Backlist Fall/Spooky Books I Still Want To Read

Hi everyone! It’s been a while since I do a list or recommendation type of post, so today’s post will be about that. I’m pretty sure none of us are able to keep up with all the new releases each year, which is why our TBR continues to grow 😂 That being said, there are several releases I have been saving for October each year, only being unable to read them when the time comes because I am distracted by other books- whether it’s a backlist or new releases.

Today’s post will be focusing on the backlist books, especially those that gives me fall and halloween vibes that’s just perfect for the season. There are more than I expected, so let’s get started!

Note: Backlist here refers to title that has been released for more than 3 years

A Madness So Discreet by Mindy McGinnis

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Why I still want to read it: I think it’s just the concept of historical fiction crime solving female detectives, getting involved with things they’re supposed to? Bonus point for apparently creepy settings and hinted dark past our main character has!

Synopsis: Grace Mae knows madness.

She keeps it locked away, along with her voice, trapped deep inside a brilliant mind that cannot forget horrific family secrets. Those secrets, along with the bulge in her belly, land her in a Boston insane asylum.

When her voice returns in a burst of violence, Grace is banished to the dark cellars, where her mind is discovered by a visiting doctor who dabbles in the new study of criminal psychology. With her keen eyes and sharp memory, Grace will make the perfect assistant at crime scenes. Escaping from Boston to the safety of an ethical Ohio asylum, Grace finds friendship and hope, hints of a life she should have had. But gruesome nights bring Grace and the doctor into the circle of a killer who stalks young women. Grace, continuing to operate under the cloak of madness, must hunt a murderer while she confronts the demons in her own past.

Jackaby by William Ritter

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Why I still want to read it: Similar reason as above, but this one seems to be more supernatural leaning? A lot of people also seemed to really enjoy this one. I always confuses this book with Stalking Jack the Ripper series though!

Synopsis: “Miss Rook, I am not an occultist,” Jackaby said. “I have a gift that allows me to see truth where others see the illusion–and there are many illusions. All the world’s a stage, as they say, and I seem to have the only seat in the house with a view behind the curtain.”

Newly arrived in New Fiddleham, New England, 1892, and in need of a job, Abigail Rook meets R. F. Jackaby, an investigator of the unexplained with a keen eye for the extraordinary–including the ability to see supernatural beings. Abigail has a gift for noticing ordinary but important details, which makes her perfect for the position of Jackaby’s assistant. On her first day, Abigail finds herself in the midst of a thrilling case: A serial killer is on the loose. The police are convinced it’s an ordinary villain, but Jackaby is certain it’s a nonhuman creature, whose existence the police–with the exception of a handsome young detective named Charlie Cane–deny.

Doctor Who meets Sherlock in William Ritter’s debut novel, which features a detective of the paranormal as seen through the eyes of his adventurous and intelligent assistant in a tale brimming with cheeky humor and a dose of the macabre. 

Truly Devious by Maureen Johnson

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Why I still want to read it: This is like one of the most beloved fall book of all time! A lot of people said it’s really atmospheric, with twisty mystery and great characters which sounds perfect for me!

Synopsis: Ellingham Academy is a famous private school in Vermont for the brightest thinkers, inventors, and artists. It was founded by Albert Ellingham, an early twentieth century tycoon, who wanted to make a wonderful place full of riddles, twisting pathways, and gardens. “A place,” he said, “where learning is a game.”

Shortly after the school opened, his wife and daughter were kidnapped. The only real clue was a mocking riddle listing methods of murder, signed with the frightening pseudonym “Truly, Devious.” It became one of the great unsolved crimes of American history.

True-crime aficionado Stevie Bell is set to begin her first year at Ellingham Academy, and she has an ambitious plan: She will solve this cold case. That is, she will solve the case when she gets a grip on her demanding new school life and her housemates: the inventor, the novelist, the actor, the artist, and the jokester. But something strange is happening. Truly Devious makes a surprise return, and death revisits Ellingham Academy. The past has crawled out of its grave. Someone has gotten away with murder. 

The two interwoven mysteries of this first book in the Truly Devious series dovetail brilliantly, and Stevie Bell will continue her relentless quest for the murderers in books two and three.

New York Times bestselling author Maureen Johnson weaves a delicate tale of murder and mystery in the first book of a striking new series, perfect for fans of Agatha Christie and E. Lockhart.

How to Hang A Witch by Adriana Mather

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Why I still want to read it: Who doesn’t love reading about Salem during the halloween season? I also love “cursed-of-repeated-history” plotline and plus its written by one of the actual descendants of the people involved so I’m intrigued!

SynospIt’s the Salem Witch Trials meets Mean Girls in a debut novel from one of the descendants of Cotton Mather, where the trials of high school start to feel like a modern day witch hunt for a teen with all the wrong connections to Salem’s past.

Salem, Massachusetts is the site of the infamous witch trials and the new home of Samantha Mather. Recently transplanted from New York City, Sam and her stepmother are not exactly welcomed with open arms. Sam is the descendant of Cotton Mather, one of the men responsible for those trials and almost immediately, she becomes the enemy of a group of girls who call themselves The Descendants. And guess who their ancestors were?

If dealing with that weren’t enough, Sam also comes face to face with a real live (well technically dead) ghost. A handsome, angry ghost who wants Sam to stop touching his stuff. But soon Sam discovers she is at the center of a centuries old curse affecting anyone with ties to the trials. Sam must come to terms with the ghost and find a way to work with The Descendants to stop a deadly cycle that has been going on since the first accused witch was hanged. If any town should have learned its lesson, it’s Salem. But history may be about to repeat itself.

The Haunting of Sunshine Girl by Paige Mckenzie

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Why I still want to read it: This might be the oldest book on my TBR, but this book was everywhere when I first started getting into the book community. It’s based on a youtube sketch and apparently it’s quite creepy too, so I’m really curious and never removed it from my TBR

Synopsis: Something freaky’s going on with Sunshine’s new house… there’s the chill that wraps itself around her bones, the giggling she can hear in the dead of night, and then the strange shadows that lurk in her photographs. But the more weird stuff that happens, the less her mom believes her. Sunshine’s always had a quirky affiliation with the past, but this time, history is getting much too close for comfort…

If there is something, or someone, haunting her house, what do they want? And what will they do if Sunshine can’t help them?

As things become more frightening and dangerous, and the giggles she hears turn to sobs and screams, Sunshine has no choice but to accept what she is, face the test before her and save her mother from a fate worse than death.

The first in a frighteningly good new series based on the popular YouTube sensation The Haunting of Sunshine Girl Network, created by Paige McKenzie.

The Ghost Bride by Yangsze Choo

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Why I still want to read it: I always love books set in SEA and ghost bride is a practice I’m always curious in so I’m really excited to read this one- so much so that I keep putting it off because I have such a high expectations 😅

Synopsis: Yangsze Choo’s stunning debut, The Ghost Bride, is a startlingly original novel infused with Chinese folklore, romantic intrigue, and unexpected supernatural twists, reminiscent of Lisa See’s Peony in Love and Amy Tan’s The Bonesetter’s Daughter.

Li Lan, the daughter of a respectable Chinese family in colonial Malaysia, hopes for a favorable marriage, but her father has lost his fortune, and she has few suitors. Instead, the wealthy Lim family urges her to become a “ghost bride” for their son, who has recently died under mysterious circumstances. Rarely practiced, a traditional ghost marriage is used to placate a restless spirit. Such a union would guarantee Li Lan a home for the rest of her days, but at what price?

Night after night, Li Lan is drawn into the shadowy parallel world of the Chinese afterlife, where she must uncover the Lim family’s darkest secrets—and the truth about her own family.

The Ghost Bride is a wondrous coming-of-age story and from a remarkable new voice in fiction.

The Carrow Haunt by Darcy Coates

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Why I still want to read it: Haunted house story is my favorite setting because of plausible and creepy it is. Plus the reviews are glowing, it seems like this book is really creepy!

Synopsis: “The dead are restless here…”

Remy is a tour guide for Carrow House, a notoriously haunted building. When she’s asked to host seven guests for a week-long stay to research Carrow’s phenomena, she hopes to finally experience some of the sightings that made the house famous.

At first, it’s everything they hoped for. Then a storm moves in, cutting off their contact with the outside world, and things quickly become twisted. Doors open on their own. Seances go disastrously wrong. Red liquid seeps from behind the wallpaper. Their spirit medium wanders through the house during the night, seemingly in a trance.

Then one of the guests dies under strange circumstances, and Remy is forced to consider the possibility that the ghost of the house’s original owner, a twisted serial killer, still walks the halls.

But by then it’s too late to escape.

Hex by Thomas Olde Heuvelt

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Why I still want to read it: Urban legend-based story is my favorite type of story and this one sounds absolutely creepy! Even the description of the ghost on the synopsis got to me whenever I tried to visualize it…

Synopsis: The incredible, horrifying thriller from Thomas Olde Heuvelt, the Hugo award-winning author of ‘The Day The World Turned Upside Down’, perfect for fans of Neil Gaiman, Adam Nevill and Stephen King.

Whoever is born here, is doomed to stay until death. Whoever comes to stay, never leaves.

Welcome to Black Spring, the seemingly picturesque Hudson Valley town haunted by the Black Rock Witch, a seventeenth-century woman whose eyes and mouth are sewn shut. Blind and silenced, she walks the streets and enters homes at will. She stands next to children’s beds for nights on end. So accustomed to her have the townsfolk become that they often forget she’s there. Or what a threat she poses. Because if the stitches are ever cut open, the story goes, the whole town will die.

The curse must not be allowed to spread. The elders of Black Spring have used high-tech surveillance to quarantine the town. Frustrated with being kept in lockdown, the town’s teenagers decide to break the strict regulations and go viral with the haunting. But, in so doing, they send the town spiraling into a dark nightmare.

Have you read any of these books? If yes, which one do you recommends?

Do you have any backlist halloween books you still want to read?

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10 thoughts on “Backlist Fall/Spooky Books I Still Want To Read

  1. I read the Ghost Bride last year and I loved it. It was so good! I also have quite a few backlist spooky books I want to get to. If only spooky season lasted more than a month.

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