“Frost was pretty much the worst.”
Do you need something to cosy up with for the quietest Hogmanay ever? I thoroughly recommend this book – for children of all ages!
I utterly adored Greenglass House, which introduced us to Milo and his hotel-running family just as a group of shifty strangers arrive seemingly to spoil his Christmas holiday. As ever, if you don’t want to know anything about that book before reading – and my 10/10 review suggests you should go read it 😉 – then finding characters appearing in book 2 is itself a bit of a spoiler.
A year has passed and Milo is out of sorts. It won’t snow properly, and while he’s looking forward to a quieter Christmas than the events of the previous year, he’s also missing Meddy who hasn’t been back in all that time. But things – of course! – don’t stay quiet for long, and soon there are some familiar visitors, plus a troop of carollers from a nearby town which has an odd reputation. As things start to go a little awry, of course the group have stories of their own to tell!
What follows is fairly similar to the plot of the first book, which some readers didn’t seem to like, but given I was reading this for cosy comfort reading it fit perfectly. There’s a mystery surrounding a famous smuggler’s haul, which Georgie and Clem have managed to get caught up with, plus a possible infiltrator in the house doing things like spiking the punch and knocking guests unconscious.
Once again Milo is on a campaign with the newly returned Meddie, and this time he’s playing a new character – I do love the way D&D (a new find for me this year!) is used to help him find different strengths within himself, and the change of role really highlights how Milo himself has and must change. The adoption element of the backstory is played very well again, and I still adore the loving relationship between Milo and the Pines.
As the story progresses there are some nice little mysteries to unravel, and yes, the group again ends up telling stories. Things do take a slightly strange turn and I wasn’t wholly on board with the fantastical, but by and large it all works very well – yes, it’s similar to book one, but in the best way, and with just enough additional growth to make it all work.
If I have any complaint it’s perhaps that there’s a lot crammed in here – a bit like the large group of characters crammed into the inn. It did feel a little overly-busy at times, and perhaps a few elements too many? Small complaint, tiny!!
So if you want to pass some of the winter’s worst, settle down beside a fireplace – or fake fireplace on the tv/computer will do just fine too! – make yourself a hot chocolate and grab Greenglass House and Ghosts of Greenglass House and enjoy the warm fuzzies of it all!
Kindle: 464 pages / 36 chapters
First published: 2017
Series: name book 2 (of 4 to date)
Read from 17th-19th November 2020
My rating: 9/10