Discover A Series: Eerie-On-Sea

By: Shanleigh Klassen

Back in 2019, author Thomas Taylor introduced us to the sometimes sleepy, always mysterious Eerie-on-Sea, a small coastal town that’s just brimming with strange people and even stranger stories. With illustrations by Tom Booth, we were immediately captivated by this charming tale when it came across our desk, in turn inspiring our September 2019LEGENDS OF THE DEEP’ box.

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Book on a beach with a cloudy sky and sea behind. Book image is of Malamander by Thomas Taylor, which shows a close-up of a orange eye in a green, aquatic face.

In Malamander, we’re first introduced to the town which in summer is known as Cheerie-on-Sea — the perfect place to spend a lovely day at the seaside. But when the weather turns and the winter winds blow in to knock off the “C” and “H” (as they always do), then the town becomes Eerie-on-Sea, home to howling winds and hushed tales of the malamander. But maybe I’m getting too far ahead of myself . . .

It’s here that we meet Herbert Lemon, a young boy employed as the official Lost-and-Founder of the Grand Nautilus Hotel. Herbie is used to finding and returning lost things to their rightful owners, but then one winter night, a young girl tumbles through the window of his Lost-and-Foundery claiming that she’s lost. And well, what else is Herbie supposed to do but help find her?

An open book on a mirror, next of which is a cup of tea and cookies. The open book shows an image that goes across both pages of several fancy houses leading towards a brick wall. A cat sits atop the brick wall, cleaning itself. Photo by marsi_darcy_reads_ on Instagram.

Violet Parma was left at the Grand Nautilus Hotel twelve years earlier, her parents having seemingly vanished into thin air. Violet has returned to Eerie-on-Sea to find them, and she recruits Herbie’s finding skills to locate them as Violet knows her parents would never have willingly abandoned her. No, she is simply lost and she will find her parents.

And so begins a thrilling mystery that covers the entirety of Eerie-on-Sea which includes (but is not limited to) a professional beachcomber, buckets of fish and chips, a cameraluna, a mechanical mermonkey, and of course, the eponymous malamander. But what exactly is the malamander? Will Herbie solve the mysterious disappearance of Violet’s parents? You’ll have to read to find out!


Book cover for Gargantis by Thomas Taylor. Image shows two young kids running along a pier as a massive storm upset the ocean behind them. In the clouds is a large monster.

Though our first stay in Eerie-on-Sea ends well, the trouble is far from over. In 2020, we travelled back in the sequel Gargantis just as storm clouds start gathering. Where Malamander focuses on the grand, yet personal mystery that started Violet’s life, this sequel is as gargantuan as its title implies! This time, a massive storm approaches our favorite coastal town, threatening to destroy everything in its path. But is there more to this storm than meets the eye?

Legend has it that an extraordinary secret was buried in the sea years ago, but thanks to a monstrous electrical storm, that secret has made its way back to the shores of Eerie-on-Sea — a secret which spells doom. Now, Herbie and Violet must untangle what’s truth and what’s fiction in order to save Eerie-on-Sea from winding up at the bottom of the ocean.

There’s a very real sense of impending doom and danger as Herbie and Violet race against the upcoming storm and the two have to learn to rely on each other more than ever before. This sequel is an absolute ride and completely unpredictable. And fair warning, the way this story ends will definitely leave you wanting more, so don’t wait too long before jumping into . . .


Image shows the book Shadowghast by Thomas Taylor surrounded by pumpkins, an open book, and shadow puppets. Book cover shows two young kids running across a stage, framed by orange and red coloured curtains. Their shadows are visibile behind them, along with the shadow of a gangly, smiling shadow monster.

Shadowghast! The third in the Eerie-on-Sea series sees Herbie and Violet during Ghastly Night, and shadows are growing. A theatre troupe and a particularly mysterious magician descend on the small coastal town to appease the grim spirit known as the Shadowghast. But no sooner have the actors settled into their rooms than townspeople start disappearing. And not only that, but Herbie must confront ghostly spectres of his own past before the darkness of Ghastly Night swallows them all up.

We were so thrilled to be able to create an OwlCrate Jr exclusive edition of Shadowghastwhich is still available for purchase in our Shop! Our edition features an exclusive foil cover and a letter from Thomas Taylor himself. Not to mention, each book is also signed!

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The Eerie-on-Sea mysteries is an exceptional middle grade series, full of humour, darkness, heart, and expert storytelling. With two more books to come (Festergrimm in Summer 2022 and Mermedusa in 2023), now is the perfect time to venture into the waters of this enigmatic town. Why not check out the official Eerie-on-Sea website to really get a feel for what's in store?

Or, if you’re already a fan or if you're looking for a new creepy story featuring a semi-aquatic setting, be sure to sign up for our February ‘FINDERS KEEPERS’ box for another great story featuring spooks, lots of heart, and dangerous folklore.

What are some of your favorite mystery series? Let us know in the comments below!

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