Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Ghosts of Greenglass House by Kate Milford

29540279Ghosts of Greenglass House
Author: Kate Milford
Format: E ARC 
Publisher: Clarion Books
Number of Pages: 464
Publishing:  October 3rd, 2017

Source:  Edelweiss Above the TreeLine

Opening lines:  "Frost was pretty much the worst.  It was like a promise with nothing behind it.  It was like not enough icing on a cookie, not enough butter on toast."

Milo is once again getting ready to spend his winter vacation at Greenglass House, but his holiday gets off to a rocky start.  Not only is he cranky about the lack of snow, he's also distressed over an incident that occurred at school with his History teacher,  and his friend Meddy has mysteriously been missing since last year.  Plus Emmett Syebuck, a guest of the Inn has overstayed his welcome sketching their stained glass windows.  Things do begin to brighten up when Clem and Georgie show up using a girls bachelorette weekend as a cover for a heist they did that went wrong leading them to need a safe place to hide from their double crossing partner and a rival thief.  Things take an unexpected turn for the worse when a group of carolers from Liberty of Gammerbund, a Rest Home for the Mentally Chaotic or asylum near Nagspeake show up, and some of the singers are involved in accidents resulting in everyone spending the night.  When Clem and Georgie's loot from their heist also goes missing, we once again have an Inn full of guest's who are not who they seem.  Someone among them is Gilawfer the fence and another is Canlebone, the famous thief.   

I really enjoyed reading Kate Milford's Greenglass House because of its setting and characters, so when I saw the sequel was available on Edelweiss, I jumped at the chance to read it.   Ghosts of Greenglass House did not disappoint, but I do recommend starting with the first book in the series, even though many of the same characters make a reappearance, there is a key piece of information that is revealed in the first book and the mystery and the campaign that Milo and Meddy played in Greenglass House would be such a shame to miss out on.  

That being said,  Ghosts of Greenglass House is still the perfect setting for a mystery with its long staircases, stained glass windows and the cold air of Winter blowing outside.  The one thing I found myself missing initially as much as Milo was Meddy,   I really wanted the two of them to get started on another campaign to help Georgie and Clem recover their loot.   At first, Milo thinks he can tackle the mystery, but playing the campaign on his own isn't half as fun and all the skills that he previously had with his character don't seem to be working for him in the same way.   Despite this, there were plenty of new characters to sort through and the setup of the new mystery linked to the legendary smuggler Violet Cross to keep me entertained.   Meddy does eventually return after sensing that something is wrong with Milo and together the two begin a new campaign.  Maybe it's the Dungeons and Dragons lover in me, but I really enjoy this aspect of the story.  Kids being creative in setting up all the details about their characters and skills and especially the way that Milo creates a character of the person he would like to be, complete with a backstory that helps him to understand some of his own history.  As a side note, in the first story, Milford explained the spark for Greenglass House was her own plans to adopt a Chinese boy and a desire to incorporate these themes into a story that one day he could read himself.   Within Ghosts of Greenglass House, Milford continues Milo's struggles over his feelings about being adopted as well as highlighting how making assumptions about people are wrong.  I was also pleasantly surprised with the historical details about the history and traditions of Liberty or the Rest Home near Nagspeake, details on Milo picking locks, as well as how cartography and maps were an important part of the story.  Oh and the continuation of each of the guests telling a story helping to piece together the mystery, just love it.  Now I know I haven't mentioned anything about the Ghosts in the title, and I'm really hesitant to do that now.  Suffice it to say, I liked the clever way in which things were resolved for Meddy and happy the ending leaves room for future mysteries for Milo and Meddy.    

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