Weekly Mash-Up #175 Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween!  I am happy to say that I completed my personal challenge of reading 31 books for Halloween (my third year doing this).  I took this pic on Sunday afternoon as I started my choice for number 31…with a bit of help from a furry fiend (you read that right, I mean fiend, lol)…

I will be enjoying Halloween day by watching some favorite shows and movies of the season, drinking tea, and munching on homemade pumpkin cranberry muffins…have a great day!

The Week in Books

Bone White by Ronald Malfi — 4.5 out of 5 stars

(H 25/31)  The buried bodies of a mass murderer are uncovered in a remote small village in Alaska.  Paul Gallo’s brother went missing in the same area, so Paul travels north to try to find some answers in his brother’s disappearance.  What he finds instead is truly terrifying.   I loved this book!  The characters, the atmosphere, the tension were all great.  My only problem dealt with a couple of slow spots that disrupted the flow for me.  Highly recommend, especially for fans of mystery/thrillers with supernatural twists.

Murder Any Witch Way by N.M. Howell — 3.5 out of 5 stars

(H 26/31)  I don’t limit myself to scary stuff this time of year, and this cozy mystery was a funny and entertaining change of pace.  Set in a small town of Brimstone Bay, we are introduced to River, an aspiring journalist and witch.  When a paranormal festival comes to town and a murder is revealed, River enlists the help of her witch roommates and some resident ghosts to track down the killer.  I really enjoyed this one until the very end that brought it down to 3.5 stars for me (it just felt too rushed and too convenient, like the author was trying to check off all of the cozy mystery “rules” ).  While I wasn’t blown away by the ending, I am going to continue with this series as I truly liked the characters and premise.

Novellas, Short Stories, and Anthologies

Human Monsters — 4 out of 5 stars

(H 27/31)  Thirty-five terrifying tales brought together by the owners of NightWorms, Sadie Hartmann and Ashley Sawyers.  This is a great selection, with a mix of established authors like Stephen Graham Jones, Josh Malerman, and Laurel Hightower along with up-and-coming horror writers (Elton Skelter, Stephanie Nelson, and Jena Brown to name a few).  The human monsters in these stories are truly scarier than any vampire, werewolf, or ghost.  Highly recommend.

The Canterville Ghost

(H 28/31)  A classic that really needs no introduction.  I hadn’t read this in years and it was the perfect way to wrap up my Halloween reading list.

The Monkey’s Paw by W.W. Jacobs — 3.5/4 out of 5 stars

(H 29/31)  The original tale of being careful of what you wish for.

The Mangler by Stephen King — 3.5/4 out of 5 stars

(H 30/31)  A classic by King that is a reread for me (although it’s been a couple of decades since I first read it).  The tale of a possessed industrial ironing machine at a local laundromat is weird, gory, and truly classic King.  Not one of my favorites shorts by him, but still entertaining.

Crawl by Edward Lorn — 3.5 out of 5 stars

(H 31/31)  A young married couple are terrorized by a mysterious “preacher in red” while on a road trip to visit relatives.  Pretty straight-forward short story but it felt a bit drawn out in parts (mainly with the couple’s backstory which ultimately had nothing to do with anything, making it feel like filler to reach a word count).  One I would recommend for a quick scary read.

Stay safe and Happy Reading!

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