Wednesday, September 23, 2020



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 decor. 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 Details:

Title: The Silver Box

Author: Margi Preus

Genre: middle grade mystery

Series: The Enchantment Lake Mystery Series

Publisher: University of Minnesota Press (October 6, 2020)

Print length: 200 pages


A few of your favorite things: my little writing house and everything in it.
Things you need to throw out: half of everything in my big house.

Things you need in order to write: paper & pen.
Things that hamper your writing: the phone.

Things you love about writing: you can do it from anywhere, be any age, and you can’t be fired.
Things you hate about writing: tendonitis.

Things you love about where you live: our woods and creek; proximity to trails and lakes, great neighbors, and I love Duluth!
Things that make you want to move: late March, April, sometimes May when winter hasn’t yet ended . . .

Favorite beverage: a cappuccino in the morning and a glass of good wine in the evening.

Something that gives you a pickle face: fermented things.

Favorite smell: the pine-scented air of the Northwoods.

Something that makes you hold your nose: lawn chemicals. Why? Why do people put poisons on their lawns and therefore into watersheds?

Something you’re really good at: throwing big dinner parties on short notice.

Something you’re really bad at: cleaning up afterward. (Fortunately my husband is good at it.)

Things you always put in your books: questions.

Things you never put in your books: a moral.

People you’d like to invite to dinner: so many people! Writers! Artists! Heroes! Writers: Louise Erdrich, David Mitchell, Philip Pullman, Amor Towles, Anthony Doerr, Colson Whitehead, Billy Collins, Celeste Ng, Margaret Atwood. . . the list goes on . . . (Fortunately I am good at throwing large dinner parties—see above.)
People you’d cancel dinner on: current resident of the White House and family.

Things that make you happy: being on water (preferably in a canoe or kayak); being on snow (preferably on skis); foggy days; sunny days; good food; good friends; family.

Things that drive you crazy: leaf blowers, fireworks all summer long, lawn chemicals (see above), clear-cutting, car locks that beep or honk, extraneous noise in general.


Margi Preus’s books for young readers include the Newbery-honor-winning Heart of a Samurai and its companion The Bamboo Sword, also West of the Moon, Enchantment Lake, and Shadow on the Mountain. Her books have been ALA/ALSC Notables, received multiple awards, landed on many “best of” lists, been featured on NPR, and have been translated into several languages. When not writing, she enjoys traveling, speaking, and visiting schools all over the world.

Connect with Margi:

Website  |  Blog  |  Facebook  |  Twitter Goodreads

Buy the book:
Amazon  |  
Bookshop  |  Barnes & Noble