Midnight at the Barclay Hotel by Fleur Bradley
Publisher: Viking Books for Young Readers
Number of pages: 320
Published: August 25th, 2020
Source: Author in exchange for an honest review
Opening Lines: "The invitations went out on Tuesday afternoon, because statistically speaking, that's the best time to offer someone a weekend getaway."
Five invitations went out by courier from the renowned Barclay Hotel inviting each of its guests for a special weekend getaway. The first invitation went to Jackie Jacobson, CEO of the PB&JJ restaurant chain, next was rancher Cowboy Buck, children's librarian Ms. Chelsea Griffin, retired detective Frank Walker and finally Fiona Fleming, an actress and part-time psychic. One of the guests, Emma lives at the hotel and was excited to learn that there will be two "stragglers," or kids who will be coming, JJ and Penny, Mrs. Jacobson's son and Mr. Walker's granddaughter, who were hoping to explore the legendary Barclay Hotel. JJ envisioned a weekend of practicing his ghost hunting skills, and what better place then a hotel that is rumored to be haunted? Penny wanted to spend the time perusing the library, as she loved to read and Emma was just happy to have some company for a change. However, once all the guests arrive the butler informs them that they were invited to the hotel because four of them had past dealings with the owner, Mr. Barclay and one of them murdererd him. Mr. Walker was only invited to help investigate the suspects, hoping that he could figure out who the killer was. Rather than a getaway weekend, the guests have stumbled into a murder mystery.
I immensely enjoyed reading Midnight at the Barclay Hotel not only does it have this atmospheric location that is based off the historic Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, Colorado, it also had an interesting murder mystery to solve by piecing together the clues to find out who had the motive and opportunity to kill Mr. Barclay. Which is not as easy as it may seem because everyone was harboring a secret, even Penny, JJ and Emma. As the story progresses and the guests begin to interview each other, it's determined that four of the suspects defiantly had a reason to be angry with Mr. Barclay, but was it enough to kill him? Then additional clues come to light, pointing toward the chef and the butler, Mr. Clark as suspects complicating things further. When the guests get stranded at the Hotel because of a snow storm, the killer among them begins to get nervous that they'll get caught and tries to hide their identity. I really loved how Bradley preserved some of the original rumors of hauntings at the Stanley Hotel, the flickering of lights, voices of children and the hedge maze. I especially enjoyed Peggy, JJ and Emma, our amateur sleuths and ghost hunters. JJ for his passion of ghost hunting, with his voice recorder, EMF detector and infrared camera and Penny for her love of books. I so loved the location of the Barclay Hotel which sounds like such a fun place to explore, with its swimming pool, hot tub, bowling alley, carousel and even a Cupcake Shoppe! Such a fun read, reminiscent of something like Greenglass House by Kate Milford or Winterhouse by Ben Guterson, with some Agatha Christie and the board game Clue vibes. Perfect kind of story if you enjoy old hotels, murder mysteries, ghosts and hauntings, and a story with a some pleasant twits and turns, and a little suspense but nothing too frightening. A huge thank you to Fleur Bradley for my review copy.