29 Oct 2019

Top Ten Tuesday: Chilling Reads, or suited to Chilly Weather

Welcome to another Top Ten Tuesday post, from the group hosted by the Artsy Reader Girl blog. 

The official title of today's post is Halloween Freebie, but I don't really do Halloween. I don't have really extreme views on it, its just not something we really did as kids, and all those sweets. Yeah I like candy but- eauch. Too many. 

So instead of Halloween books, I'm going to include some titles that are Mysteries, Thrillers, or spooky (sometimes a combination). These aren't necessarily ghost stories nor about the supernatural or paranormal, but they might send a shiver or two down your spine, or just have you on the edge of your proverbial seat *.

Left at an orphanage as a child, Thea Reed vowed to find her mother someday. Now grown, her search takes her to Pleasant Valley, Wisconsin, in 1908. When clues lead her to a mental asylum, Thea uses her experience as a post-mortem photographer to gain access and uncover the secrets within. However, she never expected her personal quest would reawaken the legend of Misty Wayfair, a murdered woman who allegedly haunts the area and whose appearance portends death.
A century later, Heidi Lane receives a troubling letter from her mother--who is battling dementia--compelling her to travel to Pleasant Valley for answers to her own questions of identity. When she catches sight of a ghostly woman who haunts the asylum ruins in the woods, the long-standing story of Misty Wayfair returns--and with it, Heidi's fear for her own life.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/20665064 Abigail Foster fears she will end up a spinster. When financial problems force her family to sell their home, a strange solicitor arrives with an astounding offer: the use of a distant manor house abandoned for eighteen years. The Fosters journey to imposing Pembrooke Park and are startled to find it entombed as it was abruptly left: moth-eaten clothes in wardrobes, a doll's house left mid-play . . .

The local curate welcomes them, but though he and his family seem to know something about the manor's past, the only information they offer Abigail is a warning: Beware trespassers who may be drawn by rumors that Pembrooke contains a secret room filled with treasure.

Hoping to improve her family's financial situation, Abigail surreptitiously searches for the hidden room, but the arrival of anonymous letters addressed to her, with clues about the room and the past, bring discoveries even more startling. As secrets come to light, will Abigail
find the treasure and love she seeks...or very real danger?

Jessica Neale's faith is lost the day of her husband's death, and with it, her belief in love. In a journey to find peace, she encounters a gentle, green-eyed stranger who leads her to the ruins of the medieval castle, Gallimore. On his way to battle, Colwyn Haukswyrth, knight of Gallimore, comes face to face with a storm the likes of which he's never seen, and a woman in the midst of it who claims to live centuries in the future.

The Lady Jessica of Neale is an irksome, provoking bit of woman to be sure. And she's about to turn his beliefs on end. The product of a family rooted in pain and evil, Colwyn has focused on naught but himself-until Jessica. To a mysterious prophecy stitched on a tapestry, through the invasion of Gallimore itself, Colwyn and Jessica are bound together by a lesson in forgiveness and love-a bond that might be strong enough to survive the grave.

Alan, the beadle of the manor of Bampton, had gone out at dusk to seek those who might violate curfew. When, the following morning, he had stillnot returned home, his young wife Matilda sought out Master Hugh de Singleton, surgeon and bailiff of the manor.

Two days later Alan's corpse is discovered in the hedge, at the side of the track to St. Andrew's Chapel. His throat has been torn out, his head half-severed from his body and his face, hands, and forearms lacerated with deep scratches.

Master Hugh, meeting Hubert the coroner at the scene, listens carefully to the coroner surmise that a wolf had caused the great wound. And yet . . . if so, why is there so little blood?

In the autumn of 1140 the Benedictine monastery at Shrewsbury finds its new novice Meriet Aspley a bit disturbing. The younger son of a prominent family, Meriet is meek and biddable by day, but his sleep is rife with nightmares so violent that they earn him the name of "Devil's Novice". 

Shunned by the other monks, Aspley attracts the concern of Brother Cadfael. Then a body appears, that of a young priest last seen at the Aspley estate. Can Meriet be involved in the death? As events take a sinister turn, it falls to Brother Cadfael to detect the truth.


If you want something a little on the Lighter side, I would recommend Northanger Abbey, by Jane Austen. Northanger Abbey was actually her first novel, but was not published until after her death. Some have described it as a parody of the Gothic Novels popular in the early 1800s: its certainly about a Young Woman who reads too many novels. 

I'm also going to push the boat out a little bit and include a couple of titles relating to Guy Fawkes Night, or Fireworks Night, the 5th of November. 

Guy Fawkes was originally the bigger deal in England, modern Halloween is more of a modern American import. Of course, it also commemorates a historical event, the Gunpowder Plot of 1605 when a group of Catholic conspirators planned to blow up the Scottish King James I and Parliament gunpowder, stored in a cellar under the Houses of Parliament. 

Traditionally, Guy Fawkes night was commemorated by children making a 'Guy', something like a scarecrow or human effigy, and then take it along the houses in their neighburhood asking for a penny. 
The culmination was the 'Guy' being burned on the seasonal bonfire, usually accompanied by a firework display.  

Some parts of Britain retained- interesting, if controversial traditions in which the Guy might be made to look like an unpopular political figure, and in one city, even burned small figures of the Pope.


Above all guys, have fun responsibly, and remember that our furry friends really don't like fireworks. 

* Content Warning: Gallimore by Michelle Griep does indeed contain some references to the supernatural with a character who practices Black Magic and Necromancy, but this is strictly presented in a religious context.


  1. The Curse of Misty Wayfair does sound interesting.

    My TTT.

    1. Its very good. Spooky and spine tingling without being horrific. Seems like a ghost story, but very unexpected. I would really recommend it.

      Oh, and it involves a 19th century asylum.

  2. Northanger Abbey is very good! I haven't read it in a long time so I'll have to make time to re-read it. Here is our Top Ten Tuesday.

  3. I don't like scary books but I think I could handle Northanger Abbey.

    1. Neither do I. Most of these aren't that scary, but Northanger Abbey is great. Of course.


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