Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Halloween Reads

I'm looking for spooky reads for Halloween. I usually go with a romantic suspense but this year I wouldn't mind a good mystery, or an intelligent horror (yes, there is such a thing) novel.

I have a strange relationship with horror. I really like it when it's smart and elegant, particularly if it involves a haunted house. Not so crazy about the gratuitous slasher/gore variety. After much beating around bushes I finally tried Joe Hill by reading his book Horns over the summer (it was one of those buy two get one free deals, and I can only read so many wallpaper historical romances before I develop an aneurysm.) He's definitely intelligent horror, and his dad's boy in many ways, but I think he's read Catcher in the Rye a few too many times.

On the other hand -- and the opposite/far end of the horror spectrum -- Chuck Wendig (who I think is writing like Star Wars books now) can write gory horror, which I really don't care for, quite well. I paid full price for his book Double Dead and did not regret it, even when things got uber gory with cannibals squatting in a Wal-Mart. He also had one of the best endings of all time in that book (and please note Wendig's novel is extremely violent, gory, bitter, and not something I'd rec for the faint of heart whatsoever.)

I usually read an Anne Rice book around Halloween. I think this year I'll go with The Witching Hour since I haven't read that one in a few years. Beautiful book, way over written (it's over a thousand pages, and I think there are as many characters, too) but by the time you get into the Mayfair family tree you don't care.

As for my Halloween rec, I have to go with Anne Frasier's Pretty Dead, which was my September book of the month. You don't have to read Play Dead and Stay Dead, the first two books in the series, to follow along, but if you haven't read them you're really missing out.

So what spooky read do you recommend for some fun Halloween reading? Got one of your own you want to tell us about? Let us know in comments.


  1. Right now, I'm re-reading And Then There Were None by Dame Agatha. I might read a King novel next consider the time of year, but I'll definitely be listening to the audio version of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, read by Tom Mison who actually plays Crane on Sleepy Hollow on TV. I love his voice! Beyond that, I'm a sucker for a scary (NOT the teen slasher garbage) movie so between the books and movies, I love this time of year.

    I think I need to try Anne Frasier though. You've recommended her before and I bought one or two books, but since the move a year ago, I still haven't unpacked anything because we're painting and I don't want to move my books twice so I'll probably buy it in Kindle format. I can get the Audible book for $1.99 extra if I do it that way.

  2. My favorite in this genre is Bride of the Rat God, by Barbara Hambly. Fantasy/Horror set in 1920s hollywood; and a generally well done novel.

  3. Otter4:33 PM

    For really good elegant horror no one can beat Shirley Jackson's Haunting of Hill House or We Have Always Lived in the Castle.

  4. Some of my favorite reading for this season has to be among the short stories of Ray Bradbury. Both the storylines & style do it for me. "The Small Assassin"? "The Veldt"? Sigh. The yummy stuff of subtle nightmares.
    And although he can be a mixed bag, I have read a bit of Dean Koontz that I liked.

  5. My tastes don't run toward gore and dark horror, but I do enjoy paranormal mysteries. One of my current favorite series is JL Bryan's “Ellie Jordan: Ghost Trapper.” The heroine is a ghost hunter who stops really bad ghosts and worse things who are going after homeowners and kids. It's like a cross between GHOST ADVENTURES and THE DEAD FILES and really scary.

    If you prefer light paranormal mystery, Ann Charles' "Deadwood Mystery" is a good series. The realtor heroine would rather be earning a living and taking care of her kids, but she's drawn into haunted house mysteries around the town of Deadwood. There's also EJ Copperman's “Haunted Guest House” series where the ghosts help solve mysteries.

  6. JC Molle (sp?) with his THE REMAINING series and Peter Clines with his Ex-Humans. Both are zombies and I never thought I'd like zombies. But damn, they are fun. Clines is much on the adventure type, while Molle is darker, but I loved both. Need more.


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