events on Earth some years after the first colony mission has departed. There is a feeling of hope, and a fusion of science and religion that drives it, but really, the lives of people are as unequal as they are today. The main character, Carlos Moreno is a corporate slave, forced to work as an investigator. He is assigned to a case in a hotel in Dartmoor, England, where Alejandro Casales, leader of the Circle, a religious cult from Texas has been murdered.

Newman’s work echoes Asimov. Her detective is constrained by powerful overseeing forces, but this is a far superior take, with real danger and consequence.

I grew up with Asimov’s Elijah Bailey stories. To read this novel from a contemporary author that uses a similar detective story structure, but then steps beyond it, like Asimov did, is great. In addition, Newman’s story has the kind of modern sensitivities and careful thought paid to her the context that is essential in twenty-first-century science fiction. This is an upgrade on what went before and well worth reading.

After Atlas

By Emma Newman,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Acclaimed author Emma Newman returns to the captivating universe she created in Planetfall with a stunning science fiction mystery where one man’s murder is much more than it seems—an Arthur C. Clarke Award Nominee.
 
Gov-corp detective Carlos Moreno was only a baby when Atlas left Earth to seek truth among the stars. But in that moment, the course of Carlos’s entire life changed. Atlas is what took his mother away; what made his father lose hope; what led Alejandro Casales, leader of the religious cult known as the Circle, to his door. And now, on the eve of the fortieth…

The Flimflam Affair

By Bill Pronzini,

Book cover of The Flimflam Affair

Why this book?

I’ve always enjoyed Bill Pronzini’s work (including his work with wife Marcia Muller). The Flimflam Affair is the first book I read from his Carpenter and Quincannon series. This is a perfect example of how to embed historical fact into crime fiction. Although this is not a police procedural novel (the lead characters are private detectives), procedural elements are certainly included throughout. I’m envious of Pronzini’s ability to use the beginning of the 20th century as a backdrop for this fine series.

The Flimflam Affair

By Bill Pronzini,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The Flimflam Affair is the latest charming historical mystery in Mystery Writers of America Grand Master Bill Pronzini's detective series.

Carpenter and Quincannon, Professional Detective Services is a fixture in San Francisco at the dawn of a new century. While the future is unclear, Sabina and John know one thing for certain; they will protect their clients from flimflammers, thieves, and murderers, and do whatever it takes to run these dregs of society into the arms of the law.

Sometimes, that requires a subtle touch. Professor A. Vargas, self-styled medium extraordinaire, and his partner Annabelle, use guile and trickery to…


The Crocodile Bird

By Ruth Rendell,

Book cover of The Crocodile Bird

Why this book?

I pick Rendel’s books because she knows how to get inside the complex workings of the human mind. I have always been a keen enthusiast of Rendel’s crime fiction thrillers. What amazes me is her depth of understanding of human psychology. On the one hand, I just couldn’t put the book down, and yet due to the interest, it evoked I never wanted to finish it. The story revolves around a teenager Liza who is kept away from the outside world in an isolated rural mansion and is completely dominated by her mother. Secrets, murders, and love affairs interlock, twist and turn and evolve into a thrilling page-turner. 

The Crocodile Bird

By Ruth Rendell,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A psychological thriller about an isolated young woman and her murderous mother from the New York Times–bestselling author of The Girl Next Door.
 
Far from London, the isolated estate called Shrove House looms over the English countryside. Inside, two women hide from the world. For sixteen years, Eve has protected her daughter, Liza, from the corrupting influence of modern life, never letting her outside, hiding her from those who visit, and killing to keep her safe. Raised in her mother’s shadow, Liza has never questioned that this is the way things must be—until the night the police come to call,…

The Dark Hours

By Michael Connelly,

Book cover of The Dark Hours

Why this book?

Michael Connelly continues to hit it out of the park when it comes to police procedurals. The Dark Hours is the fourth of his five novels about a young LAPD detective, Renee Ballard, who works “the late show” (the nighttime hours) and catches a midnight murder. She seeks assistance from a friend—the semi-retired detective, Harry Bosch—in working the case. I’ve read every one of Connelly’s Bosch Series books and have loved them all. Once you become involved and engrossed—usually by the third page—you cannot stop reading! Connelly’s novels are that good

The Dark Hours

By Michael Connelly,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A Wall Street Journal and South Florida Sun-Sentinel Best Book of the Year

“A masterpiece”—LAPD detective Renée Ballard must join forces with Harry Bosch to find justice in a city scarred by fear and social unrest after a methodical killer strikes on New Year’s Eve (Publishers Weekly).

There’s chaos in Hollywood at the end of the New Year’s Eve countdown. Working her graveyard shift, LAPD detective Renée Ballard waits out the traditional rain of lead as hundreds of revelers shoot their guns into the air. Only minutes after midnight, Ballard is called to a scene where a hardworking auto shop…


The Jonah

By James Herbert,

Book cover of The Jonah

Why this book?

James Herbert was, for me, the king, and The Jonah is brilliant. Jim Kelso, undercover cop, is a man with dark secrets. Shunned by others in the Police, he is seen as the eponymous Jonah as everything he touches seems to go wrong. Sent off to investigate a suspected drug factory on the coast, Kelso finds himself not only fighting the drug dealers he has been sent to bring to justice, but also with his own horrifying past. Part police procedural, part terrifying horror. Brilliant stuff.

The Jonah

By James Herbert,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The shadow of the past was always with him. But he never knew what it was, or when it would strike next. In James Herbert's The Jonah, detective Jim Kelso is sent to a small coastal town to investigate drug smuggling and stumbles on a dangerous organization. Suddenly more than just his life is at stake. It's his past, his future, his sanity. Through torture and drugs he discovers the terrifying secret of The Jonah. And learns, in the most horrifying way that it can destroy him as well as others . . .

Maigret and the Bum

By Georges Simenon,

Book cover of Maigret and the Bum

Why this book?

Like so many, I’m addicted to this series. Often imitated, never surpassed, Simenon is perhaps the only mystery writer to be nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature, and was considered by some contemporaries to be the greatest French novelist of his time. Don’t let that put you off. These are great mysteries with an indelible sense of time and place. If the Sherlock Holmes stories can transport me to Victorian London, I can as easily take an absorbing mid-20th century trip to the underside of Paris with Inspector Jules Maigret.

These police procedurals offer unforgettable characters and deep psychological insight. Maigret and the Bum is perhaps my favorite. The bum of the title is a vagrant who has been beaten nearly to death on the banks of the Seine. As Maigret investigates the crime, he finds that the victim was once a highly respected doctor, dedicated to helping the poor and impoverished, but has somehow ended up living under a bridge in Paris. Yet, as Maigret needs his help to solve the crime, the victim is curiously uncooperative. This title shows Simenon’s great touch for writing unorthodox mysteries with complex and fascinating characters.

Maigret and the Bum

By Georges Simenon,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Book by Simenon, Georges

Book cover of A Song for the Dark Times: An Inspector Rebus Novel

Why this book?

For more than three decades Ian Rankin has been the master of “tartan noir” – police procedural fiction set in Scotland. The curmudgeonly, hard-faced, no-nonsense detective Inspector John Rebus has a tendency to bend the rules as investigations take over his life.

A Song For The Dark Times starts with Rebus’ daughter Samantha calling him to say her husband is missing. Rebus fears the worst and from his experience realises that his daughter will be the prime suspect. You’re always on the edge of your seat wondering whether Rebus will have to prevent the truth from coming out and compromising his position as an upholder of the law.

A Song for the Dark Times: An Inspector Rebus Novel

By Ian Rankin,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

From the iconic Number One bestseller Ian Rankin, comes one of the must-read books of the year: A SONG FOR THE DARK TIMES

'Genius ... Only great novels capture the spirit of the age. This is one of them.'
THE TIMES

* * * * *

'He's gone...'

When his daughter Samantha calls in the dead of night, John Rebus knows it's not good news. Her husband has been missing for two days.

Rebus fears the worst - and knows from his lifetime in the police that his daughter will be the prime suspect.

He wasn't the best father -…

Dead Wind

By Tessa Wegert,

Book cover of Dead Wind

Why this book?

Dead Wind is the third book in Tessa Wegert’s Shana Merchant series, and it’s where I made my entry into the series. It works as a standalone, but I have every intention of going back to books 1 and 2 to fill in the backstory. In this installment, Detective Merchant is getting her sea legs back after a harrowing experience with a serial killer, while trying to solve the murder of a local woman, and sorting out her romantic feelings with her partner. Her complicated life provides another layer to the suspense and makes her an extremely relatable and likable character. There’s a nice cat-and-mouse feel to this novel with a heart-racing denouement. 

Dead Wind

By Tessa Wegert,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Senior Investigator Shana Merchant must dredge up dark secrets and old grudges if she's to solve the murder of a prominent local citizen in the Thousand Islands community she now calls home.

"Wegert nicely balances plot and characterization. Fans of Denise Mina's Alex Morrow will be pleased" - Publishers Weekly Starred Review

"Louise Penny meets Ruth Ware in this small town mystery that bubbles with secrets and intrigue" - Charlie Donlea, internationally bestselling author of Twenty Years Later

"An atmospheric, sophisticated thriller with layers upon layers of secrets" - Sarah Stewart Taylor, author of the Maggie D'arcy mysteries

"A bone-chilling…


Book cover of The Vault: An Inspector Wexford Novel

Why this book?

The Vault is the sequel to A Sight for Sore Eyes. It is a police procedural with the detective trying to identify several dead bodies found in an abandoned coal cellar. The dead seem to have no connection to each other, so the detective must also puzzle out how each of them came to be there. I recommend it because the reader has some fun: She knows the answers to all those questions from having read the first book. It’s a great twist on mystery-as-riddle whodunits. 

The Vault: An Inspector Wexford Novel

By Ruth Rendell,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

INCLUDES AN EXCERPT OF RENDELL’S FINAL NOVEL, DARK CORNERS

In the stunning climax to Rendell’s classic 1998 novel A Sight for Sore Eyes, three bodies—two dead, one living—are entombed in an underground chamber beneath a picturesque London house. Twelve years later, the house’s new owner pulls back a manhole cover, and discovers the vault—and its grisly contents. Only now, the number of bodies is four. How did somebody else end up in the chamber? And who knew of its existence?

With their own detectives at an impasse, London police call on former Kingsmarkham Chief Inspector Wexford, now retired and living…

House

By Tracy Kidder,

Book cover of House

Why this book?

Architecture is always a collaboration between the architect who conceives the project, the builder who must realize it, and the client who starts it—and pays for it The protracted building process, which is often stressful, is always a complicated pas de trois. No one has written about this better than Tracy Kidder, who describes the complex choreography by following (in real-time and in detail) the construction of a family home in New England.

House

By Tracy Kidder,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In the New York Times bestseller House, Pulitzer Prize–winning author Tracy Kidder takes readers to the heart of the American Dream: the building of a family's first house with all its day-to-day frustrations, crises, tensions, challenges, and triumphs.

In Kidder's "remarkable piece of craftsmanship in itself" (Chicago Tribune), constructing a staircase or applying a coat of paint becomes a riveting tale of conflicting wills, the strength and strain of relationships, and pride in skills. With drama, sensitivity, and insight, he takes us from blueprints to moving day, shedding light on objects usually taken for granted and creating a vivid cast…

Survive the Savage Sea

By Dougal Robertson,

Book cover of Survive the Savage Sea

Why this book?

In January 1971, the Scotsman Dougal Robertson embarked with his wife and children on what was to be the dream of a lifetime: an extended sea voyage aboard their 43-foot wooden schooner, the Lucette. Eighteen months later, as she plied the Pacific some 200 miles west of the Galapagos, the Lucette was rammed by a pod of killer whales; the Robertsons had barely enough time to flee the ship before it sank. They spent the next 37 days adrift, first in the ship’s inflatable raft and later, after the raft gave out, in its tiny dinghy. They braved storms, sharks, and the perpetual lack of food and fresh water before they were rescued by a passing ship. First published in 1973, Robertson’s gripping, day-by-day account of their ingenious survival tactics is a classic of the castaway-narrative genre.

Survive the Savage Sea

By Dougal Robertson,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In June 1972, the 43-foor schooner Lucette was attacked by killer whales and sank in 60 seconds. What happened next is almost incredible. In an inflatable rubber raft, with a 9 foot fiberglass dinghy to tow it, Dougal Robertson and his family were miles from any shipping lanes. They had emergency rations for only three days and no maps, compass, or instruments of any kind. After their raft sank under them, they crammed themselves into their tiny dinghy.

For 37 days-using every technique of survival-they battled against 20-foot waves, marauding sharks, thirst, starvation, and exhaustion, adrift in the vast reaches…

Rivers of London Vol. 1: Body Work

By Ben Aaronovitch, Andrew Cartmel, Lee Sullivan (illustrator)

Book cover of Rivers of London Vol. 1: Body Work

Why this book?

Urban fantasy novels following the adventures of a police officer called Peter Grant who discovers he has magic powers and is brought under the wing of Detective Chief Inspector Thomas Nightingale - the last officially sanctioned police Wizard with the rivers themselves represented by various magical characters. The series starts as a sort of police procedural and is very enjoyable and easy to read.

Rivers of London Vol. 1: Body Work

By Ben Aaronovitch, Andrew Cartmel, Lee Sullivan (illustrator)

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Peter Grant, having become the first English apprentice wizard in fifty years, must immediately deal with two different but ultimately inter-related cases. In one he must find what is possessing ordinary people and turning them into vicious killers, and in the second he must broker a peace between the two warring gods of the River Thames.

Book cover of Inner City Blues: A Charlotte Justice Novel

Why this book?

A solid police procedural that influenced my own book, the novel explores race relations in Los Angeles amid the 1992 Uprising spurred by the beating of motorist Rodney King. Detective Charlotte Justice not only is tasked with solving the murder of a man responsible for killing her family but also contends with the misogynistic, racist, and overall toxic good old boy culture of the LAPD. The novel delivers a twisty mystery and deconstructs an event that should have served as the tipping point for police reform in America.

Inner City Blues: A Charlotte Justice Novel

By Paula L. Woods,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Meet Detective Charlotte Justice, a black woman in the very white, very male, and sometimes very racist Los Angeles Police Department. The time is 48 hours into the epochal L.A. riots and she and her fellow officers are exhausted. She saves the curfew-breaking black doctor Lance Mitchell from a potentially lethal beating from some white officers - only to discover nearby the body of one-time radical Cinque Lewis, a thug who years before had murdered her husband and young daughter. Was it a random shooting or was Mitchell responsible? And what had brought Lewis back to a city he'd long…

Ten Plus One

By Ed McBain,

Book cover of Ten Plus One

Why this book?

The late, great Ed McBain inspired a whole generation of crime fiction authors (including me) and influenced television too. Hill Street Blues was based on his character-driven novels and changed cop shows forever.

Ten Plus One is just one of the many in the 87th Precinct series, and as close to the perfect crime fiction novel that a mere mortal can get.

Ten Plus One

By Ed McBain,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

When Anthony Forrest walked out of the office building, the only thoughts on his mind were of an impending birthday and a meeting with his wife for dinner. And a deadly bullet saw to it that they were the last thoughts on his mind.

The problem for Detectives Steve Carella and Meyer Meyer of the 87th Precinct is that Forrest isn’t alone. An anonymous sniper is unofficially holding the city hostage, frustrating the police as one by one the denizens of Isola drop like flies. With fear gripping the citizenry and the pressure on the 87th mounting, finding a killer…

The Bone Collector

By Jeffery Deaver,

Book cover of The Bone Collector

Why this book?

After watching the film version of The Bone Collector, I searched out the book, knowing it would be for more interesting structurally for a fellow writer. When reading the novel, I was most impressed with the massive amount of research Deaver must have done before writing the book. Weaving technical information into fiction is a tricky thing—it can get rather tedious and boring to the reader if not handled well--but Deaver does it with finesse. As a crime fiction writer, I came to realize that I had to be more meticulous with my research to maintain veracity in my own work.

The Bone Collector

By Jeffery Deaver,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

From the Sunday Times bestselling author of The Goodbye Man, discover Jeffery Deaver's chilling thriller that inspired the film starring Angelina Jolie and Denzel Washington and is now a major NBC TV series.

Their first case, their worst killer . . .

New York City has been thrown into chaos by the assaults of the Bone Collector, a serial kidnapper and killer who gives the police a chance to save his victims from death by leaving obscure clues. Baffled, the cops turn to the one man with a chance of solving them - Lincoln Rhyme.

Left paralysed by a debilitating…


The Last Widow

By Karin Slaughter,

Book cover of The Last Widow

Why this book?

Doctor Sarah Linton, the star of an earlier series before this one, is now a medical examiner and her partner is Will Trent of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation. When a group of domestic terrorists and survivalists bomb two hospitals and the office of the Center for Disease Control, Sarah rushes to the scene to help. The group kidnaps her and she’s forced into a male-dominated commune where she has to rely on her wits and her acting skills to survive, while trying to get word out to Will and his colleagues where the group is hiding…hopefully, before they strike again to unleash an environmental disaster that will kill millions of people. 

The Last Widow

By Karin Slaughter,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The No. 1 Sunday Times bestseller!

It begins with an abduction.
The routine of a family shopping trip is shattered when Michelle Spivey is snatched as she leaves the mall with her young daughter. The police search for her, her partner pleads for her release, but in the end...they find nothing. It's as if she disappeared into thin air.

A month later, on a sleepy Sunday afternoon,
medical examiner Sara Linton is at lunch with her boyfriend Will Trent, an agent with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation. But the serenity of the summer's day is broken by the wail of…


Rules of Prey

By John Sandford,

Book cover of Rules of Prey

Why this book?

For an author to create a cast of characters who stay captivating and relevant throughout over 30 books in a series—I mean, wow. And Sandford has done just that with his Prey series, featuring crime-solver Lucas Davenport. His spinoffs with Kidd and Virgil Flowers are amazing too. I’ve not seen this done so effectively before. Never a dull moment, not a one! I can’t remember which Prey book I picked up first, but it was enough to move me to buy book 1, Rules of Prey  (published in 1989, though I discovered it many years later), and happily bounce through the entire series. Decades have passed, and Sandford is still writing some of the best mysteries (and characters) out there, and I’m still reading them. 

Rules of Prey

By John Sandford,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

**Don't miss John Sandford's brand-new thriller Ocean Prey - out now**

#1 New York Times bestselling author John Sandford's 'haunting, unforgettable, ice-blooded thriller' - first in the Lucas Davenport series!

The killer was mad but brilliant.

He left notes with every woman he killed. Rules of murder: Never have a motive. Never follow a discernible pattern. Never carry a weapon after it has been used...So many rules to his sick, violent games of death.

But Lucas Davenport, the cop who's out to get him, isn't playing by the rules.

***Praise for RULES OF PREY***

'Terrifying... Sandford has crafted the kind…

Book cover of The Wooden Horse: The Classic World War II Story of Escape

Why this book?

This is, quite simply, the greatest escape story of all time. I’ve chosen this book because I’ve read it so often, at least five times, mostly when I was a teenager. It is brilliant story-telling, and it may just be the book that most got me hooked on World War 2 history. It tells the story of a tunnel dug from under a vaulting horse in the middle of an exercise yard in a German POW camp. The original plan was for a mass escape of prisoners through the tunnel, but in the end, only three prisoners made it back to England and freedom. All brilliantly told.

The Wooden Horse: The Classic World War II Story of Escape

By Eric Williams,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Eric Williams, Royal Air Force bomber captain, was shot down over Germany in 1942 and imprisoned in Stalag Luft III, the infamous German POW camp. Digging an underground tunnel hidden beneath a wooden vaulting horse, he managed to escape after ten months and, accompanied by a fellow officer, made his way back to England. In this thinly fictionalized retelling, Williams relates his story in three distinct phases: the construction of a tunnel (its entrance camouflaged by the wooden vaulting horse in the exercise yard) and hiding the large quantities of sand he dug; the escape; and the journey on foot…

Sidetracked

By Henning Mankell,

Book cover of Sidetracked

Why this book?

Police Inspector Kurt Wallander is called to a rapeseed field where a girl is hanging around. He arrives just in time to see her pour gasoline on herself and put herself on fire. The next day Sweden’s former Minister of Justice is killed and scalped. Wallander is desperate to find the murderer before he strikes again.

Henning Mankell has been called ‘the dean of Nordic Noir,’ and his novels about policeman Kurt Wallander shows why; Sidetracked, being one of my personal favourites. Frightening crime and a very human policeman with an old-fashioned moral code strives to solve them and stay sane. What is especially brilliant with the Kurt Wallander books is how Mankell places Wallander in a real-world with problematic relations with his daughter, his father, and work partners; dreams he doesn’t act on; and living real-time events that involve his profession and the world at large.

Sidetracked

By Henning Mankell,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Midsummer approaches, and Inspector Kurt Wallander prepares for a holiday with the new woman in his life, hopeful that his wayward daughter and his ageing father will cope without him.

But his restful summer plans are thrown into disarray when a teenage girl commits suicide before his eyes, and a former minister of justice is butchered in the first of a series of apparently motiveless murders. Wallander's desperate hunt for the girl's identity and his furious pursuit of a killer who scalps his victims will throw him and those he loves most into mortal danger.

WINNER OF THE CRIME WRITERS'…


The City & the City

By China Miéville,

Book cover of The City & the City

Why this book?

This book inspired me to morph my real-world research into a fictionalized account of an urban future. Mieville heads the “new weird” movement based on a type of urban, alternative-world fiction. A murder mystery wrapped inside a fantastical, dyadic city. A city divided physically, but also psychically as residents of the overlapping cities learn to “unsee” each other in their day-to-day affairs. Takes the two worlds of real-life unequal cities to its extreme and absurd level, where the “other” physically exists but is not acknowledged in the eyes of the non-other. Brilliant, illuminating fiction.

The City & the City

By China Miéville,

Why should I read it?

6 authors picked The City & the City as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

With shades of Kafka and Philip K. Dick, Raymond Chandler and 1984, the multi-award winning The City & The City by China Mieville is a murder mystery taken to dazzling metaphysical and artistic heights.

'You can't talk about Mieville without using the word "brilliant".' - Ursula Le Guin, author of the Earthsea series.

When the body of a murdered woman is found in the extraordinary, decaying city of Beszel, somewhere at the edge of Europe, it looks like a routine case for Inspector Tyador Borlu of the Extreme Crime Squad. But as he probes, the evidence begins to point to…


Book cover of Finding Claire Fletcher

Why this book?

As a male writer, I find writing from a female point of view can often be difficult. Lisa Regan’s Finding Claire Fletcher, the first in her Connor Parks series, focused largely on a girl that has been kidnapped and held in captivity for years. As I read the book, I learned much from Regan’s use of the girl’s perspective, especially juxtaposed with that of Parks’ POV. 

Finding Claire Fletcher

By Lisa Regan,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In the first book in bestselling author Lisa Regan's new series, a one-night stand sets a detective on the trail of a terrifying unsolved crime.

With his career on thin ice and fresh ink on his divorce papers, Sacramento PD Detective Connor Parks goes searching for solace at the bottom of a bottle-and winds up in the arms of a beautiful woman. By morning she's gone, and the one clue she left behind sends Connor on a desperate mission to unravel a decade-old mystery-her abduction.

Presumed dead for the last ten years, Claire Fletcher has been living her life as…

Blood Secrets

By Vivi Anna,

Book cover of Blood Secrets

Why this book?

This is the first book in the Valorian Chronicles, and boy, I wish it was a tv series! I like to think of this book as CSI: Paranormal (or Otherworld Crime Unit as it is named in the book). It’s a dash of police procedural in a world much like ours but with vampires, werewolves, and more creatures that live in a society that goes by their own rules. This book is mixed with a dose of sexy chemistry between the leads wrapped in a happily ever after bow. It’s great for those nights where I’m looking for a bit of suspense and mystery with my romance featuring a vampire hero.

Blood Secrets

By Vivi Anna,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Caine Valorian and his Otherworld Crime Unit crack all the unusual cases before any humans take notice. When a young woman is found ritualistically murdered it's his team of professionals with paranormal gifts who must stop the nameless evil stalking the streets. But the toughest case of Caine's 200-year career gets even harder when a new member, Eve Grant, is assigned to their unit. Not only is she green and eager to impress, she's human.

As they sink deeper into the workings of the case, Caine's attraction to the alluring Eve is causing his blood to boil. And with war…

A Maiden's Grave

By Jeffery Deaver,

Book cover of A Maiden's Grave

Why this book?

I might have picked A Maiden’s Grave for the title alone, though you’ll have to read it to learn the subtle double meaning packed into those three words. But of course there’s a lot more to this fast-paced story of a school for the deaf caught in the crossfire of a police standoff. Jeffery Deaver deftly intertwines full-bodied characters, crackling tension, and emotionally affecting backstories. Reading it, I realized that it could have been a pretty ordinary police procedural and that only the author’s determination to add layers of depth and detail lifted it to a new level. 

A Maiden's Grave

By Jeffery Deaver,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

DEAVER. DANGEROUSLY GOOD.

When a trio of desperate convicts hijack a bus carrying a group of deaf and mute schoolgirls, everyone is braced for a terrible tragedy.

FBI agent Arthur Potter is flown in to negotiate. But he has competition: local police, state troopers, politicians and the media are swarming. Not everyone has the same agenda.

And the killers will murder one innocent child an hour, on the hour, until their demands are met...

'A real chiller, seething with violence and heart-stopping tension' Sunday Telegraph