Stainless Steel Droppings. As the nights draw in, Carl encourages us to add some spooky, or mysterious, or deliciously gothic reading material to our usual fare. I signed up for it last year, but didn't finish. I've been more organised with my reading this year, so I've high hopes of completing.
The four books I have chosen are;
Beyond Black by Hilary Mantel
Alison Hart, a medium by trade, tours the dormitory towns of London's orbital road with her flint-hearted sidekick Colette, passing on messages from dead ancestors. But behind her plump, smiling persona is a desperate woman: the next life holds terrors that she must conceal from her clients, and her own waking hours are plagued by the spirits of men from her past. They infiltrate her house, her body and her soul, and the more she tries to be rid of them, the stronger and nastier they become...
The Murder Wall by Mari Hannah
Eleven months after discovering a brutal double murder in a sleepy Northumbrian village, Detective Chief Inspector Kate Daniels is still haunted by her failure to solve the case. Then the brutal killing of a man on Newcastle's Quayside gives Daniels her first case as Senior Investigating Officer and another chance to get it right.
When Daniels recognises the corpse but fails to disclose the fact, her personal life suddenly swerves into her professional life. But, much worse, she is now being watched.
As Daniels steps closer to finding a killer, a killer is only a breath away from claiming his next victim.
The Radleys by Matt Haig
Life with the Radleys: Radio 4, dinner parties with the Bishopthorpe neighbours and self-denial. Loads of self-denial. But all hell is about to break loose. When teenage daughter Clara gets attacked on the way home from a party, she and her brother Rowan finally discover why they can't sleep, can't eat a Thai salad without fear of asphyxiation and can't go outside unless they're smothered in Factor 50.
With a visit from their lethally louche uncle Will and an increasingly suspicious police force, life in Bishopthorpe is about to change. Drastically.
A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness
When historian Diana Bishop finds an alchemical manuscript in the Bodleian Library, it's an unwelcome intrusion of magic into her carefully ordered life. Though Diana is a witch of impeccable lineage, the violent death of her parents while she was still a child convinced her that human fear is more potent then any witchcraft.
Now Diana has unwittingly exposed herself to a world she's kept at bay for years; one of powerful witches, creative, destructive daemons and long-lived vampires. Sensing the significance of Diana's discovery, the creatures gather in Oxford, among them the enigmatic Matthew Clairmont, a vampire geneticist.