Review: The Secret of Trail House Lodge

Sophie Collins Mystery, The Secret of Trail House Lodge, Madge H. Gressley, book review

Source: I received a free copy in exchange for an honest review.
Genre: YA, mystery
Format: eBook, Print
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Back Cover

An old deserted lodge, an unsolved bank robbery, and a mummified body all lead to a string of mysteries that junior, super-sleuth Sophie Collins and her friends stumble on when they discover hidden passages and secret rooms while exploring the old Trail House Lodge.

Find out how Sophie unravels the mysteries in The Secret of Trail House Lodge, book two in the Sophie Collins Mystery series by best selling author Madge H. Gressley.


After the events that took place in The Red Coat, Sophie Collins finds herself living in the family mansion under the watchful eye of its staff; however, this does not mean that she has hung up her metaphorical sleuthing cap.

When Sophie and her friends decide to explore the Trail House Lodge, they discover secret rooms filled with clues that might help solve a bank robbery that happened before their time. On top of that, Sophie finds herself in the middle of a more personal mystery when a man claiming to be her great-uncle comes crawling out of the woodwork. He says that he has no real interest in the family fortune and that he just wants to be a part of her life; however, Sophie is suspicious of his motives and decides to keep an eye on this “great-uncle” of hers.

Will Sophie and her friends solve the mysteries of Trail House Lodge? Does Sophie’s uncle have ulterior motives, or does he truly want to be a part of her life?


Mystery and suspense are packed into this YA novel as Sophie and her friends discover the secrets hidden within the Trail House Lodge. The near-misses and the body that Sophie encounters are enough to get a young heart pounding, but Gressley manages to give just enough detail to make the lodge spooky while ensuring that young readers can still go to sleep at night.

Readers will see another side of Sophie; she is no longer an independent homeless girl who needs to rely on her wits in order to survive, she is an heiress who is chafing beneath the watchful eye of the butler who has made it his mission to coach her on how to be a “civilized” young lady. The admonishments that the butler gives to Sophie might remind some readers of similar sayings they heard during their childhoods, which makes it very easy to empathize with her.

It is clear that Sophie is not going to lose her edge or her street smarts anytime soon. Gressley has created an intelligent, endearing, and inquisitive character that is drawn to a mystery like a moth to a flame. If you are in the market for a good YA mystery and a more relevant alternative to Nancy Drew, I think that you will find it in Sophie Collins.

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