Dated: May 18 2022

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10 Books to Read by Springfield, MO Authors

This one’s for the bibliophiles, history buffs and true Springfieldians everywhere. If you’re looking for a deep dive into Springfield’s history, thrilling legal dramas, poetry or prose, there’s a Springfield author with something for you. We’ve noticed a few new books pop up recently that really speak to us as Ozarkians, and we thought we’d share some reading material for fellow fans of Southwest Missouri. Prepare to load up your supply of bookmarks. It’s binge-reading time in the Ozarks.


by Nancy Allen
Springfield resident and NY Times Bestselling author, Nancy Allen, has done it again, this time with the 2022 release of Renegade, the first book in her new Anonymous Justice series. Assistant DA Kate Stone has just suffered the biggest loss of her career. She worked so hard to prosecute a serial assaulter of women, and it was a case she should have won. But a corrupt judge allowed Max James to walk free. When James confronts her outside the courthouse, she punches James, and he falls hard. After the footage hits the news, Kate’s boss demands she attend anger management meetings or give up the job she lives for. Begrudgingly, Kate attends her meeting. Inside is a group of people all failed by the justice system. Their mission: Do everything in their power to help right wrongs, even if it’s outside the law. But the pursuit of justice, can be different from the truth. The ending will leave you wanting more.

Nancy has published seven legal thrillers in the last eight years. 

Juror #3

by James Patterson and Nancy Allen
Ok, it is next to impossible to only mention one of Nancy Allen’s books. So grab your reading glasses and bookmark for Juror #3. In this legal thriller, Nancy teamed up with the world’s best-selling author, James Patterson. The story centers around Ruby Bozarth, a young lawyer who works to defend her client in a racially charged felony case. But in a town of old money and hidden secrets, her first trial may be her last. This book immediately became a #1 New York Times Bestseller when it was released in September 2018. Allen’s success with this book is unprecedented for an author from Springfield. She has also co-authored two more books with James Patterson, with a new novel in progress. You can explore all of her books, including the Ozarks Mystery series, here. We’ll definitely be watching to see what’s next. 

FUN FACT: Nancy includes names of local Ozarks places in her books. See if you can find them. 


by Shawn Askinosie
Shawn Askinosie hasn’t always been in the chocolate-making business. He was a very successful criminal-defense lawyer who represented clients in cases that garnered national attention. After 25 years of practice, Shawn decided to follow a passion that was close to his heart. He began the career as a self-taught, artisan chocolate-maker and found a more-fulfilling purpose in life and in the work. The book chronicles his journey from the courtroom to the jungles of Ecuador, Tanzania, the Philippines and back to Springfield. He shares his experiences and lessons learned so that others might also find meaning in their work and be a positive force for good in the world. Meaningful Work is written with his daughter, Lawren, who serves as the Chief Marketing Officer for Askinosie Chocolate. Their business model has been featured in The New York Times and in The Wall Street Journal. Shawn was named by O, The Oprah Magazine, as “One of 15 Guys Who Are Saving the World.” 


by Ethan Bryan, Sophie Bryan and Brad Zweerink
This book of poetry, illustrations and beautiful photography is being hailed as a must-have for every school library in town by celebrated fellow Springfield author, David Harrison. Inside you’ll find poems about what it feels like to eat at Andy’s Frozen Custard, out-of-towners asking if you know Brad Pitt, memories of Hydraslide and Aladdin’s Castle and tons more. Perhaps the best thing about this book is its mission. All proceeds benefit the Ozarks Literacy Council to raise awareness and promote literacy in the area. Enjoy some great reading and visuals while helping your community. It’s a win-win!


by Connie Yen
Springfield historian and author Connie Yen takes you through a pictorial history of the Queen City in this book, originally published in 2014. She shares a collection of postcards, detailing Springfield’s founding, its role in the important rail transit, and the eventual growth boom that has led to the city we know today. It’s a great way to gain a further appreciation of your surroundings.


by Crystal Payton
Love Silver Dollar City? You might enjoy seeing how it all began. Crystal Payton takes you through the years as Silver Dollar City grew in popularity in the Ozarks and became a nationally known brand. This book is an oldie but a goodie. Payton originally released the book in 1997. A lot has happened since then; maybe she’ll do a follow-up someday. Nothing describes SDC or Payton’s book better than the SDC slogan, “You’ve Got a Great Past Ahead of You.” 


by Robert Stephens
Ever wonder what the former Mayor of Springfield is up to? Well, Robert Stephens is writing. He was the mayor before the current office holder, Ken McClure, and since then, he’s moved back into private citizenship. His book is a collection of poems about his views on life, aging, and plenty more.


by Stephen L. McIntyre
Published in 2012, this collection of essays documents the early history of Springfield’s cityhood. McIntyre organized these pieces from a slew of historians to give us a clear picture of our city’s growth and development. Definitely a good read for the history buffs out there.


by David Harrison
Generations have grown up with Springfield native David Harrison’s books. With more than 90 children’s books published and millions of copies sold, Harrison still believes he is the lucky one. So how do you pick just one to read? Well…you don’t. You fill up your bookshelves. We’ll let you decide which books are best for your kids, and let’s face it, adults enjoy them, too. You can check out David’s personal blog, and enjoy looking through all the titles and illustrated covers. For a good laugh, check out his poem, “Cow Pie Jewels,” found in The Purchase of Small Secrets. And everyone can relate to his poem, “The Test,” from Somebody Catch My Homework. Harrison’s poems are undeniably visual and often humorous while depicting the “innocence of youth and the joy of life in country living.”  

About Murney Associates, Realtors®

No one loves the Ozarks more than Murney Associates. We enjoy highlighting all that makes this the best place to live, work, play and learn. 

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