Hard-Boiled Horror for Halloween

Horror and mystery – they’re just two sides of the same tarnished, dented coin. Ever since Edgar Allen Poe first brought together Gothic horror and tales of criminality, thus creating the modern detective story, horror and crime fiction have gone together like low-grade peanut butter with seedy jelly sold by a grinning vendor with far too many teeth. To celebrate the complimentary nature of these two genres, here are a few spooky suggestions to help us survive the long Halloween night. Stay inside reading these, and you just might make it till morning…

Scott’s Top Supernatural Thrillers

Falling Angel
by William Hjortsberg

Harry Angel, a postwar New York private eye, works the case of a missing crooner Johnny Favorite. The trail leads to voodoo, devil worship, and Satan himself. Told in a hard-boiled style, this is one of the first examples of blending both genres, with one of the best reveals in either.

The Charlie Parker Series by John Connolly

One of the best authors combining the two genres. Parker is an ex-cop turned detective after the brutal murder of his wife and child, drawn to the darkest of cases, many with strange goings on. He also may be the incarnation of a fallen angel. Connolly blends the supernatural in a lowkey manner with the detective novel to look at the nature of evil and its many forms.

Fatale by Ed Brubraker and Sean Phillips

A great comic book run (collected in 5 volumes) melding the iconic femme fatale to the Cthulhu mythos and making her a tragic figure. Dense and involving with art and writing that compliment each other.

Molly’s Top Crime Fiction of the Uncanny


Shadows Over Baker Street ed. by Michael Reaves and John Pelan

This anthology features encounters between Sherlock Holmes, a man dedicated to logic, and aspects of the Cthulu-verse, all of which defy logic. How does a man solve a crime with deduction when faced with unspeakable horrors that disregard all natural law? I guess you’ll have to read Shadows over Baker Street to find out. The first story in the volume, by Neil Gaiman, is particularly mind-blowing.

The Joe Pitt Casebooks by Charlie Huston

Huston’s five volumes of bloody, supernatural fun are all well-worth reading, although I must admit, the first two in the series, Already Dead and Every Last Drop, are my favorites to re-read. Follow vampire Joe Pitt as he makes his way through the supernatural city’s various internecine conflicts, navigating a complex map of undead New York City that is full of playful nods to the city’s living inhabitants and their political disputes. Where else can you read a scene where one anarchist vampire hugs another anarchist vampire to death for betraying the revolution?

Warlock Holmes: A Study in Brimstone by G.S. Denning

I’ve always enjoyed Sherlock Holmes’ cold, hard logic and near-magical ability to read people, so I was quite excited to get a copy of G. S. Denning’s new tongue-in-cheek take on the detective’s skills. Warlock Holmes, in G. S. Denning’s Lovecraftian send-off of the Great Detective, uses actual magic to read people, and disguises his supernatural abilities by pretending to gain information from people’s physical appearance, rather than their minds. A second in the series, Warlock Holmes: The Hell-Hound of the Baskervilles, comes out in May 2017.

You can find copies of  the above listed volumes on our shelves, via bookpeople.com, or by special order in-store. 


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