STARRED REVIEW
September 23, 2014

Snowy sleuths assume new roles in enchanting mystery

By Kate Milford

Milo was ready to enjoy a quiet Christmas vacation at his parents' hotel, Greenglass House, in the fictional harbor town of Nagspeake. Usually inhabited by local smugglers, the hotel receives not one but five unexpected visitors on the same snowy night. After Milo finds a map (with possible ties to Greenglass House) that was dropped by one of the hotel guests, it’s clear that they’re all looking for something—but not necessarily the same thing.

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Milo was ready to enjoy a quiet Christmas vacation at his parents' hotel, Greenglass House, in the fictional harbor town of Nagspeake. Usually inhabited by local smugglers, the hotel receives not one but five unexpected visitors on the same snowy night. After Milo finds a map (with possible ties to Greenglass House) that was dropped by one of the hotel guests, it’s clear that they’re all looking for something—but not necessarily the same thing. Figuring out why the visitors have arrived and what each wants becomes Milo’s mission.

In this atmospheric, multilayered mystery—filled with gorgeous (and of course, green) stained-glass windows, an attic begging to be explored and a quirky cast of squabbling characters—the cook’s daughter, Meddy, suggests to Milo a role-playing game called Odd Trails. Their new traits give the children the confidence they need to sort through the ambiguous facts, lies and clues, especially when objects start disappearing and the hotel guests take turns telling tales around the fireplace. His alternate role also allows adopted Milo to explore his Chinese ancestry and wonder about his birth parents.

Reminiscent of The Westing Game, Greenglass House offers smart storytelling and plenty of secrets, sabotage and twists. For fans who want to know more about this unusual hotel and its history, author Kate Milford refers them to an invented tourism site for the town of Nagspeake. On their own snowy, homebound days, readers will have trouble finding a more charming story.

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Greenglass House

Greenglass House

By Kate Milford
Clarion
ISBN 9780544052703

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