In the April 2021 newsletter we asked our readers what books or book series they would like to see turned into movies and TV shows.

Here are the responses:

Bruce: Graeme, following you lead I am about 2/3rd through Relentless and really enjoying it.

In response to this months request for books to movies/tv series, after running it through my mind I feel that John Sandford with either the Lucas Davenport character or Virgil Flowers could be turned in to great television series similar to Bosch.

My understanding is that there are already two Prey movies out there, but with television series we could be kept in suspense for the next ten years minimum.

Thanks for the monthly updates.

Debbie: I am hesitant to recommend any series be made into a television series as television tends to stray so far from the original written story. However, if pressed, the “In Death” series by JD Robb would be top. A strong female lead with a rich husband with an irish brogue – solving crimes – What more do you need?

Phil: The books I’d most like to see made into a series is Brad Taylor’s. I absolutely love his Pike Logan stories. Not sure who I’d have play Pike off the top of my head, but Alicia Vikander immediately comes to mind for Jennifer’s role due to her athleticism and wiry good looks.

Baldacci’s Amos Decker books would probably be a close second.

I used to think making a movie was the best way to go, but with some of the series out now like Bosch and Jack Ryan, you can get so much more in depth with 8-10 45 minute shows each year.

And like you, I love the idea for the Reacher series being based on one book per year. Absolutely can’t wait for this one to get started. And the actor they have chosen is a great fit in my opinion….. I still haven’t figured out why Lee Child allowed Tom Cruise to portray Reacher :(.

Im fairly new to your updates here. So here are my 2 cents for what it’s worth :)….. really enjoy these emails you send out. Thank you.

Kelly: I am in that enviable position of discovering that someone is making one of my favorite books into a TV Show before I even thought of it being done. The first season was released last year, and the second season is being released this year (3 episodes so far), and I am loving it!

The book? Four of them actually: Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.

The TV Show? The Chosen

In this show, the producers have taken the clues about the disciples’ personalities from the recorded actions and statements and created back stories to lead logically to what is actually recorded in the books. The result is a very refreshing and entertaining story-telling that fills in the gaps without contradicting what was written. And they have been careful to give each disciple their own personality.

I highly recommend this TV Show to anyone who has read the books, and even those who haven’t. Search on to find it.

Jennifer: “The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency”

Yes, I know HBO already tried this as a TV series1, and they did a great job. But they just left me wishing for more.

Chris: Hi Graeme. Your newsletter always provides the names of so many great books, old and new. Thank you! There is one book that I read last year by a local writer that would absolutely make a dynamite movie: Deathload by Cy Young. This book, with a tough, smart Phoenix detective as the main character, has so many high tech twists and turns that it kept me reading late every night until I finished it. The detective tries to stop two seemingly indestructible robot trucks which barrel across the highways, on their way to attack military bases. There are many scenes with racing cars, helicopters, high tech weaponry and explosions. While the descriptive writing helped me visualize the scenes, it would be incredible to see them recreated on the screen. I hope that happens!

Amy: Hi! Thanks for your newsletter. It helps me find new authors!
You asked what book should be made into a movie: nearly anything by Joel Rosenberg. Love his books-they move fast. Have you read him?

Happy Spring!

Mark: The death of mates westaway by Ruth ware. A gothic standalone that grips you from the start as the Barr sets in motion a risky plan that once in motion is irreversible and leaves her in a dangerous situation that she can’t control . Immensely tense with a rich cast of suspects set in a rambling decrepit old mansion in the wild and bleak British countryside. Brilliant .

Neil: I would like to see Stephen L. Carter’s Emperor of Ocean Park crafted into a movie. Although the book seems slow at times, it is a well designed thriller that comes together at the end. There is so much complexity to cover the book could probably be made into a series.

Janet: The books series I would love to see as moving is the Jennifer Estep series about Spider the Assassin. Not the sort of think I normally read, but someone told me I would like it. I ending up reading them all. At least I thought I had until I checked today. Looks like she continued the series and there are nine more, I thought there series had ended. Wow, I have books to find!

The website loaded really slow, it took 40 seconds before it reloaded after a new search. I did a speed test while it was searching and had +300 MBPS down.

Tai: The Miss Fortune series by Jana Deleon, with Ida Belle played by Helen Mirren.

On another matter, I just read your letter on my Galaxy 20 phone, and could not see the images.

Thank you for your most enjoyable newsletters.

Lu: I would like to see the Mike Bowditch Series written by Paul Doiron. It would be a different type of “cop” series since it is based on a Maine Game Warden type based in Maine.

Joyce: Send Down the Rain by Charles Martin would make a great movie in my opinion.

Dawn: Hi, Great newsletter.

I would like to see Alan Bradley’s Flavia de Luce series made into a movie.

I’m reading through them, there are ten.

The plots require enough intellect to appeal to adults, and sassy Flavia, the 11 year old chemist, would be wonderfully fun to tweens and teens. As a budding scientist, Flavia is a positive role model for girls!

Carol: In answer to your question about a book series being made into a movie(s), I would like to nominate the Chief Inspector Gamache series by Louise Penny. These books have very interesting plots, lots of action and some very quirky characters that would translate well into the big screen or commercial television.

Mary: I’d like to see the Royal Spyness series (by Rhys Bowen) made a TV mini-series (or limited-run series, whatever we’re calling them these days).

Period pieces have been successful on television of late (Downtown Abbey, Bridgerton, Belgravia, etc.) and this would fit that mold. Costumes would be magnificent! And although it’s a cozy mystery/spy series, the characters could be fleshed in a way that makes us fall in love with them.

Janice: If James Lee Burke’s book Tin Roof Blowdown (minus Burke’s politics in the book) were to become a movie, I’d rush to see it. If a Robicheaux tv series were made, I’d watch television again.

Louise Perry’s Gamache would make a great protagonist in a tv series because of his police work and personal life. Perry presents a good balance of the two in her books.

Having a movie made based on Delia Owens’ Where the Crawdads Sing would be great, too. That book was a stunner me. I vacillated back and forth as I read it as to what I thought the character would do-until the very end of the book.

I’ve found that book-based movies depend on who plays the main character and especially the sequence of scenes. For example, Alec Baldwin and Tommy Lee Jones as Dave Robicheaux didn’t fit the character at all, and Alec Baldwin was the worst of the two. The storylines in either movie were not believable to me, and neither actor seemed to believe in the character of Robicheaux.

An example of a good actor
portraying a book character well was Tyler Perry as James Patterson’s Alex Cross even though the movie itself wasn’t that good. Since seeing the movie, I can’t visualize the character as anyone else but Tyler Perry, who is a good dramatic actor.

Loretta: I just finished reading, Eternal by Lisa Scottoline! It definitely is a book that I could NOT put down. This historical fiction will grab your heart and stay with you, and yes, it will bring tears! It is well documented that Lisa Scottoline researched the Italian Holocaust for years and ETERNAL is the result of that interest and trying to learn the truth. It is a beautifully woven story of Elisabetta, Marco, and Sandro and their families. I do believe that ETERNAL offers us hope that love be it brotherhood, romantic, family, love of a good country, really can save us. I’ll stop there.

I missed last month’s question, “what was the last book you couldn’t put down.” I am really behind J and that’s okay, it happens. However, this month’s question, what book would you like to see made into a movie – definitely, ETERNAL I think this book comes at a good time – a much needed time.

Prior to Eternal, I read We Begin At The End by Chris Whitaker. This was a first time author for me and I will check out his other books. This book does get one’s attention because it rings true. It’s a story about people who deserve so much more than life gives them. Again, I’ll stop here. I have a tendency to tell too much.

And last but not least, I read The Moonlight School by Suzanne Woods Fisher that was inspired by true events which rocked our nation into realizing adult literacy was a problem. I emailed Suzanne Woods Fisher and told her how much I liked her novel, and more so because this did happen — in Kentucky. She responded and was most appreciative. This leads me to your thoughts about telling the authors what we like, appreciate, and enjoy. I will be writing to Lisa Scottoline and Chris Whitaker. I appreciated both books more than I can say.

Pat: Quite frankly, I can’t think of any books that I’d like to see made into a movie, because the movie, in general, is rarely anywhere close to being as good. So much has to be left out, especially the inner thoughts and motivations of the characters. So much harder to show those visually. I can only think of one movie that came close, Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut. Maybe because I saw the movie first? The movie handled the shifting of time and place very well. And the reverse is true, if a book is written that is “based on” the movie, you can be quite certain it will be flat and uninteresting and not as good as the movie. Now, I will take off my curmudgeon hat and go do some reading! (Ha ha)

Louis: For me, I would like to see any of the Prey books made into a movie. I would also like to see Virgil Flowers involved as Lucas Davenport’s sidekick & direct report. Both characters are fleshed out very well and would complement the production. In reality, I’m unsure if John Sandford (Camp) would allow any other screenwriter to be involved; he seems extremely private in his lifestyle. But with the proper arrangement, who knows?

Ginny: I would like to see the Louise Penny mysteries made into a TV series. A very long TV series, with one mystery per season, and the characters aging as they do in the books.

DG: I would love to see Dean Koontz, Jane Hawk made into a TV series. The series is not that many books so it could easily be done. Plus there is not that much of Koontz’s way out there sci-fi supernatural. These books’ stories, could very easily happened.

sven: Books are so much better than their movies. So much is lost or changed. If I were to pick any books for a movie, It would be a redo of the Jack Reacher ones with anybody other than Tom Cruise!

Vic: The River God by Wilbur Smith and all the Egyptian epics.

Sandy: The book series I would love to see made into a TV series is the Eve Dallas In Death series by J D Robb. I love this series and think it would make a great TV series.

Raley: I’m a big fan of William Kent Kruger’s protagonist, Cork O’Connor, and his adventures in Northern Minnesota. Interesting characters in beautiful settings.

Addictive stories well told.

Phoenix: You asked what book I’d like to see made into a movie. Well, that’s easy. I would love to see Margaret Frazer’s Sister Frivesse books made into a TV series, rather like Cadfael. And I can easily see Merle Streep as Sister Frivesse. Or possibly Judy Parfitt, who does such a wonderful job on Call the Midwife. The one thing to guard against is when tv does not stay true to the books, which, sadly, was the case with Jan Karon’s Mitford series, which I refuse to even watch since they screwed it up so badly. So, that’s my two-cents worth.

Pamela: Thank you once again for your fantastic site and newsletter. I use your website multiple times a month and your newsletter has so many great recommendations that I wish I had more time to read – and I’m retired!

I have very mixed feelings about Larry McMurtry. Truly a brilliant writer and I love his books set in modern times. However, Lonesome Dove was a struggle to get through. Beautifully written but every time I picked it up I wondered what gruesome death was going to happen next. I’m sure its realistic but hard to read. I watched the mini-series right after and it was great. I’ve had the book for years and remember a co-worker telling me that he was envious of me for not having read it yet because he enjoyed it so much. To each his own and I know I’m in the minority.

I would love to see the Judge Knott books by Margaret Maron televised. She is one of my favorite authors – and thank you for reporting her death. I’ve been anxiously waiting for her next book and now I know why it never came. When a favorite author passes away its almost like losing a close friend.

Linda: Thank you again for another great newsletter. Loved the misspelled words-lol. I was so pleased to see so many of the books I have read make it to the list of books you could not put down. I felt the same way about most of them. Now for this month, there is more than one book to be made into a movie. How about all of the Three Pines books, The Gray Man, Mitch Rapp, or Dewey Andreas books? As I read a book, especially one with lots of dialogue, I can actually see them made into a movie or series. I visualize the characters and the landscape. While I was reading the DD Warren books, I could see all of them in a cop series. Then I watch some of these stupid made for TV movies that have no substance and wonder where is Hollywood? Don’t they read? Happy reading everyone and keep up the recommendations.

Kelly: Books for movie or TV?
I think these would be excellent

Mons Kallentoft the Malin Fors series

Helene Tursten the Inspector Huss series

Richard Wake the Alex Kovacs series

Kat: i would love to see the sue grafton series made into a on going series of movies
thanks for asking!
thanks for the review on win, thats what i was thinking it would be like, i didnt read it yet. i wanted to borrow it from the library but for some reason all the file folders disappeared from my kindle and i dont know how to fix it so im out of luck with regards to borrowing ebooks.. i tried to google it and looked on amazon but its too confusing for old me

Joy: I would like to see this book made into a movie The Scapegoat by Daphne du Maurier I think there is a black and white version made earlier.

Bonnie: I nominate Elly Griffiths “Ruth Galloway” series. The stories have so many quirky characters and the beautiful Norfolk coast that would suit a tv series so well. Ruth is a strong independent woman living her life on her own terms, helping local police to solve crimes using her forensic archaeologist knowledge. She is a single parent by happenstance who loves living alone and is a well-regarded professor of archaeology. Her friends include a genuine druid – cape and all, a gruff detective inspector, a happy-go-lucky constable (smarter than he acts), her snobby head of department at the university, her faithful cat Flint and various strange characters who make their one-time or so appearance in each book.

Art: Really enjoying the newsletter and the web site, Thank You.

It’s hard to pick one series that would make for great TV viewing so here are my top 3
C.J. Box – Joe Pickett
Clive Cussler – Oregon Files
John Sandford – Virgil Flowers

AJ: I caught on write away, but it still blue my mind to keep seeing the errors, LOL I think the Alex Hawke series by Ted Bell would make great movies – over the top luxuries and action seem a good fit for the big screen. Love your newsletter as always.

I very much enjoyed your April Fool’s “mistakes” in this newsletter. I laughed at how you poked the grammar police.😀 April 1 is my birthday (yes, I’m a fool and proud of it), and reading your newsletter added to my enjoyment of the day.

To answer your question of the month, I’d love to see J. D. Robb’s In Death series made into a TV series. With the right actress cast as Eve Dallas, it could be the perfect mix of mystery, action, romance, and humor. I love shows that are gripping and make me laugh.

Take care and keep up the great work!

HH: The Evan Smoak (Orphan X) series by Gregg Hurwitz. There are a few reasons, but mostly because here is a hero with values and integrity. As the series progresses, he adds an assistant who wants to be like him. She has computer skills that X just can’t comprehend. (I know that feeling having grown up in the era of paper with the dash in the middle and real chunks of wood) She is witty and funny and the books keep the readers interest. Plus they don’t go so deep as to require a/an open device to search what or where the plot is taking you.

Stuart: Series I’d like to see on TV or movies: Dennis Lehane’s Kenzie & Gennaro….

Jim: I’m just starting the latest in the Ian Rutledge Mystery series – A Fatal Lie by Charles Todd.

Ian Rutledge is a wonderful main character with a great backstory. Along with the small villages and English countryside of the early 20th century as a backdrop, I believe the Inspector Ian Rutledge Mysteries would make for a great movie or television series.
JM: Thanks for another great newsletter!

When I read The Dream Daughter by Diane Chamberlain I thought it would be a great movie! There is time travel but instead of going somewhere into the past they need to go to the future to save a life. It was such a wonderful book and the time traveling even made sense. I do hope to see that as a movie someday.

Constance: Oh my, you totally got me! I kept reading and thinking, “He doesn’t make mistakes like this”! My fave: “April Full’s Day.”

A book that would make an interesting movie (but it would need a very creative director), is “The City and the City” by China Mieville. When I googled the spelling of his name, I noticed that there is already a BBC series based on the book. This is one my favorite books (the other is China Court by Rumer Godden, which is a mystery in a way. Perhaps add it to your classics list). The reader’s “aha moment,” where you realize the setting of the two cities, is breathtaking.

Elizabeth: I have enjoyed the two Lucas Page books written by Robert Pobi. I think the visual effects would be excellent for the screen.

Tom: Thanks for another informative letter. I didn’t know McMurtry passed on. I have read many of his books and enjoyed most of them and the resulting TV miniseries from some of his stories. But my favorite western author is Elmer Kelton whose writing was usually top notch.

I would like to see C J Box’s Joe Pickett novels made into a series. The scenery would be fantastic and add a great deal to the stories. I have been watching “Virgin River” and the scenery is marvelous. It takes place in California but is filmed in the British Columbia area.

However, it is becoming more like a soap opera with every show as I am now starting season 2. That would be my greatest fear with a Joe Pickett series…it would become a soap opera with all the usual twists and turns common to all of them. Then it would be nothing but an upscale clone of most series of this type.

They did a relatively good job with “Longmire” maybe because the supporting actors were pretty good. And I just watched 3 seasons of “Hap and Leonard”, based on novels by Joe R Lansdale and I like it for the most part. I liked the acting of James Purefoy, a favorite of mine as far as modern day actors go.

Bob: I’d love to see Ken Grimwood’s Replay made into a movie…. combining the elements of time travel (after a fashion) with the nostalgia for the 60’s and 70’s… I reread the book three times when I first discovered it… only wish he’d lived long enough to write the sequel.

Bruce: With regards to this months request, I will really be looking forward to the Netflix production of The Grey Man and if they produce it as well as the Jack Ryan and Harry Bosch series it will be enjoyable to watch Titus Welliver did a fantastic job as Bosch.

As for other authors, Alex Berenson would be good along with John Stanford, but my ultimate hope would be for Gabriel Allon to come to the screen, the scenery of the locales alone would be amazing.

Thanks very much for all your efforts.

Order of Books » Newsletter » Reader Mailbag: Books You Want Made Into Movies / TV

4 Responses to “Reader Mailbag: Books You Want Made Into Movies / TV”

  1. Joyce Buker: 3 years ago

    I do not like to watch movies made from books I have read because they usually are not very good. The only 2 exceptions that I have seen are “Where Eagles Dare” with Clint Eastwood and Richard Burton and “The Eagle has Landed” with Donald Sutherland. I really enjoyed both the books and the movies.
    Thank you for all your hard work in putting out this newsletter twice a month. I have found some new (to me) authors by reading it. I also enjoy reading other readers comments.

    Keep up the good work.


  2. Jerry Smith: 3 years ago

    I enjoy your newsletter and appreciate all the hard work you put in to allow us an opportunity to enjoy books and reading.
    It is sad to me that people go off about petty little details. Yes, some recommendations have not resonated with me. Big deal, many more have been new authors and books I have not known about and I have had an opportunity to learn about and enjoy!
    Thanks to you for all your hard work and research. I appreciate that you provide us the chance to explore new worlds in the books you write about every month!
    Millcreek, Utah


    • Graeme: 3 years ago

      Thank you so much for the feedback Jerry, it’s much appreciated. And don’t worry I just got a good laugh out of that e-mail 🙂


  3. Dave Andersen: 3 years ago

    I would like to nominate Sturart Woods. Stone Barrington series. Stone has everything to make an enjoyable readl! It is fast and readable read!
    Stone is a lawyer former dective. Rich and very sexual. His stories are inventive. Stuart Woods should be on everyone must read list. More than 40 books to date! I love this author.


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