With its earlier sunsets, cooler temperatures, and pumpkin spice everything, autumn is the perfect time to curl up with a good mystery―especially a mystery with shades of the supernatural. Whether you’re in the mood for a lighthearted ghost story or a leave-the-lights-on tale of suspense, these books will cast a spell on your book club. I’ve asked the authors to tell us about their books. Enjoy!
The Diva Haunts the House
by Krista Davis
Sophie's decorations for a community haunted house are so good, it’s scary. Not to be outdone, rival domestic diva Natasha is throwing a spooktacular Halloween party at her house. But when Sophie arrives, she discovers one of Natasha’s guests dead in a hair-raising Halloween display, and a pale, fanged partygoer fleeing the scene.
The cause of death is not immediately apparent, but the victim does have two puncture wounds on his neck. While Sophie’s boyfriend, homicide detective Wolf, investigates, rumors start flying faster than witches on broomsticks. Could the killer be a real vampire—the same one rumored to have lived in Sophie’s haunted house back when it was a boardinghouse? Good thing a domestic diva never runs out of garlic! With so much Halloween flavor from decorations to recipes, this book will put you in the mood for Halloween. A few laughs, a few chills, and lots to discuss! –Krista Davis
The House on Hallowed Ground, a Misty Dawn Mystery
by Nancy Cole Silverman
At first glance, The House on Hallowed Ground is a simple story – a Ghost and Mrs. Muir, if you will—about Misty Dawn, a former Hollywood psychic to the stars, who at seventy-plus, has found herself on hard times, and in order to support herself is forced to rehang her shingle and get back in the game. If you thought psychics could read for themselves, you’d be wrong. After a lifetime of riding high, reading the fortunes of the rich and famous, and being credible enough to have been called to work with both the FBI and LAPD on homicide investigations, Misty is back at it again, with a recalcitrant spirit guide who pooh-poohs the idea of psychics reading as much as any non-believer this side of the veil might. It’s a story of reinvention, connections with ourselves, and the spirits that surround us all.
Not only is a Misty Dawn a psychic working with a recalcitrant spirit guide, a shade from the other side of the veil, she is an intuitive who helps the reader to believe our wants and desires are never by accident. – Nancy Cole Silverman
Killing in C Sharp
by Alexia Gordon
Gethsemane Brown must fight off an attack by a vengeful ghost determined to exact revenge for her murder centuries ago. The ghost's wrath spares no one—not her students, not Niall, not Frankie, and not a group of ghost hunters descended on Dunmullach to capture proof ghosts exist. As if a spiteful specter wasn't bad enough, a crooked music reviewer turns up dead in the opera house orchestra pit, a famous opera composer is arrested for the crime, and Gethsemane must team up with a notorious true crime author to clear his name.
Killing in C Sharp is filled with ghosts, both good and bad, plus a spooky curse and, of course, murder--perfect for the Halloween season. – Alexia Gordon
An Unholy Communion, Book 3 of The Monastery Murders
by Donna Fletcher Crow
The body plummeted from the tower, rolled down the hillside and landed at Felicity's feet. So much for her plans for a quiet summer holiday. Sinister phenomenon increase as Felicity and Antony guide a youth walk along an ancient holy route in Wales as a quiet pilgrimage across the land of saints and legends becomes a life-and-death struggle between good and evil. An Unholy Communion offers opportunity for a meaningful discussion of good and evil and lets readers share the experience of modern pilgrims in an ancient setting. – Donna Fletcher Crow
Murder Beyond the Precipice
by Penny Goetjen
After receiving an unexpected invitation to a wedding at the Livingston Estate-turned-inn, Elizabeth Pennington arrives unannounced, hoping to surprise a friend who works there, only to discover no one knows her whereabouts. Other disappearances soon follow and in her frantic search for answers, Elizabeth stirs up long since buried memories the locals endeavor to keep hidden, along with the scars left behind, and finds herself tangled in a trail of betrayal, deception, love lost, and murder. Mystery lovers won't be able to resist tagging along with Elizabeth Pennington on her latest escapade on the coast of Maine, set in an old inn with a painful past. How Elizabeth goes about digging for the truth will be a point of contention--one that will spur a spirited discussion, for sure. – Penny Goetjen
Murder on the Red River
by Marcie Rendon
Cash, a 19-year old Ojibwe woman, works as a farm laborer in the fields of the Red River Valley in the early 1970s. Aged out of foster care, life has been hard but Cash is resilient and her friendship with Wheaton, the county sheriff, compels her to help solve the murder of an Indian man on the Red Lake Reservation. Visions of the dead man's family pull her deeper into the case. Raised in foster homes that pushed her to early resilience and independence, Cash also honed her intuitive clairvoyant skills. She sees images and spirits that guide her to solve the murder. – Marcie Rendon
Editor’s Note: Winner of the 2018 Pinckley Prize for Debut Crime Novel and finalist for the SPUR Award for Best Contemporary Novel from the Western Writers of America.
Die On Your Feet
by S.G. Wong
Set in an alternate-history 1930s-era "Chinese" L.A. called "Crescent City," which includes ghosts and magic, this is the debut of PI Lola Starke and her unwanted ghost-companion, Aubrey. Here, they're tasked with two cases simultaneously that eventually lead them to a complex plot involving unsanctioned magic and the City's mayor, an old lover to Lola's estranged mother, a world-famous film star. Bound by family as well as duty, Lola and Aubrey are forced to fight their way out of a murky net of corruption and secret societies.
Die On Your Feet is really about themes familiar to many women: family and community and the question of "what do we owe to others?" wrapped within a unique setting with plenty of action and a mystery to solve. – S G. Wong
Buried in the Stacks
by Allison Brook
Librarian Carrie Singleton is building a haven, but one of her neighbors is misbehavin'. Can resident spirit Evelyn help Carrie catch the culprit who made her a ghost?
In winter, the Haunted Library is a refuge for homeless townspeople. When a group purchases a vacant house to establish a daytime haven for the homeless, Carrie offers the library as a meeting place for the Haven House committee, but quickly learns that it may be used for illegal activities.
Buried in the Stacks lends itself to various discussions—the problem of homeless people seeking shelter in libraries during winter months and what can be done to help them and the reluctance of Evelyn, the library ghost, to share information regarding crimes because it might incriminate her nieces and nephews. – Allison Brook