The Lamplighter

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Pub Date 21 May 2024 | Archive Date 03 May 2024

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Description

It’s an honor to bring light to the dark.

The nineteenth-century whaling village of Warbler is famous for its lucky ship figureheads—and infamous for people disappearing into the nightly fog. In this murky locale, the lamplighter is synonymous with safety and protection, and it’s a position Temperance assumes when her father is found hanging from one of the lampposts. Though Tempe proves competent, the town is still hesitant to let a woman handle this responsibility.

When a girl disappears after two lamps go out, Tempe’s ability to provide for her mother and younger sister hangs in the balance. She scrambles for answers, hindered at every turn by the village authorities’ call for her removal. As more villagers vanish under her watch, Tempe discovers unsettling truths about the famous Warbler figureheads and her own beloved father. But her warnings of a monster are ignored, even by her own family. Now she must follow the light out of her own fog of despair, as she faces the choice to look the other way or risk speaking out and possibly dooming herself and her sister to be among the lost.

It’s an honor to bring light to the dark.

The nineteenth-century whaling village of Warbler is famous for its lucky ship figureheads—and infamous for people disappearing into the nightly fog. In this...


Advance Praise

“The twist at the end is satisfying, and the spooky atmosphere and (righteous) female rage linger like the town’s infamous fog. Chilling.” —Kirkus Reviews

★ “Bell valiantly braids edge-of-the-seat plotting, moody imagery, and evocatively rendered characters into unsettling knots. Temperance’s struggles to prove herself in her male-dominated society are explored with depth and nuance, making this chilling mystery feel at once like a classic folktale and a sharp allegory for the obstacles of modern women.” —Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“Treachery abounds in the historical novel The Lamplighter, wherein crime comes to a seaport town with insidious consequences for its residents.” —Foreword Reviews

“Crystal J. Bell’s The Lamplighter is an eerie and unsettling debut that sucks you in from the first page. Both quiet yet intensely haunting, this dark, powerful horror mystery will keep you up at night. The rich setting comes alive, and its flawed characters and complicated relationships in a small, whaling village will make you question everything you thought you knew about fog and lampposts. This is a debut you don’t want to miss.” —Colby Wilkens, author of If I Stopped Haunting You

“A unique, beautifully written tale, replete with suspense and atmosphere. The Lamplighter casts a darkly hypnotic spell, with a shocking ending you won't soon forget. I couldn't stop reading--I had to know what happened next!” —Paulette Kennedy, bestselling author of The Witch of Tin Mountain

“Gracefully written and bewitchingly atmospheric, The Lamplighter is as heartrending as it is haunting. On her hunt to find a string of missing girls, Tempe navigates a menacing, male-dominated world with ferocity and fortitude—even as she comes face-to-face with the evil lurking in Warbler seaport’s infamous fog. This must-read novel scared me and moved me in equal measure, and cemented Crystal J. Bell as my new favorite horror author.” —Ellen O'Clover, author of Seven Percent of Ro Devereux

“Atmospheric and haunting, The Lamplighter is the kind of book made to be read at midnight as the candles flicker and the wind howls—a masterpiece in folkloric horror. Tempe is a fiercely relatable protagonist, one for whom every girl who has ever felt her voice has been unfairly silenced will love. Each element of this story adds to the deliciously spooky horror of the world Bell has crafted: the slow-burn rising tension; the lush, spine-chilling descriptions of the small whaling town and the mysterious fog stealing away the souls of those unlucky enough to be caught in the dark when it arrives; the tension between madness and morality we see Tempe struggle with as she is drawn further and further into Warbler’s web; all culminating in a climactic finale that will leave the reader awestruck and horror stricken, desperate to know more. A must-read for mystery and horror lovers!” —Christy Healy, author of Unbound

“Crystal J. Bell has conjured a lush maritime tale with a churning sense of dread that builds to a stunning conclusion. I absolutely devoured this gothic story of haunted New England forests, family secrets, girls fighting the patriarchy, and the darker side of magic.” —Megan Cooley Peterson, author of The Liar’s Daughter

“The twist at the end is satisfying, and the spooky atmosphere and (righteous) female rage linger like the town’s infamous fog. Chilling.” —Kirkus Reviews

★ “Bell valiantly braids edge-of-the-seat...


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Available Editions

EDITION Other Format
ISBN 9781635830989
PRICE $14.99 (USD)
PAGES 336

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