Tuesday, December 31, 2019

The Winterhouse Mysteries (Winterhouse #3)

Guterson, Ben. The Winterhouse Mysteries
December 31st 2019 by Henry Holt & Company
E ARC provided by Edelweiss Plus

Elizabeth is firmly ensconced in her new home after Winterhouse and The Secrets of Winterhouse. Spring is coming, and there are some guests at the hotel working on an enormous puzzle. Hyrum pops his head in from time to time, and there are several instances that rumble the house-- Norbridge contributes them to "thundersnow", but Elizabeth is suspicious. Elana is still in very poor health, her age having been greatly advanced by the evil Gracella. Freddy finds out that the author Damien Crowley wrote about something called the Dredforth Method that could bring back Gracella, but the book in which he wrote about it has gone missing. Luckily, Freddy visits, and the two are able to work through some mysteries in order to help Elana.
Strengths: This is a fantastic series for young readers who want something "harder"; the mystery is very well developed and complex, with threads weaving in and odd in a very clever fashion. My synopsis is short because I am NOT a reader who has great comprehension, and while the mystery was fun to read, it was hard for me to remember the details! The reason that I love these books is the description of the house, the relationships between the characters, and the delight page illustrations. The description of Elizabeth's room alone was enough to make me want to purchase this! This has been a favorite with students who like Milford's Greenglass House, Wood's The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place, and Funaro's newer Watch Hollow series.
Weaknesses: Both Freddy's parents and Elizabeth's aunt and uncle are given moments of sympathy, which seemed odd. Perhaps Gracella is villain enough? Also, I am personally not a fan of puzzle and riddles, and all of these books have a lot of those, which is good for readers who ARE fans.
What I really think: Definitely purchasing. This book seemed like it wrapped up the series nicely, but I'm not sure whether it is over or not. Three and five book series are my favorites, since students seem more apt to pick up the entire series when they are that length, which means that the books wear evenly, and I don't feel like I wasted the taxpayers' money on book eight!
Ms. Yingling

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