BOO! It’s that time of the year for lovers of thrills and chills to get their scare on.
Here are a few reads guaranteed to raise your blood pressure and transport you to a fascinating destination at the same time.
Whether you prefer creepy, blood-chilling suspense, adrenaline-fueled adventures, atmospheric ghost stories, tales of love and murder, or spooky mysteries that won’t scare the sleep out of you, we have the right read for you!
Featured in this post are novels by Travel By Book authors Jennifer S. Alderson, Daniella Bernett, Andrew Cairns, Tomasz Chrusciel, Margaret Halliday, Linda Huber, Dora Ilieva, Susan Kiernan-Lewis, Deborah Lawrenson, Fiona Leitch, PJ Mann and Carmen Radtke.
These mysteries and thrillers are set in the Netherlands, Papua, England, Ivory Coast, Scotland, Italy, India, Turkey, Bulgaria, Ireland, France, and New York City. Click on the book cover to learn more or buy the book.
Travel By Book is a growing group of authors and readers who enjoy being transported to other destinations via fiction and non-fiction. If you enjoy reading books that take you places, join us over on Facebook.
Rituals of the Dead: An Artifact Mystery by Jennifer S. Alderson
American art history student Zelda Richardson is back and embroiled in another exciting art-related mystery! This time she’s working at an anthropology museum in Amsterdam on an exhibition of artifacts from the Asmat region of Papua – the same area where a famous American anthropologist disappeared in 1961. When the anthropologist’s journal is found inside an artifact’s crate, Zelda is tasked with finding out more about the man’s last days and his connection to these ritual objects.
Trouble is, she soon discovers disturbing links between his vanishing, the Dutch government and the Catholic Church. When her co-worker and housemate are murdered shortly after, Zelda finds herself pulled into a world of shady anthropologists, colonial officials, missionaries and smugglers – where the line between good and evil is blurry at best, and the only certainty is that sins of the past are never fully erased.
Join Zelda on her next quest as she grapples with the anthropologist’s mysterious disappearance fifty years earlier, and a present-day murderer who will do everything to prevent her from uncovering the truth.
Available as audiobook, eBook and paperback. WhisperSync for Voice ready and currently in Kindle Unlimited.
A Checkered Past by Daniella Bernett
Emmeline Kirby is back in London determined to make a success of her new job as editorial director of investigative features at The Clarion. Three months have passed since her trip to Torquay and the devastating revelations that surfaced about her fiancé Gregory Longdon. The whole interlude has left a bitter taste in her mouth, and she is keeping him at arm’s length. But a suave and dashing jewel thief like Gregory is not easily daunted. After all, faint heart never won fair lady. It doesn’t hurt that Emmeline’s grandmother and her best friend, Maggie, are on his side. Only his shadowy past could ruin his chances.
All of these relationships are threatened as Emmeline stubbornly pursues a story about looted Nazi art and an IRA collaborator. When a stolen Constable painting belonging to Maggie’s family turns up in the collection of Max Sanborn, the chairman of the company that owns The Clarion, her personal crusade brings danger close to home. To find the truth, Emmeline and Gregory must untangle a web of deception, betrayal, and dark deeds. But will they learn too late that justice can be cold comfort if you’re dead?
The Witch’s List by Andrew Cairns
Sandy Beech doesn’t believe in witches and the supernatural. However, certain strange events occur which put his skepticism to the test: a burning book, a falling crucifix, a mysterious illness, and a fire in a convent which kills all twelve nuns. On her deathbed, Bernadette, the last surviving nun, warns him to control his lusts and avoid African women. Sandy finds this difficult, since he is attracted to exotic, dark-skinned women and after his hedonistic university exchange year in Paris, marries Rocky from the Ivory Coast. Five years later, childless and with the marriage souring, they decide to visit Rocky’s home country. Sandy is drawn into a world of strange beliefs and practices: he finds out about the Witch’s List – a list of people destined to die, and is attacked by various animals starting with a ferocious dog in Abidjan. He delves further and further into the realm of African witchcraft, but the horrific truth remains obscure… The Witch’s List is the first of a trilogy.
Fast Track to Glory by Tomasz Chrusciel
Professor Nina Monte, an expert in ancient religious texts, is called into a secret meeting. A mystical object has been discovered in a 15th-century galley, buried at the bottom of Lake Garda in Italy. At the recovery site, Monte makes a shocking revelation—the relic in her hands holds the power to change humanity’s perception of existence.
But Monte soon finds herself trapped in an insidious intrigue, and is forced to abandon everything she knows and trusts. Joined by local hotelier, Alessandro Pini, she is determined to unravel the truth surrounding the discovery.
A heart-stopping race to decode the four-thousand-year-old mystery leads Monte and Pini from Italy through the mighty Austrian Alps, right to the banks of the most sacred river in India. But the professor and her friend are not the only ones seeking answers, and it will take courage and cunning to outwit those who believe the truth is worth dying—or killing—for.
The Belly Dancer by Margaret Halliday
Margaret Halliday’s fourth book, The Belly Dancer is a tragicomic romantic thriller set mainly in Istanbul in the early 1990s. Gemma, a young English woman, finds herself involved in more than just teaching English soon after her arrival in Turkey.
Her love of belly dancing leads her into a relationship with the beautiful Fatima as well as plunging her into a sinister, Mafia-run drugs operation. Can, the Mafia boss’s handsome son, falls for Fatima and reunites her with her long lost twin sister, Fulya, who can also dance.
The story unfolds against the vivid backdrop of Istanbul with its teeming street life, magnificent mosques and busy markets, the ever-present turbulent waters of the Bosphorus and its ferries a constant breath of fresh air.
The Cold Cold Sea by Linda Huber
They stared at each other, and Maggie felt the tightness in her middle expand as it shifted, burning its way up… Painful sobs rose in her throat as Colin, his face expressionless now, reached for his mobile and tapped 999.
When three-year-old Olivia disappears from the beach, a happy family holiday comes to an abrupt end. Maggie is plunged into the darkest nightmare imaginable – what happened to her little girl?
Further along the coast, another mother is having problems too. Jennifer’s daughter Hailey is starting school, and it should be such a happy time, but the child has become moody and silent. Family life has never seemed so awkward, and Jennifer struggles to maintain control.
The tide ebbs and flows, and summer dies, but there is no comfort for Maggie, alone now at the cottage, or for Jennifer, still swamped by doubts.
White Clay by Dora Ilieva
Kossara, a young archaeologist, who considers the victims her only family, discovers a life-shattering secret which sends her back to the country she hails from.
The search into her family history becomes a race against time, as she finds out that her late father had been involved in much more than archaeological digs.
In the blinding blizzard the secret is hidden…
Free Falling by Susan Kiernan-Lewis
With all contact outside the country gone, all electricity and all non horse-powered vehicles useless and desperate bands of outlaws roaming the Emerald Isle, the time has come for one soft American family to reach deep within for the reserve of brains and courage to survive.
The Lantern by Deborah Lawrenson
Drawn to a wealthy older man, Eve embarks on a whirlwind romance that soon offers a new life and a new home—Les Genévriers, a charming hamlet amid the fragrant lavender fields of Provence. But Eve finds it impossible to ignore the mysteries that haunt both her lover and the run-down old house. The more reluctant Dom is to tell her about his past, the more she is drawn to it—and to the mysterious disappearance of his beautiful ex-wife.
An evocative tale of romantic and psychological suspense, The Lantern masterfully melds past and present, secrets and lies, appearances and disappearances—along with our age-old fear of the dark.
Dead in Venice by Fiona Leitch
Bella Tyson is a famous 40-something crime writer suffering from writer’s block ever since a bitter divorce two years before. When a fan offers her the use of an apartment in Venice, Bella jumps at it, hoping a change of scene will have her writing again. Once there, she soon meets Will, a charming Englishman, who shows her around the city.
Enchanted by both Will and her new surroundings, Bella decides to write a supernatural murder mystery and begins researching local legends and the city’s more sinister side, including an illicit visit to the island of Poveglia, spooky former home of Venice’s asylum. Soon Bella uncovers more than she has bargained for and finds herself enmeshed in a series of gruesome real-life murders that uncannily mirror the legends she is researching.
As she and Will join forces to investigate, real life and local lore merge disconcertingly – for nothing in Venice turns out to be what seems, including Will….
A Tale of a Rough Diamond by PJ Mann
Not all that glitters is diamond; sometimes it is only glass. But even its sharp edges will never hurt you like family.
Stephan is living a life every teenager would envy. Son of a wealthy businessman, he lives carefree and carelessly. However, nothing is as it seems, and his perfect life is doomed; it has been since before he was even born. Days thrill-seeking, nights lock-picking; it’s all just about to fall apart.
His older brother has uncovered a secret. For all their years together, Roger has envied Stephan’s life, his success, the attention he has from their father, but now Roger can wait no longer; this is the moment, the moment he can hurt Stephan the most, when he can turn Stephan’s choices against him, tear apart everything he cherishes, and steal away his future.
With secrecy and the resources of the Russian Mafia on his side, the older Mills brother effortlessly brings Stephan’s world down around him, a single tip-off to the police burying him under the ruins of his former life.
After a year behind bars, Stephan seems to have no hope, no future. Cut off even from the rest of his family, can he reclaim his life and freedom, or will he sink still lower? Will his years of petty crime damn him, or will they be enough to help him fight back?
And will he have to do it alone?
The Case of the Missing Bride by Carmen Radtke
When a girl goes missing on board of an ocean liner, only one person is convinced that the disappearance is no accident.
Alyssa has found herself with a group of impoverished girls who are embarking from Australia to Canada in the hope of marriage. As the daughter of a senior official, Alyssa doesn’t share this goal. She hopes to return to England via Canada.
But the girls all share one problem. Their presence on the ship is not known to many of its passengers but their worlds collide when one of the gentlemen discovers them. Then Emma, one of the intended brides, goes missing. Alyssa is convinced the disappearance is no accident and will risk her own life to search for the killer.
What happened to Emma? Is there a murderer on board the ship?
Alyssa is about to discover that there is more to her voyage than she bargained for.