The Top 5 post-Halloween spooky autumn reads
By Katherine Funk, Contributor
If you are anything like me, Halloween has done nothing to quench your thirst for spooky, autumnal reads. Something about the gloom of November makes it the perfect month to hunker down with a murder mystery or thriller. Although there are tons of themed book lists out right now, I wanted to share some of my favourite books that are not quite as well known.
And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie
Let’s start this list off with a bang. Agatha Christie is the queen of murder mysteries, and the near-century has passed since the release of this book has not dulled its shine. The book starts with 10 strangers being lured to a remote island where they will have to face their secrets head-on. This book is as modern as it was the day it came out, and if you love it as much as I do, there is a BBC television series based on it to keep the story going.
We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson
Shirley Jackson’s stories have recently made a comeback with the Netflix series, The Haunting of Hill House, based on her 1959 novel. But have you heard of some of her other thrillers? Jackson was a prolific writer, writing more than 200 short stories and six novels over her lifetime. My all-time favourite is, We Have Always Lived in the Castle, which mixes all the best ingredients into a short but memorable story. Prepare yourself for this small-town thriller featuring a run-down castle, a years-old murder, and a cat named Jonas.
The Dante Club by Matthew Pearl
If you are a fan of dark academia, this is the one for you. Set during the American Civil War, five scholars are working to create the perfect translation of Dante’s Inferno. However, as they work on the translation, murders are cropping up that seem to be based on the levels of hell that Dante describes. This book involves: gas-lit street lamps, fog, fireplaces in old libraries and cobblestone streets. If you enjoyed The Alienist on Netflix, add this one to your list.
Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
Okay, this one does not exactly fall under the “lesser-known books” that I promised, but it has fallen under the radar in the past few years. I believe that this series is exactly what you need on a sleety November day. And if you aren’t a fan of fantasy, you can still enjoy all of the fabulously bizarre old photos included throughout the story! The world consists of seven books – two trilogies and a book of short stories – so you can really sink your teeth into the lives of Jacob Portman and the Peculiar Children.
The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater
If you are not a fan of murder mysteries or thrillers, then I highly recommend The Scorpio Races. Set in the beginning of November in Thisby, a fictional Irish island, the story follows two riders in the Scorpio Races, a dangerous race that takes place on Nov. 1 of each year on water horses. Inspired by the Celtic legend of “eich uisce” (water horses), this novel gives you an atmospheric tale of courage, pride, and small Irish towns. Read it if you like cozy knit sweaters, stone cottages, freckles and folk tales.
Now make yourself a hot cup of tea or coffee, grab your snuggliest blanket and get reading!