Summer Reading List

The best thrillers, chillers and mixers for reading by the pool, at the beach or on the road


Fantastic Journey

The Ballad of Perilous Graves

Music, mystery, magic and suspense, “The Ballad of Perilous Graves” by Alex Jennings casts a spell that will keep readers turning the page until the very end. Main characters Perilous “Perry” Graves, his sister Brendy and their friend Peaches must outwit a colorful cast of otherworldly troublemakers as they vie for the preservation of the soul of New Orleans. New York Times bestselling author Walter Mosley has called this debut novel from Jennings, “A hallucinatory wonder of a debut with hints of dark humor and the intellectual challenge of Samuel Delany.” 464 pages, hardcover, $25.99.

Pair with: a tiki-inspired zombie cocktail



Adventure Awaits

Lonely Planet Florida & the South’s Best Trips

Choose your next adventure with the latest “Florida & the South’s Best Trips” from Lonely Planet Travel Guides. The full-color guide explores more than 30 road-trip destinations from the Blues Highway to the Appalachian Trail, and stops in Kentucky, Georgia, Alabama, Florida and more. Whether it’s a spur of the moment weekend getaway or a dream travel destination, the guide features sample itineraries, tips, maps, budgets and post-lockdown up-to-date information. 352 pages, paperback, $22.99.

Pair with: cold brew coffee and a day planner



Cooking Up Trouble

Bayou Book Thief

Fans of classic sleuths, Agatha Christie mysteries and cookbook-lovers alike may enjoy this classic tale of mystery and suspense set in the historic Garden District of New Orleans. Young widow Ricki James returns to New Orleans to start a new life and is excited to turn her passion for collecting vintage cookbooks into a job by curating the Bon Vee Culinary Museum’s giftshop. But what happens when a dead body is discovered among some dusty donations? Ricki must dig into the past to discover the truth about both the deceased and her own past. Award-winning mystery writer Ellen Byron’s “Bayou Book Thief” is the first in her latest “Vintage Cookbook Mystery” series. 304 pages, paperback, $8.99.

Pair with: a hot toddy and a freshly baked snickerdoodle



Thrill Seeker

Forty Days and Forty Nights

“Forty Days and Forty Nights” follows Clementine Price, an Army Corps of Engineers officer, as she fights to protect her community from a catastrophe both natural and man-made along a raging Mississippi River. Lurking in the shadows is someone who seeks to create chaos through the disaster, threatening to endanger the entire region and start a civil war. Price must gather a team of professionals and everyday people from the community to stem the tide of impending disaster. Husband and wife writing team Justin Scott and Amber Edwards’ first collaboration is a nonstop thriller filled with plenty of characters, adventure, danger and suspense. 366 pages, paperback, $20.00.

Pair with: classic “Dark and Stormy”