The Mysterious Howling begins with intrepid 15 year old, Penelope Lumley, recent graduate of the Swanburne Academy for Poor Bright Females, on her way to take a position as governess at palatial Ashton Place. Once she arrives she realizes why the ad she answered requested someone with "Experience with Animals." Her three charges were only recently found in the woods and were apparently raised by wolves. Penelope has been trained to deal with almost anything and quickly takes the children in hand, convincing them of the need to wear clothes, eat at a table, and keep the howling to a minimum. In addition to the children, Penelope must also deal with her employers, Lady Constance who views the children as uncivilized nuisances and wants them gone and hunt crazed Lord Fredrick who thinks the children are trophies and property ("Finder's keepers, what?"). The mystery of the children's and Penelope's own origins take center stage in this hilarious, tongue in cheek story that will have readers begging for more.
In The Hidden Gallery, Ashton Place is in need of repairs after a disastrous Christmas party so the entire household plans an extended trip to London. Penelope is hoping to further civilize her charges with visits to museums and the theater but the children prove to be not quite ready for London after they attack a Beefeater whose hat they have mistaken for a bear. Penelope carries on though and the children make further strides. But mysterious happenings begin to occur including a fortuneteller who seems to hold some clues to the children's past. With the help of Penelope's old school mistress and a handsome playwright, some questions are answered but more arise.
For children and adults who have been waiting for a predecessor to Lemony Snicket to arrive, The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place will certainly fill a void. These madcap stories will have readers howling with laughter.
Submitted by Fran @ Bay View