Cozy reads for winter nights

By ‘cozy,’ I mean unsettling, unnerving and freaky. Okay, so it’s not technically winter yet, and these books don’t have a winter theme, but they are scarier than what I usually recommend here. They’re also damn good and will hold your attention if you need a solid distraction from the cold.

1. The Wolves of Willoughby Chase, by Joan Aiken. Looks like it’s for and was marketed to teenagers, but this engrossing tale of persecuted youngsters is not for kids.

2. Stephen King’s Full Dark, No Stars. This is the collection so scary it once put me off horror fiction for six months. Not for the faint of heart, or stomach. Novella length stories with bleak plots and bleaker endings. Sort of like the anti-Different Seasons. You have been warned.

3. Haunted Legends, edited by Ellen Datlow. A book of short stories consisting of retellings of classic folk tales (the Jersey Devil, Sleepy Hollow, La Lorna, you get the idea.) Notable for the extremely high quality of the fiction therein (though, really, I would expect nothing less from a Datlow anthology.)

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