Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Finally February!

February is one of my favorite months, with its red and pink and white candy hearts scattered all over.  Valentine's Day is, well, just sweet and happens to be my older granddaughter's birthday, so especially sweet.  February is also the month of my birthday and two out of my three siblings.  And, it is color after a drab January.  February just pops!  This year, I've decided to start my year and my reading year in February.  January was a bad one this year, with my husband being in a burn unit for the first two weeks of the month and then home recuperating.  So, I'm moving my Happy New Year to February, the month I began.  Of course, missing the month of January did horrible things to my reading life, which is always running behind anyway.  But, today, I will do a bit of catching up and talk about what came out in January and what's coming out soon.

First up, and one I am truly champing at the bit to get to is Peter May's new book, Coffin Road, from Quercus Publishing.  The link here is for Book Depository, as it is a direct buying transaction for this book and only $18.92 with free world-wide shipping.  Amazon has third party buying for Coffin Road, with Book Depository being one of the choices.  Peter's books come out in the UK first, and I usually buy his through Book Depository, ahead of the U.S. publication dates.  Coffin Road takes readers back to the setting of the Hebrides, the Scottish Islands featured in May's amazing Lewis Trilogy books.   I can't wait to return there and see what mystery Peter has for us in those wild and unpredictable islands.  Here's a teaser for the book:   "A man is washed up on a deserted beach on the Hebridean Isle of Harris, barely alive and borderline hypothermic. He has no idea who he is or how he got there. The only clue to his identity is a map tracing a track called the Coffin Road. He does not know where it will lead him, but filled with dread, fear and uncertainty he knows he must follow it."   And, here is the official trailer:  https://youtu.be/XuFxztvKwvY       

Next up is Orphan X by Gregg Hurwitz.  This book is one I feel guilty about.  I received it from the publishers,  Minotaur Books, as an ARC to read and review.  I had not read Gregg Hurwitz and was so excited to be able to read such an acclaimed author and review him.  Well, my husband's accident changed any plans I had for January reads and reviews, so the bad news is that I haven't been able to read it yet, but the good news is that I still have it to look forward to, and the reviews coming in from other sources are great.  Tess Gerritsen, successful author of the Rizzoli and Isles series and a favorite author of mine, describes Orphan X as, " 'the most gripping, high-octane thriller I've read in a long, long time.' "  Evan Smoak, spoken of in legendary terms as the "Nowhere Man," is a character that promises to be unforgettable.

The Good Goodbye by Carla Buckley is another January release that is gathering praise and pleasing her multitude of fans.  I've been one of those fans since Carla's first book,  The Things That Keep Us Here, a book that showed writing brilliance in dealing with the deep intricacies and emotions of family dynamics, a theme that Buckley continues to be a masterful storyteller of.  In The Good Goodbye, the mystery of a tragic fire brings two related families confronting the secrets of the past that have slipped into the present.  Award-winning and another favorite author of mine, Hank Phillippi Ryan, says of The Good Goodbye, " 'Relentlessly suspenseful and instantly riveting, this heartbreaking page-turner probes the darkest secrets a family tries to protect.' "  I'm certainly ready to begin my reading year with a sure-hit from Carla.  Her publisher, Minotaur Books, is home to many of my favorite mystery authors. 

The end of January brought a sigh of relief to me and another exciting book to readers to add to their list for a great reading year.  I met Jonathan Moore at Bouchercon in Raleigh last fall as a result of my friendship with and adoration of Elly Griffiths, who writes one of my favorite series, the Ruth Galloway series.  Putting together a dinner with Elly (Domenica de Rosa) and some other authors and readers, I met Katrina Kruse, who is with Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishers and works with both Jonathan and Elly.  Katrina and Jonathan joined us at dinner, and the rest, as they say, is history.  I had a new author to follow and read.  The Poison Artist was just chosen by Amazon as a best book for the month of February in the category of Mystery, Thriller, and Suspense.  The book has a blurb from Stephen King, for goodness sakes.  King says, " 'an electrifying read… I haven’t read anything so terrifying since Red Dragon.' "  A description from the book jacket is even further evidence that you don't want to miss this book:
"Dr. Caleb Maddox is a San Francisco toxicologist studying the chemical effects of pain. After a bruising breakup with his girlfriend, he’s out drinking whiskey when a hauntingly seductive woman appears by his side. Emmeline whispers to Caleb over absinthe, gets his blood on her fingers and then brushes his ear with her lips as she says goodbye. He must find her.  As his search begins, Caleb becomes entangled in a serial-murder investigation. The police have been fishing men from the bay, and the postmortems are inconclusive. One of the victims vanished from the bar the night Caleb met Emmeline. When questioned, Caleb can’t offer any information, nor does he tell them he’s been secretly helping the city’s medical examiner, an old friend, study the chemical evidence on the victims’ remains. The search for the killer soon entwines with Caleb’s hunt for Emmeline, and the closer he gets to each, the more dangerous his world becomes."

As if the four books above aren't enough to bring cheers from readers for a bang-up start to 2016, here are some others that will convince you that we're heading into a spectacular year of reading.

River Road: A Novel by Carol Goodman (Jan. 19th)
The Ex: A Novel by Alafair Burke (Jan. 26th)
Where It Hurts by Reed Farrel Coleman (Jan. 26th)
Jane and the Waterloo Map by Stephanie Barron (Feb. 2nd)
The Highest Mountains of Portugal by Yann Martel (Feb. 2nd)


Tuesday, December 22, 2015

My Christmas Book Bag

Every Christmas I do something for myself.  I buy books to fill a Christmas gift bag with, sit it under the tree, and on Christmas Eve, I get to take the books out and officially make them mine.  Yes, I already know what the books are, but it's fun for me to fill the bag and get to fawn over them on that special night of the year.  So, what is in my bag this year?  Take a peek.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Favorite Reads of 2015

I've picked fifteen favorite reads of 2015, and I feel like maybe I should have picked all the books I read.  Because, I did enjoy every book I read this year, and because it was a slow reading year for me, and so I really did only read books I thought I would love.  In fact, this year has been the slowest reading year I can remember since I began keeping track of how many books a year I read.  I blame my reading slump on my house being torn apart for the year, up until about a month ago, as major interior work was transforming my drab house into a beautiful, new living space.  So, I plan to do a post before the year is out on the many books I would have normally read and plan on catching up on.  2016 will hopefully see me back on track and reading up a storm.  The fifteen books I have chosen to feature from the 2015 wonderful world of books represents an amazing wealth of great reading, with three new authors whom I am delighted to have discovered.  There is one 2016 book that I've included as a bonus book.  Lyndsay Faye's Jane Steele isn't out until April 7th, but how could I not include mention of this book that I was lucky enough to read an advanced copy of and couldn't put down.  Links to all my reviews, except for Jane Steele, are listed below all of the pictures.  (Lyndsay wanted to hold off on putting the reviews out there too soon, so I'm respecting that.)  I hope you will enjoy these amazing books as much as I did.  If you've already read them or some of them, then you know why they're on the list.



The Chimney Sweepers Come to Dust
Dreaming Spies
The Edge of Dreams
Murder in Hindsight
The Ghost Fields
The Fatal Flame
Burnt River
Little Pretty Things
No Other Darkness
The Nature of the Beast
What You See
The Child Garden
Mrs. Roosevelt's Confidante
Entry Island
The Secret Life of Anna Blanc

Monday, November 16, 2015

New Molly Murphy Out Today

Away in a Manger by Rhys Bowen

My Review:

My Rating: 5 of 5 stars

I was especially thrilled when I learned earlier this year that there would be two Molly Murphy books out in 2015, The Edge of Dreams last spring and Away in a Manger this November. I truly cannot get enough of Molly, her family, her friends, and the city of New York City at the beginning of the 20th Century. Rhys Bowen has gifted readers with a Christmas story bonus that I wasn't able to wait until Christmas to read. Having been lucky enough to receive an ARC, I even got in a bit early before the November 17th publication date. This series is such a favorite for so many readers, and fans will be delighted with Away in a Manger. It's Molly at her detecting best, clever and resourceful with a maturing confidence in herself and her abilities. The author's meticulous research is evident in the historical details of New York City coming into a new century, where the newness of motor cars is in high contrast to the struggling problems of the immigrants, especially the untended children of the poor.

Molly is preparing for Daniel's mother, the other Mrs. Sullivan, to visit for the Christmas holidays, and while running errands with her baby son and twelve-year-old Bridie, two young immigrant children catch their attention. Under-dressed and obviously underfed, the two children, whose names are Tig and Emmy, are brother and sister out on the cold streets trying to earn money, as are many children at that time. First Bridie, then Molly are drawn to these children in particular, the very young Emmy with an angelic singing voice and the well-spoken Tig. They are not the usual children of the street encountered. So, Molly is pulled in by her heartstrings and Bridie's concern to see that Tig and Emmy have some warm clothes and food. It, of course, gets much more complicated, with the mystery of their missing mother and an "aunt" who isn't really an aunt, who lets them stay at her boarding house, but only at nighttime. Molly is determined to find out who these children are and what has happened to their mother, and her best friends Gus and Sid become involved and enchanted with the two beggar children. Molly's investigation will take her from the dregs of society to the upper echelon of it, and will reveal a dark, twisted plan of greed and heinous acts.

And, there is Christmas. Molly and her mother-in-law have never been completely comfortable with one another, and the Christmas that Molly hoped would show Daniel's mother how happy Daniel was with his family turns chaotic. Even the steady Daniel presents a major problem with which Molly must deal. There is much to do to save Christmas for everyone, the Sullivans and the two orphaned children, and a happy ending seems a desperate reach indeed. Much is at stake for many in Maggie's latest challenge.

Great characters, fascinating plot, and Christmas magic. Rhys Bowen never fails to deliver a fascinating, thrilling tale. This Christmas season she gives readers a gift that is sure to please.

Monday, November 9, 2015

November Books to Fall Into

Fall is definitely in the air now, with leaves painting the trees a magnificent blend of orange, red, and gold.  And, with the quickly falling leaves, it's a time for homemade soup and pumpkin pie and snuggling down with a good book.  November is blowing in some reads that will definitely help to make the darker days and inside stays alive with action. Some of the ones that I'm looking forward to the most are here for your perusal and consideration.  There is the fourth Gabriella Giovanni Mystery from Kristi Belcamino, whose series comes highly recommended by so many in the mystery/crime community, and a series I have scheduled as a catch-up series.  Jennifer Kincheloe's debut novel has been making a lot of noise, and its historical connection is fascinating.  Fate of the Union by Max Allan Collins and Matthew Clemens is a follow-up novel to Supreme Justice, and it promises to be intensely riveting.  The 5th Headlines in High Heels mystery by LynDee Walker will without a doubt demonstrate just how much fun a murder mystery can be.  Charles Finch has his 9th Charles Lenox novel coming out, a series known for its mystery and historical touches.  Anne Perry's Christmas novella will be out on November 10th, and I'll probably save this one for closer to Christmas to read.  Rhys Bowen is giving those of us who are Molly Murphy fans an extra treat this year, a Molly Christmas novel.  I doubt I can even wait for the publication date on this bonus book, as I have an ARC waiting for me now.  And, Mary Higgins Clark and Alafair Burke have their second collaborative novel in the Under Suspicion series arriving in time for the long Thanksgiving weekend, much to the delight of fans (count me in) of their first collaboration, The Cinderella Murder.  So, here's a great start to late fall reading.  Grab a blanket and enjoy! 

Blessed Are Those Who Mourn (Gabriella Giovanni, #4) by Kristi Belcamino  (Nov. 3rd)
     Jacket Description:

San Francisco Bay Area reporter Gabriella Giovanni has finally got it all together: a devoted and loving boyfriend, Detective Sean Donovan; a beautiful little girl with him; and her dream job as the cops' reporter for the Bay Herald. But her success has been hard-won and has left her with debilitating paranoia. When a string of young co-eds starts to show up dead with suspicious Biblical verses left on their bodies--the same verses that the man she suspects kidnapped and murdered her sister twenty years ago had sent to her--she begins to question if the killer is trying to send her a message.
It is not until evil strikes Gabriella's own family that her worst fears are confirmed. As the clock begins to tick, every passing hour means the difference between life and death to those Gabriella loves...

The Secret Life of Anna Blanc by Jennifer Kincheloe  (Nov. 3rd)           
     Jacket Description: 

It's 1907 Los Angeles. Mischievous socialite Anna Blanc is the kind of young woman who devours purloined crime novels—but must disguise them behind covers of more domestically-appropriate reading. She could match wits with Sherlock Holmes, but in her world women are not allowed to hunt criminals.

Determined to break free of the era's rigid social roles, Anna buys off the chaperone assigned by her domineering father and, using an alias, takes a job as a police matron with the Los Angeles Police Department. There she discovers a string of brothel murders, which the cops are unwilling to investigate. Seizing her one chance to solve a crime, she takes on the investigation herself.

If the police find out, she'll get fired; if her father finds out, he'll disown her; and if her fiancé finds out, he'll cancel the wedding and stop pouring money into her father's collapsing bank. Midway into her investigation, the police chief's son, Joe Singer, learns her true identity. And shortly thereafter she learns about blackmail.

Anna must choose—either hunt the villain and risk losing her father, fiancé, and wealth, or abandon her dream and leave the killer on the loose.

Fate of the Union by Max Allan Collins and Matthew V. Clemens  (Nov. 10th)
     Jacket Description:

When a retired colleague dies of an apparent suicide, ex–Secret Service agent Joe Reeder knows there must be far more to the story. Why did the man leave a desperate message for Reeder moments before dying? And what could possibly make such a seasoned veteran fear for his life?
FBI Special Agent Patti Rogers has a mystery of her own to solve: she’s leading a task force investigating a brutal series of similar but seemingly unconnected murders across the DC area. Are they serial killings or something even more sinister?
Could Reeder and Rogers be tracking down different facets of the same conspiracy? And how do the continued assassination attempts on a presidential hopeful figure into an unprecedented attack on the heart of government?
The answers to these questions are uncovered in this riveting sequel to the bestselling Supreme Justice.

 Cover Shot (#5, Headlines in High Heels Mystery) by LynDee Walker
     Jacket Description:

“Will keep you hooked until the very last page. The storyline and plot will keep you guessing until the end, but you’ll end up wanting the best for one of the characters. Highly recommended.” – Obsessed Book Reviews
“The plot kept me guessing, and I was rooting for Nichelle the entire time. I read this book in one sitting, as I could not put it down until the very last page. Now I am quite happily looking forward to reading all of the other books in the series!” – Librarian at Jefferson-Madison Regional Library System
It’s been a slow news month in Richmond, and crime reporter Nichelle Clarke is enjoying the downtime when ominous messages and a dead body kick things into high gear. And that’s before the guy with the rifle takes a hospital full of people hostage.
Up to the top of her knee-high Prada boots in leads, Nichelle finds her favorite detectives under pressure to make an arrest, but it doesn’t add up—and ignoring the “why” of this story could cost Nichelle the most important person in her life.
With too much to lose, a shot at the story of a lifetime, and a missing bullet that might be the key, landing this headline could save the day, but can Nichelle dig up the truth before the killer buries her with it?

Home by Nightfall (Charles Lenox #9) by Charles Finch (Nov. 10th)

It's London in 1876, and the whole city is abuzz with the enigmatic disappearance of a famous foreign pianist. Lenox has an eye on the matter – as a partner in a now-thriving detective agency, he's a natural choice to investigate. Just when he's tempted to turn his focus to it entirely, however, his grieving brother asks him to come down to Sussex, and Lenox leaves the metropolis behind for the quieter country life of his boyhood. Or so he thinks. In fact, something strange is afoot in Markethouse: small thefts, books, blankets, animals, and more alarmingly a break-in at the house of a local insurance agent. As he and his brother to investigate this small accumulation of mysteries, Lenox realizes that something very strange and serious indeed may be happening, more than just local mischief. Soon, he's racing to solve two cases at once, one in London and one in the country, before either turns deadly. Blending Charles Finch's trademark wit, elegance, and depth of research, this new mystery, equal parts Jane Austen and Charles Dickens, may be the finest in the series.  

 A Christmas Escape by Anne Perry (Nov. 10th)
     Jacket Description:

For countless readers, Christmastime means a delicious new holiday mystery from New York Times bestselling author Anne Perry. A Christmas Escape, her thirteenth noel to the season, transports us to the Mediterranean island of Stromboli for an unconventional Yuletide adventure—and an unforgettable volcanic encounter.

Lonely Charles Latterly arrives at his small hotel hoping that the island’s blue skies and gentle breezes will brighten his spirits. Unfortunately, there’s no holiday cheer to be found among his fellow guests, who include a pompous novelist, a stuffy colonel, a dangerously ill-matched married couple, and an ailing old man. The one charming exception is orphaned teenager Candace Finbar, who takes Charles under her wing and introduces him to the island’s beauty. But the tranquility of the holiday is swiftly disrupted by a violent quarrel, an unpleasant gentleman’s shocking claims of being stalked, and the ominous stirrings of the local volcano. Then events take an even darker turn: A body is found, and Charles quickly realizes that the killer must be among the group of guests.

Captivating in its depiction of untamed nature in all its awesome power, and of the human heart in the throes of transformation, A Christmas Escape gifts readers with Anne Perry’s talent for making the season brighter—and more thrilling.

Away in a Manger (A Molly Murphy Mystery) by Rhys Bowen  (Nov. 17th)

     Jacket Description:

It''s Christmastime in 1905 New York City, and for once, Molly Murphy Sullivan is looking forward to the approaching holidays. She has a family of her own now: she and Daniel have a baby son and twelve-year-old Bridie is living with them as their ward. As Molly and the children listen to carolers in the street, they hear a lovely voice, the voice of an angel, and see a beggar girl huddled in a doorway, singing "Away in a Manger." Bridie is touched by the girl's ragged clothes and wants to help her out if they can. They give her a quarter, only to watch a bigger boy take it from her. But Molly discovers the boy is the girl's older brother. They've come from England and their mother has disappeared, and they're living with an aunt who mistreats them terribly.
Molly quickly realizes that these children are not the usual city waifs. They are well-spoken and clearly used to better things. So who are they? And what's happened to their mother? As Molly looks for a way to help the children and for the answers to these questions, she gets drawn into an investigation that will take her up to the highest levels of New York society.
This is another compelling and richly drawn mystery from New York Times bestseller Rhys Bowen.

All Dressed in White by Mary Higgins Clark and Alafair Burke (Nov. 17th)
     Jacket Description:

The second thrilling novel in the New York Times bestselling Under Suspicion series following The Cinderella Murder, featuring intrepid television producer Laurie Moran as she investigates the case of a missing bride.

Five years ago Amanda Pierce was excitedly preparing to marry her college sweetheart in a lavish ceremony at The Grand Victoria Hotel in Palm Beach. Then, with their guests and families on site, Amanda disappeared.

In present-day New York City, Laurie Moran realizes a missing bride is the perfect cold case for her investigative television series, Under Suspicion. She and her team set out to recreate the night of the disappearance at the Florida resort with Amanda’s friends and family in attendance, hoping to shed new light on the mystery as the series has done in past episodes. With a jealous sister, playboy groomsmen, Amanda’s former fiancé now married to a bridesmaid, and rumors about the “beloved” bride herself, Laurie and Under Suspicion host Alex Buckley quickly realize everyone has a theory about why Amanda vanished into thin air.

One thing is certain: whoever was behind Amanda’s disappearance plans to keep the truth hidden “until death do they part…”

The bestselling Under Suspicion series from Mary Higgins Clark and Alafair Burke offers “plenty of intrigue and excitement” (Publishers Weekly, on The Cinderella Murder). Featuring the chilling suspense and elegant settings readers have come to love, All Dressed in White is not to be missed.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Halloween Reads: Get Your Scare On

Halloween is the perfect time to get your scare on.  Below are some suggested scary, creepy reading suggestions for Halloween in the short story form.  I especially enjoy short stories at this time of year, as you can get scared by so many different authors.  The listed collections are heavy on the classic tales, but there is some contemporary or more contemporary thrown in, too.  So, now that Halloween is right on our doorstep, read some of these delicious stories to set the mood of the season.  You might want to keep a light on after. 

In the Shadow of Edgar Allan Poe, Edited by Leslie S. Klinger
(Jacket Description)
Edgar Allan Poe did not invent the tale of terror. There were American, English, and Continental writers who preceded Poe and influenced his work. Similarly, there were many who were in turn influenced by Poe’s genius and produced their own popular tales of supernatural literature. This collection features masterful tales of terror by authors who, by and large, are little-remembered for their writing in this genre. Even Bram Stoker, whose Dracula may be said to be the most popular horror novel of all time, is not known as a writer of short fiction.
Distinguished editor Leslie S. Klinger is a world-renowned authority on those twin icons of the Victorian age, Sherlock Holmes, and Dracula. His studies into the forefathers of those giants led him to a broader fascination with writers of supernatural literature of the nineteenth century. The stories in this collection have been selected by him for their impact. Each is preceded by a brief biography of the author and an overview of his or her literary career and is annotated to explain obscure references.
Read on, now, perhaps with a flickering candle or flashlight at hand . . .

The Ghost Stories of Edith Wharton
(Jacket Description)
 One might not expect a woman of Edith Wharton's literary stature to be a believer of ghost stories, much less be frightened by them, but as she admits in her postscript to this spine-tingling collection, "...till I was twenty-seven or -eight, I could not sleep in the room with a book containing a ghost story." Once her fear was overcome, however, she took to writing tales of the supernatural for publication in the magazines of the day. These eleven finely wrought pieces showcase her mastery of the traditional New England ghost story and her fascination with spirits, hauntings, and other supernatural phenomena. Called "flawlessly eerie" by Ms. magazine, this collection includes "Pomegranate Seed," "The Eyes," "All Souls'," "The Looking Glass," and "The Triumph of Night."

Roald Dahl's Book of Ghost Stories
(Jacket Description)
Who better to investigate the literary spirit world than that supreme connoisseur of the unexpected, Roald Dahl? Of the many permutations of the macabre or bizarre, Dahl was always especially fascinated by the classic ghost story. As he realtes in the erudite introduction to this volume, he read some 749 supernatural tales at the British Museum Library before selecting the 14 that comprise this anthology. "Spookiness is, after all, the real purpose of the ghost story," Dahl writes. "It should give you the creeps and disturb your thoughts." For this superbly disquieting collection, Dahl offers favorite tales by such masterful storytellers as E. F. Benson, J. Sheridan Le Fanu, Rosemary Timperley, and Edith Wharton.

Terrifying Tales of Edgar Allan Poe
(Jacket Description)
The melancholy, brilliance, passionate lyricism, and torment of Edgar Allan Poe are all well represented in this collection. Here, in one volume, are his masterpieces of mystery, terror, humor, and adventure, including stories such as The Tell-Tale Heart, The Cask of Amontillado, The Black Cat, The Masque of the Red Death, The Murders in the Rue Morgue, and The Pit and the Pendulum, to name just a few, that defined American romanticism and secured Poe as one of the most enduring literary voices of the nineteenth century.

The New Annotated H.P. Lovecraft, edited by Leslie S. Klinger
(Jacket Description)
"With an increasing distance from the twentieth century…the New England poet, author, essayist, and stunningly profuse epistolary Howard Phillips Lovecraft is beginning to emerge as one of that tumultuous period’s most critically fascinating and yet enigmatic figures," writes Alan Moore in his introduction to The New Annotated H. P. Lovecraft.  Despite this nearly unprecedented posthumous trajectory, at the time of his death at the age of forty-six, Lovecraft's work had appeared only in dime-store magazines, ignored by the public and maligned by critics. Now well over a century after his birth, Lovecraft is increasingly being recognized as the foundation for American horror and science fiction, the source of "incalculable influence on succeeding generations of writers of horror fiction" (Joyce Carol Oates).
In this volume, Leslie S. Klinger reanimates Lovecraft with clarity and historical insight, charting the rise of the erstwhile pulp writer, whose rediscovery and reclamation into the literary canon can be compared only to that of Poe or Melville. Weaving together a broad base of existing scholarship with his own original insights, Klinger appends Lovecraft's uncanny oeuvre and Kafkaesque life story in a way that provides context and unlocks many of the secrets of his often cryptic body of work.
Over the course of his career, Lovecraft―"the Copernicus of the horror story" (Fritz Leiber)―made a marked departure from the gothic style of his predecessors that focused mostly on ghosts, ghouls, and witches, instead crafting a vast mythos in which humanity is but a blissfully unaware speck in a cosmos shared by vast and ancient alien beings. One of the progenitors of "weird fiction," Lovecraft wrote stories suggesting that we share not just our reality but our planet, and even a common ancestry, with unspeakable, godlike creatures just one accidental revelation away from emerging from their epoch of hibernation and extinguishing both our individual sanity and entire civilization.
Following his best-selling The New Annotated Sherlock Holmes, Leslie S. Klinger collects here twenty-two of Lovecraft's best, most chilling "Arkham" tales, including "The Call of Cthulhu," At the Mountains of Madness, "The Whisperer in Darkness," "The Shadow Over Innsmouth," "The Colour Out of Space," and others. With nearly 300 illustrations, including full-color reproductions of the original artwork and covers from Weird Tales and Astounding Stories, and more than 1,000 annotations, this volume illuminates every dimension of H. P. Lovecraft and stirs the Great Old Ones in their millennia of sleep.
280 color illustrations

The October Country by Ray Bradbury
(Jacket Description)
Haunting, harrowing, and downright horrifying, this classic collection from the modern master of the fantastic features:
THE SMALL ASSASSIN: a fine, healthy baby boy was the new mother's dream come true -- or her nightmare . . .
THE EMISSARY: the faithful dog was the sick boy's only connectioin with the world outside -- and beyond . . .
THE WONDERFUL DEATH OF DUDLEY STONE: a most remarkable case of murder -- the deceased was delighted!
And more!

Ghostly: A Collection of Ghost Stories, Introduced and Illustrated by Audrey Niffenegger
(Jacket Description)
Collected and introduced by the bestselling author of The Time Traveler’s Wife and Her Fearful Symmetry—including her own fabulous new illustrations for each piece, and a new story by Niffenegger—this is a unique and haunting anthology of some of the best ghost stories of all time.

From Edgar Allen Poe to Kelly Link, M.R. James to Neil Gaiman, H. H. Munro to Audrey Niffenegger herself, Ghostly reveals the evolution of the ghost story genre with tales going back to the eighteenth century and into the modern era, ranging across styles from Gothic Horror to Victorian, with a particular bent toward stories about haunting—haunted children, animals, houses. Every story is introduced by Audrey Niffenegger, an acclaimed master of the craft, with some words on its background and why she chose to include it. Niffenegger’s own story is, “A Secret Life With Cats.”

Perfect for the classic and contemporary ghost story aficionado, this is a delightful volume, beautifully illustrated. Ghostly showcases the best of the best in the field, including Edith Wharton, P.G. Wodehouse, A.S. Byatt, Ray Bradbury, and so many more.

Online, Free Sources for Classic Scary Short Stories:

Halloween Stories (classics)   https://americanliterature.com/halloween    Poe, Lovecraft, James, Irving, Bierce, Shelley, Stevenson

The Gothic, Ghost, Horror, & Weird Library    https://americanliterature.com/gothic-ghost-horror-and-weird