New York Times bestselling author Ally Carter's middle grade debut is full of mystery, mayhem, and friendship, and will keep you guessing right until the very end.
When 11-year-old April joins a group of kids living at Winterborne Home she doesn't expect to be there for very long. But she soon learns that this home isn't like any of the others - especially when she unearths the secret of the missing-and-presumed-dead billionaire, Gabriel Winterborne, who is neither missing nor dead but is actually living in a basement lair, sharpening his swords and looking for vengeance.
Now that April knows Gabriel Winterborne is alive, she must turn to the other orphans to keep him that way. As a looming new danger threatens to take Gabriel down once and for all, they must use their individual talents to find a way to make sure this home for misfits isn't lost to them for ever.
Because at the Winterborne Home, nothing is what it seems, no one is who they say they are and nowhere is safe. And now a ragtag group of orphans must unravel the riddle of a missing heir, a supposed phantom and a secret key, all without alerting the adults of Winterborne House that trouble is afoot.
The first book in a captivating new series from the bestselling author of Gallagher Girls.
In this entertaining adventure reminiscent of Annie, five precocious foster siblings discover secrets in their sprawling
new home. April, 12, has been in the foster system ever since her mother abandoned her with nothing but an ornate key and promise of her return. When the key turns out to bear the crest of the fabulously wealthy Winterborne family-whose sole heir, Gabriel, vanished a decade prior after his family was killed-April sneaks into the family's just-opened
museum exhibit, intent on finding what it might unlock. She accidentally sets the exhibit aflame, and when she awakens
in the hospital, April and several other children, including genius Sadie, who is black, and Londoner con artist Colin, are
brought to Winterborne House as an effort to turn it into a group home. Once there, April discovers that Gabriel is alive,
hiding in the mansion's secret passages, and has a good reason for remaining hidden for so long-someone's fiendish
plan, which the children must help him thwart. In her middle grade debut, Carter (Not If I Save You First) offers up
mystery, intrigue, and swashbuckling action in a rollicking story of long-lost secrets and found family. Ages 10-12. - Publishers Weekly
April is an orphan but she is convinced that her Mum is going to come back for her, as she left April with a really unique key. The problem is April doesn't know what the key unlocks.
When April ends up in Winterborne House, she realises that her key has the same symbol as the Winterborne crest. She meets Colin, Sadie, Tim and Violet, who are also orphans living in Winterborne House.
Together they explore the house and when April meets the presumed-dead owner Gabriel in the middle of the night, she realises that all is not quite as it seems around here...
This is a wonderful, fast-paced story that is equal parts fun and mysterious. The characters are really enjoyable, and readers will love the unique talents that each one has!
I loved the ending, which is a really satisfying conclusion to this story, whilst also leaving it open to more adventures in future.
It will suit all readers in Years 5 and 6 who love a mystery with lots of action. - Lamont Books
Ally Carter writes books about spies, thieves, and teenagers. She is the New York Times Best-selling author of Heist Society, Uncommon Criminals, and the popular Gallagher Girls series, including I'd Tell You I Love You but Then I'd Have to Kill You, Cross My Heart and Hope to Spy, Don't Judge a Girl by Her Cover, Only the Good Spy Young, Out of Sight, Out of Time and United We Spy.
She lives in the Midwest where her life is either very ordinary or the best deep-cover legend ever. She'd tell you more, but...well...you know...