What We've Been Reading
Book Reviews,  Reading Recommendations

What We’re Reading #72

We are excited to share three recent reads with you today. We feature a gothic horror novel, a novella about a woman with horrifying secrets, and a story where an urban legend comes to life!

We hope you find your new favorite book and don’t forget to click either tag above to find more good books ♥


Mexican Gothic

Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

After receiving a frantic letter from her newly-wed cousin begging for someone to save her from a mysterious doom, Noemí Taboada heads to High Place, a distant house in the Mexican countryside. She’s not sure what she will find—her cousin’s husband, a handsome Englishman, is a stranger, and Noemí knows little about the region.

Noemí is also an unlikely rescuer: She’s a glamorous debutante, and her chic gowns and perfect red lipstick are more suited for cocktail parties than amateur sleuthing. But she’s also tough and smart, with an indomitable will, and she is not afraid: Not of her cousin’s new husband, who is both menacing and alluring; not of his father, the ancient patriarch who seems to be fascinated by Noemí; and not even of the house itself, which begins to invade Noemi’s dreams with visions of blood and doom.

Her only ally in this inhospitable abode is the family’s youngest son. Shy and gentle, he seems to want to help Noemí, but might also be hiding dark knowledge of his family’s past. For there are many secrets behind the walls of High Place. The family’s once colossal wealth and faded mining empire kept them from prying eyes, but as Noemí digs deeper she unearths stories of violence and madness.

And Noemí, mesmerized by the terrifying yet seductive world of High Place, may soon find it impossible to ever leave this enigmatic house behind. 

Amazon | Goodreads

Audra’s Teaser Review

Moreno-Garcia has crafted not only an excellent horror novel, but just an all-around damn excellent novel—one of the best I’ve read in quite a while. But don’t get it twisted though—this is a capital H Horror novel, Gothic horror in rarefied form. There is a moldering mansion, a smart and glamorous heroine, dark family secrets, and even an atmospheric mist-filled graveyard, all set in the Mexican countryside in 1950.

Read Audra’s entire review at Goodreads.


The Strange Tale of Miss Victoria Frank by Kelly Evans

Nikola Tesla, the visionary genius, is lecturing in New York City when he falls for Victoria, the mysterious young woman he sees night after night in the front row. The woman intrigues him; her curiosity is as great as his own, and her interest is wide-ranging.

But there’s something she’s hiding, a family secret so horrendous no one speaks of it. When Tesla finds out, he has a decision to make: listen to the inner voice warning him to stay away, or abandon his morality and help her with her own terrible science.

Amazon | Goodreads

Alex’s Teaser Review

The Strange Tale of Miss Victoria Frank packs quite a punch in ~100 pages.

Read Alex’s entire review at Goodreads.

Audra’s Teaser Review

In just a brief 100 pages, this novella whisks you away to the turn of the century with a historical fiction/horror mashup that’s truly electrifying.

Read Audra’s entire review at Goodreads.


Pretty Marys All in a Row by Gwendolyn Kiste

Pretty Marys All In A Row by Gwendolyn Kiste

You’ll find her on a lonely highway, hitchhiking at midnight. She calls herself Rhee, but everyone else knows her by another name: Resurrection Mary. And when she’s transported home each night to a decrepit mansion on a lane to nowhere, she’s not alone.

In the antique mirror, call her name three times, and Bloody Mary will appear. Outside, wandering through a garden of poisonous flowers is Mistress Mary, Quite Contrary, a nursery rhyme come to gruesome life. Downstairs is another jump-rope rhyme—Mary Mack, forever conscripted to build her own coffin. And brooding in the corner with her horse skull is the restless Mari Lwyd.

They are the Marys, the embodiment of urban legend and what goes bump in the night. Every evening, they gather around the table and share nightmares like fine wine, savoring the flavors of those they’ve terrified.

But other than these brief moments together, the Marys are alone, haunting a solitary gloom that knows them better than they know themselves. That’s because they don’t remember who they were before—or even if there was a before. And worst of all, they don’t know how to escape this fate.

That is, until a moment of rage inspires Rhee to leap from the highway—and into the mirror with Bloody Mary. Suddenly, the Marys are learning how to move between their worlds, all while realizing how much stronger they are together.

But just when freedom is within their reach, something in the gloom fights back—something that isn’t ready to let them go. Now with her sisters in danger of slipping into the darkness, Rhee must unravel the mystery of who the Marys were before they were every child’s nightmare. And she’ll have to do it before what’s in the shadows comes to claim her for its own.

Amazon | Goodreads

Cassie’s Teaser Review

This was my first book by Gwendolyn Kiste, although I also own And Her Smile Will Untether the Universe, which has also been widely hailed as an excellent work of fiction by the author. I’m in love with her writing, and with the way she’s been able to create such a unique new world for so many old characters in Pretty Marys, many of whom I remember from my own childhood.

Read Cassie’s entire review at Divination Hollow.


Thank you for joining us today! We hope you found something to add to your tbr list. Please share your recent reads with us in the comments below.

If you are a LOHF writer and have a book you’d like us to consider for a review please visit our review submission page here.


Laurie is one of our LOHF Admins. Laurie creates our review posts, coordinates review requests, oversees the Ladies of Horror Fiction directory, and manages our LOHF Goodreads group.

You can find Laurie on her blog Bark’s Book Nonsense, on Twitter as @barksbooks, on Instagram as @barksbooks, and on Goodreads.


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