What happened to the Luggertuck diamond?
Why is a group of swashbuckling pirates landlocked without a ship?
Who meets with Old Lord Emberly in the library at night?
What happens when the Purple Bell rings?
Will Horton Halfpott be free?
Will Miss Neversly continue to be the spoon wielding kitchen witch or will Cupid's arrow pierce her heart?
Why is the evil Luther Luggertuck lurking in secret passages?
Will detective Portnoy St. Pomfrey solve the mysteries or will he continue to shovel anchovy stuffed deviled eggs into his mouth at every opportunity?
Who will catch Celia's fancy?
What is a corset and why did M'Lady Luggertuck loosen hers?
There is only one place where all these questions can be answered; in a very special book, of course.
Tom Angleberger, author of the bestselling The Strange Case of Origami Yoda, has another sure fire winner,
Horton Halfpott or The Fiendish Mystery of Smugwick Manor or The Loosening of M'Lady Luggertuck's Corset. As an unseen narrator addresses Dear Reader a tale unravels replete with a cast of characters that boggle the mind, employing a Dickens' inspired style of narration revealing mad-cap mystery and suspense liberally laced with humor.
The short lively chapters use language that rolls off the tongue whether in the reader's mind or a listener's ear. It propels the plot forward in a manner that engages the reader completely urging them to discover what is happening next to whom. I found myself turning the pages quickly. At each chapter's end I was smiling if not quietly laughing.
Here are just a few examples of Angleberger's use of words.
Crotty was a tiny old thing, but she could pull those corset strings tighter than a hangman's noose.
And in the kitchen...the iron rule of law was felt to be just a little rusty.
Love---yes, Love---was about to buffet the weathered stone of the manor; whose musty corridors had gone many fine years without it.
Tom Angleberger's distinctive artwork that decorates the endpapers, chapter beginnings, a cast of characters and a map of Smugwick Manor and Environs is the whipped cream and cherry on top of a book that reads like a finely wrought play; a mind-watering dessert sensation. When it comes to meals, my students and I like to eat dessert first.