Cute alliterative title! Cute Blanche Sims cover!
I was expecting something like a cross between A Little Princess and John Bellairs (um, his books, that is). This is a lot darker than that. Have you read The Wolves of Willoughby Chase? Imagine if the entire book were like the middle section, when Bonnie and Sylvia are sent to the horrible "orphanage" workhouse, where all the girls work their fingers to the bone while cold and hungry and afraid. Anyone would bare tales for a morsel of food, so there can be no friendships. This book is pretty much that with a creepy mystery element. The creepiness is pretty well done, the actual plot no so much. A lot of things aren't adequately explained, including the titular peppermints. But I was rooting for poor orphaned Emily! And thank goodness the kitten lived. I still want to know what the big deal was about the peppermints, though.