14 Best Authors Like Ann Cleeves For Your Mystery Crime Fiction Collection

Find your next favorite crime fiction writer with our list of 14 top authors like Ann Cleeves and get to know thrilling new reads to keep you hooked.

Ann Cleeves first published her novel A Bird in the Hand in 1986, a crime story about a birdwatcher who investigates a brutal crime and pins the murderer before he can kill again. Since then, she has written 38 books and received the Crime Writers’ Association Diamond Dagger, the highest British accolade for crime writing. 

Cleeves was born in 1954 in England to a working-class family and became a New York Times Bestselling author for her most famous characters Vera Stanhope in ITV’s Vera television series and Jimmy Perez in BBC One’s Shetland. If you’re interested in this topic, you’ll love our round-up of the best Mickey Spillane books!

Here Are The Best Authors Like Ann Cleeves

1. Peter James, 1948 – Present

Peter James
Peter James in 2011

Peter James is the Number 1 Bestselling Author of crime and mystery novels in the United Kingdom. He is best known for his series Roy Grace, which has been translated into 37 languages and with over 8 million copies sold worldwide. ITV also adapted the book for the show Grace, which covers the first two entries Dead Simple and Looking Good Dead.

“The world is changing and people don’t like change.”

Peter James, Perfect People
Perfect People
  • James, Peter (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 608 Pages - 06/07/2012 (Publication Date) - Pan Books (Publisher)

2. Louise Penny, 1958 – Present

Louise Penny
Louise Penny in 2009

Louise Penny has written 17 mystery novels. Her famous character, Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, made her the #1 New York Times and Globe and Mail Bestselling Author. She also won the CWA Dagger and Agatha Award. Penny’s book, A Fatal Grace, was awarded the best novel in 2007 as the character Gamache tried to trace down a chilling murder in a frozen lake from one of the villages of Quebec. Check out our guide on authors like Paul Doiron.

“When someone stabs you it’s not your fault that you feel pain.”

Louise Penny, A Fatal Grace
A Fatal Grace: A Chief Inspector Gamache Novel (A Chief Inspector Gamache Mystery Book 2)
  • Amazon Kindle Edition
  • Penny, Louise (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 418 Pages - 05/15/2007 (Publication Date) - Minotaur Books (Publisher)

3. Elly Griffiths, 1963 – Present

Elly Griffiths is a pen name used by Domenica de Rosa. She is a recipient of the Mary Higgins Clark Award for her The Crossing Places, the first book in her Ruth Galloway series. The novel relays a child’s bones discovered by a forensic archaeologist that unravels the decade-long mystery of a missing girl. If you liked Cleeves’ Frozen from her Vera Stanhope series, try reading Griffiths’ The Crossing Places.

“To lose your child, to have her spirited away like something from a fairy tale, surely that must be every mother’s nightmare.”

Elly Griffiths, The Crossing Places
The Crossing Places (Ruth Galloway Mysteries) (Ruth Galloway Mysteries, 1)
  • Griffiths, Elly (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 303 Pages - 09/28/2010 (Publication Date) - Mariner Books (Publisher)

4. Richard Osman, 1970 – Present

Richard Osman
Richard Osman in 2019

Richard Osman’s debut novel The Thursday Murder Club holds the record for the fastest-selling debut of all time. He snatched the British Book Awards author in 2021 after the release. The book is about a group of villagers solving a crime who unwittingly became a part of a murder mystery. Following his first novel, Osman released his second entry, The Man Who Died Twice, which sold 114,202 copies in just three days.   

“People without a sense of humor will never forgive you for being funny.”

Richard Osman, The Thursday Murder Club
The Thursday Murder Club: A Novel (A Thursday Murder Club Mystery)
  • Osman, Richard (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 384 Pages - 08/03/2021 (Publication Date) - Penguin Books (Publisher)

5. Michael Redhill, 1966 – Present

Michael Redhill
Michael Redhill at Eden Mills Writers Festival

Michael Redhill won the Scotiabank Giller Prize in 2017 and received $100,000 for his Bellevue Square, a thriller novel about a main character and her counterpart with a dark agenda. Cleeves’ 10th book in Vera Stanhope‘s series, The Rising Tide, has the same storyline as Redhill’s Consolation, a contemporary story that reveals how a mysterious history connects to an unsolved crime. 

“Charity should be blind to everything but need. Our personal feelings should not determine whose starvation is legitimate.”

Michael Redhill, Consolation
Bellevue Square
  • Hardcover Book
  • Redhill, Michael (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 272 Pages - 09/19/2017 (Publication Date) - Doubleday Canada (Publisher)

6. Liz Andrews, Unknown – Present

Liz Andrews is the writer behind the Harley Henrickson mystery series. In the first book, Murder Comes to Notchey Creek, the main character follows a trail of murders that began on Halloween. Andrews poured her clever and intriguing versions of plots and twists into this novel, showcasing her passion for mystery crime writing. 

“As she digs deeper, she discovers the stranger, in reality, was no stranger at all, and had ties to many highly-esteemed citizens in town.”

Liz Andrews, Murder Comes to Notchey Creek
Murder Comes to Notchey Creek (Notchey Creek Mystery Series)
  • Andrews, Liz S. (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 314 Pages - 01/13/2021 (Publication Date) - Little Forest Press (Publisher)

7. Kylie Brant, Unknown – Present

Kylie Brant has published over 40 award-winning novels about mystery and suspense. She is a three-time Rita nominee, the highest award for suspense romance writers in America. Her books have been translated into 18 languages and published in 29 countries. Brant’s most famous mystery novel is Pretty Girls Dancing, a murder investigation about two missing girls and a serial killer. 

“People didn’t always act the way they should. Not even grown-ups. Sometimes the people who were supposed to protect you from monsters were monsters themselves.”

Kylie Brant, Cold Dark Places
Cold Dark Places (Cady Maddix Mystery Book 1)
  • Amazon Kindle Edition
  • Brant, Kylie (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 351 Pages - 12/04/2018 (Publication Date) - Thomas & Mercer (Publisher)

8. Kate Ellis, 1977 – Present

Most of the novels Kate Ellis wrote are about mystery crimes and their historical connections. Her first book, The Merchant’s House, kickstarted her career through the character Wesley Peterson. She also became a member of the Crime Writers Association with 30 books that sold over a million copies worldwide. 

“As far as Rachel Tracey was concerned, builders who tried their luck with lone women were pretty low down on the evolutionary ladder.”

Kate Ellis, The Marriage Hearse
The Merchant's House: The First Wesley Peterson Murder Mystery (The Wesley Peterson Murder Mysteries)
  • Ellis, Kate (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 256 Pages - 07/09/2010 (Publication Date) - Piatkus Books (Publisher)

9. Nicolas Obregon, 1984 – Present

Nicolas Obregon published his 2017 novel Blue Light Yokohama, the first book in his series featuring the character Inspector Iwata. In this book, Iwata investigates the slaughter of an entire family with a disturbing crime scene and no apparent motive. Obregon worked as a travel writer and drew from his experiences in Japan.

“The lights of the city are so pretty.”

Nicolas Obregon, Blue Light Yokohama
Blue Light Yokohama: A Crime Novel (Inspector Iwata, 1)
  • Hardcover Book
  • Obregon, Nicolas (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 416 Pages - 03/07/2017 (Publication Date) - Minotaur Books (Publisher)

10. Quintin Jardine, 1945 – Present

Quintin Jardine
Quintin Jardine at L’Escala, 2006

Quintin Jardine published his first book, Skinner’s Rules, in 1993. It highlights his vast imagination by narrating a mysterious and brutal crime conspiracy. Over his career, he wrote 54 books, with three best-selling detective novels featuring his most famous characters, Bob Skinner, Oz Blackstone, and Primavera Blackstone. 

“She never asked. She waited for the shrapnel buried in his soul to work its own way to the surface.”

Quintin Jardine, Skinner’s Rules
Skinner's Rules
  • Jardine, Quintin (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 416 Pages - 06/11/2009 (Publication Date) - Headline (Publisher)

11. G.M. Malliet, 1951 – Present

G.M. Malliet is the author of Death of a Cozy Writer, which introduced the St. Just Mystery series. The book won the Agatha Award for Best First Novel and was chosen by Kirkus Reviews as one of the Best Books of 2008. Among Millet’s recent books released are Invitation to a Killer and Augusta Hawke.

“For it was a truth universally acknowledged that a single vicar must be in want of a wife.”

G.M. Malliet, Wicked Autumn
Death of a Cozy Writer: A St. Just Mystery
  • Audible Audiobook
  • G. M. Malliet (Author) - Davina Porter (Narrator)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 12/18/2012 (Publication Date) - Dreamscape Media, LLC (Publisher)

12. Julia Spencer-Fleming, 1961 – Present

Julia Spencer Fleming
Julia Spencer-Fleming at Virginia Festival of the Book, 2010

The Clare Fergusson & Russ Van Alstyne is Julia Spencer-Fleming’s New York Times Bestselling mystery series that won five major awards. The series consists of nine books about a priest investigating a world of trouble and murder. If you appreciate Ann CleevesThe Rising Tide, you’ll also be interested in Fleming’s first book, In the Bleak Midwinter. You can also check out these authors like Walter Mosley.

“Because the things you have, and the neighborhood you live in, doesn’t have anything to do with what kind of human being you are.”

Julia Spencer-Fleming, In the Bleak Midwinter
In the Bleak Midwinter (Clare Fergusson/Russ Van Alstyne Mysteries)
  • Spencer-Fleming, Julia (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 384 Pages - 03/14/2003 (Publication Date) - Minotaur Books (Publisher)

13. Rebecca Tope, 1948 – Present

Rebecca Tope is the author of 43 books with four major murder mystery series. She is known for the character Thea Osborne, a house sitter who unraveled a tragic and intriguing crime in a village orchestrated in the first book, A Cotswold Killing. Tope is also the novel ghostwriter of the ITV series Rosemary and Thyme. You might also like these authors like Tony Hillerman.

“Women like this exploited a person’s natural civility, marching through the gaps left by an inability to speak the naked truth.”

Rebecca Tope, The Cotswold Ordeal
A Cotswold Killing (Cotswold Mysteries)
  • Tope, Rebecca (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 288 Pages - 11/01/2011 (Publication Date) - Allison and Busby (Publisher)

 14. Deborah Crombie, 1952 – Present

Deborah Crombie
Deborah Crombie at the Texas Book Festival, 2014

Deborah Crombie is a New York Times Bestselling Author behind A Killing of Innocents. It features the characters Duncan Kincaid and Gemma James as they solve the murder of a young woman before it gets public. The plot of this crime novel is similar to Cleeves’ Murder in My Backyard. Looking for more? Check out our round-up of the best Erle Stanley Gardner books!

“Friends come and go, Lewis, but the things you learn will always be yours, to use as you will.”

Deborah Crombie, Kissed A Sad Goodbye
A Killing of Innocents: A Novel (Duncan Kincaid/Gemma James Novels Book 19)
  • Amazon Kindle Edition
  • Crombie, Deborah (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 360 Pages - 02/07/2023 (Publication Date) - William Morrow (Publisher)