July 6, 2012
The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place: The Unseen Guest
First sentence: "'Lumawoo, look.'"
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Others in the series: The Mysterious Howling, The Hidden Gallery
The best thing about this one is that finally (!) some of the questions I've had are finally being (slowly) answered.
See, Lord Frederick's mother and her suitor, Admiral Faucet, show up at Ashton Place, with an ostrich. (Seriously.) The ostrich gets looks, and Admiral Faucet, intrigued by the Incorrigible's tracking skills, takes them into the woods to find said runaway ostrich. Of course, their governess Penelope -- somewhat daunted by the idea of taking the children into the woods, where there are scary bears and other animals -- comes along.
Once in the woods, Strange Things happen. Penelope sees where the Incorrigibles were living before they came to Ashton Place, and discovers their relationship with the wolf, Mama Woof. Additionally, she learns of Admiral Faucet's Grand Plan, which involves taking the Incorrigibles on the road as a freak show. After he squanders the Ashton fortune, of course. To stop him, Penelope turns to her friend Simon to hold a seance for Lord Frederick's mother.
The best thing about these, still, is the narrator. Long, hilarious asides explaining words and meanings. Nudges to the reader about the characters. Silly, silly plot twists. I'm still not sure how many kids will like/get this one, but I sure find them enjoyable. Bring on the next installment.