Friday, September 30, 2022

Silverweed Road by Simon Crook

Happy Friday! Today I'm a stop on the Random Things tour for Simon Crook's Silverweed Road!

Police are baffled by the occurrences on Silverweed Road. A quiet suburban street that appears, at least at the outset, to be totally normal, Silverweed Road is anything but. Every house is affected and every house has a story. 

A wife is left speechless and alone after her husband disappears without a trace. Only she knows about his battles with a pair of birds. 

An artist is just the latest in a string of disappearances after her stay on Silverweed Road. What the police can't know is that the pool in the backyard is part of the mystery. 

And the woods at the end of the road...Well, it's not exactly the place you want to go to commune with nature. 

These stories and more make up the recent history of an otherwise normal street. Secrets that outsiders aren't tuned into. Mysteries that will likely never be solved!

Simon Crook's collection of connected tales reminds me of Sherwood Anderson's Winesburg, Ohio by  way of Ray Bradbury and Shirley Jackson! Maybe a little Daphne du Maurier thrown in for good measure considering the opening story!

I love short stories and I have always had a special fondness for connected collections. With the framework of a personal blog by one of the (former) police investigating Silverweed Road, each chapter tells the story of a different home. And throughout, each tale has other connections to its neighbors (repeated appearances of the flowers at the crash site, certain neighbors, and even the jackdaw), which makes for a fantastic familiar thread woven throughout. 

Whether you read this one in sips, gulps, or one sitting, Silverweed Road is an absolutely perfect Spooky Season read! (By the way, Spooky Season is all year long!)

Silverweed Road is out now from Harper Voyager! Happiest of reading, horror fans!!!

Thursday, September 22, 2022

The Woman in the Library by Sulari Gentill

Good morning, everyone! Today I am super excited to be part of the Random Things blog tour for Sulari Gentill's latest, The Woman in the Library!

This is a book that has been getting lots of buzz from places I pay attention to! Plus, it's been touted as the perfect read for fans of Only Murders in the Building and White Lotus (the latter of which I admittedly haven't watched, but I adore Only Murders!). All that's to say, of course I had to read (and listen, as it turned out). 

Hannah is an author living in Australia. She's chosen to pen her latest novel set in Boston, which is why she's sending chapters back and forth to her friend Leo. Leo is willing and able to offer critique while Hannah is waiting to be able to take a research trip to the States. And his info on the layout and various Boston-isms that might elude the Aussie are genuinely helpful. 

Within the pages of Hannah's novel, Freddie, also a novelist from Australia but living in Boston as part of her fellowship, is working on her own novel. The Muse visits while sitting in one of the many reading rooms of the Boston Public Library and characters begin to form, inspired by the patrons that surround her. They are strangers, until a scream rings out. The mystery behind the scream in the library links the four whose collective curiosity cannot keep them from digging into the nearby happenings. 

Of course, with Hannah behind their actions, the four become mixed up in a case that could cost them much more than their academic careers!

This is a cleverly layered novel that truly blossoms into much more than you'd expect it to from the start. 

At first, the story within a story—the frame of a novelist penning a book that is the bulk of the book itself—took a bit for me to ease into. It felt as though Leo's letters were pulling me from the narrative. But as that part of the tale began to unfold a bit more, I was increasingly and equally intrigued by both parts of the tale!

I have to say, as someone who's been in a major reading slump of late, I seem to be on a roll with excellent reads to pull myself out of it!

I always did love books about books and The Woman in the Library is kind of the ultimate book about a book! And though Hannah's story is from the outset happening in the fringes of the book, it is incredibly fun! But I wouldn't want to spoil any of this delightfully thrilling book!

As an aside, I did listen to part of this one on audio via Libro.fm. Narrator Katherine Littrell is a joy to listen to as she gives voice to the variety of characters throughout!

The Woman in the Library is out now in the US and the UK!

Friday, September 16, 2022

Fellstones by Ramsey Campbell

Happy Friday, everyone! Today I'm a stop on the Random Things tour for Ramsey Campbell's Fellstones, out now from Flame Tree Press! 

Paul Dunstan always felt responsible for his parents' deaths. After all, if they'd never met the Staveleys, he wouldn't have been under their tutelage, and the drive that caused the accident that killed his folks would never have happened. 

The Staveleys took Paul (then called Michael) in and adopted him, making him part of their family. But by the time Paul left for college, he'd already started to distance himself from them. 

Now, he's changed his name and hasn't seen any of them in year. Until their daughter, Adele, shows up at his work. She says her parents are aging and miss him. She begs him to visit. 

Which is why Paul finds himself once again in Fellstones. And once again remembering why he distanced himself from the Staveleys in the first place. 

But the truth is so much more horrifying than even Paul knows or remembers...

What a way to start off spooky season! (I mean, that's year round for me, but still!)

Ramsey Campbell has long been hailed as one of the best in the horror business. He's well respected and talked of in every corner of the genre and by every big name (which reminds me, Flame Tree is bringing his Ancient Images back into print and this is one Gemma Files mentions in the fancy edition of Experimental Film).


Fellstones is that perfect blend of weird tiny towns, odd lore, and ancient relics (in this case, standing stones). In other words, folk horror! With a side of cosmic horror thrown in for extra flavor! And it's uber weird right from the start. But you know it's going to be considering our main character has basically been hiding from this family for years and has never told his current partner anything about them!

But then why does he return? Easy, he doesn't actually remember most of it!

I love Campbell's work and found this to be as much fun as I hoped plus more! If you're in need of an odd read this spooky season (or anytime!) definitely check out Fellstones. (And remember to add Ancient Images to your must have list as well!)

Tuesday, September 6, 2022

All the Broken Girls by Linda Hurtado Bond

Good morning, readers! Today I'm a stop on the TLC blog tour for Linda Hurtido Bond's All the Broken Girls, out now from Entangled!

Mari Alvarez intended to lie low after returning from suspension. After all, as a crime reporter who's last story ended in a lawsuit, she's lucky to still have a job.

But on the way to covering a baby sloth birth (lucky to have a job, lucky to have a job) she and her photographer catch wind of a dead body. Mari is told to stay put while her cameraman gets footage for the station, and she fully intends to, but there's something about the scene that she can't ignore. Something that reminds her of her own mother's murder. Soon Mari finds herself pulled once again into an investigation. Even, potentially, that of another serial killer. And this time, the killer seems to have her in his sights. 

I quite enjoyed this one! It reminded me of JT Ellison and Hank Phillippi Ryan, the latter of whom, like Bond, is also an author and reporter. 

Bond is a journalist by day and it's clear that she's pulled on that experience as well as her own family in creating the framework for Mari and the book. Mari's abuela is inspired by Bond's own mother in law!

All the Broken Girls is set in Tampa and features Cuban culture and religion heavily. It places Mari right in the middle of more than one conundrum, forcing her to reckon with beliefs she's never been sure she aligns with in spite of her abuela. And of course it's all wrapped up in a serial killer plot!

All the Broken Girls is super fun and full of suspense! Mari is an excellent lead and I certainly hope we'll see more of her in the future!

To see more stops on the tour be sure to check out the official TLC tour page here

For more on Linda Hurtado Bond and her work you can check out her website here. You can also follow her on Twitter and Instagram