The best 2-fer supernatural mysteries with dual storylines

Mae Clair Author Of Cusp of Night
By Mae Clair

Who am I?

I’ve loved mysteries since childhood. That passion started with silly attractions like Scooby-Doo, Dark Shadows, and Nancy Drew. As I grew older, my love of mystery expanded to include the “what if” elements of folklore and urban legends. I’ve written two, 3-book series employing dual timelines, each wrapped in multiple layers of folklore. Crafting separate plotlines then weaving them into a tidy ending takes patience. I enjoy reading books that are well-executed and if they include a touch of the supernatural, all the better. My passion for urban legends has led me to give presentations to local community groups and also to engage in travel when needed for on-site research.


I wrote...

Cusp of Night

By Mae Clair,

Book cover of Cusp of Night

What is my book about?

Recently settled in Hode’s Hill, Maya Sinclair is enthralled by the town’s folklore, especially the legend about a centuries-old monster responsible for several horrific murders. The Fiend has evolved into the stuff of urban myth, along with one of the creature’s first victims—a nineteenth-century spiritualist. Lucida Glass was known as the Blue Lady of Hode’s Hill due to a genetic condition.

When several new attacks occur, rumors abound the Fiend has returned. It isn’t long before Maya becomes caught up in piecing together a puzzle where past and present collide in a world of twisted secrets, insanity, and an evil that refuses to die—all tied to the mysterious Blue Lady of Hode’s Hill.

The books I picked & why

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The Night Sister

By Jennifer McMahon,

Book cover of The Night Sister

Why this book?

My first experience reading a book with dual storylines, this novel held me spellbound cover to cover. McMahon has since become an auto-buy author for me, thanks to this fantastical story that puts a magnifying glass on the life of two sisters, a childhood friend, and an unexplained disappearance. The story moves between past and present and revolves around the Tower Motel in Vermont, now a ruined shell that refuses to yield its secrets. Secrets the girls discovered while playing games there as children. 

An unexpected splash of the paranormal and the use of letters from one sister to Mr. Hitchcock (yes, that Hitchcock) add the perfect touch to this disturbing gem.


Home Before Dark

By Riley Sager,

Book cover of Home Before Dark

Why this book?

Remember The Amityville Horror? Welcome to Baneberry Hall. Maggie Holt spent twenty days living in Baneberry Hall when she was five but has no memory of what sent her family fleeing in the middle of the night. What she does know is that her father wrote a book that turned into a bestseller about the supernatural events which took place. “The book” has shaped her life ever since.

When she inherits the Baneberry Hall, she’s determined to get to the bottom of what really took place the night her family left. Alternating between past and present, the story unfolds with plenty of twists, scene after scene primed for goosebumps. The shocking ending proves why Sager is such a master of suspense!


The Perfect Guests

By Emma Rous,

Book cover of The Perfect Guests

Why this book?

I’m a huge fan of the board game Clue. The “present” timeline in this story provides an excellent tip of the hat when lead character Sadie, a bit actress, agrees to assume the role of “Miss Lamb” at an old mansion known as Raven Hall. She attends with a collection of others (who take on roles like Miss Mouse, Professor Owl, Colonel Otter, etc.) as part of a trial run for a business that hosts murder mystery parties. Great set-up, right?

Three time periods twine in the plot, one which includes a bizarre game of a different sort that has far-reaching consequences, stretching from past to present. The author does a brilliant job of foreshadowing, planting subtle clues that deliver staggering surprises by the end of the story.


Rock Paper Scissors

By Alice Feeney,

Book cover of Rock Paper Scissors

Why this book?

I’d never heard of face-blindness before, but it plays a huge role in this twisty novel set in a snowbound setting. Married couple, Adam and Amelia, take a trip to a remote area of Scotland in a last-ditch effort to save their marriage. Adam has the added problem of face-blindness, an affliction that makes it impossible for him to remember faces—even his wife’s.

The setting is a converted chapel replete with a crumbling bell tower, unheated rooms, and the whisper of supernatural happenings. The past unfolds in a series of letters Adam’s wife writes to him every year on their anniversary. Throughout the book, Adam and Amelia play rock, paper, scissors with their own unique spin. I love how the game factors into the ending which delivers a jaw-dropping reveal.


Cold Dark Night: Legends of Madeira

By Joan Hall,

Book cover of Cold Dark Night: Legends of Madeira

Why this book?

This small-town mystery is the first in a new series. Set in Madeira, New Mexico, newly arrived Tami Montgomery learns the old Victorian home she and her husband purchased has an unsettling history—a number of Madeira’s police chiefs lived in the property, and most met with untimely deaths. Tami’s husband, Jason, is Madeira’s new police chief. 

A former newspaper editor, Tami becomes involved with Madeira’s historical society, a commitment that has her digging into her home’s past and the lives of the people who lived there. Hall weaves elements from the 1800s with the present, sprinkling her plot with lunar legends, dusty history, old grudges, and murder. Though the first in a series, Cold Dark Night delivers a complete story with a satisfying ending.


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in the supernatural, family secrets, and sisters?

5,810 authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about the supernatural, family secrets, and sisters.

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And, 3 books we think you will enjoy!

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