The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides


The Silent Patient, Alex Michaelides, 2019 My favorite quote: “…we often mistake love for fireworks – for drama and dysfunction. But real love is very quiet, very still. It’s boring, if seen from the perspective of high drama. Love is deep and calm – and constant.” Notable characters: Alicia Berenson, a famous painter who shootsContinue reading “The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides”

Affinity by Sarah Waters


Affinity, Sarah Waters,  1999 My favorite quote: “Your twisting is done–you have the last thread of my heart. I wonder: when the thread grows slack, will you feel it?” Notable characters: Margaret Prior, a woman recovering from a suicide attempt; Selina Dawes, a mysterious spiritualist imprisoned for a seance-gone-wrong which left one woman dead anotherContinue reading “Affinity by Sarah Waters”

Die a Little by Megan Abbott


Die a Little, Megan Abbot,  2005 My favorite quote: “The hardest thing in this world is finding out what you’re capable of.” Notable characters: Lora King, a schoolteacher; Bill King, her brother, a junior investigator with the DA’s office; Alice Steele, a Hollywood wardrobe assistant with a sketchy past … and Bill’s new wife MostContinue reading “Die a Little by Megan Abbott”

Great Expectations by Charles Dickens


Great Expectations, Charles Dickens, 1861 My favorite quote: “I am what you designed me to be. I am your blade. You cannot now complain if you also feel the hurt.” Notable characters: Pip, an orphan who dreams of one becoming a gentleman; Mrs. Joe, his hot-tempered older sister; Joe, her husband; Miss Havisham, a wealthyContinue reading “Great Expectations by Charles Dickens”

Red Harvest by Patrick C. Greene


Red Harvest, Patrick C. Greene, 2018 My favorite quote: “‘For, you see, come Halloween, Ember Hollow becomes Haunted Hollow, Halloween Capital of the World.’” That, or, “‘What is this? The Waltons? I thought men were supposed to go all corpsy after sex.’” Notable characters: Stuart Barcroft, an Ember Hollow Junior High School student; Candace Galeens,Continue reading “Red Harvest by Patrick C. Greene”

The Obsession by Nora Roberts


The Obsession, Nora Roberts, 2016 My favorite quote: “You put something behind you, Nome, it’s got its eye on your back. I’d rather keep it in front of me, so I can see where it’s going.” Notable characters: Naomi Bowes/Carson, a photographer and daughter of a serial killer; Xander Keaton, the Nora-Roberts-style sexy car-mechanic-love-interest whoContinue reading “The Obsession by Nora Roberts”

The Blackstone Chronicles by John Saul


The Blackstone Chronicles, John Saul, 1997 My favorite quote: “The dark figure cradled the doll, gazing into its porcelain face in the moonlight, stroking its long blond hair, remembering how it had come to be here.” Notable characters: The truth is, they’re all notable. Seriously. This is some of the best work Saul has everContinue reading “The Blackstone Chronicles by John Saul”

Blackmailed by Annamarie McKenna


Blackmailed, Annamarie McKenna, 2006 My favorite quote: “‘No sane man would whore his daughter for the sake of an heir.’” Spoiler alert: He does  Notable characters: Brianna Wyatt, a virgin who’s blackmailed into reproducing with an obscenely rich sex god; Cole Masters, the obscenely rich sex god; Tyler Cannon, his friend with whom he sharesContinue reading “Blackmailed by Annamarie McKenna”

Icebound by Dean Koontz


Icebound, Dean Koontz, 1976, 1995 My favorite quote: “Politics was an illusion of service that cloaked the corruption of power. It was lies, deceptions, self-interest, and self-aggrandizement: suitable work only for the mad and the venal and the naïve.” Also, “In the end, no lamb could escape the slaughter.” Notable characters: Harry Carpenter, a scientist;Continue reading “Icebound by Dean Koontz”

Gilded Needles by Michael McDowell


Gilded Needles, Michael McDowell, 1980 My favorite quote: “You are falling into inanity,” said Judge Stallworth coldly. “I have told you, the lower classes do not take revenge upon the upper.” (P.S. – like hell, they don’t) Notable characters: Black Lena Shanks; the family matriarch who heads a group of female criminals; Judge James Stallworth,Continue reading “Gilded Needles by Michael McDowell”

In God We Trust, All Others Pay Cash


In God We Trust: All Others Pay Cash, Jean Shepherd, 1966 My favorite quote: “Heat, in Indiana, is something else again. It descends like a 300-pound fat lady onto a picnic bench in the middle of July. It can literally be sliced into chunks and stored away in the basement to use in winter; onContinue reading “In God We Trust, All Others Pay Cash”

Skipping Christmas by John Grisham


Skipping Christmas, John Grisham, 2001 My favorite quote: “Why do we eat so much and drink so much in the celebration of the birth of Christ?” Notable characters: Luther and Nora Krank, a couple who want to break tradition; Vic Frohmeyer, the neighbor who won’t let them Most memorable scene: Luther, trying to get hisContinue reading “Skipping Christmas by John Grisham”

8 More Days For Your Free Book!


The Christmas edition of the Purple Probe is on its way! And if you sign up before December 31st, you’ll get a free ebook copy of our gothic thriller, The Ghosts of Ravencrest! In our free monthly newsletter, The Purple Probe, you’ll get character interviews, behind-the-scenes tell-alls, a gossip column that sheds light on the darkestContinue reading “8 More Days For Your Free Book!”

SEX: A Man’s Guide by Stefan Bechtel


Sex: A Man’s Guide, Stefan Bechtel, Laurence Roy Stains (tee, hee, hee — Stains), 1996 My favorite quote: “Some ancient philosophers thought that semen’s grayish froth was a little bit of the gray matter between our ears — and, therefore, not something to be indiscriminately spent.” Umm .. gray? I don’t know whose you’re lookingContinue reading “SEX: A Man’s Guide by Stefan Bechtel”

The Unloved by John Saul


The Unloved, John Saul, 1988 My favorite quote: “He pitched forward, his vision going black as he died. The last thing he saw was the scarlet gash of Marguerite’s mouth, twisted into a vicious parody of a victorious smile.” Notable characters: The Devereaux family, Kevin and Anne, and their children Jeff and Julie; Helena, Kevin’sContinue reading “The Unloved by John Saul”

Silent Night by Mary Higgins Clark


Silent Night, Mary Higgins Clark, 2000 My favorite quote: “God rest you merry gentlemen let nothing you dismay.” While this is obviously not the intellectual property of Ms. Higgins Clark, it’s the best collection of words in this book Notable characters: I don’t know that I’d call any of them “notable,” but the main charactersContinue reading “Silent Night by Mary Higgins Clark”

Bunnicula Meets Edgar Allan Crow by James Howe


Bunnicula Meets Edgar Allan Crow, James Howe, 2006 My favorite quote: “Did you ever find yourself doing something that, even while you’re doing it, you’re asking yourself, “How did I get myself into this? Have I lost my mind?” Well this was one of those moments.” Notable characters: Harold, the canine author; Chester, the paranoidContinue reading “Bunnicula Meets Edgar Allan Crow by James Howe”

Get Probed This Christmas!


The Christmas edition of the Purple Probe is on its way! And if you sign up before December 31st, you’ll get a free ebook copy of our gothic thriller, The Ghosts of Ravencrest! In our free monthly newsletter, The Purple Probe, you’ll get character interviews, behind-the-scenes tell-alls, a gossip column that sheds light on theContinue reading “Get Probed This Christmas!”

The Laughing Corpse by Laurell K. Hamilton


The Laughing Corpse, Laurell K. Hamilton, 1994 My favorite quote: “People say I’m a feminist, but in truth, I am an equalist. I believe that everyone, male and female, should be free to be whom and what they are. Not to fit into some tight cultural box.” Oh, and also, “Hope is a lying bitch.”Continue reading “The Laughing Corpse by Laurell K. Hamilton”

Discover Ravencrest Manor … FREE Now!


From now until December 31st, you’ll get one free ebook copy of our paranormal thriller, The Ghosts of Ravencrest, by subscribing to our free monthly newsletter, The Purple Probe. In The Purple Probe, you’ll get character interviews, behind-the-scenes tell-alls, a gossip column that sheds light on the darkest monsters in the Thorne & Cross Universe,Continue reading “Discover Ravencrest Manor … FREE Now!”

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens


A Christmas Carol, Charles Dickens, 1843 My favorite quote: The opening line: “Marley was dead, to begin with.” What a great way to start  Notable characters: Ebenezer Scrooge, a heartless miser who finds redemption Most memorable scene: My favorite scenes have always been those early moments when the spookiness is just beginning to take shape.Continue reading “A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens”

Dividend on Death by Brett Halliday


Dividend on Death, Brett Halliday, 1939 My favorite quote: “After carefully spreading the damp gown on the toasting tray, he closed the oven door and left it to dry, reflecting on the convenience of being able to destroy evidence while you prepared breakfast.” Notable characters: Mike Shayne, the PI; Phyllis Brighton, the damsel in distressContinue reading “Dividend on Death by Brett Halliday”

Guardian by John Saul


Guardian, John Saul, 1993 My favorite quote: “Suddenly MaryAnne Carpenter had an uneasy feeling that there was a dark facet to Joey Wilkenson’s personality that she knew nothing about. A darkness she was just beginning to see.” Notable characters: Joey Wilkenson, a boy with special abilities; MaryAnne Carpenter, Joey’s godmother; Alison and Logan Carpenter, hisContinue reading “Guardian by John Saul”

Bacchanal by Veronica G. Henry


Bacchanal, Veronica G. Henry, 2021 My favorite quote: “When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.”  Notable characters: Eliza (Liza) Meeks, the new recruit; Clay, the talent scout; Jamey, his assistant Most memorable scene: There are a few that stand out, but my heart will always belongContinue reading “Bacchanal by Veronica G. Henry”

Live and Let Die by Ian Fleming


Live and Let Die, Ian Fleming, 1954 My favorite quote: “The gain to the winner is always less than the loss to the loser.” Notable characters: James Bond, agent 007; Felix Leiter, Bond’s friend in the CIA; Mr. Big, the Voodoo Baron of Death; Solitaire, Mr. Big’s fortune-telling employee Most memorable scene: The note pinnedContinue reading “Live and Let Die by Ian Fleming”

The Servants of Twilight by Dean Koontz


The Servants of Twilight, Dean Koontz, 1984 My favorite quote: “It began in sunshine, not on a dark and stormy night.” (Best opening line ever, IMO) Notable characters: Chrsitine Scavello, the single mom; Joey, her son; Charlie Harrison, the PI; Grace Spivey, the leader of the religious cult for which the book is named; KyleContinue reading “The Servants of Twilight by Dean Koontz”

A is for Alibi by Sue Grafton


A is for Alibi, Sue Grafton, 1982 My favorite quote: “Except for cases that clearly involve a homicidal maniac, the police like to believe murders are committed by those we know and love, and most of the time they’re right – a chilling thought when you sit down to dinner with a family of five.Continue reading “A is for Alibi by Sue Grafton”

The Turn of the Screw by Henry James


The Turn of the Screw, Henry James, 1898 My favorite quote: “I seemed to float not into clearness, but into a darker obscure, and within a minute there had come to me out of my very pity the appalling alarm of his perhaps being innocent. It was for the instant confounding and bottomless, for ifContinue reading “The Turn of the Screw by Henry James”

The High Window by Raymond Chandler


The High Window, Raymond Chandler, 1942 My favorite quote: “The moonlight was cold and clear, like the justice we dream of but don’t find.” Notable characters: Philip Marlowe, the world’s favorite wise-cracking PI; Elizabeth Bright Murdock, the wealthy widow who hires him to locate a very valuable missing coin; Leslie Murdock, her irritating negative-Nelly sonContinue reading “The High Window by Raymond Chandler”

Dark Lover by J.R. Ward


Dark Lover (book 1 in the Black Dagger Brotherhood), J.R. Ward, 2005 My favorite quote: “Whoa. Fangs. She had fangs. She leaned in, prodded them a little. Eating with those puppies was going to take some getting used to, she thought. On impulse, she brought up her hands, turned her fingers into claws. Hissed. Cool.”Continue reading “Dark Lover by J.R. Ward”

The Throwaway Girls of Olympia by Ian Totten


The Throwaway Girls of Olympia, Ian Totten, 2020 My favorite quote: “In the last month, two young women, both brunettes, have been tossed to the side of the road in Olympia, both dead from apparent strangulation.” Notable characters: Alan O’Tool, the haunted small-town sheriff; Darcy, his not-very-likable ex-wife; James, his son; Amy, his deceased daughterContinue reading “The Throwaway Girls of Olympia by Ian Totten”

Bunnicula Strikes Again! by James Howe


Bunnicula Strikes Again, James Howe, 1999 My favorite quote: “Some of my readers have written expressing their concern about the potentially detrimental effects of chocolate on dogs, to which I can only say that while it is true some dogs have been known to become ill from eating chocolate, others have not. Luckily, I fallContinue reading “Bunnicula Strikes Again! by James Howe”

The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson


The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Robert Louis Stevenson, 1886 My favorite quote: “With every day, and from both sides of my intelligence, the moral and the intellectual, I thus drew steadily nearer to the truth, by whose partial discovery I have been doomed to such a dreadful shipwreck: that man isContinue reading “The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson”

The Bad Seed by William March


The Bad Seed, William March, 1954 My favorite quote: “She will destroy us all. I did not escape, either. She will destroy us all, in time.” Notable characters: Rhoda Penrose, the bad seed; Christine Penmark, her long-suffering mother; Leroy Jessup, the warped maintenance man who recognizes (and relates to) the evil that dwells in  littleContinue reading “The Bad Seed by William March”

Lock Every Door by Riley Sager


Lock Every Door, Riley Sager, 2019 My favorite quote: “Never take anything you haven’t earned, my father used to say. You always end up paying for it one way or another.” Notable characters: Jules Larsen, the apartment-sitter; Nick, another resident Most memorable scene: The fire Greatest strengths: The character motivation. I think most people wouldContinue reading “Lock Every Door by Riley Sager”

Horror Classics with Thorne & Cross: A Christmas Carol


Tamara Thorne and I are honored to be part of new series called Horror Classics with Thorne & Cross where we introduce and give our thoughts on various horror stories through history. We’re starting off in time for the holidays with Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. Here, along with the classic tale itself, we talk aboutContinue reading “Horror Classics with Thorne & Cross: A Christmas Carol”

Craven Manor by Darcy Coates


Craven Manor, Darcy Coates, 2017 My favorite quote: “For the few brief days he’d worked at Craven Manor he felt as if he’d escaped into a better life. His work mattered … even if it was just to a ghost and a man made of shadows.” Notable characters: Daniel, the new caretaker; Bran, his not-quite-normalContinue reading “Craven Manor by Darcy Coates”

The Silent Companion by Laura Purcell


The Silent Companions, Laura Purcell, 2017 My favorite quote: “Sometimes, the brain cannot cope with the information it has to process. It makes sense of trauma in odd ways.” Notable characters: Elsie Bainbridge, co-manager of a factory; Rupert, her recently (and mysteriously) deceased husband; Sarah, Rupert’s unusual cousin Most memorable scene: When the locked doorContinue reading “The Silent Companion by Laura Purcell”

Return to Howliday Inn by James Howe


Return to Howliday Inn, James Howe, 1992 My favorite quote: “‘My fate is a mirror in which to see / One will look in and end like me.’” Notable characters: Harold, our narrator; Chester (also known here as Cute Whiskers, his friend; Howie, their young companion; Felony and Miss Demeanor, two cat burglars; Bob andContinue reading “Return to Howliday Inn by James Howe”

Psstt. Want a Free Book?


From now until December 31st, you’ll get one free ebook copy of our paranormal thriller, The Ghosts of Ravencrest, by subscribing to our monthly newsletter, The Purple Probe. In The Purple Probe, you’ll get character interviews, behind-the-scenes tell-alls, a gossip column that sheds light on the darkest monsters in the Thorne & Cross Universe, andContinue reading “Psstt. Want a Free Book?”

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte


Jane Eyre, Charlotte Bronte, 1847 My favorite quote: “If all the world hated you and believed you wicked, while your own conscience approved of you and absolved you from guilt, you would not be without friends.” Notable characters: Jane Eyre, governess turned wife; Mr. Rochester, the master of Thornfield Hall Most memorable scene: The discoveryContinue reading “Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte”

Dolores Claiborne by Stephen King


Dolores Claiborne, Stephen King, 1992 My favorite quote: “An accident is sometimes an unhappy woman’s best friend.” Notable characters: Dolores Claiborne, a housekeeper who’s had enough; Joe St. George, her husband, with whom she’s had enough; Vera Donovan, the woman who employs Dolores … and lets her know that sometimes, it’s okay to have hadContinue reading “Dolores Claiborne by Stephen King”

Nighty-Nightmare by James Howe


Nighty-Nightmare, James Howe, 1987 My favorite quote: “‘In the woods it’s always dark,’ he said. ‘In the forest of the soul it’s always night.’” Notable characters: Harold, our canine narrator; Chester, his feline friend; Howie, the young punster, the Monroes, their oblivious human family; Bud, Spud, and Dawg, their mysterious camping companions Most memorable scene:Continue reading “Nighty-Nightmare by James Howe”

Shattered by Dean Koontz


Shattered, Dean Koontz, 1973 (originally published under the pseudonym K.R. Dwyer My favorite quote: “The things we regret most in life are the things we don’t do.” Notable characters: Alex Doyle, the new groom; Courtney, his bride; Colin, her little brother Most memorable scene: The ax attack (even though they really, really should have reportedContinue reading “Shattered by Dean Koontz”

Endless Night by Agatha Christie


Endless Night, Agatha Christie, 1967 My favorite quote: “‘Nobody shall drive us away,’ I said. ‘We’re going to be happy here.’ We said it like a challenge to fate.” Notable characters: Michael Rogers, a young man who can’t quite figure out what he wants to do with his life; Fenella Goodman, a business-smart heiress; GretaContinue reading “Endless Night by Agatha Christie”

The Rats by James Herbert


The Rats, James Herbert, 1974 My favorite quote: “Harris smiled thinly at him. ‘Are there any safe places around here anymore?’” Notable characters: Harris, an art teacher; Mr. Foskins, the Minister of Health; Stephen Howard, a researcher; Ferris, an exterminator Most memorable scene: Karen Blakely and her baby. Yikes. That’s all I’m gonna say aboutContinue reading “The Rats by James Herbert”

Darkness by John Saul


Darkness, John Saul, 1991 My favorite quote: “Tonight, she was certain, she was finally going to find out who she was, and why she had always known she was different from anyone else.” Notable characters: Kelly Anderson, a teenage outcast in a new town; Michael Sheffield, her new friend; Amelie Coulton, a swamp dweller; TheContinue reading “Darkness by John Saul”

Moonfall by Tamara Thorne


Moonfall, Tamara Thorne, 1996 My favorite quote: “Midnight. A dark, moonless shroud of midnight that closed in around Minerva Payne, starving her lungs, chilling her soul with its blackness.” Notable characters: Sara Hawthorne, a woman returning home; Minerva Payne, a mysterious local with mysterious abilities; St. Gertrude’s, aka, St. Gruesome’s, a girl’s school run byContinue reading “Moonfall by Tamara Thorne”

The Howling by Gary Brandner


The Howling, Gary Brandner, 1977 My favorite quote: “A few minutes later he was very glad that she was asleep. Because in sleep she could not hear what he heard off somewhere in the night. The howling.” Notable characters: Karyn and Roy Beatty, a young couple looking for a new start; Chris Halloran, Roy’s BFF;Continue reading “The Howling by Gary Brandner”