September 11, 2008
When Books (and Food) Turn Spooky
It's hard not to think of Halloween with the stores already filled with pumpkins, skeletons and eyeball-decorated goodies.
There's something fun about dreaming up new foods that are on the gory side. But although I got a big laugh out of the bag of Body Parts Gummies I spotted in the grocery store, I usually leave my horrible recipes to my miniature projects.
But if you prefer your real-life food on the weird side, how about some Kitty Litter Cake? Funny! (I have a miniature one, albeit non-edible)!)
Given a choice, I think I'd rather have a slice of this tamer Goofy Spooks Cake with its ghosts, crawlies and what-not. Don't forget to wash it down with one of the many creepy cocktails listed here. (Wormy ice cube anyone?)
Besides eating holiday related foods (don't forget the candy corn and candy pumpkins at Halloween, gingerbread cookies and fruit cake at Christmas), I usually try to find a holiday mystery or two to read.
Even though I get a kick out of Halloween, I never really read any Halloween stories beyond the classics like Edgar Allen Poe, Dracula (cool - read it online!), or something from Stephen King.
This year, I plan to change that by specifically looking for some Halloween mysteries. So grab an eyeball cupcake, turn the lights low and join me with a few of these suggestions:
* A Catered Halloween, Isis Crawford (Kensington Sept. 2008) - who can resist a book with a severed head rolling down the stairs?
I wanted to try one of the books in the Haunted Bookshop Mysteries featuring a ghostly 1940s detective. * The Ghost and the Femme Fatale(Berkley May 2008). Who can resist a noirish ghost?
I admit to being hooked on Nancy Drew (and the Hardy Boys) as a kid. (I loved the recent Nancy Drew movie!) Well, some readers claim Judy Bolton was better. I don't remember reading her books, but they're reissuing the series. * The Haunted Attic (Applewood Books, Aug. 2008) looks like a good place to start with Judy moving into a haunted house and trying to solve the mystery of the ghost in the attic.
You can't go wrong with spooky hotels, dark waterways, moving corpses, ghosts and Venice in Wilkie Collins' * The Haunted Hotel and Other Stories (Wordsworth, June 2006)
** Your Turn: Have any favorite Halloween mysteries or spooky stories you recommend? What are your favorites?