Midnight at the Barclay Hotel, by Fleur Bradley

I'm happy to be part of the blog tour today for Midnight at the Barclay Hotel, by Fleur Bradley, illustrated by Xavier Bonet (middle grade, Viking, August 25 2020).  I'm always up for a good mysterious hotel story, and this one delivers very nicely!

JJ Jacobson is a young ghost hunter, but hasn't yet found any good ghosts to hunt.  So when his mother gets a surprising invitation for a weekend at the famous, and supposedly haunted,  Barclay Hotel.  She's always awfully busy and preoccupied with her peanut butter and jelly business, but he convinces her to go, and to take him with her.

She isn't the only one to get a mysterious invitation; a handful of other guest have been carefully selected as well.  And when they arrive, they find out why--all but one of them is a suspect in the death of the hotel's owner!  And then the snow begins to fall, trapping them....with a murderer.

As well as hunting ghosts, JJ has to hunt for the answers to the mysteries in which his mom has been entangled.  Fortunately there are two other kids at the hotel--Penny (grand-daughter of another guest) and Emma, who lives there.    They join forces, exploring the hotel together, discovering the secrets of the other guests, and hunting for ghosts (because yes, the hotel is haunted!).

The hotel is a fascinating place, and the kids are entertaining company! They make a great team-- Penny (who is black) loves books, and puts that to good use, JJ loves  his ghost hunting, and there's lots of detail about his technology.  Emma knows the hotel, so she's their guide.  There are plenty of twists, and nothing is quite as it seems, making the pages turn quickly.  The solution wasn't what I was expecting at all (though I did guess a few things)!

For kids who like mysteries, ghosts, and weird hotels and playing Clue, this is a perfect book, especially for those on the younger side of middle grade (the 9 and 10 year olds).  And it's lots of fun for everyone else too!

Here are all the other tour stops:

Aug. 3rd: Book review at Always in the Middle
Aug. 11th: An interview at MG Bookvillage
Aug. 16th: Guest post: Fleur talks about reaching reluctant readers at Unleashing Readers
Aug. 18th: Review and giveaway at MG Mojo
Aug. 19th.: Interview and giveaway at From the Mixed-Up Files
Aug. 21st: Book review at Our Thoughts Precisely.
Aug. 23rd: Interview and giveaway at Spooky MG
Aug. 24th: Interview at YA Booknerd
Sept. 4th : Fleur talks about getting out of your comfort zone on Kirby Larson’s blog
Sept. 8th: Fleur outlines how to develop a compelling MG concept at Writer's Digest

disclaimer: review copy received, with great pleasure, from the author!


  1. Glad you enjoyed this. I read the review at Always in the Middle and reserved it in the library. Now I'm even more excited to read it.

  2. Excited for Fleur and especially that I now know it was inspired by The Stanley Hotel!


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