Winterhouse by Ben Guterson

Find in catalogWinterhouse is a gothic children’s book with hands-on word magic and puzzles and otherworldly magic and supernaturalism. Orphan (of course) Elizabeth Somers goes off to the fabulous Winterhouse hotel for the Christmas holidays. Bookish and wordy-nerdy, she meets Freddy, a young inventor, as well as mysterious hotel owner Norbridge Falls and a sinister couple dressed in black. She also encounters anagrams, word ladders, picture puzzles, backwards writing, code, a clue-filled family tree, and one extremely compelling book. I enjoyed playing along to solve the mystery (getting from “nuts” to “fuel” in five steps, plugging into the Vigenere cypher, studying that family tree). Fun book for lovers of word games and mysteries.

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