Enchantment Lake: A Northwoods Mystery

Enchantment Lake: A Northwoods Mystery

by Margi Preus


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Midwest Book Award Winner — Young Adult Fiction

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 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 (including evil realtors and other invasive species), Enchantment Lake will fascinate readers, providing precisely the charm that Margi Preus’s fans have come to expect.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780816683024
Publisher: University of Minnesota Press
Publication date: 03/15/2015
Pages: 200
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.00(h) x 1.00(d)
Age Range: 13 - 17 Years

About the Author

Margi Preus is a New York Times-best-selling author of books for young readers, including Shadow on the Mountain, West of the Moon, and Heart of a Samurai, winner of a Newbery Honor and the Asian/Pacific American Award for Children’s Literature. She loved mysteries since she was allowed to stay up past her bedtime to watch Perry Mason with her dad. Enchantment Lake is her first mystery.

Table of Contents


1. Drowning
2. Walpurgis
3. At the Cabin
4. The Boathouse
5. Suicide Weather
6. Plantation People
7. A Headache
8. Buck Thorne
9. Strawberry Picking
10. Sleuthing
11. The Party
12. Fishing
13. Go Dark
14. The Puzzle
15. The Sheriff’s Office
16. Babysitting
17. The Funeral
18. The County Jail
19. Sunnies
20. T.J.
21. Gone to Jail
22. DQ
23. A Secret
24. Under Enchantment
25. Under Ground
26. Under Water
27. The Puzzle, Revealed
28. Freddie’s
29. Out the Back Door
30. The Machine
31. The Blast
32. The Silver Box

Customer Reviews

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Enchantment Lake: A Northwoods Mystery 3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
StephWard More than 1 year ago
3.5 Stars 'Enchantment Lake' is a young adult mystery novel that's targeted for readers around the ages of 10-14. The story follows our heroine - Francie - as she travels to northern Minnesota to stay with her two great aunts, after receiving a disturbing phone call from them about their neighbors' mysterious deaths. Concerned for their safety and determined to figure out what exactly is going on, Francie heads to Enchantment Lake and finds herself mixed up in the strangest mysteries she's seen: from poisoned food and creepy unexplainable noises coming from the bog, to the legend of a treasure that's said to be in an enchantment - and mixed up in the middle of it all is a business making a lot of money in selling cabins and a road that nobody in the area seems to want built. Will Francie be able to figure out the mystery that ties all of these odd events together - before anyone else dies? It's easy to tell right from the beginning that this book is geared toward younger readers - more middle grade and young YA. As soon as I started reading, I felt that the story had more of a Nancy Drew vibe to it rather than a more serious and mature mystery novel. The main character - Francie - is a seventeen-year-old who, in my opinion, doesn't act her age. Her dialogue - both inner and with other characters - isn't very mature, which only deepened my feelings of her not quite synching up with her age in the story. She's a good main character - smart, a very loving and devoted niece, down to earth, and determined to see things through. There's not much character growth for her - or any other characters - throughout the book. Francie's great-aunts are an interesting pair of sisters and serve as some comic relief during the book. The plot was pretty predictable - especially if you read the description and paid even a little attention to the details in the story. I basically knew what was going to happen before I cracked the book open - but, then again, this book is geared more for younger teens and their reading level. The mysteries that Francie has to solve throughout the story are minor and I didn't even have to think it out to know what was going on. For the target audience though, I think the mysteries would be a great asset to the story and would help them be more immersed in the book. The author uses great details and vivid imagery throughout the book that made it easy to imagine Francie's world. I didn't exactly slip inside of the author's world, but I could definitely see how a younger reader would be able to. The story is told from a third person point-of-view, which made it feel more distant and unrealistic, in my opinion. If it was told in a first person POV with Francie as the narrator, I think it would have engaged me more and may have pulled me into the story a little more. Overall, this was a good book with solid writing and a rounded plot. It was very obvious from the beginning (for me) that the novel is targeted to younger teens and middle grade readers. Being an adult and not used to reading books on this level, I wasn't able to get the maximum experience that a reader who is in the target age range would have. Looking at it from that standpoint, it's a good mystery novel with fun characters and interesting occurrences, and is a well rounded story that mixes together action, adventure, mystery, and a bit of suspense and will leave the reader wanting to solve more mysteries with Francie. Disclosure: I received a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.
MargieS1 More than 1 year ago
Given To Me For An Honest Review Enchantment Lake: A Northwoods Mystery by Margi Preus is a fun book for middle schoolers and teens. It is well written, reads fast, is  very entertaining and very captivating. The cover makes it look like it may be a dark read but it is not. It does have some serious moments  but all in all it is a fun story for teenage girls to read. As you read, you will feel yourself being pulled in and become part of the story trying  to find out who the serial killer is. Be watchful, there are some twists and turns. Francie's great-aunts call her for help. Someone is killing  their neighbors. Francie goes right away to help. The ending is a bit surprising and the it doesn't answer all the questions you will have.  So, I wonder if there might be a SEQUEL in the future. I recommend this book to all. I look for more from Margi Preus.