Milo and his parents live and work at the Greenglass House, an inn located at the top of a mountain in a remote area well-known to smugglers. Milo is looking forward to spending his winter vacation with his parents when suddenly the inn is full to bursting with very unusual and suspicious characters. Milo's parents are rushing around trying to meet everyone's needs while Milo befriends a girl named Meddy and the two of them try to solve a mystery together.
This synopsis doesn't do the story justice, but there was no way to write about the ending without using numerous spoilers. This is a great middle grade mystery with lyrical writing reminiscent of Far Far Away. Milford did a fantastic job creating the wintry atmosphere with the guests trapped together in the inn. Milo's explorations throughout the house only add to the mysterious air of the story. For the first time in a very long time, I did not guess at the ending before I reached it, and I was pleasantly surprised to be surprised. Free of red flags, this story would make an excellent upper elementary classroom read-aloud and would be an easy book to book talk, especially around the winter holidays.
Recommended for: 4-6th grade
Red Flags: Movie raters would call it "mild peril" - Milo is chased by the bad guys and thrown into a room with his parents. One of the criminals has a gun, but no one is shot.
Overall Rating: 5/5 stars
Read-Alikes: Far Far Away, Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library, Below, The Aviary