In this middle grade mystery, twelve-year-old Milo lives with his adoptive parents at the Greenglass House, an inn primarily populated by smugglers. Guests do not usually come during winter vacation so Milo and his parents are surprised when a guest appears…and then another and another! Pretty soon, the inn is housing a handful of guests, each with their own secrets. When Milo discovers an unusual map which is later stolen from him, he and Meddy, the cook’s daughter and only other child in the house, set out to solve the mystery. Their search leads them to clues that create more questions, and soon they are tangled up in a grand mystery about the house itself.
The entirety of Kate Milford’s Greenglass House takes place over the course of a few days while our cast of characters are snowed in at the inn. The characters start telling each other stories each night that are more than just stories; they each represent the real reason each person is at the inn. Readers will enjoy getting to know our oddball guests: blue haired Georgie, the boring Mr. Vinge always wearing silly socks, super stealthy Clem, and the constantly arguing Mrs. Hereward and Dr. Gowervine. Even readers who figure out some of the twists before they are revealed will still enjoy Milo’s journey.
More than a mystery, Greenglass House also includes a realistic portrayal of adoption and lends itself to discussion about what makes a family. At 375 pages with only 15 chapters, Greenglass House is recommended for strong upper elementary readers and middle schoolers who enjoy mysteries and character driven stories. Readers who enjoy Greenglass House and are open to a dose of horror alongside a mystery should get their hands on The Night Gardener by Jonathan Auxier. It is also an atmospheric story with dynamic characters and an emphasis on storytelling.
You can place a hold on the books in the Deerfield Public Library catalog right now. If you have to wait, be sure to check out “You Might Also Like These…” at the bottom of the catalog page.
This review was previously published by the Deerfield Review.