3 Southern mysteries to read this fall

Fall is the season to shelve summer’s frothy titles and make room for more serious fare. But sweater weather puts many readers in the mood for page turners. Here are three worthy of note.

‘Pretty Girls’ by Karin Slaughter

Atlanta’s grand dame of police procedurals keeps fans guessing with her first psychological thriller. This intricately plotted standalone novel examines the ripple effect of tragedy on two generations of a cursed Georgia family. Following the murder of her husband, desperate trophy wife Claire Scott unearths evidence linking her sister’s disappearance two decades ago with the more recent kidnapping of an Athens teenager. (William Morrow, September)

‘The Gates of Evangeline’ by Hester Young

Young says a recurring dream inspired the Southern Gothic setting of her engaging debut. Insomniac heroine Charlie Cates has lost almost everything: her husband, her son, her job at a posh New York magazine — but not her obsession with cold murder cases. Driven by a potential book deal, she treks into the spooky backwaters of Louisiana to investigate a missing boy who may or may not be haunting her nightmares. (Putnam, September)

‘The Granite Moth’ by Erica Wright

“Skeletons rattled their way up Sixth Avenue, spreading their green glow over the crowd,” begins this clever follow-up to “The Red Chameleon.” When a fiery act of sabotage brings actual horrorto a Halloween parade, costume queen Kathleen Stone breaks out her bag of tricks to unmask the killer. It’s no mystery why the writing packs a lyrical kick: The Nashville-based author is a poet and editor for Guernica magazine. (Pegasus, November)