Book Review


Greenglass House

I used to love going to my uncle’s house for summer vacations because he used to relate great mystery stories to me. My love for mystery and suspense grew more in his company. Since I enjoy suspense, I thought I should read a mystery book. Keeping that in mind I went to the bookstore and got ‘Greenglass House’ as its genre is also mystery. Written by Kate Milford, it is a 376-page long book and was published in 2014 by Clarion Books.

I soon realized that when Kate Milford is doing the writing one must just sit back and enjoy the thrill and excitement. She is a storyteller’s delight and you are left guessing right through the story wondering what will happen next.

The setting for the book is the Green House and it is winters. Greenglass House is an inn run by Milo’s parents and because of the winter season they are bereft of regular customers and land up having mostly smugglers as their clients. Milo is relaxing as it is the winter vacations for him and because the inn is usually quiet during this time. But suddenly one day, the bell rang. And again. And again. In spite of the awful icy weather, a guest appears. Then another. Then two more. More than five guests appear with flimsy excuses for their arrival. Some seem to know one another and others act suspiciously. And when thefts start to take place with things going missing in the inn, Milo and Meddy, the cook’s daughter, decide to play detective and set out on an adventure to find the missing things.

Milford’s style of writing is unique and enjoyable. In her book she breaks unspoken rules. Rules that have been followed by children’s authors for years. And in breaking them, she creates stronger books. It is worth noting that with the exception of our two young heroes, the story mainly focuses on adults with adult problems. And another remarkable thing about Kate Milford as a writer is that she has set the book in the present day (there is a mention of televisions in this book, so we can at least assume it’s relatively recent). I liked that there were many characters who had a story why they were there.

The story is entirely set in the Greenglass House and it has the feel of a stage play. That means you’re constantly running into mom and dad, but you don’t get the sense that they are being supervised constantly and being told what to do and what not to but they children are left on their own to freely explore and solve crimes. Truly a rare feature.

Milford does a divine job at writing a darned good mystery without sacrificing character development and deeper truths. The vocabulary was certainly something to recon with…..Raconteur. Puissance. The book has been written specially for those kids who like reading books that make them feel smart.

I recommend this book for sixth graders. If you liked this book, you should read Ghosts of Greenglass House and Bluecrowne, the next books in the series.

I give this book 4 out of 5.

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