This readalike is in response to a patron's book-match request. If you would like personalized reading recommendations, fill out the book-match form and a librarian will email suggested titles to you. Available for adults, teens, and kids. You can browse the book matches here.
One for the Money by Janet Evanovich: "Watch out, world. Here comes Stephanie Plum, a bounty hunter with attitude. In Stephanie's opinion, toxic waste, rabid drivers, armed schizophrenics, and August heat, humidity, and hydrocarbons are all part of the great adventure of living in Jersey.She's a product of the "burg," a blue-collar pocket of Trenton where houses are attached and narrow, cars are American, windows are clean, and (God forbid you should be late) dinner is served at six.Now Stephanie's all grown up and out on her own, living five miles from Mom and Dad's, doing her best to sever the world's longest umbilical cord. Her mother is a meddler, and her grandmother is a few cans short of a case.Out of work and out of money, with her Miata repossessed and her refrigerator empty, Stephanie blackmails her bail bondsman cousin, Vinnie, into giving her a try as an apprehension agent. Stephanie knows zilch about the job requirements, but she figures her new pal, fearless bounty hunter Ranger, can teach her what it takes to catch a crook.Her first assignment: nail Joe Morelli, a former vice cop on the run from a charge of murder one."
If you like Janet Evanovich's character Stephanie Plum and want some other book suggestions with plucky, smart mouthed gals, have we got some suggestions for you! All of these characters are the type you just KNOW you could be good friends to bond with over pizza and beer!
Most of these titles are parts of a series. To see the titles in series order, you might want to check out "What's Next," a database maintained by the Kent District Library in Michigan. This is a wonderful and easy to use way to find out the exact order for series. Go to http://www.kdl.org and click on the "What's Next" link.
A is For Alibi by Sue Grafton
Sue Grafton's "alphabet" mysteries featuring P.I. Kinsey Millhone are popular favorites. Kinsey is woman you'd like to know.
Agatha Raisin and the Quiche of Death by M. C. Beaton
Agatha Raisin is a middle-aged businesswoman who decides to chuck it all and move to a cottage in the Cotswolds. She finds that a bucolic life in the English coutnryside is not her style, but luckily a murder stirs things up in the village.
Agnes and the Hitman by Jennifer Crusie
Agnes' life goes awry when a dognapper invades her kitchen, hampering her attempts to put on a wedding. And then Shane shows up. Hes got a big hit scheduled, a rival trying to take him out, and an ex-mobster uncle asking him to protect little Agnes... (summary)
Bad Manners by Marne Davis Kellogg
Lilly Bennett quits her California job as chief of detectives, returns to the family ranch in Roundup, Wyoming, and opens a security business. Buoyantly untarnished by her previous work, she enthusiastically investigates the murder of a hateful old man who pushed one daughter off the family foundation's board, kept the other in nose candy, and gave his affection to a rodeo mistress. In her return to the "Old West," Bennett becomes a U.S. marshall, unearths family peccadilloes, dates a real cowboy, and generally has a ball-not bad for 45. A humorous, rambunctious, and lively debut. (Library Journal)
Baltimore Blues by Laura Lippman
Laura Lippman writes a series featuring Baltimore P.I. Tess Monaghan. This series is a little bit darker and grittier than some of the others.
Bubbles Unbound by Sarah Strohmeyer (Bubbles series)
Bubbles Yablonsky knows there is more to life than doing hair in Lehigh, Pennsylvania. She goes back to school, enters journalism classes and gets a job at a local newspaper for on-the-job training. When Bubbles stumbles upon a crime scene on the way home from an assignment, she's suddenly up to her roots in a nasty murder investigation. This title is the debut novel in a new mystery series. (Catalog summary)
Catering to Nobody by Diane Mott Davidson
The catering business in Colorado has been good for Goldy Bear. But trouble seems to find her at every turn.
Caught Dead in Philadelphia by Gillian Roberts
Amanda Pepper teaches at an expensive but not exclusive private school in Philadelphia. Most of her students are unmotivated, wealthy and jaded. She becomes a reluctant P.I. in "Caught Dead in Philadelphia."
Dead Until Dark by Charlaine Harris
Sookie Stackhouse is a waitress at a little joint in Bon Temps, Louisiana. She is also a telepath - she can "read" minds. Her boyfriend is a vampire - The Undead have "come out" and now own great swathes of the country. Add in shapeshifters, fairies, witches and demons and you have an absolutely rollicking series.
Full Scoop by Charlotte Hughes
Dear Reader: Mercury's in retrograde, and folks in Beaumont, South Carolina are dealing with gossip, scandal, misunderstandings, and more secrets than ever... (from summary)
Judas Pair by Jonathan Gash
Read his series about the misadventures of Lovejoy, a lover/dealer/forger of antiques. "Devoid of compunction or scruple, the appealingly unconventional hero leaps from bed to bed, from scheme to scheme, into a final, highly moral victory complete with shoot-out, smokescreen and resounding defeat for the real bad guys." (Publishers Weekly)
Lucky You by Carl Hiaasen
Grange, Florida is famous for its miracles: the Weeping Fiberglass Madonna, the Road Stain Jesus--and JoLayne Lucks, recent winner of the state's $28 million lottery! There's only one problem--someone else just never learned to share. So, when JoLayne's ticket is mysteriously stolen, the chase is on through the Sunshine State--wreaking the kind of hilarious mayhem Hiaasen is famous for. (Ingram)
Hiaasen's other books are also hilarious, featuring eccentric characters, crazy schemes, fantastic writing. Earlier titles include: Tourist Season, Skin Tight, Native Tongue)
Metro Girl by Janet Evanovich
Features a mechanic nicknamed Barney who is All Girl.
The Miracle Strip by Nancy Bartholomew (Sierra Lavontini series)
“Fluff, it's me and you against the rest of the idiots", Sierra Lavotini says to the only one she can trust in the world -- her dog, Fluffy. Sometimes that's the way it feels for the star of Nancy Bartholomew's debut, an exotic dancer in Panama City, Florida. Denise, a putative friend, comes to Sierra for help when a dead mobster turns up in her bedroom. Then Sierra gets shot at, assaulted, harassed by the police -- and Denise flies the coop. Sierra has no choice but to dig in her five-inch stiletto heels and find the killer on her own. (Catalog summary)
Mischief in Maggody by Joan Hess
Maggody, Arkansas, is the home of a female police chief, Ariel "Arly" Hanks and as bizarre a collection of depraved locals. Local moonshiner and prostitute Robin Buchanan has disappeared, leaving five hungry children behind. (from eSequels)
Murder Can Kill Your Social Life by Selma Eichler
Desiree Shapiro is a full-sized P.I. in Manhattan. She's funny and self-deprecating and charming.
Murder...Suicide...Whatever by Gwen Freeman
When Bosco, my freeloading brother--make that half brother--showed up on my front porch, I should have followed my first instinct and slammed the door. But he said Uncle Ted had been murdered and there might be money in it for us. Truthfully? I didn't even know we had an Uncle Ted. (summary)
Murder With Peacocks by Donna Andrews
Meg Langslow, maid of honor at three impending weddings in her native small town in Virginia, assists her father in searching for the murderer of the obnoxious sister of her mother's fiance. (from eSequels)
Revenge of the Wrought-Iron Flamingos by Donna Andrews
Meg Langslow is a iron-monger in a small Virginia town. She has a great boyfirend, a strange family and a knack for finding herself smack in the middle of crime scenes.
Silver Pigs by Lindsey Davis
Lindsey Davis writes the "Marcus Didius Falco" series, set in ancient Rome. Falco is a private eye with an interfering mother, sisters who always need something and a lot of odd-ball friends, neighbors and countrymen.
Soulless by Gail Carriger
Alexia Tarabotti is laboring under a great many social tribulations.
First, she has no soul. Second, she's a spinster whose father is both Italian and dead. Third, she was rudely attacked by a vampire, breaking all standards of social etiquette. (from summary)
The Spellman Files by Lisa Lutz
Introduces the Spellman family of San Francisco: mom and pop Olivia and Albert, Isabel "Izzy" Spellman and her brother and teenaged sister Rae. When Rae goes missing, the family works together to get her back safely. (from eSequels)
Taken to the Cleaners by Dolores Johnson
Dry cleaner Mandy Dyer should have a simple life. She owns a dry cleaning shop, has an aloof cat and no boyfriends on the horizon. But somehow, murder and mayhem find her regularly.
Too Many Crooks Spoil the Broth by Tamar Myers
introduces the Pennsylvania Dutch series featuring Mennonite innkeeper Magdelena Yoder. She is tall and plain and rather severe, but her spunk and humor shine through her rigid exterior. Author Tamar Myers also writes the "Den of Antiquity" series featuring Abigail Timberlake, another series you would probably enjoy.
Trouble of Fools by Linda Barnes
Linda Barnes writes the "Carlotta Carlyle" series, set in Boston. Carlotta is a six foot tall, redheaded cab driver and part time p.i. A little darker than Janet Evanovich mysteries.
The Thin Woman: An Epicurean Mystery by Dorothy Cannell
A series featuring Ellie Haskell, in such titles as How to Murder Your Mother-In-Law. How can you go wrong with a title like that?!!!
The Unexpected Mrs. Pollifax by Dorothy Gilman
Dorothy Gilman has written a number of series. The first mystery featuring Emily Pollifax is The Unexpected Mrs. Pollifax. Mrs. Pollifax is somewhat at loose ends after her husband dies. She has her friends and her gardening and her book group, but it just isn't enough. She decides she would like to be a spy for the CIA...
What's A Girl Gotta Do? by Sparkle Hayter
"Time runs through this slap-and-tickle first novel in terms of lost jobs and missed deadlines. No sense of impending doom, however, dampens the startling bluntness and acerbic wit of All News Network's inveterate reporter Robin Hudson. Questioned in the murder of a sleazy private eye, she embarks on a quest to find the real murderer. At the same time, she bugs her estranged husband, baits her cohorts, and scoops undercover news stories. A light-hearted, satiric dance set on a
New York stage..." (Library Journal)
What’s the Worst That Could Happen? by Donald Westlake (Dortmunder series)
When Max Fairbanks, a vastly wealthy and powerful magnate, catches John Dortmunder breaking into his Long Island mansion, he thinks he is dealing with some regular loser. It amuses him to deprive Dortmund of his lucky ring. In Westlake's ingenious and dazzling comic thriller, Fairbanks lives to regret that gratuitous humiliation. The engaging Dortmund gathers a band of cronies, and exacts revenge at a series of the rich man's fancy palaces, from a penthouse on Broadway to a fantasy retreat in Las Vegas. (amazon.com)
You may also find titles that you like from these authors:
Lawrence Block - humorous mysteries
Harlan Coben - funny, with great characters
G. M. Ford - series set in Seattle, featuring wisecracking Leo Waterman, P.I.
Carl Hiaasen - wild plots and characters, very funny and very cynical!
Marne Davis Kellogg - Publishers Weekly has described her books as "swift, satisfying entertainment."
Sharyn McCrumb - her Elizabeth MacPherson series is humorous; her other series set in Appalachia covers modern-day mysteries mingled with ghosts who need to be laid to rest.
Sarah Shankman - features a wisecracking heroine involved in ludicrous situations
Lisa Scottoline - fast-paced writing, featuring Rita Morrone, a Philadelphia lawyer with a sassy attitude.
Donald Westlake - writes with wit and black humor