I welcome fall with open arms. It is my favorite season and it gives me the chance to prioritize some spooky reads. Fall is also the perfect season to focus on being cozy. What is cozier than wrapping yourself up in a chunky sweater, sitting by the opened windows and reading a cozy mystery? Or what about taking a hot bath with a glass of wine while sinking into a great mystery? I have listed my favorites here.
The Silent Companions by Laura Purcell is a bone-chilling gothic novel that takes place in a haunted mansion in England. Elsie, newly widowed, is isolated from the resentful servants and hostile villagers, and only has her husband’s awkward cousin for company. Or so she thinks. This is one of the creepiest books I have ever read and I suggest not reading it right before bed.
The Cottingly Secret by Hazel Gaynor is a magnificent, enchanting tale told in two different timelines, 1917 and 2017, that intertwine…and when I say enchanting, I mean it. It’s about fairies!
The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton is about ” foundling, an old book of dark fairy tales, a secret garden, an aristocratic family, a love denied, and a mystery.” It’s one of my favorite books and I love curling up and reading a story like this in the Fall.
Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier is a must read and this season is a perfect time. It has romance, it has suspense, and it’s wrapped up beautifully in this gothic novel.
And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie is a true gem and another one of my favorite books. A group of strangers is summoned to a private island, with their host nowhere to be found. A lovely mystery.
We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirey Jackson is a very strange story, masterfully written by Shirley Jackson. It seriously has everything you would want for a spooky Halloween read.
The House on the Borderland by William Hope Hodgson can be a slow ready, but it’s quite weird and is pretty different from everything else.
The Silence of the Lambs by Thomas Harris is a classic and it’s the second book in the Hannibal series, and I just cannot get over the gripping story and wonderfully developed characters.
Hallowe’en Party by Agatha Christie is a novel in the Poirot mystery series and it’s perfect to read for Halloween.
Death Overdue by Allison Brook is a cozy read. For those of that don’t know there is a genre of books called cozy mysteries. They are not everyone’s cup of tea, but I love reading them in the Fall and Winter. As their name suggests, I find them so cozy.
Seashells, Spells, and Caramels by Erin Johnson is another cozy mystery read that has a newly discovered witch and a baking competition. It has a really clear and quirky world that I love.
The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley is a historical mystery that centers around an 11-year-old girl. It’s very cute and although the mystery isn’t too compelling, the journey, setting, and characters are charming and it’s just a lovely read.
Bell Weather by Dennis Mahoney is a YA novel. It’s ” a captivating adventure set in a fantastical world where a young woman must uncover the secrets of her past while confronting the present dangers of a magical wilderness.”
Hocus Pocus & The All New Sequel by A.W. Jantha is, as you may expect, based on the movie, with the added bonus of a sequel attached. I have not read it yet, but will definitely pick it up this season.
A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness is the first of a series. A scholar finds out she is a witch and the guy that has been protecting her while also driving her crazy is a vampire. What more do you need to know?!
Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins is a YA novel, again, about a witch, but it’s just a fun read. Perfect for someone looking to read something light and exciting.
Black Chalk by Christopher J. Yates is like a classic 90’s horror movie in a book. Friends at college play a game, but it becomes deadly.
Magpie Murders by Anthony Horowitz has been described as “shrewd, cunning, intelligent, and ingenious”. It is structured with a novel inside a novel which means that there are multiple mysteries being unraveled in this novel. I look forward to reading it.
Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore by Matthew Sullivan is about a bookstore clerk solving the murder of a bookstore regular. What screams more Fall than a literary mystery with wonderfully developed characters.
Still Life by Louis Penny is the first of a beloved series. It can be considered a cozy or a literary mystery or both! I have heard that the series gets better and better, but I love the mood of this novel.
The Bookshop on the Corner by Jenny Colgan makes my heart happy. It was one of those books that I felt reached my soul. It’s cozy and sweet.
Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman is actually the second book in a series. Don’t expect the book to be just like the movie. The movie is very loosely based on the book, but this book is so good! It has rich characters that just make you swoon.
When Autumn Leaves by Amy S. Foster is just a magical book. It’s something that will make you feel good and will lift your spirits some after you read it.
The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin is a splendid read and one of my favorites. The characters are just so damn loveable and you fall in love with this little area of the world where these people and this bookstore live.
I hope some of these books help make your Fall cozy and warm. What are some of your favorite books to read in the Fall? I’d love to hear about them.