This is the story of 12-year-old Emma Graham, who is the waitress at her mother's decaying resort hotel. She's always looking to solve mysteries, and sometimes invents clues in her eagerness, but when she comes upon a crumbling shell of another hotel--a fabulous, once-ritzy hotel--hidden in the woods near her little town of Spirit Lake, she has beaucoups of REAL mysteries to solve. One is a crime committed 40 years ago, and some are family secrets that others would prefer left unearthed--so to speak!
Emma is a spunky girl, and she has a difficult life, but she "rises above", as we say in the South, with help from her varied friends around the hotel and in her town.
The ending is a great surprise--both 'great' as in 'huge', and 'great' as in 'terrific'. :>)
Grimes' writing takes you right there. You feel like you're right there with the main characters. It was fun to hunt for the truth with the main character.
Another mystery involving preteen Emma. This character is delightful, as she navigates her unusual world, waitressing in a rundown hotel, carrying on her rivalry with her annoying pseudo step-sister, and making friends with interesting people all over the county.
This book, though , was somewhat disappointing, as at the end we were still wondering about the mystery and I thought it would be solved by the end.
I love Grimes' writing, and following Emma on her peregrinations, so I will wait for the next installment.
I'd like to see more in this series, but the ending of this book would work for me as a trilogy should there be no more. Emma lets slip that Lola Davidow took her out to lunch at the fancy Silver Pear restaurant as a friendly gesture, so she's been, at least in part, an unreliable narrator. The lack of backstory regarding events before "Hotel Paradise" began remains frustrating. I'm not sure Grimes herself is certain of exactly where and when the events are set? At one point (in "Cold Flat Junction" I think it was), Hawaii and Alaska have been states for close to 10 years; in this one, Lola is an avid fan of "The Loretta Young Show". It's supposed to be in the South, but they're a day's drive north of the Blue Ridge mountains, so at best MD or PA? I still see them in upstate New York in the 1950's myself.
A good rambling down-south book. The author does a good job of painting verbal pictures. An interesting cast of characters, and told from a very intelligent 12 year old's point of view, which added some humor to the story.
I really enjoyed Martha Grimes Richard Jury series so I thought I'd enjoy this. It was disappointing not to get into this as much. I had to listen to the 1st CD twice because I couldn't get head or tail of it, then supposedly it takes place in New England but sounds like the characters are from the South! Confusing.
excellent condition; given to me as a gift; Not the type of books i care for. But suppose to be good as a small town book type. Larger type paperback. Enjoy