Favorite authors: If you like... you might like...

Reginald Hill has written a great series about his detectives, Dalziel and Pascoe, set in Scotland. There is a PBS series, I think, based on them.

I love C.S. Forester (and not just his Hornblower seties), but can’t stand Patrick O’Brien’s books.

If you’re looking for another Napoleonic-era sea captain series, my alternative is C. Northcote Parkinson, whose Richard Delancey novels “feel” very much like the Hornblower novels, but have never been as popular or as well-known. He wrote six of them, starting with The Devil to Pay. (He also wrote a biography of Hornblower, The Life and Times of Horatio Hornblower, which some here on the Board dislike for his interpretations of the events in Lieutenant Hornblower. In his defense, I have to point out that what he wrote is completely consistent with Forester’s novel, which is deliberately ambiguous.)

You might also consider the Richard Bolitho novels of Alexander Kent. He wrote thirty of these (!), which is a lot more than any other naval series I know of. He was pretty well-known fifty years ago, but I haven’t seen his books on any shelves (including used book stores) in ages.

For murder mysteries that are very character-driven, try the Chief Inspector Gamache series by Louise Penny, which mostly take place in a small town called Three Pines in Quebec.

The first in the series, Still Life, is a bit slow-moving, but everyone I know who has read the books love them.

Agreed. Christopher Moore has also been compared to Kurt Vonnegut. (I think he’s not quite that, but I could see a little bit of Vonnegut style in his books.) Note this is clearly NOT the same Christopher G. Moore mentioned in Post #2 above.

A few of his titles:
Practical Demonkeeping
Coyote Blue
The Lust Lizard of Melancholy Cove
Island of the Sequined Love Nun

Snippet from a review I found on DuckDuckGo:


In one of the “sticky” threads someone suggested this: https://www.literature-map.com/
I’ve used that. (Thank you to the person that suggested it)
Are there other websites that show similar authors?

I think the biggest name who writes similar books (contemporary east of Scotland crime) to Ian Rankin is Val McDermid.

But for interesting characters in Scottish writing (though female ones can be a little similar to each other), I’d recommend a third Fifer, Iain (M) Banks.

If you like Robert A. Heinlein’s Starship Troopers, check out Joe Haldeman’s The Forever War and John Scalzi’s series beginning with Old Man’s War.

If you like Stephen King’s 'Salem’s Lot, check out George R.R. Martin’s *Fevre Dream. *

I *love *the Aubrey-Maturin series, and have been reading my way through it for the first time (just finished Treason’s Harbour). A deeply engaging portrayal of the friendship between the captain and the doctor, lots of exciting sea battles and storms, Georgian social commentary, espionage, politics and lots of wry humor.

I’ve read the first but not the second, and it’s one of my favorite WWII novels, about the officers and crew of a small Royal Navy warship on convoy-escort duty in the North Atlantic - their camaraderie, secrets, shared hardships, triumphs and setbacks, etc. Very good stuff.

Christopher Moore’s writing is nothing like Kurt Vonnegut’s. That anyone can compare them strikes me as bizarre.

He might be better compared to Mykle Hanson (for whom Moore wrote a very positive review)


If you like the Honor Harringotn series, check out the Damascus Steele series by Dietmar Arthur Wehr.

It’s been decades since I read the Hornblower books. I can’t even remember which one I read last but I know I didn’t complete the series. I binge-watched the Hornblower series recently, I never got the chance to see anything beyond the first episode when it originally aired. Definitely piqued my interest in the books again and this time I’ll read them all. It’s too bad the series ended when it did. It mentions on IMDB that a theatrical production was considered but unfortunately never went ahead.

As for Patrick O’Brien’s books, I tried one(book 6 in the series) and it really didn’t click with me but about 15 years ago I decided to give them another go and started with the first of the series. Definitely different then what I was used to but I stuck with them and really started to enjoy them finishing off the series about a year later. There’s one portion of Desolation Island(book 5) that was the most gripping thing I’ve ever read involving a prolonged sea chase and battle which is somewhat represented in the movie “Master & Commander” but the book is so much better.

Go for Ross Thomas, every bit as good as Dutch, IMO. “What Elmore Leonard does for crime in the streets, Ross Thomas does for crime in the suites.” — Village Voice

Allow me to recommend The Money Harvest, Chinaman’s Chance, and The Fourth Durango.

If you like H.P. Lovecraft, don’t go to August Derleth (who completed some Lovecraft stories, and extended the series). Instead read the works of Clark Ashton Smith, from whom Lovecraft himself borrowed characters and background. His stuff is available on Kindle or other e-books, even if his hard-print stuff is harder to come by.

I collect Arkham House books, so I have plenty of Clark Ashton Smith in my library. I don’t think he’s much like Howard Phil at ALL, though they were mutual admirers. Smith doesn’t snap my stix in general.

If you read all of Lovecraft and want more, I suggest picking up Arkham anthologies like New Tales of the Cthulhu Mythos And Cthulhu 2000. The former book includes the genuinely terrifying “Crouch End” by Steven King, “Black Man with a Horn” by T.E.D. Klein, “The Faces at Pine Dunes” by Ramsey Campbell, and “Than Curse the Darkness” by David Drake.

Frank Belknap Long’s “The Hounds of Tindalos” is pretty good, too.

I’ve read the recent books, and LOTS of anthologies building on Lovecraft’s work, and none of them do it for me. I disagree about Smith – I think he captured a lot of the same sensibility of Lovecraft.

I tried reading Arthur Maachen, a big influence on Lovecraft, but can’t get into him at all.

No kidding? “The Great God Pan” is a bit weak on our modern eyes, but,

I think “The White People” is one of the scariest things I’ve ever read. Spooky things in the forests and hills related by a young girl whose parents ignore her, who has been indoctrinated by her local superstitious governess, who doesn’t realize she should be frightened shitless.

OTOH, Blackwood’s “The Willows” doesn’t do it for me, aside from the brief scene with the boatman on the Danube gesturing frantically to the protagonists, which is oddly chilling. And that story was HPL’s favorite.

Arthur Machen’s “The Bowmen” was also the basis for the urban/WWI legend of the “Angel of Mons.” Gotta give him props for that.

I found Ross Thomas in the kindle store and purchased The Fourth Durango..

Looking forward to it.

Kewl! That was the second of the five Ross Thomas novels I edited. He died before his completed his second contract for three books.

I hope you like it. The working title was The Black Cane. You’ll see why.

Looking through his work, I was surprised to see the number of authors he collaborated with. They’re all authors I like!

To the OP - you might like to try Jo Nesbo’s books - most of them are a detective series largely set in Scandinavia. I’ve only read one of them, but enjoyed it.