Don’t let these novels’ floral covers deceive you; they are full of dark secrets and gothic-infused suspense. If you’re looking for some horror-adjacent atmospheric stories, look no further than this week’s Three to Read sporting an exploration of fairy tales with a sinister twist, a killer psychological thriller, and a new Southern Gothic classic. Who said spring reading can’t have a dark side?
The Last Tale of the Flower Bride
by Roshani Chokshi
Wrapped in a dreamy and darkly romantic atmosphere, this surreal story follows Indigo Maxwell-Casteñada through the eyes of her bridegroom and a childhood friend. When forced to return to Indigo’s childhood home, the House of Dreams, to visit her dying aunt, new obstacles emerge as her carefully concealed secrets come to light. After, her husband starts to second guess their supposed happily ever after, forced to choose between fantasy and reality no matter how high the cost.
This gothic story interweaves spellbinding fairytales and myths to create one wholly evocative narrative meditating on broken promises. Chokshi’s prose absolutely shines in her first adult novel debut which whimsically explores “the moment when beauty turns to horror.” No doubt, this is a read to savor from start to finish.
Coffee Shop Read
Such Pretty Flowers
by K.L. Cerra
After her brother was found dead of a supposedly self-inflicted wound in his fiancee’s lavish townhouse, Holly hasn’t been able to shake her suspicions. Determined to unveil the truth, she begins stalking her brother’s fiancee (and prime suspect), Maura. She’s an enigmatic florist with an affinity for carnivorous plants and lots of high-society connections. Of course, the one thing Holly hadn’t expected on her quest for answers is starting to fall for Maura herself.
Author K.L. Cerra looks to explore the dark side of relationships through a psychological suspense plot with a unique twist. If you want something equal parts gorgeous and gruesome, this new thriller set in Savannah, Georgia, is a roller coaster ride that will have you reeling. If “flower horror” is the new it-genre, this debut is its poster child.
A House with Good Bones
by T. Kingfisher
Sam arrives for a rare, extended visit with her mother at the family home in North Carolina home. She’s been living alone, and her brother warns her that something is off. Upon arrival, Sam quickly notes that all the warmth and charm of the house is gone. The walls are all painted a clinical white. Vultures are circling the garden. Mom is jumpy and undeniably frightened. Of what? That’s what Sam is determined to find out.
T. Kingfisher, a true master of modern horror, captures audiences once again with a haunted house tale that is both laugh-out-loud hilarious and bone-chilling at the same time. Deftly balancing styles in one fresh and unforgettable arc, A House with Good Bones provides an imaginative spin on buried secrets lurking beneath an ordinary veneer.
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