A Castle in the Clouds

Holt. Jan. 2020. 336p. Tr $19.99. ISBN 9781250300195.
Gr 7 Up–Sophie Sparks is interning at a grand European hotel. Not only does she have her hands full dealing with hard-to-please guests and mischievous children, but she soon discovers that there are secrets in the hotel. Among stolen jewels, kidnapping, and murder, Sophie realizes that many people there are not as they seem. Right away Sophie meets Ben, son of one of the hotel owners. But then there’s Tristan, who just might be a hotel thief, but is astonishingly attractive and entertaining to boot. With plenty of red herrings laying around, readers will be kept glued to the page as they try to figure out who is telling the truth and who is not. As the New Year’s Eve ball comes closer, the mysteries become more dangerous, and so does the weather, with a movie-worthy storm that makes all the hotel guests even more anxious than usual. Sophie might lose her heart, her job, or even her life. This is a translation of a previous edition in German and the dialogue can be stiff. Language arts teachers will welcome this as an example of a mystery with lots of twists.
VERDICT Fans of old-fashioned mysteries such as Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None and Ellen Raskin’s The Westing Game will enjoy this updated mystery about an intern alone in an aging European hotel. Recommended for general purchase.

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