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.
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.
Reviewed by Michelle