Historical Fiction: Autumn Edit (part one)

As we move into October (how is that possible – I swear time has stood still since March) I’m changing up my reading and throwing myself into all things autumnal. 

It’s the season of chunky knits, rust coloured leaves and cosying up with a book (preferably under a blanket with a mug of hot chocolate). This time of year, for me at least, demands a certain type of book. I need a tale which will make me feel cosy – and oddly I want these books to be gothic, spooky and dripping in darkness. 

This is the time when my love of historical fiction comes into its own. 

My next two blogs will be all about the joy that this genre can bring as the nights close in and things get cosy. First up; the books I plan on reading:

The Sin Eater

I can’t even begin to tell you how long this tale of May Owens and her unusual occupation has been on my wish list. Orphaned and unfortunate, the novel charts her journey to becoming a “Sin Eater” – a necessary societal evil; they hear the confessions of the dying and eat their sins as a funeral rite. 

The Once and Future Witches 

In a none too subtle nod to the season which brings up Halloween I’ll be reading a book about my go-to costume choice and general favourite spooky character. 

Alix E Harrow (yes, she of Ten Thousand Doors of January fame – a book which is the equivalent of a love letter to reading) has written a story which combines witchcraft and suffragettes. Three sisters bent on securing votes and rights for women, living in New Salem, evoke the long-forgotten art of witchcraft to support their movement. 

I mean can you think of a better combination? The Ten Thousand Doors of January was one of my favourite reads this year and was the most delightful ode to reading so my hopes are pretty high for this novel. 

The Graves of Whitechapel

Keeping it distinctly spooky with this choice. A murder set in Victorian London; I can picture the fog filled streets and shady figures already. This promises to be an atmospheric thriller, I’m getting definite Ripper Street vibes (if you know you know) from this one. 

Mexican Gothic

Gothic horror set in 50s Mexico, in an isolated mansion, with a cast of characters which includes a chilling but charismatic aristocrat and a brave socialite, and a deadly secret …. If this isn’t giving you all the noir film vibes then I don’t know what will. Unsurprisingly given the hype and hyperbole surrounding this one it has already been commissioned for TV. 

The Devil and The Dark Water

The timing of the release of this murder mystery set at sea could not have been better. The newest offering from the author who gave us the wildly inventive and only slightly baffling The Seven and a Half Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle. 

This novel promises to be sinister and chilling. Set 1634 on a voyage to Amsterdam our two detectives (and accused felons) are faced with a devilish, twice dead leper and threat of three murders.  

What books can’t you wait to get reading??

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