20 Best Crime Fiction Books Like The Stephanie Plum Series

The Stephanie Plum Series is an iconic amateur sleuth series with a heaping dose of girl power. This bestselling 29+ mystery series is light-hearted, action-packed, and funny, with a relatable, imperfect heroine and a colorful cast of larger-than-life characters. 

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20 Best Crime Fiction Books Like The Stephanie Plum Series

In One for the Money, Stephanie Plum is down on her luck. She’s been fired from managing a lingerie store, her bank account and fridge are empty, her car’s been repossessed, and all the bills are due. So what does this Trenton, New Jersey girl do? Coerce her cousin Vinny into giving her a job as a bounty hunter, hunting small-scale criminal bail skippers, that’s what.

But Stephanie has her eye on a much higher-paying bond, with the help of sexy, mysterious elite bounty hunter, Ranger. And it doesn’t hurt that the bond happens to be her hot ex, a cop on the run who she’d happily hit with her car. Again.

The Stephanie Plum Series is a rollicking good time, with twisty mysteries, hot romantic tension, and hilarious family dynamics. If you loved The Stephanie Plum Series, this list of 20 titles like The Stephanie Plum Series is for you.

You can buy The Stephanie Plum Series here

May Day: A Romcom Mystery (A Murder by Month Romcom Mystery Book 1)

May Day: Hot and Hilarious (A Murder by Month Romcom Mystery)

By Jess Lourey

Mira James is a bit lost. Eager to leave behind a dead-end waitressing job and an even more dead-end relationship, Mira jumps at the chance to start over by house- and dog-sitting in Battle Lake, Minnesota. In no time she has two jobs, one working at the library and one as a reporter. She even starts dating a hot and charming guy. She thinks things might have finally turned around for her. 

Until Mira finds that same hot guy dead in the library stacks and discovers that he might not have been the knight in shining armor she’d hoped. So she sets out to reveal the truth behind the murder and what is going on in Battle Lake. 

This hilarious mystery combines complex eccentric characters, investigative hijinks, and fun, twisty plotlines, perfect for fans of The Stephanie Plum Series

You can purchase May Day here

Merit Badge Murder (Merry Wrath Mysteries Book 1)

Merit Badge Murder (Merry Wrath Mysteries)

By Leslie Langtry

Yesterday, Merry Wrath was a covert CIA operative who the Vice President just accidentally outed. Today, she’s a girl scout leader in Ohio with a new name, job, and face. And this simple life just might suit her. Except, her old life quickly bleeds into this one when a high-level international criminal is found dead at scout camp. 

Things get even more complicated when the CIA sends her sexy ex-handler, and her hot neighbor just happens to be the detective on her case. Add an ex-KGB agent roommate into the mix, and things are bound to get a little crazy. 

This riotous mystery is perfect for Stephanie Plum lovers. It is a fun mystery with plenty of romantic overtones, zany characters, and laugh-out-loud antics.

You can buy Merit Badge Murder here

The Spellman Files (The Spellmans #1)

The Spellman Files: Document #1 (1) (The Spellman Series)

By Lisa Lutz

Twenty-eight-year-old Izzy Spellman lives an exciting, if paranoid, life. She investigates cases for the family business, Spellman Investigations. She tries to set a good example for Rae, her teenage sister. She tries to be good-natured about putting up with her perfect lawyer big brother David’s requests.

At the same time, Izzy drinks too much and bends the legal and moral bounds of private investigations. After she finds that her parents have put Rae on surveillance duty – of Izzy herself – she decides she’s had it. Fed up, she decides she has to quit the family business. 

Her parents ask her to finish one final case, a missing persons case fifteen years old. But while she’s knee-deep in the investigation, her sister Rae goes missing. Can Izzy find her sister before something else horrible goes wrong?

This engaging screwball comedy mystery series is a perfect pick for people who love The Stephanie Plum Series for its eccentric characters, family dynamics, and unorthodox investigation techniques.

You can buy The Spellman Files here

Body Movers (A Body Movers Novel Book 1)

Body Movers

By Stephanie Bond

Ten years ago, Carlotta and Wesley Ren’s father skipped bail and town with their mother, leaving Carlotta to raise her little brother, who was only nine years old. Carlotta became the family’s responsible adult and got a job working retail to support both of them. Unfortunately, in the process, she loses both her bid at college and her fiance.  

Today Carlotta and Wesley are still struggling, only now repercussions are far more serious.  Wesley has terrible gambling debt and ends up in jail, and when he gets out, he takes a job as a body mover – the person who picks up bodies and transports them to the morgue or funeral home. Carlotta still works retail at Neiman Marcus and stumbles into her ex-fiancee and his unpleasant wife. 

Sparks are still flying between them, despite the time…and despite the wife. But when his wife ends up dead, both Carlotta and her ex are suspects. Carlotta takes it upon herself to sleuth out the truth before she becomes the next body to pop up dead.

This fun, beachy read is perfect for The Stephanie Plum Series fans that love it for the cozy mysteries, light-hearted banter, and fun characters. 

You can buy Body Movers here.   

Whiskey Rebellion: An Addison Holmes Mystery (Addison Holmes Mysteries Book 1)

Whiskey Rebellion: An Addison Holmes Mystery

By Liliana Hart

Allison Holmes thought being a high school history teacher in Whiskey Bayou, Georgia wasn’t the most scintillating work. It really began to wear when her fiance left her for the Home Ec teacher. And then being broke hit home when she found her apartment building was going to be condemned, and she had no idea where she could begin to afford to live. 

But when her school principal shows up dead in a strip club parking lot, a strip club where she happened to be moonlighting, it becomes abundantly clear that she needs to change career paths, fast. So Addison goes to work doing surveillance at her best friend Kate’s business, McClean Detective Agency. 

This hilarious slap-stick mystery has steamy romance and accidental and intentional detective work. It has a fabulous combination of unique characters and people we all know and love. It is a perfect pick for people who love The Stephanie Plum Series.

You can purchase Whiskey Rebellion here.

Sex, Murder and a Double Latte (A Sophie Katz Mystery Book 1)

Sex, Murder and a Double Latte

By Kyra Davis

Sophie Katz has a fabulous imagination, after all, she is a mystery writer. But when someone starts setting up murder scenes from her book in her apartment, where she lives alone, it’s anything but in her head. 

Then one of Sophie’s screenwriting friends is slain in the same way as he’d written a murder scene in one of his works. Sophie is convinced that there is a copycat killer out there and that the scenes set up in her home indicate she’s next. 

The police, on the other hand, are not so sure and not too interested in looking into it. So Sophie becomes a sleuth like the detectives in her books to catch a killer and save her own skin. 

You can buy Sex, Murder and a Double Latte here

Hollywood Homicide: The First Detective by Day Humorous Mystery (Detective by Day Mystery Book 1)

Hollywood Homicide (A Detective by Day Mystery, 1)

By Kellye Garrett

In this romp of a mystery, Dayna Anderson is an out-of-work former almost-famous TV commercial actress. When Dayna sees a billboard offering fifteen grand for finding the perpetrator of a killer hit-and-run, she remembers when she and her cousin were almost hit in a similar situation and decides maybe it’s just best that reward money goes to her. 

This fun mystery follows Dayna and her quirky and entertaining cast of friends through Hollywood, a fabulous and fashionable backdrop for this mystery. If you love The Stephanie Plum Series for the humor, great characters, and fun mystery but just wish Stephanie would dress a little more, how shall we say, fashion-forward, then this is the mystery for you.  

You can purchase Hollywood Homicide here.

Dixie Divas: A Dixie Divas Mystery

Dixie Divas: A Dixie Divas Mystery

By Virginia Brown

In this sweet-tea-and-magnolia-drenched mystery, the Dixie Divas find themselves with one dead ex-husband too many – and in one of the Divas’ closets, no less. The Dixie Divas, a twelve-woman group of fun-loving, gossiping, and troublemaking ladies live in Holly Springs, Mississippi. 

This character-heavy novel focuses on Trinket, who has returned home to live with her aging parents after an awful divorce, and Bitty, her four-times divorced cousin. The ladies suss out who actually killed the dreaded ex and make sure Bitty doesn’t get blamed for the crime. 

This mystery is perfect for The Stephanie Plum Series fans that love the series for the family antics, fun-loving female relationships, and crazy-making exes.

You can purchase Dixie Divas here

Dirty Little Secrets (J.J. Graves Mysteries Book 1)

Dirty Little Secrets: A J.J. Graves Mystery

By Liliana Hart

J.J. Graves recently took over the family mortuary business and is now also the town coroner in her small county in Virginia. With her best friend, Detective Jack Lawson, J.J. finds herself embroiled in solving three murders. 

Each murder is of a victim harboring a ‘dirty little secret,’ but the reality of the murderer’s MO hits home when it comes to light that J.J. herself is keeping secrets. J.J. and Jack must solve the murders before J.J. is the next victim. 

Dirty Little Secrets is a fantastic choice for fans of The Stephanie Plum series for its quirky leading lady investigator, fantastic character banter, and spicy sex scenes.  

You can buy Dirty Little Secrets here

A Scone to Die For (Oxford Tearoom Cozy Mysteries, Book 1)

A Scone To Die For: The Oxford Tearoom Mysteries - Book 1

By H.Y. Hanna

Gemma left her high-stress job in Australia for a quiet life in her small English hometown as an owner of a local tearoom. Today her days are filled with baking and maintaining her cozy little business – until an American tourist ends up dead in her courtyard.  

Gemma quickly finds herself mixed up in the murder mystery with the help (and sometimes hindrance) of her lovable regulars, the old Biddys. Detective  Devlin O’Connor is assigned to her case, and he just happens to be an ex-boyfriend of Gemma’s. The ensuing hijinks are as fun as they are absurd. 

A Scone to Die For is a great pick for fans of The Stephanie Plum Series because of the strong female lead and supporting characters, the funny family dynamics between Gemma and her parents, and the surprising mystery twist. 

You can purchase A Scone to Die For here

Tastes Like Murder (Cookies & Chance Mysteries Book 1)

Tastes Like Murder (Cookies & Chance Mysteries)

By Catherine Bruns

Sally Muccio is trying to move on with her life back in her hometown after divorcing her cheating ex by launching a novelty cookie business with her best friend Josie where patrons even receive original fortune cookies free with every order. But then her ex-husband’s mistress is murdered right in front of Sally’s cookie shop, and everything goes wrong.

Sally and Josie partner up to solve the mystery and prove Sally’s innocence. Add in a flame from Sally’s past, a love triangle, and a zany Italian family, and the story really heats up. The story wraps up with a number of delectable recipes. This cozy read has everything Stephanie Plum fans could want, fun characters making questionable decisions, great relationships, and a twisty whodunnit mystery.

You can purchase Tastes Like Murder here

Paper, Scissors, Death (Book #1 in the Kiki Lowenstein Mystery Series)

Paper, Scissors, Death: Book #1 in the Kiki Lowenstein Mystery Series

By Joanna Campbell Slan

In this funny Agatha Award Finalist mystery, Kiki Lowenstein’s husband is found dead by a maid in a hotel room. They say he died of a heart attack. But on the day of his death, he was seen out at a high-end restaurant with two young ladies, and when he was found he was naked, with a scarf stuffed in his mouth. And this is just the first step in the trouble that comes Kiki’s way in Paper, Scissors, Death.   

Kiki quickly finds herself on the hook for half a million dollars her husband “borrowed” from the company he was a partner in, at the same time she is suddenly financially responsible for herself and her daughter. She needs to step up, and fast. So Kiki finally takes her scrapbooking hobby to a professional level, teaching classes at the local craft store and dog sitting with her former housekeeper. 

Along Kiki’s path to financial and personal independence, she investigates several mysteries, primarily finding out who killed her husband and why. Kiki’s character becomes stronger, and good thing because finding out the reality of her husband’s secret life and supporting a young daughter while being a murder suspect is not something for any old wilting flower. 

You can buy Paper, Scissors, Death here

Mother’s Day Out (A Margie Peterson Mystery Book)

Mother's Day Out (Margie Peterson)

By Karen MacInerney

Margie Peterson, a stay-at-home mom, takes a job at an Austin, Texas PI firm to help pay the bills but soon finds herself way over her head. All within her first day on the job, she’s destroyed the family minivan, mistakenly entered herself into a drag contest, and discovered a dead transvestite with her own home telephone number in their pocket. 

This action-packed comedic mystery is a character-driven ride. Margie is hilarious, and her supporting characters are absolute magic. Margie finds out who her true friends are and that while her new job may be more than she’s bargained for, without it, she wouldn’t know the truth of her own life.

Mother’s Day Out is for fans that love The Stephanie Plum Series for its absurd situations, layered characters, and fast-moving plots.  

You can purchase Mother’s Day Out here

Curiosity Killed the Cat Sitter (Dixie Hemingway Mysteries Book 1)

Curiosity Killed the Cat Sitter (Dixie Hemingway Mysteries, No. 1)

By Blaize Clement

Today, Dixie Hemingway is a pet sitter in Siesta Key, Florida. She keeps to herself and doesn’t have to spend much time interacting with humans, which makes her pretty happy. But when she finds a man drowned in a cat’s water dish, she has to face her personal demons and let her past life as a sheriff’s deputy back in to solve the murder.

Dixie gets help from her brother and his partner, a fireman, and an undercover detective. As well as from a whole cast of unique characters, many of whom are the charming pets she interacts with on a daily basis. 

Though there is a definite thread of tragedy running throughout Dixie’s backstory, this is a cozy mystery built for fans of the Stephanie Plum series. Dixie has a great, sometimes crude sense of humor, the mystery is fast-paced, and the twists keep you on the edge of your seat.  

You can buy Curiosity killed the Cat Sitter here.

Murder With Peacocks (Meg Langslow Mysteries Book 1)

Murder, With Peacocks

By Donna Andrews

Meg Langslow goes home to her small-town Virginia roots for three weddings, her mother’s second, her best friend’s, and her brother’s bride-to-be. Meg, an ornamental blacksmith, really knows how to get things done. Maid of Honor to all three brides, Meg takes on the role of an unofficial wedding planner, catering to unreasonable requests from each bride, from a Native American herbal purification ceremony to procuring a herd of peacocks. 

As wedding guests begin to pour in, a particularly unpleasant older woman from Florida begins to make innuendos and accusations about the wedding parties and guests, making enemies everywhere she goes. Unfortunately for her, one of the accusations must have rung true because she’s found dead shortly thereafter. The police say it was an accident, but Meg’s dad thinks otherwise and decides to prove it with Meg’s help. 

After a series of other fatal “accidents,” it appears that he was right. There is a murderer in their midst. Will Meg and her dad find the murderer before either of them meet their own deadly accident? 

You can purchase Murder With Peacocks here

Aloha Alibi (Charlotte Gibson Mysteries Book 1)

Aloha Alibi (Charlotte Gibson Mysteries)

By Jasmine Webb

Charlotte Gibson, Charlie to her friends, has returned home to Hawaiian paradise to live with her matchmaking Mom – and to avoid being killed by the mob. Charlie takes a job slinging ice cream and trying to keep a low profile. But when a local businessman is stabbed after eating an ice cream cone Charlie served him, she just has to investigate – after finding out what kind of reward money is offered. 

With the help of two ladies in her seventies, and occasionally her best and most rational friend Zoe and her lovely and raunchy mother, Charlie works to find the murderer. And in the midst of corrupt local government, helping Zoe deal with a stalker, and dodging the gangsters who want her dead, she might just solve it. 

You can purchase Aloha Alibi here

Claire Dewitt And The City Of The Dead (Claire DeWitt Novels Book 1)

Claire DeWitt and the City of the Dead (Claire DeWitt Novels) (Claire DeWitt Novels, 1)

By Sara Gran

In this interesting take on the detective novel, PI Claire DeWitt is a devout follower of the great Investigator Jaques Silette, and his book Détection. Claire honed her craft by learning from another student of Silette, a DA who becomes pivotal to the story when she goes missing. 

Claire is an original character, bold and yet careless with her own safety, studied and yet impulsive. 

New Orleans is center-stage in this mystery, enhancing the story. Set after Hurricane Katrina, the damaged cityscape is integral to Dewitt’s unorthodox investigations and lends more of a gothic feeling to the story as a whole. 

Claire Dewitt and the City of the Dead is a great pick for Stephanie Plum fans that love an original and flawed female detective, bizarre mystery twists, and fascinating side characters.  

You can buy Claire DeWitt and the City of the Dead here

Death in the Park (Firefly Junction Cozy Mystery Book 1)

Death in the Park (Firefly Junction)

By London Lovett

Death in the Park is the story of Sunni Taylor, a recent transplant to Firefly Junction, Georgia. Sunni moves into the Cider Ridge Inn, a decrepit and long-past-its-prime manor house on shared property with the two homes of her sisters. With big plans of one day being the inn proprietor, Sunni takes on the smaller role of a second-string reporter at the local newspaper. 

As a newspaper reporter, Sunni naturally is drawn to the fray when she sees police cars screaming through town while she is having lunch with a friend, the local psychic. What the ladies come upon is a murder scene, and lo and behold, the victim is the retired school janitor Sunni has been assigned to report on. Can Sunni solve the crime and beat the annoyingly attractive head detective to the punch? She certainly hopes so. 

This charming mystery is a great fit for fans of The Stephanie Plum Series for its bold female-led investigation, fantastic character writing, and fun sexual tension.

You can buy Death in the Park here

A is for Alibi (Kinsey Millhone Series)

A is for Alibi (Kinsey Millhone Alphabet Mysteries, No. 1)

By Sue Grafton

Kinsey Millhone is a tough ex-policewoman turned private investigator. Kinsey keeps to herself, especially after two failed marriages. When a woman who was falsely convicted of killing her cheat-of-a-husband comes to Kinsey for help in finding the real killer, she can’t refuse. After all, she’s always pulled for the underdog. But this proves to be more than just a cold case when a second body shows up. Which is just Kinsey’s speed. 

A is for Alibi begins the exciting and prolific 25-book series, ranging from A-Y. Though the tone of the Millhone books is more serious than The Stephanie Plum Series, it’s a great fit for those Evanovich fans who love a strong clever female detective in a continuous series and smart, twisty mysteries.   

You can buy A is for Alibi here

Louisiana Longshot (A Miss Fortune Mystery, Book 1)

Louisiana Longshot: A Miss Fortune Mystery (Miss Fortune Mysteries)

By Jana DeLeon

In this Southern gem, Fortune Redding is posing as a former beauty queen and current librarian in Sinful, Louisiana. In reality, she’s a CIA agent off the grid, trying to keep her head down (and on her body), hiding from a Middle Eastern drug lord with an ax to grind with her. She tries to fit in with the locals, learning to knit and playing a grieving niece attempting to inventory her aunt’s home. 

But as you would expect, her cover is blown in short order when her “aunt’s” dog drags a human bone out of the swamp, and Miss Fortune becomes center stage in a murder mystery in the small town on the bayou. With the assistance, and sometimes hindrance, of a group of elderly ladies called “The Geritol Mafia,” Fortune sets out to solve the mystery of this cold case murder. 

This fun and funny book is a perfect fit for Stephanie Plum fans with its smart female characters, atmospheric setting, and outlandish character choices. 

You can purchase Louisiana Longshot here


What else should I read like the Stephanie Plum Series by Janet Evanovich?

If you liked The Stephanie Plum Series by Janet Evanovich, you should check out this list of 20 Books like The Stephanie Plum Series (by Janet Evanovich). A shortened version of the list is:

1. May Day: A Romcom Mystery (A Murder by Month Romcom Mystery Book 1) By Jess Lourey
2. Merit Badge Murder (Merry Wrath Mysteries Book 1) By Leslie Langtry
3. The Spellman Files (The Spellmans #1) By Lisa Lutz
4. Body Movers (A Body Movers Novel Book 1) By Stephanie Bond
5. Whiskey Rebellion: An Addison Holmes Mystery (Addison Holmes Mysteries Book 1) By Liliana Hart
6. Sex, Murder and a Double Latte (A Sophie Katz Mystery Book 1) By Kyra Davis
7. Hollywood Homicide: The First Detective by Day Humorous Mystery (Detective by Day Mystery Book 1) By Kellye Garrett
8. Dixie Divas: A Dixie Divas Mystery By Virginia Brown
9. Dirty Little Secrets (J.J. Graves Mysteries Book 1) By Liliana Hart
10. A Scone to Die For (Oxford Tearoom Cozy Mysteries, Book 1) By H.Y. Hanna
11. Tastes Like Murder (Cookies & Chance Mysteries Book 1) By Catherine Bruns
12. Paper, Scissors, Death (Book #1 in the Kiki Lowenstein Mystery Series) By Joanna Campbell Slan
13. Mother’s Day Out (A Margie Peterson Mystery Book) By Karen MacInerney
14. Curiosity Killed the Cat Sitter (Dixie Hemingway Mysteries Book 1) By Blaize Clement
15. Murder With Peacocks (Meg Langslow Mysteries Book 1) By Donna Andrews
16. Aloha Alibi (Charlotte Gibson Mysteries Book 1) By Jasmine Webb
17. Claire Dewitt And The City Of The Dead (Claire DeWitt Novels Book 1) By Sara Gran
18. Death in the Park (Firefly Junction Cozy Mystery Book 1) London Lovett
19. A is for Alibi (Kinsey Millhone Series) By Sue Grafton
20. Louisiana Longshot (A Miss Fortune Mystery, Book 1) By Jana DeLeon

What genre is the Stephanie Plum Series by Janet Evanovich?

The Stephanie Plum Series is considered mystery suspense. The comedic tone of the Stephanie Plum books lends itself to the cozy mystery genre as well.

Is Janet Evanovich a cozy mystery writer?

Yes. Janet Evanovich’s books are cozy mysteries with elements of suspense, romance, and screwball comedy.

How many of The Stephanie Plum Series books by Janet Evanovich have been made into movies?

Just one. Janet Evanovich’s One for the Money was made into a movie in 2012 directed by Julie Anne Robinson, starring Katherine Heigl, Jason O’Mara, and Daniel Sunjata.

Is Janet Evanovich still writing The Stephanie Plum Series books?

Yes, Janet Evanovich is still writing The Stephanie Plum Series.

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Sara Zeller