Halloween is just around the corner! And as much as we enjoy carving pumpkins, stockpiling snack-size candy “for the kids,” and taking laps on our brooms, Bas Bleu’s favorite part of the season is indulging in spooky reads. From ghost stories, twisty mysteries, and tales of murder most foul, our Halloween book stacks cast long shadows, beckoning us out of the sunshine and into moonlit reading chairs. Today in honor of the spook-tacular season, we’ve put together a list of thirteen (of course!) books and gifts that are perfect for your Halloween revelries.
The 7½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle
This twisty whodunit throws off the rules of traditional linear storytelling to unveil the confounding tale of Aiden Bishop, who awakens every day in a different body…a fate to be repeated until he can uncover the identity of Evelyn Hardcastle’s killer. Our reviewer hailed this unconventional mystery as “the best book I’ve read all year!”
2019 Edward Gorey Wall Calendar
Eccentric illustrator Edward Gorey disliked being called “macabre” and “gothic,” but his drawings of black-clad Edwardian ladies, ill-fated children, bats and cats, and other peculiar creatures have a delicious weirdness to them that lends itself well to Halloween! You can enjoy his unusual, sometimes outlandish artwork year-round with this illustrated wall calendar.
Murder on Millionaire’s Row
Rose Gallagher has a big crush on her handsome boss, so when he vanishes in Gilded Age New York, she goes above and beyond to hunt him down…and finds herself submerged in a magical, mystical world she never dreamed existed. Witches, warlocks, ghosts, and more abound!
Sleepy Hollow Pop-Up Card
Our Spooky Apothocary Pop-Up Halloween Card is also pretty swell (and it plays Bach!), but we’re suckers for a Washington Irving reference this time of year. The Headless Horseman is so iconic in American lore, and did we mention that when you pull the tab the ghost horse whinnies? Creepy.
The Wicked Boy
If you’re one of those people who gets annoyed on the one night of the year when the neighborhood kids dress up in costume, ring your doorbell incessantly, and demand high-calorie snacks…well, they could be doing a whole lot worse. This deeply researched historical study explores the shocking true story of a teenage boy tried and convicted for his mother’s murder in Victorian London.
Edgar Allan Poe Magnetic Poetry Kit
“The Raven” and “The Fall of the House of Usher” are required reading this time of year; now you can kick it up a notch by trying your hand at writing your own spine-tingling Poe-try (see what we did there?) with this magnetic poetry kit. If nothing else, you’ll really freak out your spouse or roommate when they find you crouched in front of the refrigerator door, muttering rhymes to yourself.
Our October 2018 Book a Month pick is a work of fiction based on the real-life marriage (and death) of Harry Houdini and his wife Tess’s attempts to contact him in the afterlife. A love story, ghost story, and historical portrait all in rolled into one, this “dark and dazzling” novel will leave your spine tingling! (Return to The Bluestocking Salon next week to read our interview with Mrs. Houdini’s author, poet/novelist Victoria Kelly.)
Booked for Meow Socks
Reveling in Halloween isn’t all shrieks and screams! Decorated with black cats and stacks of books, we think these knee socks are just the thing to add seasonal whimsy to an otherwise staid work uniform…and to keep your toes toasty warm during marathon reading sessions on dark, chilly autumn nights.
Agatha Christie: A Mysterious Life
For the past century, Agatha Christie has kept millions of readers on the edge of their seats, her chilling tales of murder disrupting polite society positioning her as perhaps the greatest crime novelist of all time. You’ve heard that truth can be stranger than fiction, and that certainly applies to this remarkable biography of the “queen of crime.”
Chapters and Charms
If you prefer to conduct your Halloween reading by candlelight, this bookish candle is just the thing to help keep your literary marathon interesting. As your pages turn and the candle burns down, tiny keepsake treasures appear in the wax…like magic!
Shirley Jackson is the master of literary horror, terrifying readers with homicidal townsfolk as well as haunted mansions. In this collection of short stories, Jackson guides readers to the precipice of fear with skillfully wrought “scenes of everyday normalcy infused with subtle terror and chilling psychological suspense.” Lock your doors before you begin!
The Red Lamp
A vacant seaside estate, an unexpected inheritance, ghostly rumors, creepy lights, a know-it-all outsider determined to find a “rational explanation” for everything…that’s a recipe for a spooky read right there! And that’s before the killings begin. Never heard of novelist Mary Roberts Rinehart? She’s vintage!
The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning
There are no ghosts, witches, or criminals to be found here, but “death cleaning” sounds like something that should happen every year on Halloween, doesn’t it?
Happy Halloween, bluestockings!
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