Missouri Fiction


Listen to the bibliography

[ or download the media file ]

To order any of these titles, contact the library by email, mail or phone. You may also request these titles online through our OPAC. Happy Reading!

A patron called to tell Reader Advisor Cheryl Hassler that she had gotten a book set in the area of St. Louis where she grew up, and that it had been really great to read that book and be familiar with the region. Cheryl thought it would be fun to look for other books set completely or partly in Missouri. Although these books are fiction, perhaps you will recognize places you have been, or heard about. We hope you enjoy these books set in Missouri.

Baby, Would I Lie? by Donald E. Westlake.
When country singer Ray Jones is accused of murder, the press descends on Branson, Missouri. Sara Joslyn reports for the weekly magazine Trend: The Magazine for the Way We Live This Instant. Her editor and lover, Jack, wants her to write an expose on the way the tabloid Galaxy gathers news, but Sara gets an inside scoop on the Jones story instead. Strong language. RC 40765.

Brain Storm by Richard Dooling.
Joe Watson, a lawyer who specializes in cyber research, is forced by a local federal judge to take his first pro bono case, the murder of a deaf African American. While he is preparing for trial, Watson is fired, his family leaves him, and he almost has an affair. Strong language and violence. RC 48344.

Cry of the Hawk by Terry C. Johnston.
In 1908, reclusive frontiersman Jonah Hook tells his and his silent wife Gritta's stories to a visiting journalist. Imprisoned during the Civil War, Confederate Hook's only chance for freedom is to become a galvanized Yankee fighting Indians. Gritta and the children run the Missouri farm until they are abducted, not by the expected Rebels but by an insane Mormon and his band. Jonah Hook series, book 1. Strong language, violence, and some descriptions of sex. RC 38639.

Death Benefits by Michael A. Kahn.
Stoddard Anderson was the managing partner for the St. Louis office of Abbott and Windsor. Several days ago he committed suicide. Rachel Gold has been retained by the law firm to prove that Anderson was insane when he killed himself. Rachel and her best friend Benny travel to St. Louis looking for proof of insanity. They become involved with a missing Aztec artifact and just a little romance. Some strong language. RC 39596.

The Edge of Town by Dorothy Garlock.
Missouri, 1922. Farm girl Julie Jones has taken care of her siblings since her mother's death. When Evan Johnson, a veteran and son of the town drunk, returns home, they fall in love. But each has secrets. 1920s series. Some descriptions of sex, some violence, and some strong language. RC 52852.

The Girls by Elaine Kagan.
The six girls are part of a group of high school friends who knew each others' families, dated some of the same guys, and in middle age are still best friends. But on a Tuesday morning, everything changes when Jessie comes tearing into Ellen's home closely followed by Pete. A few minutes later, Pete is dead. As the women prepare for the funeral, they recount the successes, losses, and betrayals that have brought them to this day. Strong language. RC 39076.

Jesse James: Death of a Legend by Will Henry.
A fictional account of the life of the infamous outlaw. Traces his youth in post-Civil War Missouri, where he joined the Confederate guerillas, his adult years as a ruthless renegade and robber of banks and trains, and his death at the hands of his comrades in 1882. Violence and some strong language. RC 43788.

The Journal of Callie Wade by Dawn Miller.
The fictional diary of an eighteen-year-old Missouri farm girl, describing her family's trek to California by wagon train in 1859. Her journal conveys the sorrow of leaving home and childhood friends, the perils and privations of the trail, and the hope and courage that sustained the pioneers. RC 43653.

Killshot by Elmore Leonard.
Carmen and Wayne Colson, a middle aged couple living in Michigan, have the misfortune to stumble onto an extortion scheme aimed at Carmen's boss. Fearing for their lives, they become part of the Federal Witness Security Program and are sent to Missouri. But life there is no picnic either, because of the treatment they receive from the local authorities. Strong language. RC 29016, BR 7746.

McKendree by Douglas Hirt.
Josh McKendree chose the wrong plot of Missouri land to homestead since ruthless trapper Jacques Ribalt considers the entire area his. When one of Ribalt's traps kills McKendree's beloved dog, a feud quickly escalates into a nightmare that leaves McKendree's family dead. An enraged McKendree hunts Ribalt down, shrugging off the bears, Indians, and near deaths that stand in his way. Violence. RC 36447.

A Murder, a Mystery, and a Marriage by Mark Twain.
A previously unpublished story by Mark Twain, written in 1876. Set in small town Missouri, the tale involves an arranged marriage, a mysterious stranger, and a convenient murder, and has a twist at the end. The foreword and afterword by Roy Blount, Jr. explain the book's literary significance. RC 53185, BR 13908.

Oops! by John Lutz.
Saint Louis private detective Nudger is asked by fellow investigator Lacy Tumulty to take over a difficult case. While Nudger is exploring the accidental death of a young woman at her father's request, the father is also found dead. Alo Nudger series. Some violence, some strong language, and some descriptions of sex. RC 46933.

River of Sky by Karen Harper.
In 1835 widowed, impoverished Kate Craig befriends Blue Wing, her husband's other wife, and together they set out for the Mandan tribe up the Missouri River, where Kate hopes to set up a fur trade. Also on the riverboat is Rand, a part-Indian man bent on saving the Mandans from corrupt traders. Descriptions of sex. RC 43808.

Small Town Girl by LaVyrle Spencer.
Country music star Tess McPhail returns home to care for her mother, who had hip surgery. But all Tess can think about is the month she is wasting while so much work is waiting in Nashville. To make matters worse, Kenny Kronek, the boy-next-door she taunted throughout school, has become her mother's best friend. Some strong language and some descriptions of sex. RC 43784.

Somebody Else's Mama by David Haynes.
Al and Paula Johnson live with their twin sons in an African American town in northern Missouri. Paula cares not only for her sons, but also for her feisty and cantankerous mother-in-law, Miss Kezee, whom Paula invited to stay after Ms. Kezee became a widow. Paula struggles to unify her household while Al runs for mayor. Some strong language. RC 43734.

The Time of Her Life by Robb Forman Dew.
Writers Avery and Claudia Parks, and their talented eleven-year-old daughter Jane, live in discord in the comfortable academic suburb of Lunsbury, Missouri. Their ideal marriage begins to falter under its self centered focus, and Claudia turns to her daughter for support. Strong language. RC 22032.

The Twenty-Seventh City by Jonathan Franzen.
In the early 1980s, St. Louis, Missouri, the twenty-seventh largest city in the United States, has appointed S. Jammu, a woman from India, as its police chief. Unknown to the citizens of St. Louis, Jammu has plans to use their city as an entry point for a revolutionary attack on the entire country. Some descriptions of sex. RC 29241.

Welcome to the World, Baby Girl! by Fannie Flagg.
New York TV anchor Dena Nordstrom's career is flourishing, but her private life is not. Then her high stress job, combined with too many nights out on the town, takes its toll, and Dena goes back to her hometown to recuperate. Pondering her past and wondering about her future, she finds unexpected pleasures in the small Missouri town. Elmwood Springs series, book 1. RC 47006.