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259: Our 2023 Spooky Reads Recommendations

Episode graphic featuring a Halloween scene and the text "Spooky Reads," "episode 259"

What spooky reads are you adding to your TBR list this year? Ashley and Jen share our recommendations for 2023 including Zoraida Córdova’s The Inheritance of Orquídea Divina ( | and Isabel Cañas’s The Hacienda ( | If you'd like more recommendations, don't miss our Spooky Reads episodes from the past few years (episode 198, episode 147, and way back to episode 97!) where we give lots of spooky book recs.

We're also sharing a long curated list of spooky read recommendations for our Patreon subscribers, which comes out October 15! We appreciate our Unabridged Patreon Pals so very much. If you'd like to support us and get some extra Unabridged content each month, sign up today!

Bookish Check-in

Ashley - Beth O’Leary’s The No-Show ( |

Jen - Elana K. Arnold’s Red Hood ( |

Our Spooky Reads Recommendations

Ashley - Zoraida Córdova’s The Inheritance of Orquídea Divina ( |

Jen - Isabel Cañas’s The Hacienda ( |


Listen in to hear what Jen and Ashley want to spotlight this month!

(A note to our readers: click on the hashtags above to see our other blog posts with the same hashtag.)

Interested in what else we're reading? Check out our Featured Books page.

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Book Cover of Beth O’Leary’s The No-Show

Beth O’Leary’s The No-Show ( |

From the Publisher:

"Siobhan is a quick-tempered life coach with way too much on her plate. Miranda is a tree surgeon used to being treated as just one of the guys on the job. Jane is a soft-spoken volunteer for the local charity shop with zero sense of self-worth.

"These three women are strangers who have only one thing in common: they’ve all been stood up on the same day, the very worst day to be stood up—Valentine’s Day. And, unbeknownst to them, they’ve all been stood up by the same man.

"Once they've each forgiven him for standing them up, they are all in serious danger of falling in love with a man who may have not just one or two but three women on the go....

"Is there more to him than meets the eye? Where was he on Valentine’s Day? And will they each untangle the truth before they all get their hearts broken?"

Book cover of Elana K. Arnold’s Red Hood

Elana K. Arnold’s Red Hood ( |

From the Publisher:

"You are alone in the woods, seen only by the unblinking yellow moon. Your hands are empty. "

"You are nearly naked. And the wolf is angry.

"Since her grandmother became her caretaker when she was four years old, Bisou Martel has lived a quiet life in a little house in Seattle. She’s kept mostly to herself. She’s been good.

"But then comes the night of homecoming, when she finds herself running for her life over roots and between trees, a fury of claws and teeth behind her.

"A wolf attacks. Bisou fights back. A new moon rises. And with it, questions.

"About the blood in Bisou’s past, and on her hands as she stumbles home.

"About broken boys and vicious wolves.

"About girls lost in the woods—frightened, but not alone."

Book cover of Zoraida Córdova’s The Inheritance of Orquídea Divina

Zoraida Córdova’s The Inheritance of Orquídea Divina ( |

From the Publisher:

"The Montoyas are used to a life without explanations. They know better than to ask why the pantry never seems to run low, or why their matriarch won’t ever leave their home in Four Rivers—not for graduations, weddings, or baptisms. But when Orquídea Divina invites them to her funeral and to collect their inheritance, they hope to learn the secrets that she has held onto so tightly their whole lives. Instead, Orquídea is transformed into a ceiba tree, leaving them with more questions than answers.

"Seven years later, her gifts have manifested in different ways for Marimar, Rey, and Rhiannon, granting them unexpected blessings and powers. But soon, a hidden figure begins to tear through their family tree, picking them off one by one as it seeks to destroy Orquídea’s line. Determined to save what’s left of their family and uncover the truth behind their inheritance, her descendants travel to Ecuador—to the place where Orquídea buried her secrets and broken promises and never looked back.

"Alternating between Orquídea’s past and her descendants’ present, The Inheritance of Orquídea Divina is a 'spellbinding tale, both timeless and fresh, that will stay with you long after you’ve turned the last page. Prepare to fall in love' (Kim Liggett, New York Times bestselling author)."

Book cover of Isabel Cañas’s The Hacienda

Isabel Cañas’s The Hacienda ( |

From the Publisher:

"During the overthrow of the Mexican government, Beatriz’s father was executed and her home destroyed. When handsome Don Rodolfo Solórzano proposes, Beatriz ignores the rumors surrounding his first wife’s sudden demise, choosing instead to seize the security that his estate in the countryside provides. She will have her own home again, no matter the cost.

"But Hacienda San Isidro is not the sanctuary she imagined.

"When Rodolfo returns to work in the capital, visions and voices invade Beatriz’s sleep. The weight of invisible eyes follows her every move. Rodolfo’s sister, Juana, scoffs at Beatriz’s fears—but why does she refuse to enter the house at night? Why does the cook burn copal incense at the edge of the kitchen and mark the doorway with strange symbols? What really happened to the first Doña Solórzano?

"Beatriz only knows two things for certain: Something is wrong with the hacienda. And no one there will save her.

"Desperate for help, she clings to the young priest, Padre Andrés, as an ally. No ordinary priest, Andrés will have to rely on his skills as a witch to fight off the malevolent presence haunting the hacienda and protect the woman for whom he feels a powerful, forbidden attraction. But even he might not be enough to battle the darkness.

"Far from a refuge, San Isidro may be Beatriz’s doom."


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