A three-for-one today! After reading The Mysterious Howling (The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place Book #1) by Maryrose Wood, I immediately set upon the sequels!
First up, The Hidden Gallery, which is book #2. Miss Penelope Lumley continues on with her role as governess to the three Incorrigible children: Alexander, Beowulf, and Cassiopeia. When Miss Mortimer (from the Swanburne Academy for Poor Bright Females) invites Miss Lumley into London, Lady Constance (of Ashton Place) decides to move everyone to London while Ashton Place is being restored (after having suffered a great deal of damage at the hands of the Incorrigible three during the disastrous Christmas Ball). There, Penelope explores London with the help of a somewhat mysterious and often a bit confusing guidebook. She also meets a new friend – Simon, who is an interesting young playwright. While trying to suss out the Incorrigible children’s past – and her own – Miss Lumley has a few questions answered and many more to ask. Mysterious fortune-telling gypsies and swashbuckling pirates aside, this is a charming tale that is EVEN BETTER than the the first!! 5/5!
Third in the series is The Unseen Guest and Miss Lumley and her charges are back again. Home again to Ashton Place, an unexpected Ostrich results in Penelope and the Three Incorrigible children traipsing through the woods. Lord Ashton’s mother has come to call, along with her suitor, Admiral Faucet. New secrets about the Ashton family are revealed, all while Miss Lumley is contemplating her own somewhat mysterious past. It keeps getting better!! 5/5!
The Fourth installment, The Interrupted Tale, continues on attempting to explain some mysteries while leaving others (well and most others) unanswered. Miss Lumley is invited back to The Swanburne Academy for Poor Bright Females to make a speech. When she and the Incorrigible children arrive they discover that things are not quite what they seem, and some unexpected and unwelcome changes are afoot. 5/5!
Some thoughts on all three:
- DELIGHTFUL! CHARMING! LOVELY!
- If you are a fan of Lemony Snicket’s Series of Unfortunate Events you will surely love Miss Lumley!
- The books are short and snappy, and definitely leave more questions open then they close. I’m eagerly anticipating the next in the series – though I’m not sure when that will be?
- The narrative style strengthens throughout the three, with often breaks for reflection or education. I find it fun and amusing.
- Miss Lumley is a perfect Strong Female Character – she always accomplishes what she sets out to do, and is a stalwart and plucky example of a Swanburne girl.
- They are definitely more children’s fiction than young adult fiction, but I do find them ever so charming.
- They definitely all end with more unanswered questions than mysteries they wrap up, but I have high expectations that in time, all will be revealed.
- They seem to keep getting better and better!!
Love love love!