Books : reviews

Kate Milford.
Greenglass House.
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 2014

rating : 4 : passes the time
review : 3 January 2021

It’s wintertime at Greenglass House. The creaky smugglers’ inn is always quiet during this season, and twelve-year-old Milo, the innkeepers’ adopted son, plans to spend his holidays relaxing. But on the first icy night of vacation, out of nowhere, the guest bell rings. Then rings again. And again. Soon Milo’s home is bursting with odd, secretive guests, each one bearing a strange story that is somehow connected to the rambling old house. As objects go missing and tempers flare, Milo and Meddy, the cook’s daughter, must decipher clues and untangle the web of deepening mysteries to discover the truth about Greenglass House—and themselves.

Milo has been looking forward to a quiet Christmas holidays. Greenglass House, the old hotel where he lives in with his adoptive parents, is always empty over the holidays. But not this year. A steady stream of peculiar guests start arriving. They all have secrets, and he and Meddy decide to solve the puzzles.

There’s a lot of world-building here, but much of the story could take place without it. It isn’t until right at this end that this becomes overt fantasy, and everything is resolved a bit too quickly and easily. But before that, this is an interesting tale of Milo and Maddy working together, and exploit Milo’s deep knowledge of his house, to uncover an old dark secret.

Kate Milford.
Ghosts of Greenglass House.
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 2017

Thirteen-year-old Milo is spending the winter holidays stuck in a house full of strange guests who are not quite what they seem. There are fresh clues to uncover as friends old and new join in his search for a mysterious map and a famous smuggler’s lost haul.