Winter has arrived at Castle in the Clouds, bringing with it a group of distinguished guests who have come to spend the winter holidays at the historic hotel located in the Swiss mountains.
It’s all very exciting for 17-year-old Sophie Spark, who decided to spend the year as the hotel intern rather than repeating a year of school. Sophie’s festive mood is dampened, however, when she overhears the hotel owners discussing whether to sell the hotel to a wealthy businessman with plans to thoroughly modernize the property. Misfortune strikes soon after when a guest’s engagement ring goes missing. Gier’s (Just Dreaming, 2017, etc.) latest offering treads a familiar path and holds few surprises for veteran mystery fans. Lengthy exposition and the introduction of a large cast make for a slow start, but the pace eventually picks up, albeit unevenly. Sophie’s frank and witty narration provides a boost of entertainment, and her earnestness is compelling—perhaps more so than the plot. Between new friendships, a potential romance, and various hotel duties, it’s easy for Sophie (and readers) to forget about the hotel’s uncertain fate. Characters follow a white default; handsome British secondary character Tristan Brown is described as Asian.
Like a white Christmas in the Alps—charming, atmospheric, and predictable.(Mystery. 12-16)