Ted Gerson has honed his skills at online escape-the-room games to extreme sharpness—nothing gets past him. When his great uncle dies and leaves him the contents of his apartment, Ted has high hopes; although it looks like a hoarder’s paradise, he thinks there might be some actual treasure from his great uncle’s service in World War II. His mother is more concerned that this was a practical joke intended to get the place cleaned out for free. But as Ted, his best friend, Caleb, and new-girl-in-town Isabel get to work, they find that the apartment itself is eerily similar to an escape-the-room game.
Debut author Denis Markell keeps the mystery interesting by introducing bad guys who might actually be good, and there are many nods to history and classical literature mixed in with the puzzle-solving fun. Information about Japanese internment camps is introduced gently enough that some readers will be inspired to learn more on their own.
Click Here to Start combines history, mystery and friendship, and fans of Ellen Raskin or Blue Balliett will find it irresistible.