This week’s Top Ten Tuesday (hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl) is a ‘Halloween Freebie’. There were lots of ways I could have approached this topic, but I decided to list ten words that are often associated with Halloween and find a book I’ve read with each of those words in the title.
Here are the ten books I’ve chosen. I think most of these would make great Halloween reads!
1. Blood Upon the Snow by Hilda Lawrence – First published in 1944, this is one of three crime novels to feature the private investigator Mark East and his two friends, the amateur detectives Bessy and Beulah. This atmospheric novel is set in a lonely town in the mountains during a snowy winter.
2. The Devil in the Marshalsea by Antonia Hodgson – The first in a series of historical mysteries set in the eighteenth century. This book is set almost entirely within London’s notorious Marshalsea Prison and although all of the other books in the series are excellent too, I particularly loved this one because of the fascinating setting.
3. The Coffin Path by Katherine Clements – A seventeenth century ghost story set on a sheep farm in the Yorkshire moors. Although I found the book quite slow, it’s also very atmospheric and steeped in English folklore.
4. Touch Not the Cat by Mary Stewart – This is not one of my favourites of Mary Stewart’s suspense novels, but I still enjoyed it. Published in 1976, it has a few touches of the supernatural and a wonderful country house setting, complete with moat and maze.
5. The Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux – I didn’t love this 1911 classic quite as much as I’d hoped to, but it’s very entertaining and has a great setting – an opera house with an underground lake, a maze of tunnels and a torture chamber. Worth reading whether or not you’re a fan of the musical.
6. The Grave’s a Fine and Private Place by Alan Bradley – Twelve-year-old detective Flavia de Luce is investigating the death of a young actor who is found drowned in a river. I prefer the earlier books in the Flavia series, but this is still a good one.
7. A Morbid Taste for Bones by Ellis Peters – This is the first book in the Cadfael mystery series featuring the monk, Brother Cadfael, and set in the medieval period. I really enjoyed this book and still need to continue with the rest of the series.
8. Midnight is a Lonely Place by Barbara Erskine – I find I usually like the sound of Barbara Erskine’s books more than the books themselves! In this one, a writer rents a cottage on the Essex coast, only to discover that the house appears to be haunted by the ghost of a Roman soldier. I didn’t love the book, but I did find it very creepy!
9. The Canterville Ghost by Oscar Wilde – This classic satirical comedy is a ghost story with a difference; an American family move into an English country house which is said to be haunted, but no matter how hard the resident ghost tries, the family refuse to be frightened!
10. Hallowe’en Party by Agatha Christie – The obvious choice to finish my list! It’s one of the later Poirot novels, published in 1969, and I don’t think it’s one of the best, but with the murder taking place during a Halloween party it’s the perfect Christie novel to read at this time of year.
Have you read any of these? Which other books with Halloween-related words in the title can you think of?
If you’re wondering why there are no witch-related books in my list, I used them in a previous Halloween Top Ten Tuesday here!