Scary Story Adult Picks
The Library of the Dead
"An absolute delight . . . kept me totally hooked." – Genevieve Cogman, bestselling author of The Invisible Library
Sixth Sense meets Stranger Things in T. L. Huchu's The Library of the Dead, a sharp contemporary fantasy following a precocious and cynical teen as she explores the shadowy magical underside of modern Edinburgh.
WHEN GHOSTS TALK
SHE WILL LISTEN
Ropa dropped out of school to become a ghostalker – and they sure do love to talk. Now she speaks to Edinburgh’s dead, carrying messages to those they left behind. A girl’s gotta earn a living, and it seems harmless enough. Until, that is, the dead whisper that someone’s bewitching children – leaving them husks, empty of joy and strength. It’s on Ropa’s patch, so she feels honor-bound to investigate. But what she learns will rock her world.
Ropa will dice with death as she calls on Zimbabwean magic and Scottish pragmatism to hunt down clues. And although underground Edinburgh hides a wealth of dark secrets, she also discovers an occult library, a magical mentor and some unexpected allies.
Yet as shadows lengthen, will the hunter become the hunted?
"A fast-moving and entertaining tale, beautifully written." – Ben Aaronovitch, bestselling author of Rivers of London
The Invisible Library
Collecting books can be a dangerous prospect in this fun, time-traveling, fantasy adventure--the first in the Invisible Library series!
One thing any Librarian will tell you: the truth is much stranger than fiction...
Irene is a professional spy for the mysterious Library, a shadowy organization that collects important works of fiction from all of the different realities. Most recently, she and her enigmatic assistant Kai have been sent to an alternative London. Their mission: Retrieve a particularly dangerous book. The problem: By the time they arrive, it's already been stolen.
London's underground factions are prepared to fight to the death to find the tome before Irene and Kai do, a problem compounded by the fact that this world is chaos-infested--the laws of nature bent to allow supernatural creatures and unpredictable magic to run rampant. To make matters worse, Kai is hiding something--secrets that could be just as volatile as the chaos-filled world itself.
Now Irene is caught in a puzzling web of deadly danger, conflicting clues, and sinister secret societies. And failure is not an option--because it isn't just Irene's reputation at stake, it's the nature of reality itself...
FEATURING BONUS MATERIAL: including an interview with the author, a legend from the Library, and more!
Welcome to Night Vale #3
"A chilling ghost story. . . . A decades long, globe-spanning saga of adventure, betrayal, love, and fate [about] one of Welcome to Night Vale's most enigmatic and terrifying characters. . . How these stories converge and how the narrator becomes immortal are merciless in their ingenuity and immensely satisfying. . . . A funny, terrifying, and unpredictable slice of Night Vale's macabre history." -- Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
From the New York Times bestselling authors of Welcome to Night Vale and It Devours! and the creators of the hit podcast, comes a haunting novel set in the world of Night Vale and beyond.
In the town of Night Vale, there's a faceless old woman who secretly lives in everyone's home, but no one knows how she got there or where she came from...until now. Told in a series of eerie flashbacks, the story of The Faceless Old Woman goes back centuries to reveal an initially blissful and then tragic childhood on a Mediterranean Estate in the early nineteenth century, her rise in the criminal underworld of Europe, a nautical adventure with a mysterious organization of smugglers, her plot for revenge on the ones who betrayed her, and ultimately her death and its aftermath, as her spirit travels the world for decades until settling in modern-day Night Vale.
Interspersed throughout is a present-day story in Night Vale, as The Faceless Old Woman guides, haunts, and sabotages a man named Craig. In the end, her current day dealings with Craig and her swashbuckling history in nineteenth century Europe will come together in the most unexpected and horrifying way.
Part The Haunting of Hill House, part The Count of Monte Cristo, The Faceless Old Woman Who Lives in Your Home is a lively tale of loyalty, betrayal, and revenge, that will have you looking around the corners of your own home...just in case.
Behind Closed Doors
THE INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES AND USA TODAY BESTSELLING DEBUT PSYCHOLOGICAL THRILLER YOU CAN'T MISS!
The perfect marriage? Or the perfect lie?
“A hair-raising debut, both unsettling and addictive...A chilling thriller that will keep you reading long into the night.” —Mary Kubica, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of The Good Girl
“This is one readers won’t be able to put down.” —Booklist (starred review)
"A can’t-put-down psychological thriller.” —Library Journal (starred review)
“This debut is guaranteed to haunt you...Warning: brace yourself.” —Bustle (10 New Thrillers to Read This Summer)
“The sense of believably and terror that engulfs Behind Closed Doors doesn't waver.” —The Associated Press, picked up by The Washington Post
“This was one of the best and most terrifying psychological thrillers I have ever read.” —San Francisco Book Review
Everyone knows a couple like Jack and Grace. He has looks and wealth; she has charm and elegance. He’s a dedicated attorney who has never lost a case; she is a flawless homemaker, a masterful gardener and cook, and dotes on her disabled younger sister. Though they are still newlyweds, they seem to have it all. You might not want to like them, but you do. You’re hopelessly charmed by the ease and comfort of their home, by the graciousness of the dinner parties they throw. You’d like to get to know Grace better.
But it’s difficult, because you realize Jack and Grace are inseparable.
Some might call this true love. Others might wonder why Grace never answers the phone. Or why she can never meet for coffee, even though she doesn’t work. How she can cook such elaborate meals but remain so slim. Or why she never seems to take anything with her when she leaves the house, not even a pen. Or why there are such high-security metal shutters on all the downstairs windows.
Some might wonder what’s really going on once the dinner party is over, and the front door has closed.
From bestselling author B. A. Paris comes the gripping thriller and international phenomenon Behind Closed Doors.
As the town of Greenwich, Connecticut, counts down to a spooky celebration on October 31st, a horrifying murder leaves Melanie Travis pawing for clues in a hair-raising game of trick-or-treat . . .
With just a few days left before Halloween, everyone at Howard Academy is anticipating the guaranteed sugar high they'll experience from gorging on Harriet Bloom's famous marshmallow puffs. The private school's annual costume party revolves around the headmaster's assistant and her seemingly supernatural batches of gooey goodies. So, it's a shock when Harriet's elderly neighbor is suddenly found dead with the beloved dessert in his hand. In a snap, police start questioning whether Harriet modified her top-secret recipe to include a hefty dose of lethal poison . . .
Melanie knows her tenured colleague would never intentionally serve cyanide-laced puffs to a defenseless old man. But as explosive neighborhood gossip reveals a potential culprit, it also brings her closer to sealing her own doom. Because on an evening ruled by masked revelers, bizarre getups, and hidden identities, Halloween might just be the perfect opportunity for a cold-hearted killer to get away with murder once again--this time sending a nosy, unsuspecting sleuth to an early grave!
Buffy meets Jane Austen in the first book of this wickedly funny NYT bestselling series about a young woman whose brush with the supernatural leads to a deadly investigation of London's high society.
Alexia Tarabotti is laboring under a great many social tribulations. First, she has no soul. Second, she's a spinster whose father is both Italian and dead. Third, she was rudely attacked by a vampire, breaking all standards of social etiquette.
Where to go from there? From bad to worse apparently, for Alexia accidentally kills the vampire -- and then the appalling Lord Maccon (loud, messy, gorgeous, and werewolf) is sent by Queen Victoria to investigate.
With unexpected vampires appearing and expected vampires disappearing, everyone seems to believe Alexia responsible. Can she figure out what is actually happening to London's high society? Will her soulless ability to negate supernatural powers prove useful or just plain embarrassing? Finally, who is the real enemy, and do they have treacle tart?
SOULLESS is the first book of the Parasol Protectorate series: a comedy of manners set in Victorian London, full of werewolves, vampires, dirigibles, and tea-drinking.
The Parasol ProtectorateSoullessChangelessBlamelessHeartlessTimeless
For more from Gail Carriger, check out:
The Custard ProtocolPrudenceImprudenceCompetenceReticence
Finishing School (YA)Etiquette & EspionageCurtsies & ConspiraciesWaistcoats & WeaponryManners & Mutiny
Wicked All Night
Set in New York Times bestselling author Jeaniene Frost's Night Huntress World, ancient deities are poised to wreak havoc, unless vampires Veritas and Ian can stop them ... in this thrilling Night Rebel novel!
A gift from the gods...
Veritas and Ian have finally defeated their worst enemy, but the power it took to pierce through to the netherworld has unexpected consequences. Soon, Veritas is forced to rely on the last person she trusts---a golden deity named Phanes, who seeks far more than a temporary alliance with the beautiful vampire.
Can unleash hell...
But an escape from the netherworld soon pits Veritas and Ian against supernatural beings seeking to rule over mortals once again. Now, they must rally friends and foes alike--if the vampire council doesn't execute Veritas first. Plus, a wedge between Veritas and Ian threatens to destroy their love. Can they stand together against the unearthly powers about to be unleashed? Or does their love--and humanity--not stand a chance?
Ink and Shadows
Ellery Adams, the author of multiple New York Times bestselling mystery series and a perennial B&N bestseller, offers the fourth in her beguiling cozy mystery series featuring a librarian-turned-bookseller with a penchant for bibliotherapy and a sideline in solving crime. While people visit Miracle Springs for healing treatments, it's Nora who helps them find peace by prescribing the perfect book along with a fresh-baked scone. After all, sometimes the key to happiness, friendship--or solving a
murder--can simply be found within the pages of the right book...
Entertaining...packed with mystery, romance, and sisterhood. --Kirkus Reviews
Controversy erupts in Miracle Springs, North Carolina, when the owner of the local bookstore tries to play peacekeeper--but winds up playing detective instead...
Known for her window displays, Nora Pennington decides to showcase fictional heroines like Roald Dahl's Matilda and Madeline Miller's Circe for Halloween. But a family-values group disapproves of the magical themes and wastes no time launching a modern-day witch hunt. Suddenly, former friends and customers are targeting not only Nora and Miracle Books, but a new shopkeeper, Celeste, who's been selling CBD oil products.
Nora and her friends in the Secret, Book, and Scone Society are doing their best to put an end to the strife--but then someone puts an end to a life. Declared an accident, the ruling can't explain the old book page covered with strange symbols and disturbing drawings left under Nora's doormat. It's up to Nora and the Secret, Book, and Scone Society to sort out the clues before more bodies turn up and the secrets from Celeste's past come back to haunt them all...
Instant New York Times Bestseller
One of Fall 2019's Best Books (People, EW, Lithub, Vox, Washington Post, and more)
A young boy is haunted by a voice in his head in this acclaimed epic of literary horror from the author of The Perks of Being a Wallflower.
Christopher is seven years old.Christopher is the new kid in town.Christopher has an imaginary friend.
We can swallow our fear or let our fear swallow us.
Single mother Kate Reese is on the run. Determined to improve life for her and her son, Christopher, she flees an abusive relationship in the middle of the night with her child. Together, they find themselves drawn to the tight-knit community of Mill Grove, Pennsylvania. It's as far off the beaten track as they can get. Just one highway in, one highway out.
At first, it seems like the perfect place to finally settle down. Then Christopher vanishes. for six long days, no one can find him. Until Christopher emerges from the woods at the edge of town, unharmed but not unchanged. He returns with a voice in his head only he can hear, with a mission only he can complete: Build a treehouse in the woods by Christmas, or his mother and everyone in the town will never be the same again.
Twenty years ago, Stephen Chbosky's The Perks of Being a Wallflower made readers everywhere feel infinite. Now, Chbosky has returned with an epic work of literary horror, years in the making, whose grand scale and rich emotion redefine the genre. Read it with the lights on.
The Haunting of Hill House
The greatest haunted house story ever written, the inspiration for a 10-part Netflix series directed by Mike Flanagan and starring Michiel Huisman, Carla Gugino, and Timothy Hutton
First published in 1959, Shirley Jackson's The Haunting of Hill House has been hailed as a perfect work of unnerving terror. It is the story of four seekers who arrive at a notoriously unfriendly pile called Hill House: Dr. Montague, an occult scholar looking for solid evidence of a "haunting"; Theodora, his lighthearted assistant; Eleanor, a friendless, fragile young woman well acquainted with poltergeists; and Luke, the future heir of Hill House. At first, their stay seems destined to be merely a spooky encounter with inexplicable phenomena. But Hill House is gathering its powers--and soon it will choose one of them to make its own.
For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.
Locke & Key
Locke & Key tells of Keyhouse, an unlikely New England mansion, with fantastic doors that transform all who dare to walk through them.... and home to a hate-filled and relentless creature that will not rest until it forces open the most terrible door of them all...! Acclaimed suspense novelist and New York Times best-selling author Joe Hill (Heart-Shaped Box) creates an all-new story of dark fantasy and wonder, with astounding artwork from Gabriel Rodriguez.
The Southern Book Club's Guide to Slaying Vampires
The New York Times Best Seller
#1 April LibraryReads Pick
April Indie Next Pick
Goodreads Big Book of Spring
Steel Magnolias meets Dracula in this '90s-set horror novel about a women's book club that must do battle with a mysterious newcomer to their small Southern town, perfect for murderinos and fans of Stephen King.
Patricia Campbell's life has never felt smaller. Her husband is a workaholic, her teenage kids have their own lives, her senile mother-in-law needs constant care, and she's always a step behind on her endless to-do list. The only thing keeping her sane is her book club, a close-knit group of Charleston women united by their love of true crime. At these meetings they're as likely to talk about the Manson family as they are about their own families.
One evening after book club, Patricia is viciously attacked by an elderly neighbor, bringing the neighbor's handsome nephew, James Harris, into her life. James is well traveled and well read, and he makes Patricia feel things she hasn't felt in years. But when children on the other side of town go missing, their deaths written off by local police, Patricia has reason to believe James Harris is more of a Bundy than a Brad Pitt. The real problem? James is a monster of a different kind--and Patricia has already invited him in.
Little by little, James will insinuate himself into Patricia's life and try to take everything she took for granted--including the book club--but she won't surrender without a fight in this blood-soaked tale of neighborly kindness gone wrong.
Book Club Picks
The Unlikely Adventures of the Shergill Sisters
The author of the Reese Witherspoon Book Club selection Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows follows her acclaimed America debut with this life-affirming, witty family drama—an Indian This Is Where I Leave You—about three Punjabi sisters embarking on a pilgrimage to their homeland to lay their mother to rest.
The British-born Punjabi Shergill sisters—Rajni, Jezmeen, and Shirnia—were never close and barely got along growing up, and now as adults, have grown even further apart. Rajni, a school principal is a stickler for order. Jezmeen, a thirty-year-old struggling actress, fears her big break may never come. Shirina, the peacemaking "good" sister married into wealth and enjoys a picture-perfect life.
On her deathbed, their mother voices one last wish: that her daughters will make a pilgrimage together to the Golden Temple in Amritsar to carry out her final rites. After a trip to India with her mother long ago, Rajni vowed never to return. But she’s always been a dutiful daughter, and cannot, even now, refuse her mother’s request. Jezmeen has just been publicly fired from her television job, so the trip to India is a welcome break to help her pick up the pieces of her broken career. Shirina’s in-laws are pushing her to make a pivotal decision about her married life; time away will help her decide whether to meekly obey, or to bravely stand up for herself for the first time.
Arriving in India, these sisters will make unexpected discoveries about themselves, their mother, and their lives—and learn the real story behind the trip Rajni took with their Mother long ago—a momentous journey that resulted in Mum never being able to return to India again.
The Unlikely Adventures of the Shergill Sisters is a female take on the Indian travel narrative. "I was curious about how different the trip would be if it were undertaken by women, who are vulnerable to different dangers in a male-dominated society," Balli Kaur Jaswal writes. "I also wanted to explore the tensions between tradition and modernity in immigrant communities, and particularly how those tensions play out among women like these sisters, who are the first generation to be raised outside of India."
Powerful, emotionally evocative, and wonderfully atmospheric, The Unlikely Adventures of the Shergill Sisters is a charming and thoughtful story that illuminates the bonds of family, sisterhood, and heritage that tether us despite our differences. Funny and heartbreaking, it is a reminder of the truly important things we must treasure in our lives.
Clap When You Land
Camino Rios lives for the summers when her father visits her in the Dominican Republic. But this time, on the day when his plane is supposed to land, Camino arrives at the airport to see crowds of crying people ... In New York City, Yahaira Rios is called to the principal's office, where her mother is waiting to tell her that her father, her hero, has died in a plane crash. Separated by distance -- and Papi's secrets -- the two girls are forced to face a new reality in which their father is dead and their lives are forever altered. And then, when it seems like they've lost everything of their father, they learn of each other. Papi's death uncovers all the painful truths he kept hidden, and the love he divided across the ocean. And now Yahaira and Camino are both left to grapple with what a new sister means to them and what it take to keep their dreams alive. In a novel in verse that brims with both grief and love, award-winning and bestseller author Elizabeth Acevedo writes about the devastation of loss, the difficulty of forgiveness, and the bittersweet bonds that shape our lives. --Publisher's description
Moon of the Crusted Snow
With winter looming, a small northern Anishinaabe community goes dark. Cut off, people become passive and confused. Panic builds as the food supply dwindles. While the band council and a pocket of community members struggle to maintain order, an unexpected visitor arrives, escaping the crumbling society to the south. Soon after, others follow. The community leadership loses its grip on power as the visitors manipulate the tired and hungry to take control of the reserve. Tensions rise and, as the months pass, so does the death toll due to sickness and despair. Frustrated by the building chaos, a group of young friends and their families turn to the land and Anishinaabe tradition in hopes of helping their community thrive again. Guided through the chaos by an unlikely leader named Evan Whitesky, they endeavor to restore order while grappling with a grave decision. Blending action and allegory, Moon of the Crusted Snow upends our expectations. Out of catastrophe comes resilience. And as one society collapses, another is reborn.
An Unkindness of Ghosts
Aster has little to offer folks in the way of rebuttal when they call her ogre and freak. She's used to the names; she only wishes there was more truth to them. If she were truly a monster, she'd be powerful enough to tear down the walls around her until nothing remains of her world.
Aster lives in the lowdeck slums of the HSS Matilda, a space vessel organized much like the antebellum South. For generations, Matilda has ferried the last of humanity to a mythical Promised Land. On its way, the ship's leaders have imposed harsh moral restrictions and deep indignities on dark-skinned sharecroppers like Aster. Embroiled in a grudge with a brutal overseer, Aster learns there may be a way to improve her lot--if she's willing to sow the seeds of civil war.
Running into a long-ago friend sets memory from the 1970s in motion for August, transporting her to a time and a place where friendship was everything—until it wasn’t. For August and her girls, sharing confidences as they ambled through neighborhood streets, Brooklyn was a place where they believed that they were beautiful, talented, brilliant—a part of a future that belonged to them.
But beneath the hopeful veneer, there was another Brooklyn, a dangerous place where grown men reached for innocent girls in dark hallways, where ghosts haunted the night, where mothers disappeared. A world where madness was just a sunset away and fathers found hope in religion.
Like Louise Meriwether’s Daddy Was a Number Runner and Dorothy Allison’s Bastard Out of Carolina, Jacqueline Woodson’s Another Brooklyn heartbreakingly illuminates the formative time when childhood gives way to adulthood—the promise and peril of growing up—and exquisitely renders a powerful, indelible, and fleeting friendship that united four young lives.
Girls with Bright Futures
Three women, three daughters, and a promise that they'll each get what they deserve...
College admissions season at Seattle's Elliott Bay Academy is marked by glowing acceptances from top-tier institutions and students as impressive as their parents are ambitious. But when Stanford alerts the school it's allotting only one spot to EBA for their incoming class, three mothers discover the competition is more cutthroat than they could have imagined.
Tech giant Alicia turns to her fortune and status to fight for her reluctant daughter's place at the top. Kelly, a Stanford alum, leverages her PTA influence and insider knowledge to bulldoze the path for her high-strung daughter. And Maren makes three: single, broke, and ill-equipped to battle the elite school community aligning to bring her superstar down.
That's when, days before applications are due, one of the girls suffers a near-fatal accident, one that doesn't appear to be an accident at all.
As the community spirals out of control, three women will have to decide what lines they're willing to cross to secure their daughters' futures...and keep buried the secrets that threaten to destroy far more than just college dreams.
The perfect book club read with a suspense bite, Girls with Bright Futures combines the college admissions scandal with the edge of Big Little Lies, the snark of Class Mom, and the schadenfreude of watching the elite implode.
The Stranger Diaries
Clare Cassidy is no stranger to murder. A high school English teacher specializing in the Gothic writer R. M. Holland, she teaches a course on it every year. But when one of Clare's colleagues and closest friends is found dead, with a line from R. M. Holland's most famous story, "The Stranger," left by her body, Clare is horrified to see her life collide with the storylines of her favorite literature.
To make matters worse, the police suspect the killer is someone Clare knows. Unsure whom to trust, she turns to her closest confidant, her diary, the only outlet she has for her darkest suspicions and fears about the case. Then one day she notices something odd. Writing that isn't hers, left on the page of an old diary:
Hallo Clare. You don't know me.
Clare becomes more certain than ever: "The Stranger" has come to terrifying life. But can the ending be rewritten in time?
The Dutch House
Ann Patchett, the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Commonwealth, delivers her most powerful novel to date: a richly moving story that explores the indelible bond between two siblings, the house of their childhood, and a past that will not let them go. The Dutch House is the story of a paradise lost, a tour de force that digs deeply into questions of inheritance, love, and forgiveness, of how we want to see ourselves and of who we really are.
At the end of the Second World War, Cyril Conroy combines luck and a single canny investment to begin an enormous real estate empire, propelling his family from poverty to enormous wealth. His first order of business is to buy the Dutch House, a lavish estate in the suburbs outside of Philadelphia. Meant as a surprise for his wife, the house sets in motion the undoing of everyone he loves.
The story is told by Cyril's son Danny, as he and his older sister, the brilliantly acerbic and self-assured Maeve, are exiled from the house where they grew up by their stepmother. The two wealthy siblings are thrown back into the poverty their parents had escaped from and find that all they have to count on is one another. It is this unshakable bond between them that both saves their lives and thwarts their futures.
Set over the course of five decades, The Dutch House is a dark fairy tale about two smart people who cannot overcome their past. Despite every outward sign of success, Danny and Maeve are only truly comfortable when they're together. Throughout their lives they return to the well-worn story of what they've lost with humor and rage. But when at last they're forced to confront the people who left them behind, the relationship between an indulged brother and his ever-protective sister is finally tested.