The Housetrap

The Housetrap

By Author / Illustrator

Emma Read


Mystery & Detective

Age range(s)



Chicken House Ltd




Paperback / softback




An edge-of-your-seat adventure packed full of puzzles, spooks and mystery! Amity has run off into Badwell Woods. Her brother Claude goes after her, only to discover his little sister's scarf dangling near a house in the trees. Has she gone inside? He enters, not expecting a three storey-building with NO stairs. And a party laid out when there's nobody else around. Only when the front door locks behind him does he realize it's a housetrap. And they've been caught . . . '

A fabulous twist on a timeless haunted house adventure from the acclaimed author of the Milton the Mighty series! Scooby-Doo meets The Mysterious Benedict Society via Escape Room. Full of friendship, teamwork and logic versus instinct - all wrapped up in a book with thrills, heart and bags of atmosphere. Perfect for readers aged 9 and up. GLORIOUSLY SPOOKY AND UTTERLY SPLENDID.' Hana Tooke, author of The Unadoptables.



If you go down to the woods today…. you'd better have nerves of steel and a razor sharp mind! When Amity wanders into the forbidden forest, her friends Claude, Sam and Deliah set off to find her but end up with far more than they bargained for. Discovering a dilapidated house, the children venture inside and are taken aback by their weirdly opulent surroundings. Before too long. the gang find themselves not only trapped inside the house but caught in the midst of a puzzle which they must solve if they are to escape the menacing grip of the mansion.

Deciphering clues and facing fears is the only way chance the children have of defeating the mind of the mechanical house, and soon the foursome discover that they can only succeed by working together and believing in one another. Friendships and loyalties are put to the test as the mansion threatens to lock the children in time and place. Not only does the house tighten its grip upon the children, the story tightens its grip upon the reader as cobwebbed rooms are unlocked, ghosts are released and secrets are revealed .

The Housetrap is not a book for the faint-hearted! Spectres, seances, sinister china dolls and a sense of rotting decay all add to the goosebumps that you will feel as you turn page after page. Your heart will race as you sense the pressure of time as it runs out and the children are doomed to stay locked in the house forever. This is deliciously scary and delightfully clever. The puzzles add to the mystery and help the reader to become thoroughly absorbed in the plot.

Emma Read's no holds barred use of descriptive language allows the reader to see, hear and even smell the malevolence of Manvers Hall. Many female readers will relate to the main character, Deliah; she loves maths and riddles but is often mocked and considered 'nerdy'. It's wonderful, therefore, that Deliah's penchant for puzzles is the group's salvation; a powerful embodiment of feminism and a strong reminder to be happy in the skin that you are in.

There is a strong theme of friendship and loyalty on every page and this is the ray of light through the gloom of foreboding. I loved this book and no doubt it will be devoured by readers aged nine and above. It is daringly spooky and tantalisingly chilling - are you brave enough to enter The House Trap?

336 pages / Reviewed by Jo Clarke, teacher

Suggested Reading Age 9+


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