Another season, another recommendation post! Today I am doing this blogs first ever Autumn Reading Recommendations! For this season I always think of two things; 1. Back to School and 2. Halloween. So, today I tried to combine both of those ideas together! I hope you find a book here that you like!
Starting off I have two books that I think work well for the Back to School/Halloween idea. I have for you two murder mysteries set in a school!
Plot: Oliver Marks has just served ten years in jail – for a murder he may or may not have committed. On the day he’s released, he’s greeted by the man who put him in prison. Detective Colborne is retiring, but before he does, he wants to know what really happened a decade ago. As one of seven young actors studying Shakespeare at an elite arts college, Oliver and his friends play the same roles onstage and off: hero, villain, tyrant, temptress, ingenue, extra. But when the casting changes, and the secondary characters usurp the stars, the plays spill dangerously over into life, and one of them is found dead. The rest face their greatest acting challenge yet: convincing the police, and themselves, that they are blameless.
Originally, a book that I thought was set in Shakespearian times but was incredibly wrong. This novel has a beautiful back drop of a fictional North American university. I thought this worked really well due to the back to school idea with it being students studying their final year of their degree and the Halloween idea as 1. there is a murder and 2. there is a massive scene during Halloween that is super important to the novel. This book will have you on the edge of your seat and drawn in by the amazingly complex characters.
Plot: On Monday afternoon, five students at Bayview High walk into detention. Bronwyn, the brain, is Yale-bound and never breaks a rule. Addy, the beauty, is the picture-perfect homecoming princess. Nate, the criminal, is already on probation for dealing. Cooper, the athlete, is the all-star baseball pitcher. And Simon, the outcast, is the creator of Bayview High’s notorious gossip app. Only, Simon never makes it out of that classroom. Before the end of detention, Simon’s dead. And according to investigators, his death wasn’t an accident. On Monday, he died. But on Tuesday, he’d planned to post juicy reveals about all four of his high-profile classmates, which makes all four of them suspects in his murder. Or are they the perfect patsies for a killer who’s still on the loose? Everyone has secrets, right? What really matters is how far you would go to protect them.
Again this fits in perfectly with my 2 main thoughts. You have a fresh new year at a high school alongside a devastating murder! This is a YA novel so if you are looking for something for a slightly younger audience this would be perfect. You have some great characters and a really interesting mystery.
Moving on to something that fits more just with the Halloween theme!
Plot: After receiving a frantic letter from her newly-wed cousin begging for someone to save her from a mysterious doom, Noemí Taboada heads to High Place, a distant house in the Mexican countryside. She’s not sure what she will find—her cousin’s husband, a handsome Englishman, is a stranger, and Noemí knows little about the region. Noemí is also an unlikely rescuer: She’s a glamorous debutante, and her chic gowns and perfect red lipstick are more suited for cocktail parties than amateur sleuthing. But she’s also tough and smart, with an indomitable will, and she is not afraid: Not of her cousin’s new husband, who is both menacing and alluring; not of his father, the ancient patriarch who seems to be fascinated by Noemí; and not even of the house itself, which begins to invade Noemí’s dreams with visions of blood and doom. Her only ally in this inhospitable abode is the family’s youngest son. Shy and gentle, he seems to want to help Noemí, but might also be hiding dark knowledge of his family’s past. For there are many secrets behind the walls of High Place. The family’s once colossal wealth and faded mining empire kept them from prying eyes, but as Noemí digs deeper she unearths stories of violence and madness.
Now this is a horror and perfect to read on Halloween! I read this in no time at all. At one point I was sitting in darkness because I was too invested to turn the lights on when the sun went down! Honestly, depending on your reading speed, you could read this in one day! I can’t really go too much into the horror aspects but it is so good! Very out there but in the best way possible!!!
Plot: It’s 1634 and Samuel Pipps, the world’s greatest detective, is being transported to Amsterdam to be executed for a crime he may, or may not, have committed. Traveling with him is his loyal bodyguard, Arent Hayes, who is determined to prove his friend innocent. But no sooner are they out to sea than devilry begins to blight the voyage. A twice-dead leper stalks the decks. Strange symbols appear on the sails. Livestock is slaughtered. And then three passengers are marked for death, including Samuel. Could a demon be responsible for their misfortunes? With Pipps imprisoned, only Arent can solve a mystery that connects every passenger onboard. A mystery that stretches back into their past and now threatens to sink the ship, killing everybody on board.
Another perfect read for Halloween! The atmosphere created in this novel is so spooky and I was on the edge of my seat trying to read fast to know what happens next and then trying not read too fast so I could take everything in. This mystery is masterful and I don’t think Stuart Turton gets enough praise!!