Happy First Day of Autumn, and Prezzies, too.


Only a smidgen of my books. Many of my shelves are 3 books deep.


Today is one of the most bittersweet days of the year. Despite what the weather people say (we’ll have a high of 90 degrees for the next six days), it’s the first day of autumn. I don’t know about you, but I am welcoming it with sneezes, courtesy of whatever flora is propagating itself outside my (closed) windows these days. Autumn is when I have to start writing with my happy light shining over my shoulder to stave off SAD, and must put all carb treats away deep in the cabinet. Nothing like a season spent sad and puffy. Seriously, don’t mind me. I love the changing of the leaves, and the blessedly cooler temperatures.

Let’s start something new for our fall routine, shall we?

Yon bookshelf is at my house. It’s packed with hundreds of yummy like-new mystery novels. Mystery novels that will come in handy for the cool nights and snowy/rainy days ahead.

Would you like some for yourself?

All you have to do is comment here with the name of your favorite mystery, horror, or sci-fi-fi novel between now and midnight, Wednesday September 27th, and you’ll have a chance to win a set of four hardcover mystery novels for your fireside (or beachside!) fall reading. (North American readers only, please.) I’m keeping the titles a secret so you’ll be surprised when they arrive. If this goes terribly well–which I’m hopeful it will–I’ll do this every few weeks throughout the rest of the year.*

That’s it! So…tell me. What’s your favorite?


*Be sure to sign up to have my blog delivered right to your inbox everyday. Sign-up is on this very page: it’s on the left of your desktop screen, or if you’re on a mobile device, scroll down.

36 thoughts on “Happy First Day of Autumn, and Prezzies, too.”

  1. Gram says:

    Gaudy Night by Dorothy L. I also like books by Dorothy Gilman, Manning Coles and others.

    1. Laura Benedict says:

      GAUDY NIGHT is a wonderful title. I heart Lord Peter Wimsey.

  2. skyecaitlin says:

    Your book shelf looks like mine, but since I moved to an apartment, I only have one shelf ( not eight) but I also have books in piles on a love seat and on top of a beautiful carton. I have to launch into a long spiel, though; I also have SAD and we have the same weather in NJ as you are having; however, we had more rain and steamy, but grey days here in the summertime. I am hoping to relocate (STILL). I have so many books I adore, Laura, including yours and I am dying to read JT’s books, but my very favorite mystery is probably ( it’s hard to pick one) is Michael Connelly’s The Last Coyote ( I have nearly all his books, but that one stands out) and I also adored Black Water Lilies by Michel Bussi.( you should read this poignant novel).

    1. Laura Benedict says:

      90 degrees for days and days. Yuck. I like the sunshine, but I still need the happy light because it’s so unpleasant to go out and walk. I hope some sunny, cool days come your way soon!

      I will check out Water Lilies–thanks.

  3. Sally Moorman says:

    You, of course, are one of my favorites along with… Michael Connelly, John Sanford, Preston & Child, Lincoln Child, Stuart Woods. Way too many to mention. Unfortunately some of my favorites have passed away which makes me so sad.

    1. Laura Benedict says:

      You are so nice, Sally. These writers are all so good–it would be tough to choose!

  4. Priscilla says:

    Arrrrgh, how cruel to make us pick just one. Okay, I’m going old school. My fave mystery is Erle Stanley Gardner’s The Case of the Runaway Corpse.

    1. Laura Benedict says:

      Nice. Old school is always a fab choice.

  5. sallycootie says:

    So many, starting with mysteries by authors my mom used to read, sci-fi borrowed from my uncle, horror I found all on my own, and right on to the contemporary authors. But I guess an all time favorite would be IT – the book, of course. I realized when all the hype started for the current movie that I dig out the book about once a year and reread. Thanks for the giveaway. I’m envious of your 3-deep bookshelf!

    1. Laura Benedict says:

      Yes, IT! Such a giant, amazing and strange book. Fascinating choice.

      The bookshelf is great until I have to find something. 😊

  6. Lily Smith says:

    How can I choose between beloved children?? I’d have to go with the one that I’ve re-read the most times (to date), Strangers by Dean Koontz. It’s fabulous for a curl-up-beside-the-fire winters night.

    1. Laura Benedict says:

      Dean Koontz is a treasure. I haven’t read that one–will put it on the list, Lily.

  7. Debbie says:

    I love the mysteries from Child/Preston with Agent Pendergast

    1. Laura Benedict says:

      Preston and Child are brilliant!

  8. Sylvia says:

    I have to go with The Horns of Danger by Mabel Esther Allan. It’s one of the first mysteries I read, and I’m so glad your blog is back 😀

    1. Laura Benedict says:

      Thanks, Sylvia! I’m so glad you’re here. I don’t know that book. Now I’m curious…

  9. Cindy Boepple says:

    PJ Tracy and the Monkeywrench gang.

    1. Laura Benedict says:

      Oooooh, the mother-daughter writing duo. Love it!

  10. Jackie Wisherd says:

    I have a lot of favorite mysteries since I belong to two mystery book clubs.I have read lots of mystery authirs but a couple of my favorites are C J Box, Michael Connolly, Harlen Corbin and J A Jance.

    1. Laura Benedict says:

      It’s tough to choose one, I know, Jackie. Great list!

  11. Vicki Meetze says:

    “The Snowman” by Jo Nesbo and “The Return of the Dancing Master” by Henning Mankell are two of my favorites. Murder mysteries are my favorite reads.

    1. Laura Benedict says:

      Nesbo’s books are sooooo disturbing, in a very good way. The Mankell sounds interesting. I’ve read some Wallander and liked it. Mysteries are my favorite too, though I have to take regular breaks. I’m reading a Liane Moriarty right now, plus a nonfiction.

  12. Jennifer H. says:

    I had to dig through my Goodreads list because I have been on a romance/YA/NA kick lately! Before I Go To Sleep by S.J. Watson is a mystery/thriller that I really liked despite some faults, it just kept me guessing that I knew the ending. And Stephen King’s The Stand doubled as a great read and a door stop, much to my brother’s horror.

    1. Laura Benedict says:

      Ha! Perfect description of The Stand. Books really should do double duty!

  13. Lily O'Halloran says:

    My favorite horror book is either Misery or Needful Things by Stephen King.

    1. Laura Benedict says:

      We saw IT today, and were talking about our favorites. Those are definitely two of mine. Loved the tv film of Needful Things, too!

      1. skyecaitlin says:

        Laura, was the movie good? I adored the book. I love Stephen King! My favorites are Salem’s Lot, The Shining, The Dead Zone, Carrie and Bag of Bones, My actual experience with Bag of Bones is that when I read it, the dates corresponded with the book ( a year earlier) and the weather patterns were identical.

        1. Laura Benedict says:

          Hmmmmm. Good, yes. The film itself is faithful to the book–but it has to adhere closely, I know, because there are so many fans. (i.e. Harry Potter) It will actually be two films. Haven’t finished processing yet–I have objections, but mostly about the pacing. Spooky about the Bag of Bones whether. Thats a very creepy book.

  14. Peggy Trittipo says:

    my favorite mysteries are Louise Penny’s books I have read all of hers and can’t wait to start on her new book. I can’t pick just one of hers, so I pick all of them.

    1. Laura Benedict says:

      Oooooh! Louise Penny is like my writer totem. I have all her books in hardcover and most in audio. Totally understand your vote!

      1. Peggy Trittipo says:

        I have them all in hard back, I envy you about the audio books.

  15. Julia Kirmse says:

    Are you kidding me? Your books!! Your fault, too! I won the 2nd book but I wouldn’t read it until I read the 1st one. They were AWESOME! I’ve continued to purchase each of your books as you give birth to them.

    1. Laura Benedict says:


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