Publisher: Sourcebook Jabberwocky
Source of my copy: from the publisher
Synopsis (from Sourcebooks)
And you thought your family was strange.
I am dying. . . I might get the chance to know you before death takes me...I would like you to be my guest at Sommerset. . .I have enclosed a check for $ 10,000. . . Should you accept my offer...
Uncle Silas has always been greedy, evil, insulting, and extremely rich! But a dying uncle with a vast fortune is definitely one worth getting to know. Even if it means spending 2 months on his secluded island home with a houseful of suspicious servants and a hungry pet crocodile.
But what is Uncle Silas really up to? Will Adele, Milo, and Isabella outlive Uncle Silas to inherit his money? And just who is that mysterious "guest" in his basement? Is it worth the money (or their lives) to stick around and find out?
The young Winterbottoms, Adele, Isabella and Milo, are all in need of money. So, when the three receive a letter from their cruel, dying Uncle Silas, they accept the invitation. They each hope to be chosen as the next heir to his vast fortune and beautiful Sommerset estate. However, when the three arrive, they might have just walked into their own grave, finding that Uncle Silas has a threatening pet crocodile and that the estate is on a secluded island where nothing is as it seems.
I very much enjoyed reading this book! It was a great, well-paced middle-grade novel with mystery, suspense and surprises. I loved the strong characters and their personalities. The cousins, Adele, Isabella and Milo, were great characters and I liked them a lot. They had their own personality that made them individuals and I think middle-graders will really enjoy the cousins. But, I have to say, although I related most to the quiet, modest Adele and the selfish, bratty Isabella was very entertaining, my favorite of the three was Milo. He was intelligent, fair, and determined. His character complements his two cousins. Silas himself is deliciously evil and even though he pretends to be nice, the cousins know it's just an act.
Overall, if you're looking for middle grade read with great characters and a spooky setting--sort of in the vein of The Series of Unfortunate Events--this book is it. 4 out of 5 stars