New Intriguingly Dark Books for Leisurely Mid-Summer Evenings

Autumn Cthulhu

This collection of Lovecraft-themed short horror stories was published in May. It's edited by Mike Davis. I've never heard of any of the authors, but the story titles sound intriguing: "Lavinia in Autumn," "The Night is a Sea," "There is a Bear in the Woods," and "The Black Azalea" among others. I do really enjoy having a book of nice dark short stories around, for nights when I don't have time to dive into a novel or longer piece.

I love that this book is the culmination of a successful Kickstarter project!

Autumn Cthulhu, on Amazon

Autumn Cthulhu on Goodreads

Autumn Cthulhu Book Review at This Is Horror

Gris Grimly's Tales from the Brothers Grimm

I am SO excited about this one! I adore Gris Grimly's illustrations and darkly quirky sense of humor.

"The Brothers Grimm’s fairy tales are brought to life for a new generation of readers in their original, uncut form by the modern master of gothic horror, Gris Grimly."

Gris Grimly's Tales from the Brothers Grimm, on Amazon

Gris Grimly's Tales From the Brothers Grimm, at Common Sense Media

Gris Grimly's Tales From the Brothers Grimm, at Goodreads

In the Shadow of Frankenstein

I love short story collections! They fit my busy lifestyle perfectly.

This book consists of "twenty-four electrifying tales of cursed creation that are guaranteed to spark your interest―with classics from the pulp magazines by Robert Bloch and Manly Wade Wellman, modern masterpieces from Ramsey Campbell, Dennis Etchison, Karl Edward Wagner, David J. Schow, and R. Chetwynd-Hayes, and new contributions from Graham Masterson, Basil Copper, John Brunner, Guy N. Smith, Kim Newman, Paul J. McAuley, Roberta Lannes, Michael Marshall Smith, Daniel Fox, Adrian Cole, Nancy Kilpatrick, Brian Mooney and Lisa Morton."

I'm extra excited to read the stories by Halloween expert Lisa Morton and by fantastic horror author Nancy Kilpatrick!

In the Shadow of Frankenstein: Tales of the Modern Prometheus, on Amazon

In the Shadow of Frankenstein Book Review at Diabolique Magazine

In the Shadow of Frankenstein at Goodreads

Jane Steele

Now this is what I call a beach read! I'm looking forward to reading this during my Boston beach house vacation later this summer. The book reimagines Jane Eyre as a gutsy, spunky serial killer. Quite a lot of liberties were taken with the original source material, but I think it will be refreshingly altered and delightfully dark. Apparently the narrator admits she's read Jane Eyre several times, hrm, and writes this book as her confession.

Jane Steele, on Amazon

Jane Steele, at Goodreads

Jane Steele Book Review at Entertainment Weekly

Jane Steele Book Review at Kirkus Reviews

Jane Steele Book Review at NY Daily News

Jane Steele Book Review at NPR


If you like dark fantasy, give this a shot. If not, you might want to move on to some of the other selections!

"In a land where three suns almost never set, a fledgling killer joins a school of assassins, seeking vengeance against the powers who destroyed her family.

Daughter of an executed traitor, Mia Corvere is barely able to escape her father’s failed rebellion with her life. Alone and friendless, she hides in a city built from the bones of a dead god, hunted by the Senate and her father’s former comrades. But her gift for speaking with the shadows leads her to the door of a retired killer, and a future she never imagined.

I'll bet I find enough entertainment in this during my long cross-country flights this summer!

Nevernight, on Amazon

Nevernight, at Goodreads

Smoke, a Novel

This sounds eminently creative and quite unusual. I definitely think I'll have fun reading the Victorian-themed adventures here. I am intrigued by the world building already.

"Welcome to a Victorian England unlike any other you have experienced before. Here, wicked thoughts (both harmless and hate-filled) appear in the air as telltale wisps of Smoke.

"Young Thomas Argyle, a son of aristocracy, has been sent to an elite boarding school. Here he will be purged of Wickedness, for the wealthy do not Smoke. When he resists a sadistic headboy's temptations to Smoke, a much larger struggle beyond the school walls is revealed. Shortly thereafter, on a trip to London, Thomas and his best friend witness events that make them begin to question everything they have been taught about Smoke.

"And thus the adventure begins... You will travel by coach to a grand estate where secrets lurk in attic rooms and hidden laboratories; where young love blossoms; and where a tumultuous relationship between a mother and her children is the crucible in which powerful passions are kindled, and dangerous deeds must be snuffed out in a desperate race against time.

A grand estate? Snooping around in attics and possible mad scientist labs? I'm so there! Adding this to my Kindle right now!

Smoke: A Novel, on Amazon

Smoke at Goodreads

"Smoke" by Dan Vyleta Review: Visions of Sin (The Guardian)

"Smoke Author Dan Vyleta Keeps it Messy" NPR Book Review

"Smoke is a Gloriously Murky Vision of the Past," Book Review at NPR

Smoke Book Review at NY Times

The Witch of Lime Street

The Witch of Lime Street, by David Jaher, Crown Books, October 2015. If you aren't all that into non-fiction, I hear you, but this one reads more like a literary novel. I can't say it's a page turner, but it's definitely fascinating. I probably won't pick it up and read it all in one or two sittings, but it's nice to enjoy a chapter here and there when I have time, and I need breaks in between to mull over the interesting things I just read.

"The 1920s are famous as the golden age of jazz and glamour, but it was also an era of fevered yearning for communion with the spirit world, after the loss of tens of millions in the First World War and the Spanish-flu epidemic. A desperate search for reunion with dead loved ones precipitated a tidal wave of self-proclaimed psychics—and, as reputable media sought stories on occult phenomena, mediums became celebrities.

"Against this backdrop, in 1924, the pretty wife of a distinguished Boston surgeon came to embody the raging national debate over Spiritualism, a movement devoted to communication with the dead. Reporters dubbed her the blonde Witch of Lime Street, but she was known to her followers simply as Margery. Her most vocal advocate was none other than Sherlock Holmes' creator Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, who believed so thoroughly in Margery's powers that he urged her to enter a controversial contest, sponsored by Scientific American and offering a large cash prize to the first medium declared authentic by its impressive five-man investigative committee. Admired for both her exceptional charm and her dazzling effects, Margery was the best hope for the psychic practice to be empirically verified. Her supernatural gifts beguiled four of the judges. There was only one left to convince...the acclaimed escape artist, Harry Houdini."

Join us as the Dark Side University Book Club reads this book together in November 2016.

The Witch of Lime Street, on Amazon

The Witch of Lime Street, on Goodreads

The Witch of Lime Street Book Review, at Kirkus Reviews

The Witch of Lime Street Bewitches With Mystery and Mayhem (NPR)

The Witch of Lime Street Book Review at Publishers Weekly

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