Caturday Reads: Ghost Thriller, Dark Fantasy, & Cosy Mystery!

Happy weekend, chums! This weekend is such a welcome reprieve after a long, tiring week. Even though a lot of emotionally intense things occurred, they were things that helped my mental health in humongous ways and shall help me in moving forward with my life after recent losses. So, I’m tired as the Seven Hells, but I’m also grateful for the opportunity to move on with my life again.

Of course, lengthy, draining weeks demand self-care on the weekends! Since this shall be my last couple days of freedom before a new work project begins and monopolises my time and brain juice, I want to spend it all in Potato Mode. Spooky books and spooky films and spooky Shinobi stalking my kitchen in the middle of the night, convincing me that I’m about to be murdered by some creepy arse clown from outer space (I hate clowns).

Recently, I have been bouncing across all corners of the horror genre in terms of reading and it has been positively delightful. Horror seems to be the only comforting distraction that consistently does its distracting gig the vast majority of the time, so I ain’t going to fight it! A couple of my late dives include Sleepy Hollow (the TV series via Hulu), Gothic horror books by Darcy Coates (I had to sleep with the light on after finishing one o’ these pups), and classic horror films that I haven’t had an opportunity to enlighten myself with (yet!). All in all, it’s been a brilliant ride of relaxation and jump-scare-induced heart-attacks (the irony is not lost on me).

Anyhoo, I’ve got four books that I hope shall thoroughly scare the cat umbrella sockies off my feet (or at the least creep me out like Mirkwood’s malevolent mood). One is a cosy mystery, so it’ll be less frightening and more heart-fluffening. The others just sounded damn good, so I went with it. Check ‘em out down below!

Summer of Night by Dan Simmons: A ghost thriller that’s the first in a retro series called Seasons of Horror, it follows a group of boys who are close-knit friends attending a spooktacular school that smells of coffins, evil, and budding BO during the summer of 1960. When something sinister is awoken in this fortress of freaky education, the boys’ friendship and their very lives shall be tested to the extreme.

It takes place in the 60s and was written in the 80s-90s, meaning it has cheese written all-over it, and if there’s anything that I love more than horror, it’s cheesy horror. Plus, this old-school cover is quite neat.

Horseman by Christina Henry: From the author of Alice and The Lost Boy, this dark fantasy novel takes the reader through the legendarily haunting tale of Sleepy Hollow with a fresh, frightening new twist—or many—and re-imagines the literary classic with unflinching supernatural prowess and unexpected, everyday horrors.

Christina Henry is one of my favourite modern authors of dark fantasy. Thus far, everything she has written has been bloody brilliant and so deliciously dark (and fucked-up), which is precisely how I love magnetically mature fantasy reads. When I saw she had written a Legend of Sleepy Hollow re-telling, I knew that it would not disappoint me. Granted, I have not read this yet, but my expectations are as high as Kheb on catnip.

Peril on the Page by Margaret Loudon: The third instalment in the author’s Open Book Mystery series, this time the writer-in-residence, Penelope Parish, must deal with solving the mystery behind the death of one of her friends that occurs right in the book shoppe where she works, during an author’s promotional event!

This is such a heart-warming series that I highly recommend to fans of cosy mysteries and small-town British country-sides with slight touches of royal scandal, as well as sassy old ladies. It has so much charm to it. This third volume is the most recent release (came out at the end of February to beginning of March) in the series and I’m stoked to see how Pen Parish will resolve the latest murdery shenanigan.

American Gods by Neil Gaiman: An adult urban fantasy that was the author’s very first novel, it follows a dude who just got out of prison—Shadow—as he’s hired to be the right-hand task man for a mysteriously dashing old guy named Mr. Wednesday. What Shadow doesn’t realise is that one Hell of a storm is brewing and headed his way. A storm built upon the everyday workings of the common person and the forgotten faiths left in the dust as humanity builds away from their history. A storm that shall threaten the very soul of America itself.

I tried to read this a few years ago, but I was in an atrocious head-space for it. While I thoroughly enjoyed the premise, the characters, and the intrigue, I simply couldn’t get as invested in it as I would have liked. Now that my mind is clearer and more focused, and craving the uncanny, slow-burns of modern mythology, I knew it was the perfect time to pick it back up. I am only thirty or forty pages into, but I can already feel myself melting into the narrative with a great sense of exhilaration that I missed the first time around.

Anyhoo, that does it for my weekend (and upcoming weekly) bookish schemes. I am keeping my fingers crossed to get reviews of my recently completely reads out to you during this week as they are recommended titles that I cannot wait to gush about. Mostly. Beyond that, I am also looking forward to starting the new work project. Staying as busy as possible is quite appealing to a workaholic dweeb like me.

Until next time, chums, keep reading and keep meowing.

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