Top Ten Tuesday: Atmospheric Reads

Posted October 24, 2023 by meezcarrie in Christian, historical, multi-timeline, mystery/suspense, romance, Top Ten Tuesday / 15 Comments

Atmospheric Reads top ten tuesday

Happy Tuesday! Today’s theme for Top Ten Tuesday (as coordinated by That Artsy Reader Girl) is about atmospheric reads. There are a couple of different definitions as far as what makes an atmospheric read but I chose to go with this one when picking the ten twelve fourteen books for today’s post:

“A novel feels atmospheric when the setting and the narrative are deeply involved with one another; when characters and plot are physically embedded in their surroundings, and a near-tangible mood lifts from the pages and wraps itself around the reader.” – The Novelry

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Any book by Jaime Jo Wright is deliciously atmospheric.
Here are three of my faves for today’s theme:

The House on Foster Hill
The Souls of Lost Lake
The Vanishing at Castle Moreau

The Wings of Poppy Pendleton by Melanie Dobson

“A Gilded Age-era castle stands silent over the Thousand Islands in New York, holding more than one mystery close and the fate of two little girls – 85 years apart – in its hands. Author Melanie Dobson masterfully provides readers with an atmospheric story rich in characters and possibilities, deeply layered and poignantly tender.”

The Wings of Poppy Pendleton by Melanie Dobson

All That is Secret by Patricia Raybon 

Patricia Raybon’s marvelous Annalee Spain Mysteries are set in Denver in the 1920s, when the KKK is ramping up its control. Raybon’s skilled scene setting, combined with the mystery elements to the plot and the layered characters, create a mood that’s simultaneously sobering and full of life.

All That is Secret
Double the Lies

“Mystery and secrets also abound in this story, adding intrigue to the narrative and turning the mood quite delightfully atmospheric more than once. Gothic, romantic, and compelling, this is another richly-written must-read from Abigail Wilson!”

Masquerade at Middlecrest Abbey by Abigail Wilson

“In many ways, the Kentucke wilderness in A Moonbow Night becomes a character all its own… The beauty of the landscape, the richness of the history, the heart of the characters – all of these will beckon you to settle amongst the pages and immerse yourself in a world of wilderness and courage and discovery.”

A Moonbow Night by Laura Frantz

“Very little is as it first appears, and no certain outcome is guaranteed. There are things we know that we know… and then there are things we think that we know… and then there are things that we don’t know at all. This adds to the overall mood of suspense that the story wears well and left me completely unsure how the case would turn out.”

The Barrister and the Letter of Marque by Todd M. Johnson


Pepper Basham is another author that writes delightfully atmospheric fiction, especially with her historical titles and especially with these two related novels:

Laurel’s Dream
The Heart of the Mountains

“I love reading books set in Alaska, and I really love reading suspense novels set there. Something about its vast remoteness, brutal elements, and stunning beauty just lends itself to the perfect suspense mood… And Cold Light of Day is teeming with all of the above.”

Cold Light of Day by Elizabeth Goddard

“The Canadian tundra setting is vividly drawn and carries the perfect mixture of awe and fear, from the breathtaking beauty readers can easily visualize to the stark cold and rogue polar bears that are roaming about town, wreaking havoc. Wood masterfully captures this range of emotions without over-detailing the scenes yet still sending readers’ hearts into their throats as a polar bear ambles by within a hair’s breadth or gunshots burst out again (also too close for comfort).”

Northern Deception by Laurie Wood

The Thing About Home by Rhonda McKnight

The Thing About Home by Rhonda McKnight took me through a range of emotions as I stayed completely absorbed in this story. I laughed, I swooned, I cried, I got angry, I got humbled, I wanted to purse whomp some folks (mainly Casey’s mom), I wanted to hug many more folks, I got hungry (all that yummy Southern cooking – YUM), I got educated, and mostly I just fell in love with the Black family and their amazing farm.”

The Thing About Home by Rhonda McKnight


Any of Misty M. Beller’s mountain books are wonderfully atmospheric, making the mountains of Wyoming & Montana & Canada come alive like none other.
Here are three of my faves:

This Freedom Journey
This Courageous Journey
This Homeward Journey

All the Lost Places is exquisite in every way – from its vivid characters that set up camp in your heart to the lyrical prose and the healing message of redemption and restoration. Of beauty from ashes. Of art from brokenness. Of family and books and story… and, of course, Venice.”

All the Lost Places by Amanda Dykes

“Debut novelist Connie Berry has crafted a delicious, atmospheric mystery with rich language, a relatable heroine, and a tangible setting. Did I mention it’s set on an island in Scotland and there’s a yummy British detective who is staying at the inn too?”

A Dream of Death by Connie Berry

“A vivid cast of characters – from the manor to the debtors’ prison – and a house full of secrets add a Bronte-esque flair to the overall atmosphere. Literary references abound, and the cleverly-done snippets from the fictitious (and titular) serial novel that begin each chapter enhance the plot’s layers even further.”

Lady Jayne Disappears by Joanna Davidson Politano

What about you? Have you read any of the atmospheric reads I picked for today’s post? What do you think of when you think of atmospheric reads? Which other titles come to mind?

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15 responses to “Top Ten Tuesday: Atmospheric Reads

  1. Jaime’s seem like they would fit SO very well! I read one of hers way back when and I read Joanna’s too. Also… I read Abigail’s first novel which was a great read and fit for this topic, too. 🙂

    • I love that different books by the same authors made your list – I almost went with The Rose and the Thistle too. But Moonbow has a special place in my heart 🙂

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