What to Read If You Loved the Hulu TV Series 'Only Murders in the Building'

By Skokie Staff Advisory Services

Our staff recommend mystery and true crime suggestions.

  • The Word Is Murder

    2018 by Horowitz, Anthony

    Anthony Horowitz makes himself a leading character in this mystery novel, as a fictionalized version of himself reluctantly partners with former London detective Daniel Hawthorne to solve a baffling case. It is cleverly done. There’s an Agatha Christie-like plot and the Watson/Holmes dynamic keeps you wanting more. Like OMITB, there are many twisty pieces to this puzzle. Recommended by Sharon.

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  • Finlay Donovan Is Killing It

    2021 by Cosimano, Elle

    Finlay Donovan is actually not killing it. She's barely hanging on. She's a divorced single mom who was mistaken for a contract killer when someone overheard her talking to her agent about her latest suspense novel. Now she realizes that actually killing someone is far more difficult than writing about it . . . just like making a true crime podcast is much easier than solving a murder. Recommended by Becca.

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  • Dial A for Aunties

    2021 by Sutanto, Jesse Q.

    I went into this book expecting a cozy mystery and got a romantic comedy. How does a book that starts with a dead body end in love? Probably the same way Charles-Haden, Oliver, and Mabel end up becoming unexpected friends and amateur detectives recording a podcast about a murder in their building. It just kind of happened. Recommended by Becca.

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  • Truly Devious

    2018 by Johnson, Maureen

    Stevie Bell is one of our favorite modern amateur detectives. She is accepted to Ellingham Academy to solve a 100-year-old cold case and stumbles into a modern murder to solve as well. This is a start to a fabulous trilogy, and if you don't want to say "goodbye" to Stevie, there is a stand-alone Stevie Bell mystery too. Recommended by Becca and Rummanah.

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  • The Inheritance Games

    2020 by Barnes, Jennifer

    School Library Journal said it is like "Knives Out for the YA world," but the large cast of characters, the mystery, and the one-home setting overlap as well with Only Murders in the Building. Those who enjoyed Mabel's story arc the most in OMITB will enjoy the teen protagonists in The Inheritance Games. Recommended by Lynnanne.

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  • Sadie

    2018 by Summers, Courtney

    If the podcast element from OMITB was the part you enjoyed the most, you will like Sadie. The narrative alternates between the perspective of 19-year-old runaway Sadie and the podcast that is looking for her. There's lots to enjoy in this thriller. Recommended by Lynnanne.

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  • The Thursday Murder Club

    2020 by Osman, Richard

    If Steve Martin and Martin Short appealed to you, you might like this brand new book about septuagenarians solving a crime! Recommended by Lynnanne.

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  • Conviction

    2019 by Mina, Denise

    A true crime podcast leads to real-life crime solving. Recommended by Lynnanne.

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  • Hollywood Homicide

    2017 by Garrett, Kellye

    When semi-retired actor Dayna Anderson witnesses a hit-and-run that leaves a young woman dead, amateur sleuthing for reward money suddenly becomes a viable work option. Dayna and her investigating partners get a lot wrong before getting it right (like OMITB), which keeps you guessing until the final scene. Recommended by Sharon.

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  • The Plot Is Murder

    2017 by Burns, V. M.

    If you’re looking for a cozy read starring a formidable cast of retired characters, this is for you. Samantha Washington (who happens to be writing a historical mystery) teams up with her grandmother and friends to solve a whodunit that centers on her newly opened mystery bookshop. Recommended by Sharon.

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  • As Good as Dead: The Final Good Girl's Guide to Murder Novel

    2021 by Jackson, Holly

    This book draws a lot of inspiration from the Serial podcast. Pippa Fitz-Adeleke takes up a case that is notorious in her community and is assumed to be closed; however, the clues do not line up. This is the first book in a series that developed a larger podcast presence. Recommended by Rummanah.

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  • I Hope You're Listening

    2020 by Ryan, Tom

    The trauma of Sibby's disappearance has led Dee to start a secret podcast: Radio Silent. She curates and assembles information from missing-person cases, and her listeners take it from there. Recommended by Rummanah.

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  • All These Bodies

    2021 by Blake, Kendare

    Though not a podcaster, the main protagonist is a budding journalist who is investigating a series of unusual murders. It reads like true crime nonfiction, using Truman Capote's In Cold Blood as an influence. Recommended by Rummanah.

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  • Trust Me When I Lie

    2019 by Stevenson, Benjamin

    This Australian thriller is one of a number of recent books clearly inspired by Serial and the true crime genre more generally. Jack Quick made his name with a docuseries that led to Curtis Wade's exoneration in a high-profile murder case--even if he had to fudge the facts a bit along the way. But when a nearly identical murder is committed in the same town, Quick becomes obsessed with finding out the real truth once and for all. Recommended by Andrew.

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  • I've Got You Under My Skin

    2014 by Clark, Mary Higgins

    Reality TV producer Laurie Moran pitches Under Suspicion, a show that reexamines famous "cold cases" by reassembling the people involved. That all of the suspects in the murder of Betsy Powell are willing to gather at the estate where the crime took place 20 years ago ought to have been Laurie's first hint that something very strange was going on. And what's the connection to an unsolved murder in the producer's own past? Recommended by Andrew.

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  • If I Disappear

    2021 by Brazier, Eliza Jane

    A true crime podcast called Murder, She Spoke has become a lifeline for Sera Fleece as she grapples with a world where women "just like her" disappear daily. When the podcast goes silent and its creator, Rachel Bard, erases her social media presence, Sera is determined to get answers. Soon, she's undercover in a northern California ranching town where everyone seems to be avoiding a terrible secret. Recommended by Andrew.

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  • An Elderly Lady Is up to No Good

    2018 by Tursten, Helene

    Maud has lived alone in Gothenburg, Sweden, for most of her 88 years. She enjoys travel, old movies, and making very bad things happen to people she feels have earned it (generally by trying to take advantage of her or other seniors, or the occasional wife-beating neighbor). Some--though probably not all--Only Murders in the Building fans will enjoy this darkly comic inversion of "little old lady detective" tropes, with an antiheroine who's equal parts Jane Marple and Dexter Morgan. Recommended by Andrew.

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  • The Invention of Murder

    2013 by Flanders, Judith

    What we call "true crime" took over British culture in the 19th century. The cause/result, Flanders argues, was a feedback loop of sensational crimes (generally murders), ever-cheaper printed media, and a public that couldn't get enough of both. Charles Dickens, Wilkie Collins, and countless forgotten authors moved seamlessly between ostensibly factual crime writing and fiction whose resemblance to a notorious case would have been obvious to readers. These authors mythologized the detective: a profession just starting to exist in the real world. Recommended by Andrew.

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  • 18 Tiny Deaths

    2020 by Goldfarb, Bruce

    Frances Glessner Lee, heir to Chicago's International Harvester fortune, was older than 50 when she converted her fascination with crime and detection into a campaign to transform the way deaths were investigated in the U.S. While she lobbied policymakers and endowed the nation's first university department of legal medicine, what captured the public's imagination were the 18 dioramas Glessner Lee created by hand. They provided a crash course in crime scene analysis at 1:12 scale. Recommended by Andrew.

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  • Nancy Drew & the Hardy Boys: The Case of the Missing Adults

    2019 by Wilson, Scott Bryan

    Just for the fun of it. Fans of OMITB will remember references to the Hardy Boys. Also, we think Mabel is like a modern-day Nancy Drew. Recommended by Becca and Sharon.

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