I have just been notified that book two of my Sophie Collins Mystery Series — The Secret of Trail House Lodge — has been selected as a Distinguished Favorite in the Young Adult category for the New York City Big Book Awards. It has also been awarded a 5 Star rating by Readers’ Favorite. See review below.
Reviewed by Michelle Stanley for Readers’ Favorite
The Secret of Trail House Lodge: A Sophie Collins Mystery, Book 2 by Madge H. Gressley is for young adults. Fifteen-year-old heiress Sophie Collins and her friends explore an abandoned lodge and become curious after seeing a particular guest entry in the registration book, and finding a stash of old coins and puzzling footprints. Her guardian, Mr. Johnson, investigates the lodge’s history and learns it was once owned by a notorious gangster. Sophie’s suspicions increase when she and her friends return to the lodge and realize someone else was searching the rooms. Their sleuthing picks up surprising clues that help the sheriff link unsolved cases. Sophie’s estranged Uncle Titus believes he should be her guardian, but Mr. Johnson is wary of him, much to his displeasure.
The Secret of Trail House Lodge is a lovely sleuth mystery, especially with its main character. Sophie is a high-spirited teen who is clever and brave with a keen sense of perception. It is a suspenseful story that sees the teens take on investigative roles, despite the risks they encounter. The interaction among the characters, both good and evil, is sharp. Sophie can be a bit rebellious, but this probably comes from her dismal past. This is Madge H. Gressley’s second book in the Sophie Collins Mystery series. The mystery interested me, but so did Sophie, whose present lifestyle was entirely different to what she was accustomed to. Book 1 is another mystery that sees Sophie’s luck change. Madge H. Gressley’s book is recommended.
A homeless runaway and a murder, all add up to a realistic, unique, and exciting mystery read. The Red Coat strays from the typical goody-goody, know-it-all young sleuth novel to provide readers with a smart, street-wise, and a self-determined young protagonist. If you liked reading Nancy Drew, then, you are going to love the young and sassy Sophie Collins.