Book - 2018 | First edition
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Elizabeth, eleven, spends Christmas break at Winterhouse hotel under strange circumstances, where she discovers that she has magic, and her love of puzzles helps her solve a mystery.
Publisher: New York :, Henry Holt and Company,, 2018
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9781250123886
Branch Call Number: J FIC GUTER B
Additional Contributors: Bristol, Chloe


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Apr 27, 2021

This is a bit of a ghost story that takes place at Christmas.

The MC, Elizabeth, is relieved of her horrible orphan life, living with a neglectful Aunt and Uncle, and sent to Winterhouse, where she learns she's related to the hotel's proprietor and his sister.

Unfortunately, the evil woman needs the MC to revive her dead body and live again!

I won't spoil the ending. A creepy Christmas read.

Mar 31, 2021

This was a middle grade read. It was a cute read, but as an adult reader, it became kind of predictable. I liked the vibe of the hotel and it allowed me to live the dream life I've always wanted to live ever since I watched The Suite Life of Zack and Cody. I think I would've liked this book more if I had read it during winter. It would have been a better atmospheric vibe. If I had read this as a ten year old, I would have devoured this book. In a way, it was super nostalgic. It's a series, so we'll see if I continue it. Three and a half stars seems fair to me. If I were a child, maybe four out of five.

FPL_StephanieP Nov 30, 2020

Winterhouse has all the elements of a cozy mystery for kids: a fabulous location, puzzles and ciphers to solve, and even some magic. Elizabeth Somers is a lonely 11-year-old who is sent away to spend her winter holiday alone at the majestic Winterhouse hotel. The glorious hotel, and the family who owns it, are full of secrets for Elizabeth to uncover. She develops a friendship with a bright, young inventor named Freddy and learns a lot about herself along the way. Readers will want to book their own stay at Winterhouse. Grab a cup of hot cocoa and curl up with this great middle-grade mystery!

forbesrachel Sep 08, 2020

When Elizabeth's aunt and uncle send her to the fabulous Winterhouse hotel, the bookish girl isn't exactly thrilled. She has no idea why she is being sent there, nor how they can afford it. Almost immediately upon entering the immense mansion though, she changes her mind. Aside from two creepy guests who clearly have an unnerving interest in her, the rest are absolutely fun to be around. This includes a young inventor whom Elizabeth befriends, Freddy. Freddy and her both share a similar talent for words and word puzzles, and it is a skill that proves especially useful for solving the mystery of Winterhouse. Guterson has created a magical place, an exciting mystery, as well as an interesting cast of characters. The hotel is explored at nice pace, consistently revealing something new and exciting for Elizabeth and readers to enjoy. This pairs well with the pacing of the mystery, for as she becomes more familiar with the place and inhabitants, more lore and hints are added to help piece together the puzzle. Most everything contributes into the whole. For readers who like books, puzzle wiz kids, mysterious places, and a little magic, the first volume in the Winterhouse series will absolutely sate your tastes.

coffeebookie Aug 12, 2020

Love this book! Already ordered the second one.
This story has all the elements needed for a cozy mystery: a grand hotel with dark secrets, malevolent characters, suspense, and of course, the honest and true characters that bring this delightful story to a happy close.

VaughanPLDonnalee Jan 19, 2020

I really enjoyed this middle-grade mystery novel with fantasy elements. This book is more mystery than fantasy, with lots of puzzles and riddles and the main character, Elizabeth, does a lot of traditional detecting and finding of clues. There are certainly some magical elements to the story, however, so it is a fantasy. I thought this story had some real Harry Potteresque elements. Elizabeth is a lonely orphan, who lives with a horrible aunt and uncle. She is suddenly sent off to the mysterious Winterhouse hotel, which turns out to be a wonderful, beautiful place where she feels strangely at home. Elizabeth starts to unravel the mysteries of her past, and also of the hotel, and she soons discovers that she has powers and abilities that she never knew she had. This book had just the right blend of creepy and charming. The quirky Edward Gorey style illustrations really added to my enjoyment of this modern gothic mystery for children. This book is highly recommended for sophisticated young readers and also adult readers who love fun children's books. I'm looking forward to reading the sequel.

Jan 11, 2020

An okay book, will likely read the next two in the trilogy
A young girl who lives with her aunt and uncle is sent under mysterious circumstances to a resort hotel for Christmas break.
The story has a bit of a Harry Potter-esque feel to it at the start -- things happening that seem magical, parents dead, not very nice relatives, and leaving on an adventure. The resort hotel is called Winterhouse and is an amazing place to hang out for a vacation. There's another kid like her who enjoys puzzles, and she meets a few interesting characters who either live at the hotel or are other guests. The magical elements are "just right" (not too much, not too little).
I chose it as an Edgar Award nominee, and it was a bit disappointing that there are two plot inconsistencies, almost like no one did a continuity edit on the book for point of view. At one point, Elizabeth doesn't know anything about what's going on or why her aunt and uncle have "sent" her to Winterhouse, and then she reveals that she overheard her aunt and uncle talking about it the previous week and she knows everything there was to know (someone else paid them to send her). In another spot, two characters are revealed as the schemers, but another character knew all about her arrival and some of her backstory, yet didn't know the biggest piece which is the only reason he would know anything about her. Finally, if you have ever read a male-centric story and felt like the woman had nothing to do but be a damsel in distress, you'll feel the same way seeing the other kid be completely irrelevant to the story. He adds a bit of Fifth Busines background info, as do some puzzle guys, but pretty lame. I am not sure the constant word puzzles add anything to the story, they didn't for me, but easily tolerated.
I received no compensation, not even a free copy, in exchange for this review. I am not personal friends with the author, nor do I follow him on social media.

This book was fantastic! I’ve read it twice now and both times it had me on the edge of my seat!

Feb 22, 2019

I thought this book was absolutely fantastic! It was full of magic and mystery, puzzles and word games. The characters were lovable and the suspense kept the novel engaging!

Jan 31, 2019

This book was so good! If you've read and liked Escape from Lemoncello's Library or Book Scavenger you will definitely enjoy this book. Just like these other two series, it has the mystery and puzzles and clues... but with a splash of magic! It keeps you guessing all along the way what suspicious characters are up to and how or even if everything fits together. I am really looking forward to reading the next book in the series.

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Apr 15, 2021

beadelllibrary thinks this title is suitable for 7 years and over

OPL_KrisC Apr 07, 2018

OPL_KrisC thinks this title is suitable for 9 years and over

CMLibrary_ecrites Dec 18, 2017

CMLibrary_ecrites thinks this title is suitable for 8 years and over


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