The books Southern indie booksellers are recommending to readers everywhere!

Gothic

Leech by Hiron Ennes

The narrator of this scalpel-sharp and intoxicatingly gross debut is a parasite who is about to meet its match in the battle for control over the human heart, mind, and body. Fans of gothic lit, haunted mansions in ill repair, and biological or medical horror, eat your optic nerve—I mean, your heart—out! I generally don’t consider myself a fan of the above actually, but the incredibly unique narrator, the excellent and atmospheric world-building, and the both chillingly creepy and chillingly cold setting really hooked me. Highly recommended for fans of Silvia Moreno-Garcia’s Mexican Gothic and T. Kingfisher’s What Moves the Dead!

Leech by Hiron Ennes, (List Price: $27.99, Tordotcom, 9781250811189, September 2022)

Reviewed by Megan Bell, Underground Books in Carrollton, Georgia

Motherthing by Ainslie Hogarth

Someone once told me that laughter is the human response to what makes them uncomfortable. This story is like Shirley Jackson and Christopher Moore had a book baby and Motherthing was the result. Ralph and Abby Lamb move in with his mentally ill mother as caretakers. Abby thinks this is her chance to win over her mother in law. She’s wrong. Dead wrong. The story telling in this book is brilliantly funny at times and deeply disturbing at others. Mark Abrams cover art drew me in but Ainslie Hogarth’s ability to make me cringe and laugh at the same time kept me reading.

Motherthing by Ainslie Hogarth, (List Price: $17, Vintage, 9780593467022, September 2022)

Reviewed by Suzanne Carnes, Underground Books in Carrollton, Georgia

The Hollow Kind by Andy Davidson

You want to read this one. Scary, creepy, a page-turner. Very well written. A family curse. Something in the woods. And something in the house. Read it for Halloween. Read it at the beach. Read this anytime, it is so good. And keep the lights on. Two thumbs up.

The Hollow Kind by Andy Davidson, (List Price: $28, MCD, 9780374538569, October 2022)

Reviewed by Mary Patterson, The Little Bookshop in Midlothian, Virginia

The Hacienda by Isabel Cañas

Ah southern gothic, my dearest friend, you’ve done it again. Isabel Cañas has joined hands with the spookiest of ghosts and written a tale of romance, mystery, and horror that would have even the stoutest individual shaking in their boots, wondering who would survive, if any at all. I loved every single second of The Hacienda, and am remiss that it ever ended, considering how desperately the author makes you crave more. This book is absolutely perfect for fans of Crimson Peak and Mexican Gothic, but most importantly, it’s perfect for the adults who were once teens in love with the supernatural romances of the ’00s and early ’10s.

The Hacienda by Isabel Cañas, (List Price: $27, Berkley, 9780593436691,  May 2022)

Reviewed by Caitlyn Vanorder, Bookmarks in Winston-Salem, North Carolina

The Ravenous Dead by Darcy Coates

This next instalment of the Gravekeeper Series hasn’t even come out yet, and yet I’m already itching to read the next part of Kiera’s story. This series is the most unexpectedly delightful combination of spooky, action packed, and heartwarming slice of life all wrapped up in a mystery. I find myself falling in love with all of the characters, from the kindly pastor Adage, to the cheery “not a doctor” Mason. However I adore most of all our main character and amnesia ridden ghost whisperer Kiera. I adore this series and cannot wait for the next one!

The Ravenous Dead by Darcy Coates, (List Price: $14.99, Poisoned Pen Press, 9781728239224,  March 2022)

Reviewed by Ana Staff, Foggy Pine Books in Boone, North Carolina

Plain Bad Heroines by Emily M. Danforth, Sara Lautman (Illus.)

A fun, spooky gothic horror that spans years and so, so many lesbians. You’ll always flinch at yellow jackets after this read.

Plain Bad Heroines by Emily M. Danforth, Sara Lautman (Illus.) (List Price: $27.99, William Morrow, 9780062942852, 10/20/2020)

Reviewed by Jenny Luper, Page 158 Books in Wake Forest, NC

The Woman in the Mirror by Rebecca James

A haunted manor, star crossed lovers, a good guy to save the day – what more could you ask for in a wonderfully creepy gothic thriller set in the 1940s and in modern day? How about a really great surprise ending?

The Woman in the Mirror by Rebecca James (List price: $26.99, Minotaur Books), recommended by Fiction Addiction, Greenville, SC.

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