Fresh FIction Box Not To Miss

Debbie Wiley | Spooky Halloween Reads

October 24, 2019

October is the month when it’s fun to be scared! Halloween movies play on the tv stations, while readers turn to Halloween, creepy or paranormal themed books to get into the mood for October 31. For me, October is always the time to pull out a Stephen King book as his stories set the perfect atmosphere for an eerie October night. I’ve also discovered a few other reads this October that are perfect for the season. Here are some of my recommendations for creepy October reads this Halloween season:

DIABHAL by Kathleen Kaufman is a deliciously dark occult thriller focusing on a matriarchal cult called The Society. Things go awry when 10-year-old Ceit Robertson’s mother is attacked by restless spirits called Sluagh and she’s placed in a foster home called MacLaren Hall. While the story itself is fictional, MacLaren Hall isn’t and has a disturbing history that only serves to heighten the creepy atmosphere Kathleen Kaufman creates.  DIABHAL is the kind of book that you can’t put down even as you wonder what will happen next- it’s classic horror at its finest!

A.J. Hackwith puts a whole new diabolical spin on libraries in THE LIBRARY OF THE UNWRITTEN! Claire is the current librarian in Hell’s Unwritten Wing, ensuring that no characters spring to life and escape. Unfortunately, Hero escapes and recapturing him puts Claire in the path of a Fallen Angel and a quest for the Devil’s Bible. THE LIBRARY OF THE UNWRITTEN is a solid urban fantasy and the plotline is ideal for the Halloween season. Angels, demons, and librarians- what more could a reader ask for?

On the lighter side of Halloween, we have LATE CHECKOUT by Carol J. Perry. Lee Barrett is a field reporter looking for a story when she stumbles over one (literally) while volunteering at the local library. There’s so much to love about this ninth book in the Witch City Mystery series, including a slight paranormal twist and Halloween festivities galore. The setting is Salem, Massachusetts and the story features WICH TV- what could be more perfect for Halloween?

HAUNTED HOUSE MURDER features three novellas by Leslie Meier, Lee Hollis, and Barbara Ross. Each author puts their own unique spin on the haunted house theme, whether it’s a murder mystery occurring during a re-enactment of an Al Capone shoot out or neighbors worrying about a dilapidated house next door with strange new neighbors. I particularly love that Lee Hollis includes references to old school horror movies, while Barbara Ross’ “Hallowed Out” includes various ghost stories. HAUNTED HOUSE MURDER is a fun cozy mystery to read sitting by the fire while sipping a pumpkin spiced drink this Halloween.

And speaking of pumpkins. . . Alexis Morgan’s DEATH BY JACK-O’-LANTERN involves the death of a pumpkin farmer. Abby McCree is the queen of committees as she tries to solve the murder while helping the town plan for the upcoming Halloween festival. I love that we get to see the planning that goes on behind the scenes to make Halloween festivals entertaining. Alexis Morgan is a favorite author and DEATH BY JACK-O’-LANTERN is a perfect example of why.

Lastly, I have to mention a classic anthology for Halloween, THE LAST SEANCE by Agatha Christie. Featuring a range of stories centered around the occult, THE LAST SEANCE is both haunting and memorable. Agatha Christie is a true master of any genre she touched, and her works are timeless classics. Whether it’s Hercule Poirot or Miss Marple solving a seemingly inexplicable mystery, a hoax perpetuated to fool someone about the paranormal, or a truly unexplained paranormal twist, each story in THE LAST SEANCE showcases the elegant and eloquent style of the dearly loved Agatha Christie.

What books are you reading to get in the mood for the Halloween season?


DIABHAL by Kathleen Kaufman

Diabhal #1


Diabhal (Devil) is the story of cults, exorcisms and the
devil in 1980’s era Los Angeles. Ceit Robertson, age ten,
is the next Matrarc to the Society, a cultish,
matriarchal group living in an inconspicuous cul-de-sac
in Venice Beach. When Ceit’s mother is attacked by
spirits from the old world, a failed exorcism results in
Ceit’s exile into the foster care system in Los Angeles.
She eventually lands in the infamous MacLaren Hall, a
very real and historically auspicious center for
disturbed and abandoned children in El Monte, CA. Diabhal
is the sympathetic story of the devil in Los Angeles. The
exploration of the true nature of evil and how intention
colors what our definition of wickedness truly is. Ceit
grows into a force of nature, as she contains the
potential and mythology of the darkest degree, but
discovers that perhaps the devil is not what we should
truly fear.

Thriller Arcane [Turner, On Sale: October 29, 2019, Trade Size, ISBN: 9781684423194 / ]

Spine-chilling tale of ancient rituals and restless spirits


A Novel from Hell’s Library #1

The Library of the Unwritten

In the first book in a brilliant new fantasy series,
books that aren’t finished by their authors reside in the
Library of the Unwritten in Hell, and it is up to the
Librarian to track down any restless characters who
emerge from those unfinished stories.

Many years ago, Claire was named Head Librarian of the
Unwritten Wing– a neutral space in Hell where all the
stories unfinished by their authors reside. Her job
consists mainly of repairing and organizing books, but
also of keeping an eye on restless stories that risk
materializing as characters and escaping the library.
When a Hero escapes from his book and goes in search of
his author, Claire must track and capture him with the
help of former muse and current assistant Brevity and
nervous demon courier Leto.

But what should have been a simple retrieval goes
horrifyingly wrong when the terrifyingly angelic Ramiel
attacks them, convinced that they hold the Devil’s Bible.
The text of the Devil’s Bible is a powerful weapon in the
power struggle between Heaven and Hell, so it falls to
the librarians to find a book with the power to reshape
the boundaries between Heaven, Hell….and Earth.

Fantasy [Ace, On Sale: October 1, 2019, Trade Size / e-Book, ISBN: 9781984806376 / eISBN: 9781984806383]

What happens when the forces of Heaven and Hell collide?

LATE CHECKOUT by Carol J. Perry

A Witch City Mystery #9

Late Checkout

A dead ballplayer means foul play in Salem . . .  

Field reporter Lee Barrett is not happy that her hours are being cut back at WICH-TV, although it is nice to spend more time volunteering with Aunt Ibby, a research librarian at Salem’s main branch. But Lee’s least favorite task is going up to the stacks, a spooky, seldom-frequented upper section of the library. On this day she has good reason to be afraid–she finds a dead man, surrounded by hundreds of scattered books and torn-out pages.
Her police detective beau, Pete Mondello, is soon on the scene, and the deceased is identified as a former minor league baseball player–and ex-con–named Wee Willie Wallace, who hasn’t been seen in Salem for twenty years. With help from her friend River’s Tarot reading, her clairvoyant cat O’Ryan, and Lee’s own psychic gifts, she steps up to the plate to catch the killer who took the old ballplayer out of the game . . .

Mystery Amateur Sleuth | Mystery Woman Sleuth | Mystery Paranormal [Kensington, On Sale: September 24, 2019, Mass Market Paperback / e-Book, ISBN: 9781496714626 / eISBN: 9781496714633]

Perfect paranormal cozy mystery to curl up with this Halloween

HAUNTED HOUSE MURDER by Leslie Meier, Lee Hollis, Barbara Ross

Haunted House Murder

Tricks and treats keep the Halloween spirit alive in coastal Maine. But this year the haunted house theme is getting carried a little too far . . .
Newcomers to Tinker’s Cove, Ty and Heather Moon have moved into a dilapidated house reputed to be a haven for ghosts. Now strange noises and flickering lights erupt from the house at all hours and neighborly relations are on edge. And when a local boy goes missing near the house, it’s up to Lucy Stone to unravel the mystery of the eccentric couple and their increasingly frightful behavior.

For the past two years, the house next door to Hayley Powell has sat abandoned after the owner died under mysterious circumstances. The Salinger family has recently taken possession of the property, but the realtor behind the deal has vanished–after a very public and angry argument with Damien Salinger. If Bar Harbor’s newest neighbors are murderers, Hayley will haunt them until they confess.

With its history of hauntings and ghost sightings, Busman’s Harbor is the perfect setting for Halloween festivities. But when a reenactment of a Prohibition-era gangster’s murder ends with a literal bang and a dead actor from New Jersey, Julia Snowden must identify a killer before she ends up sleeping with the fishes.

There’s nothing like home sweet home in this trio of Halloween tales . . .

Mystery Cozy | Holiday [Kensington, On Sale: August 27, 2019, Hardcover / e-Book, ISBN: 9781496719966 / eISBN: 9781496719966]

Haunted Houses can be murder…


An Abby McCree Mystery #2

Death by Jack-o'-Lantern

Overcommitted committee member Abby McCree gets in a patch of trouble trying to solve the murder of a pumpkin farmer. . .

The small town of Snowberry Creek, Washington, is gearing up for the Halloween Festival, and naturally Abby is on the planning committee. As part of her duties, she’s picking up a pumpkin order from ornery farmer Ronald Minter. But what she finds instead is the farmer in the middle of his corn maze with a knife in his back.

The police suspect a homeless veteran named Kevin Montgomery, who was seen arguing with Minter when the farmer accused him of trespassing and stealing pumpkins. Abby’s tenant Tripp Blackston, a veteran himself who’s been helping Kevin, is sure he’s innocent. Together, Abby and Tripp follow the twists and turns of the case to corner the corn maze killer–before someone else meets a dead end. . .

Holiday | Mystery Cozy [Kensington, On Sale: August 27, 2019, Mass Market Paperback / e-Book, ISBN: 9781496719546 / eISBN: 9781496719577]

Nobody liked the pumpkin farmer… but who hated him enough to kill him?

THE LAST SEANCE by Agatha Christie

The Last Seance

Tales of the Supernatural

For lovers of the supernatural and the macabre comes this collection of ghostly and chilling stories from legendary mystery writer Agatha Christie. Fantastic psychic visions, specters looming in the shadows, encounters with deities, a man who switches bodies with a cat—be sure to keep the light on whilst reading these tales.

The Last Seance gathers twenty stories, some featuring Christie’s beloved detectives Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple, in one haunting compendium that explores all things occult and paranormal, and is an essential omnibus for Christie fans.

Suspense | Mystery [Harper Collins, On Sale: September 24, 2019, Paperback / e-Book, ISBN: 9780062959140 / eISBN: 9780062959157]

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