Halloween is a time for ghost stories and other scary things in the moonless dark shadows of the night, right?
The holiday lends itself well to the mystery genre as well and with that in mind here are eight of my favorite mysteries set in or near Halloween (or that were just plain spooky enough that I included them) in no particular order.
1. Tricks and Treats edited by Joe Gores & Bill Pronzini. Thirty stories written by masters of the mystery field ranging from locked rooms to psychological mysteries,many with “trick” endings.
2. The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson. A classic haunted house tale as four people gather to investigate the phenomenon in Hill House. Who will survive?
3. Tricks: an 87th Precinct Mystery by Ed McBain. The squad of the 87th Precinct investigate a slew of crimes from a liquor store hold up to murder on this day of hijinks.
4. Mystery for Halloween edited by Donald Westlake. The thirteen tales in this anthology serve up a bloody blend of fright night mayhem.
5. Hallowe’en Party by Agatha Christie. A Halloween party turns deadly and the guests turn to Hercule Poirot to unmask the killer.
6. Boy’s Life by Robert R. McCammon. In the pre-dawn hours, a car shoots across the road in front of twelve-year-old Cory Mackenson and his father and plunges into a lake. Handcuffed to the steering wheel: a nude, strangled corpse.
7. Ghost Story by Peter Straub. An event from their childhood returns to haunt four aging men, who meet regularly to swap ghost stories.
8. The Halloween Man by Douglas Clegg. A young boy kidnapped from cultists and a quiet New England town with a lot of secrets. What mysteries will unfold?