I’m pleased to be a part of THE SILVER BOX blog tour on a Marvelous Middle Grade Monday. The ambitious tour began back on October 12th and wraps up this week so don’t miss what’s ahead:

November 10th @ Deborah-Zenha Adam’s Blog

Visit Deborah’s blog today and read author Margi Preus’ guest post about the magic ball of yarn and using folk and fairy tales as a guide in story writing.

November 11th @ Bookapotamus

Join Kate as she reviews The Enchantment Lake mystery series, part of The Silver Box blog tour. You’ll love hearing about this middle-grade mystery! 

November 13th @ Choices

Visit Madeline’s blog today and read author Margi Preus guest post about how research can be a cure for writer’s block.

November 14th @ Reading in the Wildwood

Visit Megan’s blog today she reviews The Enchantment Lake mystery series, part of The Silver Box blog tour. You’ll love hearing about this middle-grade mystery! 

November 15th @ Shoe’s Stories

Visit Linda’s blog again today where she shares author Margi Preus’ guest post about whether or not you should know the ending before you start writing.


First though, stick around for my review of this third book in the ENCHANTMENT LAKE MYSTERY series by Margi Preus. Previous titles include A NORTHWOODS MYSTERY (2015) and THE CLUE IN THE TREES (2017). I had not read either but had no problem jumping right into THE SILVER BOX. Here’s the enticing publisher summary of the story:

In the final Enchantment Lake mystery, Francie’s search for the truth about her mother—and herself—plunges her into danger during a North Woods winter. 

When she wakes in her aunts’ cold cabin on the shore of Enchantment Lake, Francie remembers: everything about her life has changed. Or is about to. Or just might. Everything depends on the small, engraved silver box that she now possesses—if only she can follow its cryptic clues to the whereabouts of her missing mother and understand, finally, just maybe, the truth about who she really is. 

Francie, it turns out, has a lot to learn, and this time the lessons could be deadly. Her search for answers takes her and her best friends Raven and Jay as far afield as an abandoned ranch in Arizona and as close to home as a sketchy plant collector’s conservatory and a musty old museum where shadows lurk around every display case. At the heart of it all is a crime that touches her own adopted North Woods: thieves dig up fragile lady’s slippers, peel bark from birches, strip moss off trees, cut down entire forests of saplings to sell for home décor. But Francie is up against no ordinary plant theft. One ominous clue after another reveal that she possesses something so rare and so valuable that some people are willing to do anything to get it. When Francie’s investigation leads her into the treacherously cold and snowy North Woods, she finds out that she too is being pursued. 

BOOK BIRTHDAY: October 6, 2020 PAGE COUNT: 213

AND… my review!

Presented to me as a middle grade mystery, I was a bit leery when discovering Main Character Francie is 17. This sounded more like it was in the YA realm. But fear not, despite the character’s age, the plot stays comfortably in MG with Francie trying to find her mother who up and disappeared 13 years ago. There’s no heavy romance or language. Two deaths do occur but you hear about them after the fact. Kids in 5th grade and above would surely enjoy the unfolding story. The length is also a plus.

Francie is a great detective. She makes a lot of mistakes along the way—just as you’d expect—and older brother Theo, Granddad, and her friends are there to support the search. It settles on her shoulders though to unravel the facts and bring understanding to her life so far. All the plot points are nicely wrapped up, but no spoilers here. You will have to read THE SILVER BOX to find out on your own.


  1. The pacing is perfect and you’ll be hanging onto every word in the climatic scene as Francie, on cross country skis, is chased by a man on a snowmobile.
  2. The Minnesota setting and the Enchantment Lake community were a a great match for the plot. The land of over 10,000 lakes is given a warm introduction to readers who have never visited.
  3. I’d enjoy reading more about Francie and her friend, Raven, as they graduate from high school and head out into the world. Both are strong, endearing characters.
  4. The Silver Box is a puzzle box that Francie has to figure out how to open. Inside might be the answer to her mother’s disappearance. A fun way to hide the clues.
  5. The author’s notes at the end were a welcome addition. Margi reveals what is factual about the story. A fascinating read just like the novel.


Margi Preus is the author of the Newbery Honor book Heart of a Samurai and other books for young readers, including the Minnesota Book Award winning West of the Moon, and the Midwest Booksellers Choice Award book The Clue in the Trees. Her books have won multiple awards, landed on the New York Times bestseller list, been honored as ALA/ALSC Notables, selected as an NPR Backseat Book Club pick, chosen for community reads, and translated into several languages. New titles in 2020 include Village of ScoundrelsThe Littlest Voyageur, and The Silver Box, part of the Enchantment Lake mystery series. 

Back when such things were done, Margi enjoyed traveling, speaking, and visiting schools all over the world. Now mostly at home in Duluth, she likes to ski, hike, canoe, or sit quietly with a book in her lap.  

You can follow her online at: 

Margi’s Author Web Site

Twitter: @MargiPreus 

Instagram: @MargiPreus




Thanks for joining me today. Comment are welcome below.

About Greg Pattridge

Climbing another mountain...always striving to reach the next peak in my life and career.
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4 Responses to THE SILVER BOX

  1. I love mysteries, and this sounds like a fun one. I will definitely add the series to my TBR list.

  2. This sounds like one thrilling and dangerous mystery to solve. Darn — no spoilers! This may be one I’ll check out for my great granddaughter. It sounds a like its for a little more mature teens. Perfect for her. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Completely Full Bookshelf says:

    This sounds like a really exciting mystery novel! I like how it is appropriate for MG readers but might appeal to YA readers considering the protagonist’s age. Thanks for the great review!

  4. Sounds like an interesting book. It’s nice to know if you can read a later book in series without being totally lost!

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