Review: The Orphan of Cemetery Hill by Hester Fox

I read Hester Fox’s debut novel a couple of years ago and I was immediately drawn her to story telling style and characters. I adored her first book and the second book was even better. So to say that I was excited for this one is an understatement.

I am such a fan of her Gothic story telling and how quickly I can read her books, while they might not be as spooky as some other books I have read this Halloween season, this one was still a spooky treat for fans of Gothic novels. Also this one is set in Boston which is such a great spooky city and perfect for a novel like this.

And let me just say, that cover is to die for and I absolutely love it. I think it is my favorite so far. Fox has written three books that all feature some of my favorite Gothic elements but they are not a series so new readers have no worries that what they are picking up to read is not part of a series, they are all standalones!


The dead won’t bother you if you don’t give them permission.

Boston, 1844.

Tabby has a peculiar gift: she can communicate with the recently departed. It makes her special, but it also makes her dangerous.

As an orphaned child, she fled with her sister, Alice, from their charlatan aunt Bellefonte, who wanted only to exploit Tabby’s gift so she could profit from the recent craze for seances.

Now a young woman and tragically separated from Alice, Tabby works with her adopted father, Eli, the kind caretaker of a large Boston cemetery. When a series of macabre grave robberies begins to plague the city, Tabby is ensnared in a deadly plot by the perpetrators, known only as the “Resurrection Men.”

In the end, Tabby’s gift will either save both her and the cemetery—or bring about her own destruction. (summary from Goodreads)


I grew up on Victoria Holt novels and I am only 40. Victoria Holt was the first ‘grown up book’ I read and I was so hooked on all the Gothic elements. For years I have been searching for authors that recreate that Victoria Holt vibe for me and Hester Fox is it. I mean even if the story isn’t life altering, the atmosphere and Gothic goodness hooks me every time and I can’t help but fall in love with the story.

I still think that my favorite by Fox has been The Widow of Pale Harbor, this one comes in a close second. It’s been fun to see how her writing has evolved and grown since the first book. She has been a solid writer but I can tell that she has matured in this one and I loved the plot for that. I loved the resurrection men aspect of this book and I loved how subtly Fox incorporated mystery, the supernatural, and history in this one.

This one had all the things that I love in a spook Halloweenie read this time of year—seances, ghosts, atmosphere, and a little bit of romance—it was a total package for me and I read it in like 2 days but could easily have read it in one sitting. I would say that this book had all the supernatural elements but it wasn’t so much that I would consider this one a horror novel. If you are looking for a spooky read this season that isn’t full of blood and guts, then this one should be on your radar.

I am looking forward to more books by Fox, she is quickly becoming a favorite author of mine and one that I would gladly put on autobuy! I ended up giving this one 4.5 stars, it was a wonderful read that could be read any time of the year but reading it in October makes it extra special with a pumpkin on top!

Book Info and Rating

Paperback, 384 pages

Published September 15th 2020 by Graydon House

ISBN152580457X (ISBN13: 9781525804571)

Free review copy provided by Graydon House in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own and in no way influenced.

Rating: 4.5 stars

Genre: historical fiction, gothic lit, romance


Charming comments go here!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s