Author: Ellen Alexander
Book: The Secret of Dinswood
Published: September 2008
Publisher: Tate Publishing and Enterprises LLC.
Emma Higsby is on her way to Dinswood Academy. Emma is a girl still grieving from the loss of her mother. Her father has remarried, and her stepmother is rather cold to her. Ignored at home, she accepts a scholarship to the prestigious Dinswood Academy, founded by the late Lord Dinswood. An elite school, usually the domain of spoiled rich kids, Emma feels out of place at first. She makes friends with one of her dorm mate, Martha, and to two boys a short time later: Doug (the dean’s son) and his constant companion Sebastian. They quickly falls in love with the school, a renovated castle set the heart of the mountains. Emma’s joy turns to desperation when she finds out the school is in financial trouble and may need to close. Desperate to save their school, the four friends stumble upon a riddle that could lead to the treasure of Lord Dinswood. Yet they aren’t the only ones looking for Dinswood’s treasure. Their competition will kill to get a hold of it.
Please note, I am reviewing an older copy of the book, which was published by the now-defunct Tate Publishing and Enterprises, LLC. The current version of the book is published by BHC Press.
Ellen Alexander spins an intriguing young adult mystery. With their beloved school in financial trouble due to low enrolment, the four friends stumble upon a riddle that will lead to the hidden treasure of the Dinswood family. As the four piece together clues, they soon realize that others are looking for the treasure, and their motives are much more selfish.
I found the book intriguing. It was easy to get invested in the characters. However, the author has a tendency to tell rather than show. This slowed down the pace of the book. While not quite the page-turner it could have been, it is still an enjoyable read.