The air is crisp and the smell of pumpkin-spiced everything has arrived, which means it’s time to pull out the blankets and favorite mugs and get ready for curled up cozy reading! I’m here to help you pair your favorite fall cozy drink with a new October crime fiction release. So tuck yourself in and put your sleuthing hat on!
If you’re into dark and fictional serial killers, say hello to spooky October with a novel set in 1915 Chicago that follows Pin, the 15-year-old daughter of a fortune-teller at an amusement park. She’s one of the only people to realize there’s a serial killer using the amusement park to hunt children when she notices a man and a young girl go into a ride, but only the man exits… Yup, I’ll be sleeping with the lights on, thank you very much.
Patricia Shanae Smith Smith
This is a character study and psychological suspense novel that upends the crime genre’s use of mental illness as the bogeyman. In the chapters set in the past, we get to know Portia Willows as she struggles with social anxiety, agoraphobia, and PTSD after the deaths of her mother and sister. In the present tense, Portia doesn’t know why she’s being asked so many questions, why she’s being kept from her father, or what just happened...
Hello, Connelly fans, you have a new Renée Ballard novel! And bonus for Bosch fans: he once again partners up with her for a case! Throw in alternating chapters between the two, a 20-year-old case, a murder book, and questions of a dead mentor’s loyalty and mystery fans are treated to a great procedural with formidable detectives.
This is a fantastic crime novel that explores old wounds that don’t heal, revenge, our injustice system, generational violence, family, and racism with nuance and excellent writing and characters. I read a ridiculous amount of crime books and rarely find myself being thrown so hard that I loud-whisper “Oh shirt!”–but instead with the word you get to say when you’re not in The Good Place.
Your House Will Pay follows two families in the present day, a Korean family and a Black family, and is built upon the history of the 1992 L.A. riots–that’s all I’m telling you because you should experience every turn and unfolding of this novel like a blank slate.
Think Taken, but instead of Neeson, we get a woman who was just released from prison who goes hunting for the men that kidnapped her niece. I know! Biker gangs, revenge, and a woman ready to scorch the earth were my selling points, and then I got to the cherry on top: “a skewed moral compass, a high threshold for pain.” It’s like a film I’d make all the popcorn for but in a book!
My favorite Sherlock is back! This is one of my favorite mystery series, as Thomas has taken the infamous Sherlock and Watson and not only gender-swapped them but made Sherlock’s quirks contingent on being a woman in the Victorian era. This time around we get blackmail, the Maharani of Ajmer, family, will-they-or-won’t-they, wit, false identities/disguises, priceless art, and a trip to France. Oh, and my favorite more sweets and a self-defense training session!
This one is for horror and thriller fans–’Tis the season! This story takes getting ghosted to a whole new level as Kate meets the man of her dreams and upends her life to move in with him far away from friends and family. And then the dude is gone. Like ghosted her–rude! But one thing was left behind: his cell phone. And snooping may be wrong and all, but not when your boyfriend has disappeared on you like this, so Kate tries to figure out where he is. But maybe she should, uh, leave the apartment first, considering all the weird noises and phone calls…
Here’s to a great month of mysteries, thrillers, and crime reads surrounded by the spooky shenanigans of October!
What to Read Next
Jamie Canavés is a Book Riot contributing editor and Tailored Book Recommendations coordinator who always has a book in one hand. She writes the Unusual Suspects mystery newsletter, never says no to chocolate or ‘80s nostalgia, and spends way too much time asking her goat-dog “What’s in your mouth?!” Tweets: @Oh_Dinky.–