Ask a Librarian

Harry Bosch Read-a-Likes

December 27, 2008

Question: I love the Harry Bosch mysteries written by Michael Connelly and have read all of them. What other authors can I read while I wait for the next one?

Answer: Connelly's Harry Bosch character is a throw-back to the days of Raymond Chandler. Like Chandler's detectives, the city of Los Angeles features heavily in the mysteries, and Bosch has led a troubled, solitary life. After serving in Vietnam, he began work at the LAPD, where he began his tumultuous relationship with the department. A loner, often at odds with other officers, Bosch also is compassionate and believes in justice. Connelly's books are complex, full of action and mystery, and have a noir feel to them.

To help find similar authors, log onto TCPL's web site ( and check out the Novelist database under the link entitled Articles and Databases Online. Once in Novelist, look for Michael Connelly in their "Author Read-alikes" page. Each entry is essay length and written by a top readers' advisory librarian. After a description of the writing style of Michael Connelly, six authors are listed as read-alikes, with a paragraph explaining why these authors are recommended as being similar to Michael Connelly. Novelist suggests the authors James Ellroy if you like the Los Angeles setting of the novel, and John Harvey's Charlie Resnick mysteries if you like independent detectives.

Many large libraries have web pages with reading suggestions. A good one is the Downers Grove Library (, where they suggest "L.A. Requiem" by Robert Crais for people waiting for the next Connelly book. The Reference Department at TCPL also has readers' advisory books you can use to find new titles or authors. To answer this question, I used "Make Mine a Mystery," where I found that Ian Rankin's Rebus mysteries are perfect for those who like to read about solitary detectives and Lawrence Block's Matthew Scudder mysteries might be good for those who like detailed mysteries with detectives struggling against the system.

Today's question was answered by Sarah Glogowski, a readers' services librarian at Tompkins County Public Library. Send your questions by e-mail to, or call 272-4557 or visit the library at 101 E. Green Street.

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