A rambling old inn, a strange map, an attic packed with treasures, squabbling guests, theft, friendship, and an unusual haunting mark this smart middle grade mystery in the tradition of the Mysterious Benedict Society books and Blue Balliet’s Chasing Vermeer series.
It’s wintertime at Greenglass House. The creaky smuggler’s inn is always quiet during this season, and twelve-year-old Milo, the innkeepers’ adopted son, plans to spend his holidays relaxing. But on the first icy night of vacation, out of nowhere, the guest bell rings. Then rings again. And again. Soon Milo’s home is bursting with odd, secretive guests, each one bearing a strange story that is somehow connected to the rambling old house. As objects go missing and tempers flare, Milo and Meddy, the cook’s daughter, must decipher clues and untangle the web of deepening mysteries to discover the truth about Greenglass House-and themselves. (Goodreads Synopsis)
Greenglass House is an inn tha tis not only famous for its structure but all for it’s less that upstanding guest. In the story we follow 12 year old Milo who lives at the inn with his parents. All Milo wanted was a relaxing winter break with his family, but when guest start showing up, it’s in no way as relaxing as he hoped.
This book had all of the elements of a middle grade that I enjoy: mystery, great characters, and a great setting. Greenglass House was so interesting. It was almost like the house was a character within itself. Milo the main protagonist of is Chinese decent and he is adopted. I loved how adoption was a part of the story but it wasn’t necessarily the main story. There is an excellent author’s note in the back that explains how she came up with the idea of Milo. The other cast of characters were a modge podge quirky bunch that I absolutely loved. Each guest that entered into the story was such a delight to get to know.
The storytelling in the book was so great. There are many stories within the story and each one was told in such a captivating way. The mystery element that was introduced during the story kept me on the edge of my seat, throughout. There is a plot twist near the end that I absolutely did not see coming and that doesn’t happen often when I’m reading middle grade.
Overall, I would recommend this book to older middle grade readers and early young adult readers. I feel the tone of the story and the writing style would be less appealing to younger readers. This would be an excellent read in the winter around Christmas time, this could be a fun book to curl up with while on winter break. I loved this story and will be reading the additional books in the series.