Winterhouse (Winterhouse, #1)
An enchanting urban fantasy middle-grade debut―the first book in a trilogy―set in a magical hotel full of secrets.Orphan Elizabeth Somers’s malevolent aunt and uncle ship her off to the ominous Winterhouse Hotel, owned by the peculiar Norbridge Falls. Upon arrival, Elizabeth quickly discovers that Winterhouse has many charms―most notably its massive library. It’s not long before she locates a magical book of puzzles that will unlock a mystery involving Norbridge and his sinister family. But the deeper she delves into the hotel’s secrets, the more Elizabeth starts to realize that she is somehow connected to Winterhouse. As fate would have it, Elizabeth is the only person who can break the hotel’s curse and solve the mystery. But will it be at the cost of losing the people she has come to care for, and even Winterhouse itself?Mystery, adventure, and beautiful writing combine in this exciting debut richly set in a hotel full of secrets.

Winterhouse (Winterhouse, #1) Details

TitleWinterhouse (Winterhouse, #1)
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseJan 2nd, 2018
PublisherHenry Holt and Co. (BYR)
Rating
GenreChildrens, Middle Grade, Mystery, Fantasy

Winterhouse (Winterhouse, #1) Review

  • Ms. Yingling
    January 1, 1970
    E ARC from Netgalley.comPoor Elizabeth Somers. Her parents died when she was four, and she has been raised by her uncaring Aunt Purdy and Uncle Burlap. When they decide to take a vacation over Christmas, she is packed off to Winterhouse with $3 and a grocery bag of clothing. There's little explanation, but she is glad to have a few books with her, and the hotel is not as bad as she has feared. Aside from the creepy booksellers, the Hiems, who warn her that the proprietor, Norbridge Falls, is not E ARC from Netgalley.comPoor Elizabeth Somers. Her parents died when she was four, and she has been raised by her uncaring Aunt Purdy and Uncle Burlap. When they decide to take a vacation over Christmas, she is packed off to Winterhouse with $3 and a grocery bag of clothing. There's little explanation, but she is glad to have a few books with her, and the hotel is not as bad as she has feared. Aside from the creepy booksellers, the Hiems, who warn her that the proprietor, Norbridge Falls, is not what he seems, and is not to be trusted. Norbridge seems quite nice, and looks out for Elizabeth, and also shows her the tremendous library at Winterhouse. Elizabeth also meets Freddy, whose parents send him to the hotel while they travel, and the two discover that they both like anagrams, word ladders, and other puzzles. Strengths: This definitely had a Lemony Snicket sort of vibe, and the parallels between this and Greenglass House are definitely very strong. Also had shades of Seible's Trouble with Twins. Well paced, with plenty of twists and intriguing characters, this certainly has a lot of fine qualities to recommend it. Weaknesses: Read this during extreme attack of Middle Age ennui, and was immediately annoyed by "Uncle Burlap". Really? Burlap? And dead parents. I loved Winterhouse itself, and the idea of the library, and just about the time I was settling into those lovely thoughts, Elizabeth and Freddy started with decoding messages, of which I am not a fan. That, and Elizabeth's favorite book is Anne of Green Gables, she claims to have read Swallows and Amazons, and she ends the book reading The Wind in the Willows. I'm done with Anne, even I hadn't read Swallows and Amazons until it appeared on a list of 100 Best Middle Grade Books, and in 15 years, I haven't been able to get a single student to read The Wind in the Willows. So, a bit "bah, humbug" here. What I really think: I'm not sure if my students will be willing to invest in a trilogy of these, but I may have to buy this first book because I love the cover so much. This year, I am looking into buying Junie B. Jones books for my very reluctant sixth graders. I would love to have students who would enjoy this book, but right now, I'm struggling to get them to read more than 50 pages. At least this has some pictures, which they all seem to require!
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  • Melissa
    January 1, 1970
    Charming. Though I would have liked it better without the ghost-y elements.
  • Jenni Frencham
    January 1, 1970
    While Elizabeth's aunt and uncle go on vacation, Elizabeth is sent to spend her winter break from school at a mysterious hotel. Her aunt and uncle don't explain why, and although Elizabeth at first is resentful of this trip, she eventually begins to enjoy herself at the hotel, and while there finds both a friend and a mystery to solve.I thought the descriptions of the hotel and the various characters staying there were fantastic. I loved Elizabeth's interest in various codes and ciphers. The mys While Elizabeth's aunt and uncle go on vacation, Elizabeth is sent to spend her winter break from school at a mysterious hotel. Her aunt and uncle don't explain why, and although Elizabeth at first is resentful of this trip, she eventually begins to enjoy herself at the hotel, and while there finds both a friend and a mystery to solve.I thought the descriptions of the hotel and the various characters staying there were fantastic. I loved Elizabeth's interest in various codes and ciphers. The mystery aspect was a bit obvious, but I'm not the intended audience of this book so I can give that a pass. What I can't give a pass to, though, is the fact that Elizabeth and her friend Freddy are both staying at this hotel, both without adults watching over them, and no one seems bothered by this. They aren't under the watch of anyone, really. Even the Dursleys protested when Harry was whisked off to Hogwarts. Other than that, this story would make a great read for a snow day when one is trapped indoors. Recommended for: tweensRed Flags: noneOverall Rating: 3/5 starsRead-Alikes: Greenglass House, Book Scavenger, MastermindsI received a complimentary copy of this book through Netgalley for the purposes of review.
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  • Brenda
    January 1, 1970
    Originally posted at Log Cabin LibraryElizabeth will be spending her Christmas break at the Winterhouse Hotel while her Aunt and Uncle take a vacation. At least they left her some clothing in a grocery bag, a few measly dollars, and a bus, and train ticket to get her there. Once Elizabeth gets underway, she encounters an odd couple dressed all in black, who upon their arrival at the hotel, introduce themselves as the Heims, booksellers of old rare books. They give her a cryptic warning that Mr. Originally posted at Log Cabin LibraryElizabeth will be spending her Christmas break at the Winterhouse Hotel while her Aunt and Uncle take a vacation. At least they left her some clothing in a grocery bag, a few measly dollars, and a bus, and train ticket to get her there. Once Elizabeth gets underway, she encounters an odd couple dressed all in black, who upon their arrival at the hotel, introduce themselves as the Heims, booksellers of old rare books. They give her a cryptic warning that Mr. Norbridge is a book thief, but after meeting Norbridge Falls, she's skeptical about their story. Norbridge then takes her on a grand tour of his hotel and it's one of a kind library, upon exploring the library further she finds a one-hundred-year-old book. Then she meets Freddy Knox, a boy her age whose parents also sent him to the hotel for the holiday. Freddy's been coming to the hotel for years and doesn't mind because Norbridge always gives him special projects to work on, like turning walnut shells into fuel. Elizabeth and Freddy soon discover they share a passion for puzzles, anagrams, and word ladders and while planning a special scavenger hunt competition they find a painting. Within the painting, there seems to be a secret message written with a Vigenere Square, but without the encryption key, they won't be able to figure out what it says. Winterhouse is the first book in the trilogy by debut author Ben Guterson, it has the feel of Greenglass House with all of its various rooms to explore, a mystery to solve and puzzles. Each chapter has an interesting title as well as a word ladder going down the page and it is split into three sections/books. The puzzles were challenging and the mystery surrounding the painting and antique book definitely hold your interest. You can even try your hand at decoding one of the puzzles using a Vigenere Square, which was pretty tough until they found the keyword that the puzzle was based on. Elizabeth is such a delight, she's a bibliophile and keeps lists like, "Reason's Why I DO NOT Like my Aunt and Uncle." She has these "feelings" or strange occurrences as she likes to call them where things just sort of happen around her without an explanation. For example, a gate might close for no apparent reason. She tries hard to be optimistic, but living with her Aunt and Uncle for the past seven years has been challenging for her. What she wants most of all is to have a friend. Freddy is logical, practical and understanding, they're pretty equal in their puzzle-solving abilities and I really enjoyed how they challenged each other to competitions over breakfast. It was kinda sad when they had a huge falling out midway through the book, but eventually, they resolved their differences. I really enjoyed Guterson's descriptive writing like this one, "a wonderful aroma of something sweet like sugar and fire-smoke and candles all rolled together-lingered in the air." And the way that the plot was slowly revealed while rooting you in the setting and the uniqueness of the hotel its surroundings and guests, "round tables rimmed with gleaming place settings, huge windows that allowed views of snow-heavy trees and distant peaks, hundred candled chandeliers strung across the ceiling, and a stone fireplace at the far end that was crackling with a haystack of logs." There are lovely black and white illustrations by Chloe Bristol and overall this was a very enjoyable mystery. *Review of EARC from Edelweiss Above the Treeline*
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  • MsAprilVincent
    January 1, 1970
    This is a book about a girl who loves books, so of course I loved it.〰Ten-year-old Elizabeth comes home one day to find that her aunt and uncle are gone on vacation, leaving her three dollars and a bus ticket to the Winterhouse Hotel. What a couple of dears.〰At Winterhouse, Elizabeth meets the owner, Norbridge Falls, and another kid on his own, Freddy, who's inventing a fuel source using walnut shells.〰The hotel isn't exactly 100% normal, and avid reader Elizabeth is immediately drawn to its lib This is a book about a girl who loves books, so of course I loved it.〰Ten-year-old Elizabeth comes home one day to find that her aunt and uncle are gone on vacation, leaving her three dollars and a bus ticket to the Winterhouse Hotel. What a couple of dears.〰At Winterhouse, Elizabeth meets the owner, Norbridge Falls, and another kid on his own, Freddy, who's inventing a fuel source using walnut shells.〰The hotel isn't exactly 100% normal, and avid reader Elizabeth is immediately drawn to its library, where she finds a strange book hidden on a shelf. She sneaks it out of the library and begins to read it, and then weird stuff starts to happen.〰I found the beginning of the book to be kind of Harry Potter-ish, with the neglected child getting an invitation to a magical place. But I really liked Winterhouse and its inhabitants, and the magic is far more subtle (and creepy).Elizabeth is curious but not annoying, and she's not irritatingly precocious. Freddy is her first real friend, and she makes mistakes with him because friendship is new to her. When he (rightfully) gets mad, they avoid each other, and I thought that was a realistic portrayal. Even Elizabeth's embarrassment and apology seemed true, because it's really hard to admit you screwed up, but it's worth it when a friendship is important.〰The book makes clever use of word games, even including one at the beginning of each chapter. It also name checks a lot of other children's books, so the reader can find something else to dive into when s/he finishes this one.I liked Chloe Bristol's illustrations a lot; they reminded me of the artwork in older (read: from my own childhood, sigh) children's books.〰This is absolutely a book I'd give my 10-year-old niece (and I will!), but older readers will enjoy it too.
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  • Susan
    January 1, 1970
    Thanks to the @kidlitexchange network for the review copy of this book – all opinions are my own.This magical, modern day fantasy is full of mystery, fun, imagination and charm. Elizabeth has been an orphan for the past seven years, living in poverty with a heartless aunt and uncle. Her only friends are her books, which she borrows from her caring school librarian. This all changes when an unexpected invitation arrives inviting her to spend the Christmas holidays in a mysterious place called the Thanks to the @kidlitexchange network for the review copy of this book – all opinions are my own.This magical, modern day fantasy is full of mystery, fun, imagination and charm. Elizabeth has been an orphan for the past seven years, living in poverty with a heartless aunt and uncle. Her only friends are her books, which she borrows from her caring school librarian. This all changes when an unexpected invitation arrives inviting her to spend the Christmas holidays in a mysterious place called the Winterhouse Hotel. Upon Elizabeth’s arrival at Winterhouse, she finds her first friend ever who shares her love of books, word puzzles and anagrams. She also discovers an amazing library, a mysterious hotel owner who does magic tricks, a very strange book that’s probably been hidden away in the gigantic library for a hundred years and lots of secrets. I really enjoyed this mystery. The author’s descriptions made the setting come alive for me. I also loved the charming illustrations, which are sprinkled throughout the book. I found myself hoping that somehow Elizabeth would find a connection to Winterhouse and to Norbridge Falls that would allow her to stay. This kept me tied to the story as I rushed to the end. I would recommend this to be included in elementary and middle school libraries. It is appropriate for grades 3 - 8.
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  • Jennifer
    January 1, 1970
    From my first reading of the description of Winterhouse, I was super excited. Books like Chasing Vermeer, The Greenglass House, and The Mysterious Benedict Society are my absolute favorite kind of middle grade fiction but are, unfortunately, less common. (As a side note, finding a true mystery - a story with a puzzle- rather than a thriller for middle grade or YA is more difficult than one might think.)Winterhouse did not disappoint. It is a true mystery, complete with a code for the reader to a From my first reading of the description of Winterhouse, I was super excited. Books like Chasing Vermeer, The Greenglass House, and The Mysterious Benedict Society are my absolute favorite kind of middle grade fiction but are, unfortunately, less common. (As a side note, finding a true mystery - a story with a puzzle- rather than a thriller for middle grade or YA is more difficult than one might think.)Winterhouse did not disappoint. It is a true mystery, complete with a code for the reader to attempt to solve, should they choose to do so. (The solution is explained within the book, so those more inclined toward passive mystery reading need not worry.) It kept me guessing up to the end. On par with the puzzle is the atmosphere of Winterhouse. It seems heavily influenced by Wes Anderson (think Grand Budapest Hotel meets Moonrise Kingdom) and I loved it. I am just sad such a place doesn't exist. I am very pleased to see this labeled as "Winterhouse #1", implying there are more books to follow, although I am not sure where another book will go, as this one wrapped up fairly neatly. I look forward to seeing what is next, however.
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  • Jamie
    January 1, 1970
    I really enjoyed this book and will be ordering it for the library collection. Very good kids cozy mystery. I look forward to the next book.
  • Jen Petro-Roy
    January 1, 1970
    Quite entertaining. Perfect for fans of Greenglass House.
  • Mortisha Cassavetes
    January 1, 1970
    This book was an amazing read with very creative illustrations that I loved. It brought together everything for a wonderful Christmas mystery. The story follows Elizabeth and journey to Winterhouse for the holidays while her aunt and uncle get a suspicious paid for vacation. During Elizabeth's stay at this magical hotel she meets Freddy and becomes best friends. They find lots of things to get into and even a very spooky mystery to solve. I don't want to spoil the story but I would highly recomm This book was an amazing read with very creative illustrations that I loved. It brought together everything for a wonderful Christmas mystery. The story follows Elizabeth and journey to Winterhouse for the holidays while her aunt and uncle get a suspicious paid for vacation. During Elizabeth's stay at this magical hotel she meets Freddy and becomes best friends. They find lots of things to get into and even a very spooky mystery to solve. I don't want to spoil the story but I would highly recommend it to everyone especially around the holidays.
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  • Sarah Sammis
    January 1, 1970
    I was looking for a follow up to Ghosts of Greenglass House (review coming) and Winterhouse by Ben Guterson seemed like a good fit. The book opens with Elizabeth Somers arriving home on the last day of school before winter break to find a note from her aunt and uncle and a train and a bus ticket to Winterhouse for the three weeks of vacation.http://pussreboots.com/blog/2018/comm...
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  • Jen
    January 1, 1970
    This was a pretty fun book for middle grade readers. Great for children who love puzzles, books, and a touch of magic. Much of the action is set in a beautiful library and revolves around a special book. One I'll be adding to the shelf for my daughter when she gets a bit older.
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  • Kim Dyer
    January 1, 1970
    Oh my gosh I freaking LOVED this book! The setting of Winterhouse was absolutely magical, I loved the writing, the characters, the mystery, everything. Who says middle grade books aren’t for adults? First book of 2018 and it’s gonna be hard to top!
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  • Rosalind Guterson
    January 1, 1970
    Winterhouse is a wonderful story about a bright, curious, young, orphaned, girl, Elizabeth. She is left by uncaring relatives to travel alone, to an unfamiliar place called Winterhouse at Christmas time. Upon her arrival to Winterhouse Elizabeth enters a wonderous world of secrets, unsolved mysteries, treacherous plots and new friendships. Like Elizabeth, we are challenged to seek out clues, while figuring out codes and solving puzzles along the way. Winterhouse is beautifully illustrated and wi Winterhouse is a wonderful story about a bright, curious, young, orphaned, girl, Elizabeth. She is left by uncaring relatives to travel alone, to an unfamiliar place called Winterhouse at Christmas time. Upon her arrival to Winterhouse Elizabeth enters a wonderous world of secrets, unsolved mysteries, treacherous plots and new friendships. Like Elizabeth, we are challenged to seek out clues, while figuring out codes and solving puzzles along the way. Winterhouse is beautifully illustrated and will engage readers from cover to cover.
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  • Patty
    January 1, 1970
    WinterhouseByBen GutersonWhat it's all about...This book is about a young girl named Elizabeth and what happens to her over Christmas vacation. She lives with her aunt and uncle and is not treated very nicely. She loves books and puzzles and anagrams and list making. She doesn’t have many friends and spends most of her time reading...alone...in her room. But...on the last day of school just before Christmas vacation she arrives at her house to find a note...$3.00...and very weird instructions fr WinterhouseByBen GutersonWhat it's all about...This book is about a young girl named Elizabeth and what happens to her over Christmas vacation. She lives with her aunt and uncle and is not treated very nicely. She loves books and puzzles and anagrams and list making. She doesn’t have many friends and spends most of her time reading...alone...in her room. But...on the last day of school just before Christmas vacation she arrives at her house to find a note...$3.00...and very weird instructions from her odd aunt and uncle. She is to board a train and a bus and go to Winterhouse...where she will spend the next three weeks. She doesn’t realize until she gets to Winterhouse that it is a magical wonderful hotel. Why I wanted to read it...I love middle grade books! Elizabeth was special. She loved puzzles and there were tons of puzzles within this book. Winterhouse was special and filled with guests. Elizabeth even made a friend...Freddy! And...just wait until you read about Flurschen...yum! What made me truly enjoy this book...There was a bit of a dark side to this book...and a lot of dark mystery! That made this book a bit of a page turner for me! Why you should read it, too...Middle grade readers who love puzzles as well as mysteries should truly love this book. It ended in such a way that I have hopes for a book 2! “I received an advance reader’s copy from the publisher through NetGalley and Amazon. I decided to read it and write a review.
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  • Emily Montjoy
    January 1, 1970
    This mysterious and magical story is beautifully written. The description and detail of Winterhouse lured me in and made me feel right at home as one of the guests! The mystery Elizabeth became involved in was intriguing and kept me guessing with each new clue. I'm looking forward to the rest of the trilogy and more adventures at Winterhouse!
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  • That One Librarian
    January 1, 1970
    Winterhouse is the story Elizabeth, who finds herself spirited away from her exceptionally dull and rather chilly aunt and uncle and to the magical world of the Winterhouse Hotel. The mysteries begin almost immediately when a strange couple won't stop staring at Elizabeth on the bus ride to Winterhouse. Things get stranger when Elizabeth arrives and meets the quirky proprietor, Norbridge, and the strange man and woman from the bus check into the hotel, as well. Elizabeth quickly discovers that W Winterhouse is the story Elizabeth, who finds herself spirited away from her exceptionally dull and rather chilly aunt and uncle and to the magical world of the Winterhouse Hotel. The mysteries begin almost immediately when a strange couple won't stop staring at Elizabeth on the bus ride to Winterhouse. Things get stranger when Elizabeth arrives and meets the quirky proprietor, Norbridge, and the strange man and woman from the bus check into the hotel, as well. Elizabeth quickly discovers that Winterhouse is a place of mysteries and riddles. Together with her newfound friend, Freddy, Elizabeth uncovers a generations-long puzzle with life-and-death stakes that only she will be able to solve. While the premise of Winterhouse isn't revolutionary, this mystery is very enjoyable. Elizabeth is white while Freddy is darker complected. Both are very intelligent, though in their own ways. Each chapter heading includes a word puzzle and extra bit of information for the reader. While one of the "big reveals" may be seen a mile away by astute readers, it doesn't detract from tale's enjoyment. Hand this to fans of mysteries with just a bit of magic; they're sure to enjoy it!
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  • Margaux
    January 1, 1970
    Advanced Copy provided through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Despite being a readalike for Greenglass House, this book was definitely more compelling read for me. I have coworkers who loved the older book, but this one was filled with a bit more intrigue, and it clipped along really well. A plot-driven story about a girl who is shipped off to a mystery hotel for her winter break, and ends up finding herself in a noir-style mystery. She makes a great friend, and readers will definit Advanced Copy provided through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Despite being a readalike for Greenglass House, this book was definitely more compelling read for me. I have coworkers who loved the older book, but this one was filled with a bit more intrigue, and it clipped along really well. A plot-driven story about a girl who is shipped off to a mystery hotel for her winter break, and ends up finding herself in a noir-style mystery. She makes a great friend, and readers will definitely enjoy trying to figure out what Elizabeth will do next. There were definitely moments where I wanted to just scream at her because she was so stubborn and naive, but again I think that was Guterson's point. The dark/light magic in here is accessible and isn't too nuanced for the intended audience. For some reason, I kept picturing the camp I used to go to as the main setting for this, although I'm sure that's partly because I can't imagine how huge this hotel is and I didn't want to picture the Shining. Readers 4-7th grade will love this book, Freddy and Elizabeth, and the eccentric Norbridge Falls. The remote yet lush setting is the perfect backdrop for the intrigue and puzzles in store for the main character.
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  • George Papuchis
    January 1, 1970
    Won in a Goodreads giveaway. I was thinking of giving this to my nephew but might keep it for myself lol
  • Erin
    January 1, 1970
    What a delightful middles-grades read! A precocious protagonist in a mysterious hotel is always a win for me and this is an especially well done mix of those elements. It is a less weird Warren the 13th. Elizabeth is a fantastic, like-able main character. I was rooting for her the whole time. The resolution wasn't entirely unexpected but I was looking forward to it the whole time because I wanted something to go right for Elizabeth. The mystery was engaging and the resolution satisfying, which i What a delightful middles-grades read! A precocious protagonist in a mysterious hotel is always a win for me and this is an especially well done mix of those elements. It is a less weird Warren the 13th. Elizabeth is a fantastic, like-able main character. I was rooting for her the whole time. The resolution wasn't entirely unexpected but I was looking forward to it the whole time because I wanted something to go right for Elizabeth. The mystery was engaging and the resolution satisfying, which is exactly what you want in a mystery. I will definitely pick up the next installment as soon as it is out. I would recommend this to readers who like to solve the mystery along with the protagonist. I think fans of the Westing Game, Warren the 13th, Serafina and the Black Cloak or Mr. Lemoncello's Library will enjoy this book.Edit: Now that I've seen a physical copy of this book I just wanted to add a note about how charming the illustrations are. There were a few in the digital version but in it's complete, physical form the book is even more lovely. I especially love the cut-out style jacket cover. I received a copy from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Lori
    January 1, 1970
    Orphan Elizabeth Somers stays lives with her impoverished aunt and uncle. She loves books and puzzles, especially word puzzles. When they announce vacation plans for themselves and a stay at a grand house called Winterhouse for her, she wonders who paid for it. On the train she meets some creepy people who get off at the same stop and go to the same house. They cause problems from the moment they set foot in the door. Elizabeth soon meets the owner of the home who welcomes her. Elizabeth loves p Orphan Elizabeth Somers stays lives with her impoverished aunt and uncle. She loves books and puzzles, especially word puzzles. When they announce vacation plans for themselves and a stay at a grand house called Winterhouse for her, she wonders who paid for it. On the train she meets some creepy people who get off at the same stop and go to the same house. They cause problems from the moment they set foot in the door. Elizabeth soon meets the owner of the home who welcomes her. Elizabeth loves puzzles and helps a couple of men place a piece in what must be one of the largest and most challenging jigsaws of all time. She possesses a "magic touch" where when things "seem right" she feels it. She meets a boy about her age who has come alone to Winterhouse for several years and works on a scientific project for the owner. She loves books and libraries and finds a very interesting book in the reference collection she takes to her room for further study, even though she knows she should not. The house contains many puzzles begging for solution. This book will entertain readers in upper elementary to early middle school grades. Readers will want a few word puzzles of their own so parents (and teachers) should prepare for this outcome. The book creates a springboard to discuss good versus evil. I received an advance electronic copy of the book through NetGalley with the expectation of writing an unbiased review.
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  • Allison
    January 1, 1970
    Fans of the Mysterious Benedict Society Series & Mr. Lemoncello's Library Series will love this twisty mystery. It's full of codes, puzzles, and a touch of magic.
  • Sarah
    January 1, 1970
    *I received a digital review copy from NetGalley*A charming middle grade novel, Winterhouse is the perfect read for the winter season. I really enjoyed reading about the Winterhouse hotel and all of its attractions. It seems like such a wonderful place to visit, especially during the holiday season, as Elizabeth does. Speaking of Elizabeth, she and the other characters were great, though for the most part pretty one-dimensional. Some sections of the book did drag a bit, making it hard to stay fo *I received a digital review copy from NetGalley*A charming middle grade novel, Winterhouse is the perfect read for the winter season. I really enjoyed reading about the Winterhouse hotel and all of its attractions. It seems like such a wonderful place to visit, especially during the holiday season, as Elizabeth does. Speaking of Elizabeth, she and the other characters were great, though for the most part pretty one-dimensional. Some sections of the book did drag a bit, making it hard to stay focused on the story. I did guess most of the twists and revelations but I kept reading to see how they would unfold. I'm interested to see what would happen in the sequel. The events ended pretty well in this book with not many loose ends. Overall a great middle grade read!
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  • Laura
    January 1, 1970
    Cute and fun for puzzle lovers. Sometimes the setting was confusing - how big could that hotel really be? But readers won't care, they'll just want to visit. The Big Mystery is actually a few mysteries and their solutions aren't always telegraphed, which is always a good thing. That this is the first in a series may also be a good thing... I'll have to wait and read.ARC provided by publisher.
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  • Brenda
    January 1, 1970
    I really enjoyed this book. I wasn't expecting it to take a "supernatural" path, but I was pleasantly surprised. The story moved along at a good pace and the different mysteries kept me wanting to know more. I'm looking forward to the next books in this series.
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  • AD
    January 1, 1970
    Interesting story in the style of The Mysterious Benedict Society. Will be passing it on to the young readers in my family.
  • Annie Lee
    January 1, 1970
    A great book for fans of the Mysterious Benedict Society. Really makes you wish the Winterhouse Hotel were real and that you could visit.
  • Kim McGee
    January 1, 1970
    Elizabeth has lost her parents and now lives with her cold Aunt and Uncle who have just announced, in a note, that she will be spending the Christmas holidays at a hotel called Winterhouse. She travels to the hotel expecting the worst and is pleasantly surprised to find a majestic lodge in the woods with a full library, tons of places to explore and even a new friend, Freddy, who loves puzzles as much as she does. Who paid for her to come here and why seems like a good mystery but she and Freddy Elizabeth has lost her parents and now lives with her cold Aunt and Uncle who have just announced, in a note, that she will be spending the Christmas holidays at a hotel called Winterhouse. She travels to the hotel expecting the worst and is pleasantly surprised to find a majestic lodge in the woods with a full library, tons of places to explore and even a new friend, Freddy, who loves puzzles as much as she does. Who paid for her to come here and why seems like a good mystery but she and Freddy discover there are many mysteries at Winterhouse. Elizabeth finds a strange book in the library that leads the kids on a scavenger hunt for clues that are all over Winterhouse that they hope will tell them more about the hotel's owner, his missing sister and the suspicious pair of book dealers also staying there. Word puzzles, book clues and secret codes galore - kids will be begging their parents to vacation at Winterhouse.
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  • Debbie Tanner
    January 1, 1970
    I liked this magical mystery about an 11 year old girl named Elizabeth. She is sent to spend winter break at a hotel. She is living with a stingy aunt and uncle since her parents death 6 years ago. She's a bit surprised that any of them are taking a vacation, since her aunt and uncle complain a lot about how expensive everything is. So she is quite unprepared to arrive at a beautiful hotel with kind and interesting people. She makes a number of friends and feels quite at home, but something keep I liked this magical mystery about an 11 year old girl named Elizabeth. She is sent to spend winter break at a hotel. She is living with a stingy aunt and uncle since her parents death 6 years ago. She's a bit surprised that any of them are taking a vacation, since her aunt and uncle complain a lot about how expensive everything is. So she is quite unprepared to arrive at a beautiful hotel with kind and interesting people. She makes a number of friends and feels quite at home, but something keeps bugging her. There are a ton of text to text connections, some interesting places to talk about magic and how one chooses to use it as well as the puzzles. I thought this one was a lot of fun.
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  • Jana
    January 1, 1970
    I had the opportunity to read a digital ARC of this middle grade novel from NetGalley in exchange for this review. For middle grade students (grades 5 and up) who enjoy mysteries and puzzles, this would be a fun and entertaining read. Elizabeth Somers’ guardian aunt and uncle are taking a winter vacation and have sent her to spend Christmas break at the Winterhouse hotel. When she arrives at this extravagant resort, she is blown away by how wonderful it is. She makes fast friends with another yo I had the opportunity to read a digital ARC of this middle grade novel from NetGalley in exchange for this review. For middle grade students (grades 5 and up) who enjoy mysteries and puzzles, this would be a fun and entertaining read. Elizabeth Somers’ guardian aunt and uncle are taking a winter vacation and have sent her to spend Christmas break at the Winterhouse hotel. When she arrives at this extravagant resort, she is blown away by how wonderful it is. She makes fast friends with another young guest, Freddy, and the two of them explore all of the hotel together. As time passes, she starts encountering all sorts of weird secrets and mysteries, including an old book that seems to have magical powers itself. The plot twists and turns take readers through an adventure to determine what message this book is trying to share with Elizabeth and what it all means for the fate of Winterhouse and everyone in it. I believe that mystery lovers will enjoy this book. Young readers that like reading about resort hotels and solving puzzles will have some fun with it. I do think that the plot development drags in several spots. My attention started to wander through the descriptions of the time spent solving the big jigsaw puzzle in the lobby, Freddy’s work to develop his invention of the Wonder Log, and the exclusive Winterhouse-made candy, Flurschen. Through these extra details that aren’t as important to the actual mystery of the story, young readers might lose interest.
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