Balzer + Bray, 2011. ISBN: 978-0-061-79112-3.
Reviewed by Judy Miller
Posted on 01/04/2011
As much as I enjoyed the The Mysterious Howling (the first book of The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place series), the The Hidden Gallery is even better. Wood made this second book in the series of three more enticing, mysterious, and fun.
The Hidden Gallery picks up where The Mysterious Howling left off. For readers who might not have read the first book (I recommend that you do), Wood quickly brings them up to date with what has transpired and fills in details throughout the story without slowing down the pace. Her writing is delightful. She stops periodically to explain terminology, colloquialisms, and share wisdom with the reader—a wonderful idea, since it adds to the richness of the story itself and the experience of being mesmerized and drawn in deeper to the story. It is as though Wood is telling the story directly to the reader and then stopping to make sure they are still following her. Not breaking her stride, she jumps back into her magnificent storytelling.
Wood adds more dimension to her story lines with a change of scenery (London) and the introduction of new, interesting, and flawed characters. She builds more mystery through clues and starts to flesh out her primary characters—Alexander, Beowulf, Cassiopeia (the Incorrigibles) and Miss Penelope Lumley (the Incorrigibles' governess). Things are not what they seem and the reader will have to wait until Wood's third book to get all of the answers. There's more to come from the gypsy fortune-teller, Judge Quinzy, Lord Frederick, Miss Charlotte Mortimer (the former headmistress of The Swanburne Academy for Poor Bright Females, from which Miss Penelope Lumley came), and the apparently unhelpful Hixby's Lavishly Illustrated Guide to London: Compleat with Historical Reference, Architectural Significance, and Literary Illusions.
Read an excerpt from this book.
Maryrose Wood grew up in the wild suburbs of Long Island. She enjoys gardening, kayaking, napping, reading tons of books, and trying new vegetarian recipes (with mixed success). She lives in New York with her two children, two kittens, and a small, feisty, red-headed dog. AND she has written numerous Young Adult books. Visit her website.
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