I know Kristina Ohlsson mainly from her thrillers. But when I heard that she has written some books for children too, I was eager to find out how they would be. Well, this one was a pleasant surprise. Filled with action, tension, a dark story, and wonderfully created figures. What could a reader want more?

Das Geheimnis Von Hester Hill
by Kristina Ohlsson
Original Title Mysteriet på Hester Hill
Publisher cbj on June 24, 2019
Genre Children 9+
Pages 229
Format Hardcover
Source Library 

A Swedish summer full of secrets. Meg and her brother Frank spend the summer on Hester Hill – an old, mysterious mansion. As soon as they get there, the strangest things happen. Who hears Meg crying in the locked rooms at night? And what about the stories about a big misfortune? Soon, the children are on the trail of a dark secret, which leads them not only to the most hidden rooms and secret tunnels of the old house but also to the past … (personal translation by ©Vi at Inkvotary).
Meg is convinced, that something strange is going on at Hester Hill. She can hear a baby crying and other weird noises. And when her uncle tells her the story about Hester Hill, she knows for sure that she and her brother can solve the mystery. An old key seems to be part of the secret that lays in the past. Together with her brother, she is about to discover a dark secret that brings an old intrigue to the light.

This novel is written in a wonderfully entertaining way. While reading some pages I had the impression, that the writing style is a bit old fashioned, but it fits perfectly into the story. The plot is very secretive and there isn’t one boring page. In fact, the novel is very diversified. It was a wonderful surprise to discover that the author knows very well how to entertain kids without becoming kitschy or boring. 

Meg is a child with a huge fantasy. Everywhere she goes, she starts to create a story about the “what ifs” and “how could it be”. Her imagination knows no bounds and she is using her gift very often to come up with a story about what she saw. Not always to the delight of her brother or parents. And when her parents send her and her brother away to her uncle, Meg knows the moment she arrives, that her fantasy is not only a fantasy. Some things are real, and she is determined to prove that she is right. 

What a wonderful read. I enjoyed every minute. The plot is built in a great way, the tension rises from page to page and the solution at the end is only logical and the perfect way to end this novel. For kids age nine and above a fantastic book. Highly recommended.

Happy reading

*This book was, at the time this review was published, only available in the German and Swedish language.

Kristina Ohlsson
Kristina Ohlsson ©Anna-Lena Ahlstrom

Kristina Ohlsson, born in 1979, is one of Sweden´s most successful authors of crime fiction and children´s books. Before becoming a full-time writer, she worked for the OSCE (the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe), the Swedish Security Service, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Her crime fiction novels about Fredrika Bergman have repeatedly been shortlisted for the Swedish Academy of Crime Writer´s Award for ´Best Crime Novel of the Year´ and featured prominently on bestseller lists all over the world. She won the 2010 Stabilo Prize for ´Best Crime Writer of Southern Sweden´ and established herself as a highly popular author with a broad fan base of adults as well as children. The author lives in Stockholm.


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