Sunday, January 23, 2022

Review: The Orphan of Cemetery Hill by Hester Fox

by Hester Fox
Release Date: September 15, 2020
2020 Graydon House
Kindle Edition; 384 Pages
ISBN: 978-1525804571
Audiobook: B087QM6Z6X
Genre: Fiction / Historical / Paranormal / Mystery
Source: Review copy from publisher
2.75 / 5 Stars
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.”
My Thoughts
The Orphan of Cemetery Hill is a Gothic historical mystery that was a bit of a disappointment.  While I enjoyed the setting and loved the atmosphere of the cemetery, I was not a fan of the romance as I didn't like one of the main characters, and I thought one of the plot points was really pushing it.  I get that this book has a paranormal element to it, but it still has to be believable.
Tabby was a lot of fun as a main character.  I liked her spunk and resourcefulness even as she was trying to lie low and hide from an aunt and uncle from whom she had to flee when she was little. Although she didn't have much, she lived a quiet life with her adopted father who took care of the local cemetery, who took her in when she was little.  It was the perfect place for Tabby to develop her abilities as she could communicate with the dead, a secret she learned to keep to herself at a young age.  However, I was not a fan of Caleb, her love interest.  Yes, he was selfish and self-absorbed, but characters like that can be developed and show growth throughout a novel; Caleb didn't really impress me with his growth and I felt like he was still selfish, even at the end.  I couldn't, for the life of me, understand what Tabby saw in him, and I just didn't buy into their romance, which was a huge fail for me in this book.  Oh, don't get me wrong, I like a good rogue, but Caleb just seemed silly.  
The plot was interesting in the beginning, and I did enjoy it, but it definitely slowed down towards the middle as it got bogged down in the so-called 'mystery'.  I loosely called this a mystery as there was no mystery simply because the reader knows who the culprit was quite early on which took away a lot of the suspense and intrigue, at least for me.  I think knowing who it was was supposed to add this fear element for the characters as they tried to figure out what to do, but it didn't really work.  The author spent too much time telling the reader what was going on as opposed to letting the reader figure things out themselves, a writing style of which I am not a fan.  Unfortunately, what ended up happening is that I had to dig in and force myself to finish the book, which was disappointing.  
The Orphan of Cemetery Hill was a bit of a disappointment, but the potential was definitely there.  I wasn't a fan of the romance as I didn't like Caleb as a main character, and I thought the plot slowed down too much in the middle as the author spent too much time telling the reader how things were going rather than letting the reader figure things out.  It's a shame as I really enjoyed the atmosphere and I always love settings that have to do with cemeteries and ghosts.   Unfortunately, the atmosphere, ghosts, and an interesting concept are not always enough.



  1. pretty cover and nice review. i don't read a lot of books like this but i try to keep an open mind. every once in a while one can capture my attention
    sherry @ fundinmental

    1. I always try to keep an open mind as well. I tried to read this when it was first published, but DNF it, so I thought i would give it another try. This time I managed to finish it, but I just didn't like one of the main characters.