Saturday, October 23, 2010

Saturday Salon: A Few More Halloween Reads

Okay, only 8 more days until Halloween and if you're still looking around for a book to read that doesn't include heavy-handed horror or excess blood-splatter, look no further. As I've often said, I do not read horror so any books I recommend for Ghosts and Ghoulies day will be mysterious, entertaining, maybe creepy and cryptic with a dead body or two or three, but I would never classify them as horror. So fear not. Oh, and here's a link to my previous list of
recommended reads in case you missed those.

THE PALE HORSE by Agatha Christie
A favorite book for this time of year, it features not one, not two but THREE witches! Not to mention one of the more ingenious murder devices I've ever read and a very likable hero and heroine.

PERSUADER by Lee Child
A ghoulish amount of violence it is true, but most of it done so entertainingly that even I didn't mind. Knight in shining armor Jack Reacher is, after all, a world unto himself. Because it is so over the top, I've always maintained that this book reads sort of like an opera libretto. You'll see what I mean if you read it. I love the setting, a spooky house with various strange types hanging about including a murderous 'giant'. It also has one of the best and most finely written episodes of underwater bedlam that I've ever read. Lee Child is a helluva writer.

BROTHER ODD by Dean Koontz
After his classic, ODD THOMAS (read that first), I recommend reading this and ignoring the second Odd Thomas book which is nowhere near as good as Brother Odd which takes place in a dark and lonely and, needless to say, creepy old monastery in the middle of nowhere. Perfect for this time of year.

LOVER IN THE SHADOWS by Lindsay Longford
For you romance lovers, this is a pip of a book. Full of dark shadows and things that go bump in the night - but in a good way. It also has an element of fantasy: the hero turns into....well, you'll read and find out for yourself. No, not a vampire. I can say no more. My lips are sealed.

I reviewed this charming book a while back, but it now occurs to me that it makes for perfect Halloween reading since ghosts are definitely involved. Two ghosts to be exact: a private eye and his client. When a young divorcee buys a house at the Jersey shore with plans to renovate, she and her daughter stumble across murder most foul. Terrific debut of a new series.

IT WAS A DARK AND STORMY NIGHT by Janet and Allan Ahlberg
A wonderfully illustrated (in pencil and watercolor) story to read aloud with your younger children. An 8 year old boy kidnapped by brigands in the Italian countryside must make up stories to entertain his captors. A very funny read.


  1. Not sure if you've mentioned it already, but The Turn of the Screw is good by Henry James for a Halloween.

  2. Well, I haven't read any James (Though I always mean to.), so I can't recommend THE TURN OF THE SCREW except by reputation. I'm trying too, Julie, to recommend books that you might not ordinarily think of for Halloween. ;)


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