As the third season of the beloved series “Only Murders in the Building” inches toward its finale, you might already be dreading another long wait for a new season. The series has kept surprising and mesmerizing its audiences since its very first season, from its warm tones to its quirky characters. But why wait when you have books at your disposal? Only Murders in the Building is a comedy-mystery series starring Steve Martin, Martin Short, and Selena Gomez along with other notable characters. This is a Hulu Original series and also streaming on Disney+ Hotstar.
Best Books Like Only Murders in the Building!
In today’s article, I’m going to recommend some of the best books to read if you’re a fan of the aforementioned series. Like Only Murders in the Building, these books have eccentric characters, banding together of complete strangers, and a juicy murder mystery at their center. Even if you haven’t seen the series, the books included here would be perfect for those who love their mysteries with a pinch of humor. On that note, let’s begin our exploration!
1. An Elderly Lady Is Up to No Good by Helene Tursten
This ain’t no murder mystery. If anything, this is a collection of stories about a murderer, an unlikely one at that. After all, how many elderly women do you know of who go around committing murders? None, I hope. Maud has great reasons for committing those murders. Well, not a lot of difference between great and somewhat great, right? Through the five stories here, our elderly lady commits a series of murders as bodies gather up in her neighborhood.
Can we even blame her though? Who doesn’t feel like murdering people around themselves now and then, especially when they’re characters like her nosey neighbors, abusive partners, gold diggers, and more of their kin? But when a police officer sees through her acts, she might risk getting caught. Will it be the end of Maud’s tricks, or will she escape the law through her sweet charades and innocent demeanor? You’ll have to read the book to find out more. You can get the book here! 📖
2. The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman
This book has been a rage ever since it was published, and why not? Whether it’s the comfy atmosphere that the story has or the quirky nature of the characters, The Thursday Murder Club is the perfect weekend (and weekday) read! Set in a retirement village, we follow an endearing and eclectic group of friends who’re also pensioners: one’s a former MI5 agent, another a former physician, and so on.
Every Thursday, they join each other in their retirement home to work on unsolved crimes. But much like the show, a live murder case crops right in front of them, and they decide to investigate and solve the mystery. When they begin getting insider information from the young police officer Donna De Freitas, they might have an actual shot at solving this case. But things are always more complex than they seem, and only time will tell if our group of amateur detectives will have a successful expedition on their first go or not! If you like Only Murders in the Building, this book is perfect for you. You can get the book here! 📖
3. Finlay Donovan Is Killing It by Elle Cosimano
Finlay Donovan is an author and a single mother of two kids. In other words, she’s tired to death at all times of the days and weeks in her life. One day, as luck would have it, someone mistaking her for a contract killer when she’s going through the plot of her murder mystery novel. And here’s the thing: if you didn’t know, the money for murders is apparently quite a lot. She needs the money, so she accepts the job.
But as often happens, things aren’t as smooth and fun as books make them seem to be. Finlay Donovan is Killing It is more of a funny question than a statement in that sense. The book shares the thematic lightheartedness that’s at the core of the show and the absurdity of the story is what makes it so unique and engrossing. Will she be able to dispose of the problematic husband she’s been paid to take out? Or will all the new problems take her life into a new avenue altogether? Only one way to find out! You can get the book here! 📖
4. Everyone in My Family Has Killed Someone by Benjamin Stevenson
Most of us have a fair share of problematic families, but Ernie Cunnigham comes from an even crazier one. Her parents, her siblings, her in-laws, basically everyone in her family has killed someone at one point or the other, intentionally or otherwise. And oh yes, Ernie too. So when he’s invited to this grand family reunion, he’s skeptical, naturally so.
We can’t say we didn’t see it coming, but a body is found in the snow outside. It has to be the work of a Cunnigham, but who? In a family of killers, who’s the murderer? With ample character dynamics, you’d love this book particularly if you enjoyed the character interactions and relationships in the show. It’s messy, it’s complicated, it’s filled with dark humor: what else do you need? You can get the book here! 📖
5. Vera Wong’s Unsolicited Advice for Murderers by Jesse Sutanto
We’ve got yet another eccentric character who has a penchant for sleuthing around (mostly just on her single son). Vera Wong is a lonely, 60-year-old widow with a tea shop that’s falling apart. When one morning, she finds a dead man in her shop, she takes it upon herself to go behind the scenes and find out the solution to this mystery. The suspects are drawn, the evidence is collected and sorted, and it’s time to find out the murderer.
As she gets to know the suspects of the case, however, from the emotionally abused partner of the deceased to his neglected brother, she finds in them a family she’s always found missing from her life. But how do you turn in a member of your family to the police? Humorous and heartwarming, the book resembles the journeys of the characters from the show, and it’s a delight all the way through! You can get the book here! 📖
6. Truth Be Told by Kathleen Barber
Murder mysteries and true crime podcasts are at the heart of Only Murders in the Building, and it’s the same for Kathleen Barber’s Truth Be Told. Even better is the fact that it’s been adapted for a TV series with multiple seasons. Josie Buhrman has been trying to come to terms with the murder of her father and its impact on her family for over a decade now. Her mother went on to join a cult while her sister betrayed her, but slowly she’s been doing well and getting her life together.
That is until a new hit podcast series sends it all flying down. Poppy Parnell has started a podcast that investigates the death of her father all those years back, and now Josie’s mother is dead. All that she was running from for all this time has come back rushing back to meet her and she has no choice but to face it. She must now go home and find out the truth hidden deep beneath all the lies she’s been told as her life threatens to be spilled over for the world to pick it out for their entertainment. You can get the book here! 📖
7. The Sunday Philosophy Club by Alexander McCall Smith
Like the protagonists in Only Murders in The Building, who doesn’t like solving a murder mystery and being the protagonist of their stories? Isabel Dalhousie is a philosopher in morality and edits the Review of Applied Ethics. Her life is one of order and precision. But chaos makes its entry in her life when she’s attending a concert and a man falls from the upper balcony to meet his death.
It’s been ruled out as an accident but Isabel thinks otherwise. She doesn’t believe that the man was alone up there, or that he fell by his own accord. Reminds you of the police counting the murder as a suicide in the first season of the show, right? Well, here too, Isabel carries off her own investigation, allowing everything she knows to guide her to the perpetrator. But once she knows and understands the reasons behind the act, will she turn the killer to the police or will her beliefs take her elsewhere? You can get the book here! 📖
8. None of This Is True by Lisa Jewell
Another podcast and another Josie here! Fans of true crime stories will be particularly delighted by the structure of this novel which resembles a Netflix documentary. Alix, a popular podcaster, is one day approached by a woman named Josie. Sharing the same birthday with Alix, Josie wishes to make a podcast about the challenges she faced and all the terrible things she’s been through. Josie is mysterious and disturbing, but the prospect of making a podcast is all too tempting.
Soon, Alix realizes how many secrets and lies Josie’s been hiding from her. The woman becomes more and more entwined into Alix’s life and that of her family and out of nowhere, she vanishes one day. And that’s when Alix realizes that her life and her family are in danger and she’s now the subject of her own true crime podcast. Messy and thrilling, the premise keeps taking you deeper and further until you haven’t finished reading this. You can get the book here! 📖
9. Murder in Postscript by Mary Winters
We follow Lady Amelia Amesbury who writes as Lady Agony for an advice column. A widow and a countess, her days pass off giving advice on simple situations. But when a maid asks for her help for her mistress’ death, things get interesting. The maid thinks the death was a murder, but as Amelia sets off to meet the maid at a park, the woman is killed too. It’s a textbook murder case and it’s up to our protagonist to seek justice.
She employs the help of the Marquis of Bainbridge, Simon, to find the killer and solve this mystery. As they comb through the clues left by the maid and get behind the case, they might have something blooming among themselves too. Set in a bygone era, the story is as thrilling as it is endearing. Amelia’s character is a delight to read, and fans of amateur sleuthing will enjoy this story immensely. You can get the book here! 📖
10. The Verifiers by Jane Pek
Modern technology has made the true crime genre all the more challenging and exciting, and like Only Murders in the Building, this show too uses social media and the internet to solve the mystery at hand. We have another quirky main character in our list here, Claudia Lin, who’s obsessed with mystery novels and literature in general. Recruited by Veracity, a dating detective agency, her job now is to investigate people’s online lives to find out the secrets and lies hidden there.
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Everything is going smoothly for her until one of Veracity’s clients goes missing. Claudia takes it upon herself to solve this mystery as she explores the world of corporate lies and the online personas we all create around ourselves. The book is a commentary on how technology influences our lives and the choices we make, alongwith how romantic love works in the age of digital communication. Jane Pek does a wonderful task of blending contemporary issues with an engaging mystery that keeps you coming back for more. You can get the book here! 📖
Here are the Best Books to read if you like “Only Murders in the Building” TV Series. These books are filled with crimes, fun, investigations, and yes, murder-mysteries. Happy reading and investigating!
Part-time freelance writer, full-time chemistry graduate student, Amritesh loves everything books. Gift him a book if you chance upon him, and he’ll love you forever.