Thursday, September 19, 2019

Review: The Widow of Pale Harbor by Hester Fox

Title: The Widow of Pale Harbor
Author: Hester Fox
Published: September 2019, Graydon House
Format: ARC Paperback, 352 pages
Source: Publisher

Maine, 1846. Gideon Stone is desperate to escape the ghosts that haunt him in Massachusetts after his wife's death, so he moves to Pale Harbor, Maine, where there is a vacancy for a new minister. Gideon and his late wife had always dreamed of building their own church, and Pale Harbor is the perfect opportunity.

But not all is as it seems in the sleepy town of Pale Harbor. Strange, unsettling things have been happening, and the townspeople know that only one person can be responsible: Sophronia Carver, a widow who lives with a spinster maid in the decaying Castle Carver on the edge of town. Sophronia is a recluse, rumored to be a witch who killed her husband.

When Gideon meets her, he knows the charming, beautiful woman cannot be guilty of anything. Together, Gideon and Sophronia realize that the mysterious events have one thing in common: they all contain an element from the wildly popular stories of Mr. Edgar Allan Poe. And when the events escalate to murder, Gideon and Sophronia must find the real killer, before it's too late for them both.

My thoughts: This is the first book I've read by Hester Fox and if this book is anything to judge by, it will certainly not be the last book I read by her! I was immediately captivated by the writing of this and know that I will be definitely picking up her other book, The Witch of Willow Hall, very soon.

I loved the gothic vibe of this book. Add in all the Poe references and it made for the perfect fall book, especially as it was set in a spooky harbor town! There are a few murders that take place and it seems our murderer has a bit of an Edgar Allen Poe obsession. Now, it's been a while since I've read any Poe, but I'm feeling like I might need to revisit some of his work soon!

This book has some really interesting characters, which helped to keep me engaged in the book - an accused witch, a new minister in town who preaches transcendentalism and a cast of others. I thought I had figured out who was behind everything rather early, but I was proven wrong, which made for an even better reveal once it was finally made.

This book oozes atmosphere. It is dark and mysterious and will appeal to fans of gothic mysteries. It is the perfect read to cozy up with on a fall night!



  1. I really liked The Witch of Willow Hall, which is why I was so excited to read The Widow of Pale Harbor. I found this one to be disappointing, but definitely would read the next Hester Fox story.


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