Let's manifest those cool nights, perfect for curling up with a good book, a hot cup of cocoa, and snacking on something tasty. From rom-coms featuring witches to compelling cozy mysteries, these reads are the perfect picks for autumn.
Arsenic and Adobo by Mia P. Manansala
After an awful breakup, Lila Macapagal moves back home to Shady Palms and begins helping out at her aunt’s struggling restaurant. But when Lila’s ex-boyfriend — who’s also a food critic — drops dead while eating at the restaurant, Lila becomes the prime suspect and takes on the investigation herself.
The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield
Searching for something a little spookier to celebrate the end of summer? This riveting gothic novel fits the bill. Biographer Margaret Lea is surprised when she receives a letter from aging author Vida Winter, who says she’s ready to tell her own story — her true story — at last. But when Margaret arrives at Vida’s Yorkshire estate, she’s told a strange tale filled with madness and ghosts.
The Ex Hex by Erin Sterling
Just how bad can a curse really be when it’s cast with an orchard hayride–scented candle? Nine years after hexing her ex-boyfriend Rhys, witch Vivienne Jones is about to find out. When Rhys returns home to Graves Glen, Georgia, a string of bad luck follows him around and begins to threaten the town, prompting Rhys and Vivi to join forces and find a way to break the curse.
Autumn by Ali Smith
The first book in Ali Smith’s Seasonal quartet and a Booker Prize Finalist, Autumn follows the unlikely and extraordinary friendship between 101-year-old Daniel Gluck and his 32-year-old neighbor, art lecturer Elisabeth Demand. Hailed by Kirkus Reviews as a “multifaceted meditation on aging, art, love, and affection,” this powerful and poignant novel is a fitting read for fall.
Payback’s a Witch by Lana Harper
Lana Harper’s adult debut is a charming rom-com that’s the perfect Halloween read. After spending years away from Thistle Grove, witch Emmy Harlow returns home for Gauntlet of the Grove, a magical tournament held every 50 years. The Harlows have long been the arbiters of the competition, but remaining unbiased starts to get tricky.
Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman
This beloved novel from a bestselling author follows the Owens sisters — Gillian and Sally — who are raised by their eccentric aunts after being orphaned at a young age. Both sisters leave town and their aunts behind, but trouble eventually brings them back together.
September by Rosamunde Pilcher
When a lavish dance is planned for September in honor of a young woman’s 21st birthday, the celebration brings together a wealth of friends and family. The novel tracks the four months leading up to the event, giving readers a glimpse into the life of Violet Aird and the many people she cares for. The compelling cast of characters and Scottish Highlands setting will keep readers engaged.
First Frost by Sarah Addison Allen
The Waverley sisters and their magical gifts return in First Frost, which takes place 10 years after Sarah Addison Allen’s Garden Spells (but can also be read as a standalone). Set in Bascom, North Carolina, in October, the novel follows Claire, whose successful candy business isn’t without its challenges, and Sydney, who longs for another child while raising her teenage daughter, Bay.
Ink and Shadows by Ellery Adams
With a small-town setting, close-knit friendships, and a hint of romance, this cozy mystery is the perfect read for a fall evening. The latest in Ellery Adam’s The Secret, Book & Scone Society series, Ink and Shadows follows bookstore owner Nora Pennington as she finds herself pulled into yet another mystery.
Autumn Light by Pico Iyer
In this stirring memoir, subtitled “Season of Fire and Farewells,” Pico Iyer travels to Japan after the death of his father-in-law. There, he reflects on aging and mortality, as well as grief and family. A starred review from Publishers Weekly praises the poignant work as “an engrossing narrative, a moving meditation on loss, and an evocative, lyrical portrait of Japanese society.”
Magic Hour by Kristin Hannah
From the bestselling author of The Nightingale, Magic Hour is an emotional look at love and family. When a young girl emerges from the woods one day in October, chief of police Ellie Barton calls on her sister, a child psychiatrist, to help — despite their differences. When Julia arrives backs to her western Washington hometown, she’s determined to connect with the child, whom she names Alice.
A Fall of Marigolds by Susan Meissner
A scarf serves as the link between two women living 100 years apart in this moving exploration of grief, love, and resilience. In New York in 1911, as she mourns the death of the man she loved, nurse Clara Wood helps a patient whose marigold scarf draws her interest. In 2011, a photograph forces widow Taryn Michaels to relive her own loss and the survivor’s guilt that she’s long felt.
Dial A for Aunties by Jesse Q. Sutanto
When Meddelin Chan accidentally kills her blind date, her mother and four aunts waste no time in helping her hide the evidence. But their well-intentioned efforts end with the body being shipped in a cake cooler to the California wedding the Chan family is working. Things only get worse for Meddy when her ex-boyfriend turns out to be a part-owner of the resort where the wedding is taking place.
The Widows of Malabar Hill by Sujata Massey
The first in a series, this historical mystery brings 1920s Bombay to life and follows solicitor Perveen Mistry, one of India’s first female lawyers.
Hired by Zoey Castile
Aiden Rios is a paid escort. He’s sexy and makes his women feel like queens – that’s his job, after all. He never expected to fall for anyone, much less a woman like Faith Abigail Charles, the good-girl daughter of a mayoral candidate. The attraction between them is off the charts — but their relationship could end in scandal.
Harvest Moon by Robyn Carr
Kelly Matlock comes to the small town of Virgin River in the fall to rest and recuperate from a stress-related collapse while at work. The quaint town is getting a little too restful when she meets widower and single parent Lief Holbrook. The man is drop-dead gorgeous and just what her heart needs, but is his baggage too much for her to handle?
Falling for Autumn by Sherelle Green
Two wounded souls fall in love in this tender, slow-burn romance. For Autumn Dupree, after surviving a childhood of trauma and hardship, there’s no such thing as a happy ending. Never mind the attraction she feels for Ajay Reed, the best man at her sister’s wedding. Determined to win her over, can Ajay prove to Autumn that true love exists?
It Happened One Autumn by Lisa Kleypas
American heiress Lillian Bowman doesn’t like the insufferable (but maddeningly attractive) Lord Westcliff. Marcus is everything she despises about English aristocrats. However, that doesn’t stop the two of them from falling into a passionate autumn kiss that leads to a destination neither expected.
Deception by Selena Montgomery
Professional poker player Fin Borders teams up with undercover FBI agent Caleb Matthews to find a killer in this sexy romantic thriller. Open this book for the taunt and engaging mystery. Keep reading for the explosive chemistry between Fin and Caleb that culminates in a steamy encounter on a bed of fallen leaves.