Books set in Missouri

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September 27, 2022
Goodreads

Books set in Missouri

Every state has its hallmark writers. Mississippi has William Faulkner and his incomparable (fictional) Yoknapatawpha County and Missouri can lay claim to Mark Twain. The state of Maine is gifted with Pulitzer winner Richard Russo and horror icon Stephen King. Rural Pennsylvania is the playground of the much-heralded (and occasionally maligned) John Updike, and when many bibliophiles think of New Jersey, they also think of Richard Ford's series of novels featuring recurring Everyman character Frank Bascombe. Illinois can lay claim to William Maxwell, Sandra Cisneros, and Adam Langer, among numerous others. And what reader can think of Washington State without contending with the sparkle-vampire yarns of Stephanie Meyer?

What makes authors like these inextricably associated with a particular state is not simply the matter of their having been born there or choosing to live there. The connection, from a writerly standpoint, is deeper than that—their work, nearly all of it, is set in "their" state.

Of course, there are certainly exceptions. Whether a writer sets a tale in the town where they went to college or spent part of their childhood—like Donna Tartt's "The Secret History" and its New England arts school setting and the almost-factual small town of Jo Ann Beard's "In Zanesville," respectively—or crafts a story that follows a social or political theme to a location they know little about but lay narrative claim to anyway, the world is rife with books known, loved, and respected that also capture the essence of place—books where setting itself is one of the strongest characters.

Stacker compiled a list of books set in Missouri from Goodreads. Whether you're looking for a good read set in the state you call home, or you're looking to expand your curiosity with a writer you're already familiar with, we've got you covered.

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1 / 50
Goodreads

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer

- Rating: 3.92 (862,590 ratings)
- Author: Mark Twain
- Published: June 1, 1876
- Genres: Classics, Fiction, Adventure, Historical Fiction
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2 / 50
Goodreads

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

- Rating: 3.83 (1.2 million ratings)
- Author: Mark Twain
- Published: December 1, 1884
- Genres: Classics, Fiction, Historical Fiction, Literature
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3 / 50
Goodreads

The Glass Menagerie

- Rating: 3.72 (125,002 ratings)
- Author: Tennessee Williams
- Published: January 1, 1945
- Genres: Plays, Classics, Drama, Fiction
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4 / 50
Goodreads

Gone Girl

- Rating: 4.11 (2.7 million ratings)
- Author: Gillian Flynn
- Published: May 14, 2012
- Genres: Fiction, Mystery, Thriller, Mystery Thriller
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5 / 50
Goodreads

Enemy Women

- Rating: 3.74 (6,878 ratings)
- Author: Paulette Jiles
- Published: January 1, 2002
- Genres: Historical Fiction, Fiction, Civil War, Historical
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6 / 50
Goodreads

Winter's Bone

- Rating: 3.87 (34,807 ratings)
- Author: Daniel Woodrell
- Published: January 1, 2006
- Genres: Fiction, Mystery, Contemporary, Crime
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7 / 50
Goodreads

Life on the Mississippi

- Rating: 3.86 (14,310 ratings)
- Author: Mark Twain
- Published: January 1, 1883
- Genres: Classics, Nonfiction, History, Travel
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8 / 50
Goodreads

Stoner

- Rating: 4.31 (133,288 ratings)
- Author: John Williams
- Published: January 1, 1965
- Genres: Fiction, Classics, Literature, Novels
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9 / 50
Goodreads

Guilty Pleasures (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter, #1)

- Rating: 4.02 (142,249 ratings)
- Author: Laurell K. Hamilton
- Published: October 1, 1993
- Genres: Urban Fantasy, Vampires, Fantasy, Paranormal
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10 / 50
Goodreads

A Good American

- Rating: 3.73 (7,595 ratings)
- Author: Alex George
- Published: January 1, 2012
- Genres: Historical Fiction, Fiction, Historical, Adult Fiction
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11 / 50
Goodreads

Laura Ingalls Wilder: A Biography

- Rating: 4.21 (4,549 ratings)
- Author: William Anderson
- Published: January 1, 1992
- Genres: Biography, Nonfiction, History, Historical
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12 / 50
Goodreads

Sharp Objects

- Rating: 4.01 (867,811 ratings)
- Author: Gillian Flynn
- Published: September 26, 2006
- Genres: Mystery, Fiction, Thriller, Mystery Thriller
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13 / 50
Goodreads

Pudd'nhead Wilson

- Rating: 3.75 (17,416 ratings)
- Author: Mark Twain
- Published: May 10, 1893
- Genres: Classics, Fiction, Literature, Humor
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14 / 50
Goodreads

Butterfly Weeds (Butterfly Weeds, #1)

- Rating: 3.90 (3,437 ratings)
- Author: Laura Miller
- Published: January 1, 2012
- Genres: Romance, New Adult, Contemporary, Chick Lit
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15 / 50
Goodreads

Show Me the Ashes (Show Me, #4)

- Rating: 4.00 (19 ratings)
- Author: Carolyn Mulford
- Published: December 16, 2015
- Genres: Mystery
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16 / 50
Goodreads

The Borrower

- Rating: 3.50 (11,740 ratings)
- Author: Rebecca Makkai
- Published: June 9, 2011
- Genres: Fiction, Books About Books, Adult Fiction, Adult
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17 / 50
Goodreads

The Weight of Blood

- Rating: 3.75 (21,691 ratings)
- Author: Laura McHugh
- Published: January 1, 2014
- Genres: Mystery, Fiction, Thriller, Mystery Thriller
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18 / 50
Goodreads

A Veiled Antiquity (Torie O'Shea, #2)

- Rating: 3.88 (442 ratings)
- Author: Rett MacPherson
- Published: May 15, 1998
- Genres: Mystery, Cozy Mystery, Fiction, Own
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19 / 50
Goodreads

The Maid's Version

- Rating: 3.35 (6,981 ratings)
- Author: Daniel Woodrell
- Published: January 1, 2013
- Genres: Fiction, Historical Fiction, Mystery, Literary Fiction
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20 / 50
Goodreads

The Whys Have It

- Rating: 4.30 (279 ratings)
- Author: Amy Matayo
- Published: June 1, 2017
- Genres: Romance, Contemporary, Christian Fiction, Fiction
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21 / 50
Goodreads

Stone Field

- Rating: 3.24 (304 ratings)
- Author: Christy Lenzi
- Published: March 29, 2016
- Genres: Historical Fiction, Young Adult, Romance, Retellings
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22 / 50
Goodreads

Proposing Mischief (The Joplin Chronicles, #2)

- Rating: 4.44 (300 ratings)
- Author: Regina Jennings
- Published: December 7, 2021
- Genres: Historical Fiction, Christian Fiction, Romance, Historical
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23 / 50
Goodreads

Elly in Bloom

- Rating: 3.69 (1,360 ratings)
- Author: Colleen Oakes
- Published: September 5, 2012
- Genres: Romance, Chick Lit, Contemporary, Fiction
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24 / 50
Goodreads

Bushwhackers and Broken Hearts: Letters from Missouri during the Civil War

- Rating: 3.76 (25 ratings)
- Author: P.J. Sullivan
- Published: April 23, 2010
- Genres: History, Civil War, American History, Historical
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Goodreads

Ulysses S. Grant

- Rating: 3.39 (23 ratings)
- Author: Robert Skimin
- Published: January 1, 1994
- Genres: Historical Fiction
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26 / 50
Goodreads

White Man's Heaven: The Lynching and Expulsion of Blacks in the Southern Ozarks, 1894-1909

- Rating: 4.44 (27 ratings)
- Author: Kimberly Harper
- Published: October 1, 2010
- Genres: History
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27 / 50
Goodreads

Family Skeletons (Torie O'Shea, #1)

- Rating: 3.79 (657 ratings)
- Author: Rett MacPherson
- Published: January 1, 1997
- Genres: Mystery, Cozy Mystery, Fiction, Mystery Thriller
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Goodreads

Burnt Offerings (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter, #7)

- Rating: 4.08 (68,067 ratings)
- Author: Laurell K. Hamilton
- Published: May 1, 1998
- Genres: Urban Fantasy, Vampires, Paranormal, Fantasy
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29 / 50
Goodreads

The River Wife

- Rating: 3.41 (2,241 ratings)
- Author: Jonis Agee
- Published: January 1, 2007
- Genres: Historical Fiction, Fiction, Historical, 19th Century
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30 / 50
Goodreads

Cerulean Sins (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter, #11)

- Rating: 3.86 (51,037 ratings)
- Author: Laurell K. Hamilton
- Published: January 1, 2003
- Genres: Urban Fantasy, Vampires, Paranormal, Fantasy
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31 / 50
Goodreads

Affliction (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter #22)

- Rating: 4.05 (20,772 ratings)
- Author: Laurell K. Hamilton
- Published: July 2, 2013
- Genres: Urban Fantasy, Paranormal, Vampires, Fantasy
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32 / 50
Goodreads

Circus of the Damned (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter, #3)

- Rating: 4.16 (92,142 ratings)
- Author: Laurell K. Hamilton
- Published: January 1, 1995
- Genres: Urban Fantasy, Vampires, Fantasy, Paranormal
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33 / 50
Goodreads

Bullet (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter #19)

- Rating: 3.84 (33,575 ratings)
- Author: Laurell K. Hamilton
- Published: June 1, 2010
- Genres: Urban Fantasy, Paranormal, Vampires, Fantasy
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34 / 50
Goodreads

Celia, A Slave

- Rating: 3.55 (1,328 ratings)
- Author: Melton A. McLaurin
- Published: November 1, 1991
- Genres: History, Nonfiction, Biography, American History
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35 / 50
Goodreads

Bloody Bones (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter #5)

- Rating: 4.11 (72,605 ratings)
- Author: Laurell K. Hamilton
- Published: October 1, 1996
- Genres: Urban Fantasy, Vampires, Fantasy, Paranormal
- Read more on Goodreads

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36 / 50
Goodreads

Inside War: The Guerrilla Conflict in Missouri During the American Civil War

- Rating: 4.14 (77 ratings)
- Author: Michael Fellman
- Published: January 1, 1989
- Genres: History, Civil War, Nonfiction, American History
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37 / 50
Goodreads

Meet Me in St. Louis

- Rating: 3.77 (249 ratings)
- Author: Sally Benson
- Published: January 1, 1942
- Genres: Fiction, Historical Fiction, Historical, Classics
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38 / 50
Goodreads

Killing Cousins (Torie O'Shea, #5)

- Rating: 4.00 (391 ratings)
- Author: Rett MacPherson
- Published: March 7, 2002
- Genres: Mystery, Fiction, Cozy Mystery
- Read more on Goodreads
39 / 50
Goodreads

Lion of the Valley: St. Louis, Missouri, 1764-1980

- Rating: 3.85 (60 ratings)
- Author: James Neal Primm
- Published: January 1, 1981
- Genres: History, Nonfiction
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40 / 50
Goodreads

Jesse James: Last Rebel of the Civil War

- Rating: 4.09 (1,168 ratings)
- Author: T.J. Stiles
- Published: September 1, 2002
- Genres: History, Biography, Nonfiction, Civil War
- Read more on Goodreads

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41 / 50
Goodreads

Danse Macabre (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter, #14)

- Rating: 3.83 (46,143 ratings)
- Author: Laurell K. Hamilton
- Published: January 1, 2006
- Genres: Urban Fantasy, Vampires, Paranormal, Fantasy
- Read more on Goodreads
42 / 50
Goodreads

The Harlequin (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter #15)

- Rating: 3.92 (44,553 ratings)
- Author: Laurell K. Hamilton
- Published: January 1, 2007
- Genres: Urban Fantasy, Vampires, Paranormal, Fantasy
- Read more on Goodreads
43 / 50
Goodreads

The Blood Ballad (Torie O'Shea, #11)

- Rating: 4.00 (376 ratings)
- Author: Rett MacPherson
- Published: February 19, 2008
- Genres: Mystery, Cozy Mystery, Fiction
- Read more on Goodreads
44 / 50
Goodreads

Incubus Dreams (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter, #12)

- Rating: 3.80 (49,138 ratings)
- Author: Laurell K. Hamilton
- Published: January 1, 2004
- Genres: Urban Fantasy, Vampires, Paranormal, Fantasy
- Read more on Goodreads
45 / 50
Goodreads

The Killing Dance (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter, #6)

- Rating: 4.13 (71,172 ratings)
- Author: Laurell K. Hamilton
- Published: June 1, 1997
- Genres: Urban Fantasy, Vampires, Paranormal, Fantasy
- Read more on Goodreads

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46 / 50
Goodreads

Kiss the Dead (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter #21)

- Rating: 3.83 (24,679 ratings)
- Author: Laurell K. Hamilton
- Published: June 1, 2012
- Genres: Urban Fantasy, Paranormal, Vampires, Fantasy
- Read more on Goodreads
47 / 50
Goodreads

The Laughing Corpse (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter, #2)

- Rating: 4.12 (82,902 ratings)
- Author: Laurell K. Hamilton
- Published: September 1, 1994
- Genres: Urban Fantasy, Vampires, Fantasy, Paranormal
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48 / 50
Goodreads

The Lunatic Cafe (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter #4)

- Rating: 4.12 (76,634 ratings)
- Author: Laurell K. Hamilton
- Published: January 1, 1996
- Genres: Urban Fantasy, Vampires, Fantasy, Paranormal
- Read more on Goodreads
49 / 50
Goodreads

Blue Moon (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter, #8)

- Rating: 4.05 (64,311 ratings)
- Author: Laurell K. Hamilton
- Published: November 1, 1998
- Genres: Urban Fantasy, Vampires, Paranormal, Fantasy
- Read more on Goodreads
50 / 50
Goodreads

Blood Noir (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter #16)

- Rating: 3.87 (40,857 ratings)
- Author: Laurell K. Hamilton
- Published: May 27, 2008
- Genres: Urban Fantasy, Vampires, Paranormal, Fantasy
- Read more on Goodreads

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