Fall is upon us. Rather than letting your bones quake, how about reading some unearthly novels, or Halloween Mystery Novels (brought to you by Springfield City Library – click for full list).
Here are 25 that caught my eye:
- Witches Bane by Susan Wittig Albert
Texas herb shop owner and part-time private eye China Bayles sets out to catch a Halloween night killer when one of her friends turns up dead at witching hour.
- Trick or Treachery: A Murder She Wrote Mystery by Donald Bain and Jessica Fletcher
Halloween brings some unexpected surprises to Cabot Cove, Maine, when a reclusive woman rumored to be a witch turns up dead during the town’s local holiday festivities, and mystery writer Jessica Fletcher must sort through a host of suspects to find the killer.
- The Hunt Ball by Rita Mae Brown
When a faculty member from the local prep school turns up dead at the annual Halloween dance, “Sister” Jane Arnold discovers that the case is complicated by a controversy over local historical artifacts in the school collection that were made by slaves.
- Wycliffe and the Scapegoat by W.J. Burley
Every year, at Halloween, high on the Cornish cliffs, a life-sized effigy of a man is strapped to a blazing wheel and run into the sea — a re-enactment of a hideous old legend where the figure had been a living sacrifice. And now Jonathan Riddle, well-known and respected local builder and undertaker, has disappeared — and it seems all too likely that his corpse has gone the way of the historic ‘scapegoat’. As Chief Superintendent Wycliffe begins to investigate, more and more unpleasant facts emerge until he is left with an incredible, and seemingly impossible, solution.
- Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing by Ann Campbell
When one of her tenants turns up dead on Halloween night and her brother Tom, the woman’s business partner, becomes the prime suspect in the crime, Annie O’Hara sets out to clear her brother’s name and find the real killer, with the help of her canine sleuthing partner, Claudius.
- Hallowe’en Party by Agatha Christie
Mystery writer Ariadne Oliver joins a Hallowe’en party where a girl falls victim to a game of apple-bobbing gone mysteriously wrong. Now she’s joined forces with Hercule Poirot to unmask the killer.
- Not in My Backyard by Susan Rogers Cooper
The neighborhood harassment campaign against an ex-con who has moved to town gets out of hand when a dead body turns up on the newcomer’s front lawn on Halloween night, and local romance writer E. J. Pugh is on the case.
- Throw Darts at a Cheesecake by Denise Dietz
Ellie Bernstein joins forces with homicide detective Peter Miller to investigate the murder of Jeannie Dobson and the “accidents” that are befalling her fellow members of Weight Winners.
- Sympathy For The Devil by Jerrilyn Farmer
Madeline Bean, caterer to the stars, is in the middle of the biggest job of her career. She and her partner Wesley have pulled off Hollywood’s most outrageous A-list Halloween party for notorious producer Bruno Huntley, complete with an eerie fortuneteller who is astonishingly accurate, and exotic food that’s to die for. Before long, Bruno is thrashing and writhing out on the dance floor. Just one problem: he’s not standing up, And soon, he’s not even breathing.
- The Fudge Cupcake Murder by Joanne Fluke
When bakery owner and sleuth Hannah Swensen discovers the body of Sheriff Grant behind the high school where she is teaching her cooking class, she must prove the innocence of the prime suspect, her brother-in-law Bill.
- Trick or Treat by Leslie Glaister
An unsettling sense of menace and violence link the eccentric lives of an obese yet still sensual senior citizen; a lonely eight-year-old boy; and an obsessive widow, living in adjoining houses in a seemingly placid English city.
- A Few Dying Words by Paula Gosling
Resigning himself to the annual mayhem of the Blackwater Bay Halloween Festival, sheriff Matt Gabriel is disturbed by the dying words of an old friend after a car crash and begins investigating an old town secret involving several prominent citizens.
- Hallowed Bones by Carolyn Haines
Sarah Booth Delaney is both a Southern lady and a skilled detective, but her latest case takes her into the murky world of New Orleans where motives for murder, and a list of suspects, are as numerous as the stories of spiritual malfeasance that permeate the air.
- Southern Ghost by Carolyn Hart
Bookstore owner Annie Darling must set aside her shame and do some serious sleuthing when her husband Max becomes the prime suspect in an unspecified crime involving a beautiful blonde.
- The Fallen Man by Tony Hillerman
Investigating the discovery of a skeleton on Halloween at one of the holiest places in Navajo religion, Jim Chee and the newly retired Joe Leaphorn realize that the body is that of a missing person from one of Joe’s long-unsolved past cases.
- The Wailing Wind by Tony Hillerman
The mishandling of a murder scene places Navajo Tribal Police sergeant Jim Chee on the bad side of the FBI and brings ex-lieutenant Joe Leaphorn out of retirement into an old crime he hoped to forget involving an obsessive love and memories of a missing woman.
- Long Time No See by Susan Isaacs
Recently widowed, Judith Singer cannot get her former lover, Nelson Sharpe of the Nassau County Police Department, out of her mind, as she investigates the disappearance on Halloween night of Courtney Logan, the wife of a man with ties to the Long Island mob.
- Murder Among Us by Jonnie Jacobs
Schoolteacher, single mother, and detective extraordinaire, Kate Austen thinks her life cannot get much worse, until Julie Harmon, one of her students, is murdered, and as Kate unearths some startling secrets about Julie’s past, she must race against time to unmask a killer.
- Tricks: an 87th Precinct Mystery by Ed McBain
On Halloween night in the 87th Precinct, a liquor store owner is shot by costumed children, a headless torso is discovered, and Detective First Class Eileen Burke, disguised as a hooker, hopes to trap a serial killer.
- Trick or Treat Murder by Leslie Meier
While preparing for the annual Halloween festival in Tinker’s Cove, Maine, Lucy Stone investigates a series of arson fires that are destroying local architectural treasures, crimes that claim the life of the owner of the town’s oldest home and turn an arsonist into a killer.
- Flight of a Witch by Ellis Peters
When a young woman, missing for five days, suddenly reappears insisting she was gone only two hours, Inspector Felse must investigate the bizarre claim.
- A Hole in Juan by Gillian Roberts
Philadelphia English teacher Amanda Pepper joins forces with her private eye husband, C. K. Mackenzie, to investigate when a yearly tradition in which children play harmless pranks throughout the city on the night before Halloween turns deadly, leaving a new teacher near death.
- Murder OlÉ! by Corinne Holt Sawyer
Angela Benbow and Caledonia Wingate, two savvy senior-citizen sleuths, find themselves embroiled in a south-of-the-border mystery when the residents of their California retirement home take a group trip for Halloween to Tijuana, Mexico, and two people fail to return.
- Mourning Shift by Kathleen Taylor
Sassy waitress and amateur sleuth takes on greedy relatives, old secrets, and a killer when a mysterious old man, the long-estranged husband of the cook at the Delphi Cafe, turns up dead in the diner’s restroom on Halloween.
- Strange Brew by Kathy Hogan Trochek
When a local business is forced to close in order to accommodate a microbrewery and the head of the brewery is found murdered, Callahan uncovers some disturbing secrets that are better left hidden.