What do children and wolves have in common? Maryrose Wood, of course! As author of the first book in The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place series, The Mysterious Howling, she conjures up the right blend of English Victorian country life of the wealthy, subtle mystery, humorous mayhem and modern day references.
Plucky, steadfast, fifteen year old Penelope Lumley, a recent graduate of Swanburne Academy for Poor Bright Females, has been hired as governess at Ashton Place. Imagine her surprise at finding that her new charges currently being housed in the barn were raised by wolves. On a recent hunting expedition in the estate woods Lord Frederick and his lifetime household servant, Old Thomas luckily realized their identity before taking a shot. True to his saying of finders keepers Lord Frederick, despite his new bride's despair at becoming a mother so quickly, wants to raise the children, if for no other reason than as a curiosity.
Penelope eager to impart the same educational standards that she received at Swanburne Academy upon the three children finds that their canine tendencies need to be dealt with prior to studies beginning. So with great patience Alexander (Alawoooooo), Beowulf (Beowoooooo), and Casseopeia (Casawoof) are taught by Miss Lumley the basics of cleanliness, how to dress in clothes, speech, letters and reading and of course, not to chase squirrels anymore. When Lady Constance hears of their vast improvement she insists that they be presented at her first Christmas gala at Ashton Place. As the days proceed toward the anticipated event, amid busy-bee preparations, constant and repetitious learning of proper etiquette, the mysteries surrounding Ashton Place begin to multiply as do the mounting tensions.
Who were Penelope's parents? How did the children end up in the woods on the estate? Why did Lord Frederick stay at his club so often? Why did Old Thomas constantly hoover and hide in the background? Why did Lord Frederick value his "almanac" so much? Who sent the letter that added new dimensions to the Christmas celebration? What was that noise in the walls on the fourth floor?
Reading The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place, Book 1: The Mysterious Howling is like opening a homemade present that has been lovingly crafted using witty, delightful words to create a cast of unforgettable characters whose lives intermingle for purposes that have yet to be revealed. Artwork by Jon Klassen enticingly completes the package. As Agatha Swanburne was know to say All books are judged by their covers until read. The second installment, The Hidden Gallery, will be available February 22, 2011.