Books Recommending Books, Vol. 3

From time to time, fellow bluestockings ask us, “I really liked this book. Do you carry something similar?” As we welcome spring weather and look forward to moving our reading sessions out of the house and into the sunshine, we compiled a list of “books recommending books.” The titles in these pairings aren’t exactly alike: Yes, some have similar plots or subject matter, but others are kindred spirits in terms of character, theme, or mood. We hope you’ll find something new you’ll enjoy! (All of the suggested “try this” titles are available for purchase on the Bas Bleu website. Just click on the book cover.)

If you liked this…

Try this…

book cover for The Hunting Party

Agatha Christie and Georgette Heyer may have popularized the mystery sub-genre of “house parties turned murder-y,” but several contemporary female writers are putting their own spin on that literary tradition. If you were thrilled and chilled by Ruth Ware’s bestselling debut, In a Dark, Dark Wood, about a bachelorette party gone wrong, you’ll be transfixed by The Hunting Party. Both novels revolve around a group of old friends gathering in a remote place for a weekend of fun. Both prod at long-simmering conflicts and grudges. And both feature murders that pit longtime friends against one another. You know what they say: If you can’t trust your friends…

If you liked this…


Try this…

book cover for Marilla of Green Gables

This is, perhaps, our most “obvious” recommendation! Legion of L. M. Montgomery’s readers know and love Marilla Cuthbert, the curmudgeonly spinster whose flinty personality proves no match for Anne Shirley’s sunny optimism and zest for life. In Marilla of Green Gables, novelist Sarah McCoy fills in the spotty details of Marilla’s “pre-Anne” life, transporting readers back in time to when Marilla was just a girl and Green Gables was known simply as The Gables. While the arc of Marilla’s life story proves very different from Anne’s, lifelong fans of Montgomery’s series will feel right at home.

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book cover for Father Brown Short Stories

Ellis Peters (née Edith Pargeter) wrote twenty novels and three short stories about Brother Cadfael, a twelfth-century Welsh monk who solves crimes when he’s not attending to his holy duties. But where Cadfael’s detective skills are influenced by his secular experiences as a soldier and sailor, the titular sleuth of G. K. Chesterton’s Father Brown Short Stories draws on insight derived from his work as a priest and confessor. We suspect both men could give Sherlock Holmes a run for his money!

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book cover for The Boat Who Wouldn't Float

Gerald Durrell and Farley Mowat’s memoirs may seem to have only passing similarities: A Zoo in My Luggage chronicles Durrell’s trip to West Africa to collect animals for his zoo, while The Boat Who Wouldn’t Float recounts Mowat’s impulsive decision to purchase a rickety sailboat and explore the Newfoundland coast. And yet both provide a rich blend of laugh-out-loud humor with exquisite portraits of the natural world. (Fans of Durrell’s Corfu trilogy, chronicling his youth in Greece, would be wise to pick up a copy of Mowat’s sensational The Dog Who Wouldn’t Be.)

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Book cover for The Stranger Diaries
Elly Griffiths’s contemporary thriller The Stranger Diaries may include automobiles, cell phones, and Facebook references, but there’s no mistaking its classic Gothic roots. Griffiths herself has said she wrote the whodunit as an homage to nineteenth-century novelist Wilkie Collins, whose 1868 novel The Moonstone is widely considered to be the first detective novel. Like The Moonstone, The Stranger Diaries is chock-full of red herrings, multiple narrators, a spooky rural English setting, and a canny police detective. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself checking the locks on your doors!

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book cover for Jeeves and the King of Clubs

Readers first met the bumbling Bertie Wooster and his long-suffering valet Jeeves in the short story “Extricating Young Gussie,” published in a 1915 edition of the Saturday Evening Post. P. G. Wodehouse went on to write a total of thirty-five short stories and eleven novels starring the comic pair. The author died in 1975, and Bertie and Jeeves have cropped up in a handful of derivative works since then, but only two of those novels were authorized by Wodehouse’s estate. The most recent, Jeeves and the King of Clubs by Ben Schott, is a sparkling homage to the iconic characters, sure to have diehard Wodehouse fans chuckling until the last page.

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book cover for An Elderly Lady is Up to No Good

Honestly, we paired these two just because we would love to see Agatha Christie’s sexagenarian detective go head to head with Helene Tursten’s octogenarian murderess from An Elderly Lady is Up to No Good. Can you imagine their luncheon conversation?

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