Title: Enchantment Lake
Author: Margi Preus
Published: March 11th 2015
Publisher: University of Minnesota Press
Genre: Middle Grade/Young Adult, Mystery
Length: 187 pages
Source: NetGalley eARC
Book Blurb (via Goodreads):
A disturbing call from her great aunts Astrid and Jeannette sends seventeen-year-old Francie far from her new home in New York into a tangle of mysteries. Ditching an audition in a Manhattan theater, Francie travels to a remote lake in the northwoods where her aunts’ neighbors are “dropping like flies” from strange accidents. But are they accidents?
On the shores of Enchantment Lake in the woods of northern Minnesota, something ominous is afoot, and as Francie begins to investigate, the mysteries multiply: a poisoned hotdish, a puzzling confession, eerie noises in the bog, and a legendary treasure that is said to be under enchantment—or is that under Enchantment, as in under the lake? At the center of everything is a suddenly booming business in cabin sales and a road not everyone wants built.
To a somewhat reluctant northwoods Nancy Drew, the intrigue proves irresistible, especially when it draws her closer to the mysteries at the heart of her own life: What happened to her father? Who and where is her mother? Who is she, and where does her heart lie—in the bustle of New York City or the deep woods of Minnesota? With its gripping story, romantic spirit, and a sly dash of modern-day trouble (evil realtors and other invasive species), Enchantment Lake will fascinate readers, providing precisely the charm that Margi Preus’s readers have come to expect.
I really wanted to love this book. A mystery novel that had a rather interesting cover that caught my eye, I was pumped to start it. Unfortunately, the story didn’t quite live up to my expectations and while I didn’t hate it, it just didn’t do much for me as a reader.
Francie is a seventeen year old aspiring actress but when she gets a strange phone call from her eccentric aunts, she drops everything to help them. Finding herself in the community beside a lake, her aunt’s friends are having mysterious accidents and Francie believes that something more sinister is going on.
Okay, so here’s the thing. Francie is seventeen years old but I forgot that for most of the book because she reads so much younger. It’s frustrating when you have to be reminded that the main character isn’t actually a little girl. Everyone treats her like she’s a little girl and they don’t listen to her. The main issue was that they all seemed to actually believe that she was a police detective. A seventeen year old girl was a police detective in their eyes. It didn’t matter how much protesting she did, they never believed her.
Then there was the mystery. That part, I actually found interesting. It was fun to follow Francie as she tried to work out who was behind the accidents that had befallen the people who lived around the lake.
I didn’t like the aunts. They were supposed to be eccentric, but I think they just went into ridiculous. They phoned Francie talking about danger and then brush everything off when she arrives. They say that they might be next, but not once do they act actually scared. It’s just like ‘oh well’. It irked me.
Overall, it’s a quick read but nothing spectacular. I think it’s confused in what audience it’s trying to target. Francie is too old and the writing reads too juvenile, it’s a conflict that makes it difficult to melt into the book easily.
Not a terrible book by any stretch, but not one I’d pick up again or continue the series.
About the Author
*Picture from Goodreads