What’s better than a gooey cinnamon roll, hot coffee, and a few spooky mysteries for fall?
Cinnamon rolls are one of those delicious pastries that make you want to curl up and read a good book. I discovered this incredible cinnamon roll recipe and can’t stop thinking about them (I really do, all the time). It has simple, easy ingredients that I usually already have in my kitchen. You can make them the night before and pop them in the oven in the morning. This will keep you from feeling rushed during the day making them. Plus, there’s just something so rewarding about fresh, hot cinnamon rolls with coffee in the morning.
Now that we have the cinnamon rolls handled, you need a good selection of spooky mysteries to dig into. Thrillers and mysteries are some of my favorite beach reads, so I’ve rounded up five page-turners for you. All of them have delicious cool seasonal settings and haunting imagery that will definitely keep you reading past your bed time.
Turn up your fall ASMR sounds and let’s get started!
1. In a Dark, Dark Wood by Ruth Ware
“The autumn sunlight streamed through the rattan blind, gilding the bedsheets, and I could smell the rain that had fallen in the night, and see the leaves on the plane tree in the street below, just turning to golden-brown at the tips. I closed my eyes and stretched, listening to the tick and groan of the heating, and the muted roar of the traffic, feeling every muscle, reveling in the day to come.“Ruth Ware, In a Dark, Dark Wood
Nora Shaw is an introverted crime writer of moderate success living in her small studio flat in London. She receives an email inviting her to the hen weekend (bachelorette party) of her old best friend from school, Clare. Nora hasn’t seen Clare in ten years, and while surprised by the invitation she attends the party against her better judgement. Upon arriving at the remote and luxurious home shrouded in a dense cold forest, things at the party begin to turn strange and Nora questions why she was invited in the first place. After a murder occurs, Nora loses part of her memory and has to piece together the evening to find the killer and come to terms with her new reality.
2. Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
…he is trying to poison me. This house is sick with rot, stinks of decay, brims with every single evil and cruel sentiment. I have tried to hold on to my wits, to keep this foulness away but I cannot and I find myself losing track of time and thoughts. Please. Please. They are cruel and unkind and will not let me go.Silvia Moreno-Garcia, Mexican Gothic
Noemí Taboada is a young socialite in 1950s Mexico City. Her favorite pastimes are engaging in witty banter and attending cocktail parties with handsome dates. When she receives a troubling letter from her newlywed cousin Catalina, Noemí takes off to the Mexican countryside where Catalina lives. Upon arriving at High Place, the Doyle family’s dilapidated mansion, Noemí is unsettled by the strange behavior of the Doyles. Their odd rules and terse manner irritate her, but she is most unnerved by her disturbing vivid dreams. However, with limited time to speak with her cousin, Noemí takes it upon herself to uncover the secrets of High Place. With each day she uncovers more about the Doyle family and the tragic past plaguing its members. But one thought lingers in her mind – will Catalina become a part of that past?
3. The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn
As I surface, the dream drains away like water. The memory, really. I try to scoop it up in my palms, but it’s gone.A.J. Finn, The Woman in the Window
This psychological thriller follows Anna Fox, a child psychologist that suffers from severe agoraphobia (fear of open spaces) following a trauma. Her husband and young daughter no longer live with her and she isn’t able to work. Over the past 10 months, Anna has spent her days watching noir films, playing online chess, and throwing back handfuls of psychotropic drugs with merlot. In addition to these hobbies, she also enjoys watching her neighbors from her 5-story home in New York City. Anna is intrigued when the Russells – a seemingly perfect family – move in across the street. Her voyeuristic tendencies lead Anna to witnessing an event that truly terrifies her. Panicked, she frantically alerts the authorities. But no one believes her.
4. One by One by Ruth Ware
It gives me a strange feeling if I think about it too much – a kind of claustrophobia that’s at odds with the wide-open vistas from the chalet. It’s not just the snow; it’s the hundredweight of unwelcome memories bearing down on me. If I stop for more than a minute or two, the images start to become unbidden, crowding into my mind – numb fingers scrabbling through hard-packed snow, the sheen of sunset on blue skin, the glint of frosted lashes.Ruth Ware, One by One
Erin and Danny serve as host, concierge, cook and housekeeper to guests in their remote luxury chalet high in the Swiss Alps. This week, a group of voting shareholders and key management from a trendy music app called Snoop are staying there for a retreat. After Snoop arrives, a conflict arises between the two co-founders of Snoop, Eva and Topher, and everyone is forced to take sides. Moreover Liz, Eva’s former personal assistant and a 2% Snoop shareholder, finds herself in a difficult position. Not only do the two co-founders of Snoop disagree on a company buyout decision, but Liz is the deciding vote. Uncomfortable with the pressure and attention, Liz does her best to go along with the formalities of the Snoop retreat. Their situation worsens when an avalanche wipes out the power, cell coverage, and any ski routes away from the chalet. Consequently the Snoop team is stranded, leaving Erin and Danny searching for ways to keep the group safe. Any hope for a calm few days is shattered as a member of the Snoop team is found murdered. Panic ensues as Erin, Danny, and the rest of the group frantically search for answers as the chalet grows colder and emptier.
5. Something Wicked this Way Comes by Ray Bradbury
Somewhere in him, a shadow turned mournfully over. You had to run with a night like this so the sadness could not hurt.Ray Bradbury, Something Wicked this Way Comes
Set in October, this psychological drama follows the thirteen-year-old Jim and Will as they navigate their small 1950s town. All appears quite normal, until a carnival comes through and unsettles the fabric of the wholesome place. As the carnival settles in, Jim and Will observe oddities and strangeness beyond what they can comprehend. The supernatural carnival grasps at all of the small town’s inhabitants, both young and old. So Jim and Will fight to stay safe from the illustrated man, reveal the carnival’s atrocities to the unsuspecting adults, and avoid the siren call of the calliope. Filled with creepiness and dread, as well as ruminations on time and aging, this novel will give you an October chill.
Enjoying (or giving!) some warm cinnamon rolls and spooky mysteries for fall is an easy and inexpensive way to celebrate the season. Plus, you’ll get pretty good at making cinnamon rolls which is truly a gift that keeps on giving!