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Six spooky reads for Halloween

Staying in with a good book this week? Make it a spooky one - we asked Sara Bowers from Muddy's Best Bookshop in Sussex for her recommendations for Halloween reads for adults and children;

Pic: Alex Geerts/Unsplash

As the nights draw in its the perfect time to settle down with a great book. We asked the experts at the Steyning Bookshop for their picks for the spooky season;

The Tale of the Tailor and the Three Dead Kings by Dan Jones, £9.99

This new chilling medieval ghost story, retold by bestselling historian and expert on the Crusades, Dan Jones is now in a beautiful small-format hardback. First recorded in the 15th Century by an unknown monk, this atmospheric tale was translated by MR James, the famous writer of ghost stories in the 1920’s, and is now beautifully rewritten by one of our most interesting contemporary historians. Perfect as a Halloween read or Christmas gift.

The Stranger Diaries by Elly Griffiths, £8.99

A satisfying read from the bestselling crime writer. Single mum and teacher Clare is writing a biography of the Gothic storyteller RH Holland. Unnervingly, a murder discovered in Clare’s old and rambling Sussex school resembles one in Holland’s novella ‘The Stranger’, then mysterious entries appear in her journal and more bodies are found. Even Clare’s cottage feels unsafe as close by a deserted cement works has unexplained lights flashing at night. Can her other colleagues be trusted and, importantly, will the dog be OK? An entertaining mix of gothic horror, psychological suspense, and police procedure.

Dark Matter by Michelle Paver, £8.99

Michelle is much admired for her atmospheric children’s fantasy series, The Chronicles of Ancient Darkness, set in the Stone Age. Dark Matter, possibly her most well known adult novel, is set in 1937 in the Arctic. As the midnight sun gives way to autumn, and then to the endless dark of the polar night, a series of mishaps means that wireless operator Jack finds himself manning the base camp alone. And by now he has discovered that this isolated bay is not uninhabited. Something walks there, on the black beach among the bones… Spine-tinglingly wonderful.

For children

What’s in The Witch’s Kitchen? Nick Sharratt, £8.99

There’s a trick or a treat in each cupboard in the witch’s kitchen. Ingenious paper engineering, clever rhymes and a pop out surprise at the end make this book a delight to read to little ones – again, and again, and, oh dear, such strong magic, again!!

Supertato Night of the Living Veg, Sue Hendra and Paul Linnet, £6.99

This hilariously quirky pair have produced yet another instalment in their tales of plucky Supertato and the good and evil vegetables that join his adventures. This time it’s Halloween, and the veggies are quaking as spooky goings-on happen in the supermarket. Will Supertato save them?

Weird But True Halloween, 300 Spooky Facts to Scare You Silly National Geographic, £6.99

A great little compendium of facts about everything Halloween. Excellent for children who want to amaze their friends with weird ghoulish trivia. All true, all surprising!

Books recommended by the Steyning Bookshop.

Get in touch for Xmas ideas and signed books by Julia Donaldson who lives in the town.

Julia Donaldson, who lives in Steyning

Find more ideas here

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