You would think Petronella’s sixteenth birthday would be cause for celebration. After all, fashionable friends are arriving at her country estate near London, teas are being served, and her coming out party promises to be a resplendent affair. Everything is falling nicely into place, until, suddenly—it isn’t. For Petronella discovers that her guardian, Uncle Augustus T. Percival, has developed a most unVictorian compulsion: He must eat bugs. Worse still, because he is her guardian, Uncle Augustus is to attend her soiree and his current state will most definitely be an embarrassment. During the festivities, when Petronella would much rather be sharing pleasantries with handsome Lord James Sinclair (swoon), important guests are disappearing, kidnapping notes are appearing, many of the clues are insects, and Uncle Augustus is surreptitiously devouring evidence. It’s more than one sixteen-year-old girl should have to deal with. But, truth be told, there is far more yet to come . . .
This has got to be one of the strangest, cutest, most wonderful starts to a series I've ever read and I think I'm in love with it. The language, the characters, their behaviors to me everything was spot on.
Right off the bat we are introduced to Victorian manners and ways of doing things and then all of a sudden we find Uncle Augustus T. Percival having a bite to eat, a bite to eat of BUGS! His compulsion is just so hilarious, the way the author writes it, seeing him hopping around in the background grabbing bugs out of the air and such, it just never got old! That was probably my favorite part of the book.
Next we have this wonderful mystery of two very important people vanishing from Petronella's party and she and her friends and relatives take it upon themselves to help out the police to find them. Oh and did I mention that Petronella's Aunt and son and Great Aunt and two daughters show up to try and help sort out this mess but are basically in the way the whole time. They make for some great comedy.
And most surprisingly and most welcome too is a bit of romance in the story. Petronella's best friend happens to have an adorably handsome brother who Petronella swoons for, if only he would notice her as anything other than a sister. Let's just say I can't wait to see where the story picks up in the next installment of this series!
I would highly recommend this book for something a bit out of the ordinary. I was highly impressed.
Petronella Saves Nearly Everyone: The Entomological Tales of Augustus T. Percival was released on June 1st.
Genre: Middle Grade/Young Adult
ARC provided by publisher