Scary Book Recommendations for Halloween |

Author Kristen Bird shares her top book recommendations for Halloween.

HOUSTON — Houston author Kristen Bird is no stranger to suspenseful books. Her debut novel, “The Night She Went Missing,” is a gripping mystery set in Galveston, TX.

“A stunning new outstanding voice, perfect for fans of big little lieswho feed on tales of deception in the suburban world.” – JT Ellison, New York Times and USA today bestselling author of Her Dark Lies

Bird joined Great Day Houston with Halloween book recommendations for a variety of readers.

• Picture Book: Trick Arr Treat by Leslie Kimmelman

“Charlotte Blue-Tongue, Peg-Leg Pete, Glass-Eyed Gabby and their friends roam the streets claiming loot and treasure from their neighbors in this Halloween pirate tale. As their world transforms from neighborhood in the lagoon of pirates, they shout: “We are pirates. TRICK ARRR TREAT!” But what lurks in the shadows? Are the pirates brave enough to defend their treasure?”

YA: Our Shadows Have Claws edited by Yamile Saled Mendez and Amaparo Ortiz

“Fifteen original short stories from YA Superstars, featuring the most memorable monsters of Latin mythology

From zombies to cannibals to death incarnate, this cross-genre anthology offers something for every monster lover. In Our Shadows Have Claws, bloodthirsty vampires are hunted by a quick-witted killer; children are stolen from their beds by “el viejo de la bolsa” while a military dictatorship steals from their parents; and anyone you love, absolutely anyone, could be a shapeshifter ready to hunt.

The worlds in these stories are dark but also magical, where a ghost witch can make your cheating boyfriend pay, bullies are brought to their knees by vicious wolf gods, a jar of fireflies can protect you from reality-distorting magic from a bruja – and maybe you’ll live long enough to tell the tale. Set across Latin America and its diaspora, this collection offers bold and imaginative stories of oppression, heartbreak, brotherhood, first love and empowerment.”

• Non-Fiction: Anything Wicked by Kate Winkler Dawson

“Acclaimed crime historian, podcaster and author of The American Sherlock Kate Winkler Dawson tells the gripping story of Edward Rulloff – a serial killer who has been called ‘too smart to kill’ – and the range of 19th century investigators who were convinced that his brain held the key to finally understanding the criminal mind.”

Adult Fall Feel Good: The Witches of Moonshyne Manor by Bianca Marais

“A group of modern-day witches. A magical heist gone wrong. An imminent threat.

Five octogenarian witches gather as an angry mob threatens to demolish Moonshyne Manor. All eyes turn to the witch in charge, Queenie, who confesses that they’ve fallen way behind on their mortgage payments. Still, there is hope, since the imminent return of Ruby – one of the sisters who has been gone for thirty-three years – will surely be their salvation.

But the crowd is only the beginning of their troubles. A man is determined to avenge his family for the theft of an inheritance he claims is his. In an act of desperation, Queenie makes a deal with an evil far more powerful than anything they have ever faced. Then things get worse when Ruby’s return reveals a seemingly insurmountable obstacle instead of the solution to all their problems.

The witches are determined to save their home and themselves, but their aging powers are no match for the increasingly malevolent threats. Luckily, they get a little help from Persephone, a fiery TikToker bent on breaking the patriarchy. As the deadline to save the mansion approaches, rifts among the brotherhood are revealed and long-held secrets are exposed, culminating in a heated confrontation with their enemies.

Funny, tender and uplifting, the novel explores the tremendous power that can be discovered in aging, reunited family and unlikely friendships. Marais’ smart prose delivers as much laughter as it does insight, delving deep into feminism, identity, and power dynamics while sparking intrigue and drama through secrets, lies, and sex. Heartbreaking and heartwarming, it will make you grateful for the amazing women in your life.”

• Cozy Mystery: The Socialite’s Guide to Murder by SK Golden

“The hotel was her safe haven, but scandal is afoot and a killer lurks the halls of this charming first series perfect for fans of Rhys Bowen and Ashley Weaver.

It’s 1958 and Evelyn Elizabeth Grace Murphy hasn’t left the Pinnacle Hotel for fourteen months. She suffers from agoraphobia, and besides, it’s her father’s hotel, and everything she needs is there. Evelyn has always been good at finding things, she discovered her mother dead in a Manhattan alley fifteen years earlier. Now she finds trouble inside her sanctuary. At a party for artist Billie Bell, her latest work is stolen and Evelyn’s fake boyfriend (and real best friend), movie star Henry Fox, is framed for the theft. But just as Evelyn sets out to prove Henry’s innocence, she finds Billie Bell dead.

The murder weapon links the crime to the head of hotel security. But why would he use a knife with his initials on the handle? With her beloved home in disarray, Evelyn joins hotel employee (and secret crush) Mac Cooper to get to the bottom of the matter.

As Mac picks the locks and Evelyn snoops around the hotel, they discover that the walls around them hold more secrets than they previously knew. Now Evelyn must force herself to leave the hotel to follow the clues, but when she and Mac go after a lead, their car crashes and they narrowly escape. Someone cut Evelyn’s brake lines, and now the stakes have gotten dangerously high.

Evelyn’s talent for detective – and her playful imagination – are still at work, and she throws an elaborate party at the hotel where every guest is a suspect. But will the killer emerge from the glamorous lineup? If not, Evelyn might just end up…next on the murder list.”

• Dark adult thriller: The Last Housewife of Ashley Winstead

“A dark thriller about a woman determined to destroy a powerful cult, no matter the cost.

While at college in upstate New York, Shay Evans and her best friends met a captivating man who seduced them with a web of lies about how the world works, putting them under his yoke. In senior year, Shay and her friend Laurel were the only ones who managed to escape. Now, eight years later, Shay has built a new life in an upscale Texas suburb. But when she hears the horrific news of Laurel’s death — delivered, anyway, by her favorite true-crime podcast crusader — she begins to suspect that the past she thought she had buried is still alive and well. , predators more dangerous than ever.

Enlisting the help of the podcast host, Shay returns to the place she swore she would never return to in search of answers. As she follows the threads of her friend’s life, she is drawn into a dark and seductive world, where wealth and privilege protect brutal philosophies that seem all too familiar to her. When Shay’s obsession with uncovering the truth becomes so intense that she can no longer separate her desire for justice from the newly awakened darker desires, she must confront the depths of her own complicity and conditioning. But in a world built for men to rule – both inside and outside the cult – is justice even possible, and if so, how far will Shay go to get it?”

About Jean R. Manzer

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