Weekly Mash-Up #133

Only six days until autumn begins!  With a big storm heading our way in the next 48 hours or so, I’ve been harvesting the last of my tomatoes, green beans, and summer squash from my little garden (planning on making a tasty veggie side dish with them this weekend).  I’m a person who thrives on cooler, wetter weather, so I’m looking forward to pulling out my cozy sweaters, making batches of hot apple cider and mugs of hot cocoa…and curling up with a good book (of course!).

The Week in Books

Chasing the Boogeyman by Richard Chizmar — 4 out of 5 stars

(H 3/31)  Written like a true crime story, this novel has young Richard Chizmar returning to his hometown after college graduation to find the citizens fearing for their safety after a string of murders.  Who is this killer, nicknamed The Boogeyman, and will he ever be caught?   As a fan of true crime narratives, I really enjoyed Chizmar’s take.  His descriptions of his small town were on point, and made me feel like I was back there with him.  Make sure to read the Author’s Note at the end regarding the photographs!  Highly recommend.

The Origins of Iris by Beth Lewis — 4 out of 5 stars

Iris has run away from her abusive marriage to her wife, Claude, and escapes to a remote mountain cabin.  While there, she confronts the demons of her past and tries to figure out who she really is.  I can’t really say much more without revealing major plot points but I will say this:  Beth Lewis has crafted a beautifully written story that sheds light on the overlooked reality of spousal abuse in same-sex marriages.  Chapters alternate between Iris’ past and the present, and has one of the most unique self-discovery storylines that I’ve read in some time.  Highly recommend.

Darkness on the Edge of Town by Brian Keene — 3.5/4 out of 5 stars

(H 4/31)  The residents of Walden, Virginia wake up one morning to darkness enveloping their town.  They will soon find out about the evil lurking within.    This story reminded me of tales like Under the Dome and The Fog.  I agree with a fellow reviewer who labeled it “breezy horror,” as it’s a quick read with enough gory and scary moments to satisfy horror fans.  If you’re looking for some “lighter” horror, this is a great place to start.

Novellas, Short Stories, and Anthologies

The Girl Who Hid in the Trees by Steve Stred — 4 out of 5 stars

(H 5/31)  A truly creepy short story involving an ancient curse, a scary forest, and an urban legend that just may be true (and leave it to a group of kids to try to debunk it…that will end well, won’t it?!).  Perfect Halloween reading!

C.V. Hunt’s Horrorama — 3.5 out of 5 stars

(H 6/31)  Three novelettes with varying degrees of success.  Stor-All Self-Storage was by far my favorite, with MC Richard finding out the hard way what really goes on after dark in the storage units.  The Vessel wasn’t bad, but I really didn’t like the ending.  And as for Primitive…this one annoyed me on so many levels that I think I would wind up writing an entire essay so I’ll just say it wasn’t my favorite and leave it at that.

Stay safe and Happy Reading!

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