Spain is probably the country in Europe I have visited the most. It’s the place my family frequently took holidays to, the place I went to with University friends and have returned to as a solo traveler. It’s safe to say I love visiting beautiful Spain.
If you want to be transported to Spain from your living room then here are 40 amazing books set in Spain. From romance, to thrillers, to memoirs, these books will mentally transport you to sunny Spain.
- 1 40 Incredible Books Set in Spain
- 1.1 The Blind Man of Seville
- 1.2 Orange Blossom Days
- 1.3 Don Quixote
- 1.4 Only in Spain
- 1.5 A Matter of Latitude
- 1.6 Haunted Magpie
- 1.7 Rick Stein’s Spain: 140 New Recipes Inspired By My Journey
- 1.8 A Curious Affair
- 1.9 Message From Malaga
- 1.10 Chickens, Mules and Two Old Fools
- 1.11 The Spanish Problem
- 1.12 The Time of The Doves
- 1.13 Hard Vengeance
- 1.14 Benidorm Seriously!
- 1.15 The Drago Tree
- 1.16 Ayesha Dean: The Seville Secret
- 1.17 The Vacationers
- 1.18 The Shadow of The Wind
- 1.19 A Late Dinner: Discovering The Food of Spain
- 1.20 The City of Marvels
- 1.21 Flight to Spain
- 1.22 The Dealer
- 1.23 Benidorm Virgins
- 1.24 Or The Bull Kills You
- 1.25 Slow Trains Around Spain
- 1.26 Alberto’s Lost Birthday
- 1.27 Alicante
- 1.28 Steady on George
- 1.29 Steep Climb to Elsewhere: The Fall
- 1.30 A Case of Bloodshed in Benidorm
- 1.31 Paradise Por Favor
- 1.32 The Yellow Rain
- 1.33 Winter in Madrid
- 1.34 The Only Way is West
- 1.35 More Ketchup Than Salsa: Confessions of a Tenerife Barman
- 1.36 Driving Over Lemons
- 1.37 Darkness in Malaga
- 1.38 It’s Not About The Tapas
- 1.39 Happy As A Partridge: Life and Love in Madrid
- 1.40 Homeland
- 2 More Travel Books
40 Incredible Books Set in Spain
The Blind Man of Seville
By Robert Wilson
This is the first book in Robert Wilson’s Seville series featuring the tortured detective Javier Falcon. It’s Easter week and a man is found bound and dead in front of the television with terrible self-inflicted wounds. Javier Falcon is inexorably drawn into this disturbing and mystifying case. What could make a man do that to himself?
Orange Blossom Days
By Patricia Scanlan
Set in a seaside apartment building in beautiful southern Spain, the new tenants of La Joya de Andalucia tests the limits of marriage, money and ambition. Anna and Austen are an Irish couple preparing to enjoy their retirement. Sally-Ann is reeling from her husband’s infidelity. Eduardo Sanchez has set out to become the president of the complex’s management committee and Jutta Sauer Perez aspires to purchase her own apartment in La joya. Their lives become intertwined but is La Joya the haven they all expected it to be?
By Miguel de Cervantes
Don Quixote is often considered to be the first modern novel. Alonso Quixote has become entranced with the romances of chivalry and is determined to become a knight errant who pursues bold adventures. Under the name Don Quixote de la Mancha he wants to bring back chivalry and serve the nation. He recruits a simple farmer, Sancho Panza as his squire and the two roam together in this amusing tale.
Only in Spain
By Nellie Bennett
Nellie Bennet is bored of her retail job but then one summer in a dance studio in Sydney she falls in love with flamenco. Longing for a more authentic experience, Nellie packs her dance shoes and travels to Seville. What she didn’t realise was flamenco is not a dance but a way of life. Only in Spain is a witty and passionate story of romance and self discovery.
A Matter of Latitude
By Isobel Blackthorn
Lanzarote anti-corruption activist Celestino is driving on a lonely road so when there’s a collision he knows it’s no accident. Wounded and fearing for his life, Celestino hides out in an abandoned fishing village and waits for a chance to make it home. Meanwhile, his wife Paula sets out to look for him. Her search quickly descents into mayhem and danger when she realises she is being followed. Will Paula be ok and will Celestino make it back alive?
By Anna Nicholas
A young florist vanishes at night and the only evidence left behind is a tiny wooden heart. With nothing to go on, Mallorca’s police call upon former detective Isabel Flores Montserrat for help. But after a second disappearance they reason there is a connection with a series of sinister cold cases. Fearing a serial killer has resurfaced, Isabel races to uncover the link between these cases and past cases. But at the same time in Isabel’s own village there has been a spate of mysterious animal disappearances. Could it all be connected?
Rick Stein’s Spain: 140 New Recipes Inspired By My Journey
By Rick Stein
Lovers of Spanish food and cooking will want to add this beautifully illustrated cookbook to their collection. Rick Stein has sampled his way through the specialities and hidden treats of each region and selected 140 recipes that capture the authentic taste of Spain today.
A Curious Affair
By Claire Hadland
Claire Hadland is 44 years old and fed up with commuting to her high-flying job in London. Not only is she ready to ditch her career but also her unfaithful husband and spend some time abroad. She heads to Guardo, a small northern town in Spain with the plan of brushing up her Spanish and making friends. During a visit to a tiny mountain hamlet, she meets Daniel. The two soon become friends but could romance blossom between them?
Message From Malaga
By Helen MacInnes
Ian Ferrier is an employee of the United States Space Agency who goes on vacation to the Mediterranean to visit his old friend Jeff Reid. While there, Ferrier discovers his friend is more than a wine exporter but in fact a CIA agent who smuggles Cuban refugees into Spain. But when a defecting KGB agent arrives, the drama intensifies and Ferrier finds himself alone and responsible for the defector’s safety.
Chickens, Mules and Two Old Fools
By Victoria Twead
Joe and Vicky had no idea what relocating to a tiny mountain village in Andalucia would actually be like. If they did they might have hesitated. They had no idea of the culture shock they would experience relocating from England to Spain. That they would become reluctant chicken farmers or that they would own the most dangerous cockerel in Spain. Now the question remains, should they stay and stick it out or admit defeat and return to England?
The Spanish Problem
By Karen Swan
One of Spain’s richest men is dying but while he prepares his estate, his family are shocked to discover that he plans to give away his wealth to a young woman they have never heard of. Charlotte Fairfax is asked to travel to the troubled family home to get to the bottom of it. However, things get complicated when the woman denies knowing anything about the fortune being left to her. Charlotte starts digging into the family’s history and unearths a dark and shocking past.
The Time of The Doves
By Merce Rodoreda
Set in Barcelona in the early 1930s, The Time of the Doves is a powerfully written story of a naive shop girl during the Spanish Civil War. Natalie is a pretty girl and hesitant when a stranger asks her to dance at the fiesta. But Joe is charming and she soon ends up married with two children. Then the Spanish Civil War erupts and Natalie is left in Barcelona, struggling to feed her family while Joe goes to fight the fascists.
By J.B. Turner
In a picturesque village on the Mediterranean coast, a luxury yacht has gone up in flames. It’s up to Jon Reznick to travel overseas to see if this was a terrible accident or something more sinister. But does an unhinged killer with a grudge have other plans to put Reznick’s entire future in jeopardy? Against his wishes, his daughter Lauren joins him with hacker Trevelle Williams. But government operatives from across the globe have descended on this quiet vacation destination and will stop at nothing to prevent the truth from coming out.
By Tom Harrison
Tony decided to leave the dull grey skies of the UK as well as his incredibly angry ex-girlfriend and escape to Europe’s no1 tourist spot, Benidorm. He ends up buying and running a gay hotel in the old town and witnessed some crazy and strange behaviour from hotel guests. From gangsters to prostitutes to S&M, Tony reveals how life in the hotel was never the same.
The Drago Tree
By Isobel Blackthorn
Ann Salter was haunted by her demons so sought out sanctuary on the exotic island of Lanzarote. Together with author Richard Parry and indigenous potter Domingo, they explore the island. Encountering the island’s hidden treasures becomes a journey into herself as Ann struggles to understand who she is and who she wants to be.
Ayesha Dean: The Seville Secret
By Melati Lum
Ayesha, Sara & Jess are off on another exciting mystery, this time in sunny Spain. A fellow passenger’s grandpa strangely disappears and Ayesha and her friends gladly join in on the search. But as they delve further into the mystery, the more sinister things become. Can Ayesha uncover the truth without putting her friends in danger?
By Emma Straub
It’s time for a family vacation and Franny and Jim are ready to ditch Manhattan for two weeks in Majorca for relaxation, culture and cuisine that only Europe can offer. Franny wanted it to be the family vacation of a lifetime but she wasn’t expecting the remote island to bring out America’s most dysfunctional family. Secrets come to light, old and new humiliations experienced and old childhood rivalries resurface. It was not the dream holiday they had pictured.
The Shadow of The Wind
By Carlos Ruiz Zafon
Hidden away in the heart of the old city of Barcelona is the ‘Cemetery of Lost Books’ containing obscure and forgotten titles that have long gone out of print. A man brings Daniel, his 10 year old son, to the library one cold morning in 1945. Daniel is allowed to choose one book and selects ‘The Shadow of the Wind’ by Julian Carax. As he grows up, several people seem interested in his find. Then one night Daniel is approached by a figure who reminds him of a character from the book. This man is intent on tracking down every last copy of Carax’s work so he can burn them. Daniel finds himself in a race to find the truth behind the life and death of Julian Carax.
A Late Dinner: Discovering The Food of Spain
By Paul Richardson
In this vivid and humorous book, Richardson takes us on his journey to tell the real story of Spain’s mouth-watering food. From the cliches of paella, to the typical coastal cuisine, to the chic urban food of Madrid and Barcelona. With stories of how he got caught up in a fish auction, the annual pig slaughter and the day he spends at El Bulli restaurant. This hilarious book is great for food lovers.
The City of Marvels
By Eduardo Mendoza
Set in Barcelona between 1888 and 1929, this historical fictional novel tells the story of Onofre Bouvilla. The ambitious young peasant from a rural village tries to escape poverty by moving to the big city. With eccentric characters and bizarre incidents, Onofre becomes a wealthy man via baldness cures, burglary, land speculation, film production, arms smuggling and international finance.
Flight to Spain
By Kenneth Fretwell
At 49 Ken Fretwell, a former teacher, decides to leave his job and fly to Malaga with his bike. He had set a goal of doing something he likes, somewhere he likes by the time he turns 50. In order to make his goal a reality, Ken sets out to cycle around Spain in search for his dream location. But where will his journey take him?
By Maurice O’Connor
For almost 30 years, Maurice ‘Mo’ O’Connor has been trafficking cannabis from North Africa to cities in the UK and Ireland from his base on the Costa del Sol. His easy charm and reputation for straight dealing led him to the elite of the underworld working with some of the most powerful gangsters in Europe. The Dealer is O’Connor’s hilarious memoir where he reveals inside stories from the triumphs to the disasters of the cannabis industry that led to him spending 3 years in a tough Spanish prison.
By Janita Faulkner
Ellie decides to throw her hen party in popular Benidorm for a boozy weekend of fun in the sun. It was her fiance Darren who came up with the idea of having ‘Benidorm Virgin’ t-shirts made up for the occasion. While none of the nine girls are virgins, none of them have been to Benidorm before. As the girls go about painting the town red, friendships are tested and secrets revealed. Will this group of spirited revellers end up taking things too far?
Or The Bull Kills You
By Jason Webster
Chief Inspector Max Camara is not a fan of bullfighting but one afternoon in Valencia he has to replace his boss and judge a festival corrida that stars Spain’s most famous young matador. However, things take a turn when he is summoned back to the bullring where the young matador’s body now lies dead, naked and mutilated. Camara must now hunt down the murderer through the city’s streets and bars. But while he follows the trail of death and corruption, he must also battle his own demons.
Slow Trains Around Spain
By Tom Chesshyre
Have you always wondered what it would be like to travel around Spain by train? Let Tom Chesshyre show you! Tom hit the tracks to show the country beyond the popular image of ‘holiday Spain’. From hidden spots in Catalonia, through the plains of Aragon and across the north coast to Santiago de Compostela. Through dusty mining towns, cathedrals, palaces, finally to Seville.
Alberto’s Lost Birthday
By Diana Rosie
This is the heartwarming story of a little boy and his grandfather who embark on a quest to find the old man’s missing birthday. Alberto doesn’t know how old he is. He remembers nothing before arriving at the orphanage during the Spanish civil war. He rarely thinks about his missing childhood but when seven year old Tino learns his grandfather has never had a birthday party he’s determined to help Alberto learn the truth. The two set out to find not only Alberto’s birthday, but the part of himself that he is missing.
By Jim Hamilton
In the Mediterranean city of Alicante in fiesta, Raul Berbegal transitions from obsessive sociopath to sexually deviant psychopath, slaying with apparent impunity. Inspector Carlos Rico must interpret the symbols left at the crime scenes in order to bring this horrific spree to an end. But as the body count rises, so does the personal nature of their relationship.
Steady on George
By Mel Taylor
Steady On George is the hilarious account of the adventures of two mature men in Spain. Mel’s friend George has recently become a widower and once Mel gets his new knee, he flies out to visit him in Denia. Originally only intending to stay for a couple of weeks, George whisks him off on a trip that threatens to turn his quiet English seaside life upside down. Mel soon finds George’s desire for change and renewal so contagious that previously unthinkable ideas soon begin to seem quite logical.
Steep Climb to Elsewhere: The Fall
By L.P. Fairley
It’s the end of the Spanish Civil War and brothers Josep and Eduard Balaguer are fighting on the side about to lose. A battle separates the brothers and Josep does some stealthy negotiating to rescue his brother. When they flee in exile, the sisters stay behind in their town in the Catalan Pyrenees. After years away, Josep deems it safe and returns home alone but his family and town have changed. As the dictator’s life ends, Josep reexamines his own life. But will Eduard ever return home? Are the family strong enough to survive it all?
A Case of Bloodshed in Benidorm
By David W. Robinson
Raymond Baldock hates Benidorm but has been pressured into going. When he gets there it lives down to his worst expectations. First, his laptop is stolen. Then his mother is there on a hen weekend and he finds her in a compromising situation. He’s left humiliated in a bar, then gets blackmailed and then has to deal with the wrath of the woman he left in spring. And as if that wasn’t enough, he finds himself the prime suspect in a series of murders.
Paradise Por Favor
By Robert Dodds
After making money in a building trade, Tom Rock wants an easy life. With his partner Linda he moves to a splendid new house on the Costa del Sol. With money in the bank and a new life in Spain what could possibly go wrong? As it turns out, their lives get ever more complicated when their relationship comes under strain. Was this move the right decision for the couple?
The Yellow Rain
By Julio Llamazares
Ainielle is a village high in the Spanish Pyrenees. The houses are mostly deserted ruins and have been for years. The last surviving inhabitant, an old man at death’s door, recalls the life he lived and the ghosts, who were once his friend and neighbours, that have taken possession of his solitude. The Yellow Rain is a haunting ode to the power of memory.
Winter in Madrid
By C.J. Sansom
It’s 1940 and the Spanish Civil War is over. Madrid lies in ruins and the people are starving. Harry Brett, a spy for the British Secret Service, is sent to gain the confidence of his old school friend Sandy Forsyth. Sandy is now a shady Madrid businessman and Harry finds himself involved in a dangerous game. Meanwhile, Sandy’s girlfriend is engaged in a secret mission to find her former lover Bernie Piper, a passionate Communist in the International Brigades, who vanished on the bloody battlefields of Jarama. In this vivid and haunting depiction of wartime Spain, Winter in Madrid is the compelling tale of history unfolding and the profound impact of impossible choices.
The Only Way is West
By Bradley Chermside
Brad is a hopeless romantic so when he was given €20 in Greece with an email address scribbled on it, he sent an email hoping it would lead to everlasting love. Two years later and his love life remains a disaster and his career is misfiring. Then he suddenly receives a reply. The woman lives on the pilgrimage path and invites him to stay. He takes an incredible 900km journey hiking on the Road to Santiago to a blind date with the mystery €20 woman and has the adventure of a lifetime. His heart is warmed by fellow pilgrims who give him more reasons to believe in the kindness of humans. Will he meet his happily ever after along the way too?
More Ketchup Than Salsa: Confessions of a Tenerife Barman
By Joe Cawley
Childhood sweethearts Joe and Joy are broke, bored and tired of smelling of fish. When offered the chance to escape the dreary market stalls of England to run a bar in Tenerife, they jump at the opportunity. Despite their lack of experience running a bar, they dream of a better life overseas. This dream soon turns into a nightmare by mini-mafias, East European prostitutes and biblical-grade cockroach infestations. They find themselves trapped in a failing bar in a foreign land, pandering to oddball expats while trying to stop their relationship crashing into the rocks. Can they save the business, their dream and their relationship before it’s too late?
Driving Over Lemons
By Chris Stewart
As soon as Chris Steward set his eyes on El Valero he was handing over a check. All he had to do now was explain to his wife Ana that they were the proud owners of an isolated sheep farm in the Alpujarra Mountains in Southern Spain. With no running water, electricity or even an access road, things aren’t going to be easy. Especially since Pedro Romero, the previous owner, refuses to leave. But the couple soon learn nothing can diminish their spirit. Enchanted by the rugged terrain, Chris and Ana build an enviable life, complete with a child and dogs, in a country far away from home.
Darkness in Malaga
By Paul S Bradley
For thirty years, four friends have been hunting all over Spain for the man who made their school years pure hell. But the group is running out of time. If they don’t find him soon they will be too old and may die before bringing him to justice. When they made their plan they hadn’t expected Detective Inspector Leon Prado and his translators, Phillip and Amanda.
It’s Not About The Tapas
By Polly Evans
After working at a leading London book publisher, Polly Evans moved to Hong Kong as a senior editor on the city’s biggest entertainment weekly. But fighting deadlines felt too easy so Polly exchanged the shiny red cabs of Hong Kong for a bicycle and set out on a voyage of discovery around Spain. From the high-burning ascents of the Pyrenees to the relentless olive groves of Andalusia, Polly found more adventures than she had bargained for.
Happy As A Partridge: Life and Love in Madrid
By Kate Boyle
Single, unemployed and rapidly approaching her thirtieth birthday, Evie Fuller was fed up with her London life. When a month of free language lessons offered her an escape route, Evie took it and headed to Madrid for sun-soaked adventures and a crash course in Spanish culture. Will this shy English girl blossom in the sun or will it be too much change?
By Fernando Aramburu
Miren and Bittori have lived side by side in a small Basque town all their lives. Their husbands play cards together and their children have grown up together. The terrorist threat posed by ETA seemed to affect them very little. That was until Bittori’s husband started receiving threatening letters accusing him of being a police informant and demanding money. Bittori turns to her friend for help but Miren’s loyalties are torn. Tensions rise, relationships fracture and events move towards a tragic conclusion.
There you have it, 40 incredible books set in Spain to help inspire your next trip. Which will you read first? Any books not on the list that you love? Let me know in the comments below
If this list has inspired you to visit Spain, these posts may help you plan your trip:
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