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by Eleanor Updale 1791/843 first published 2003
Crime & Mystery for ages 10 to 16 published by Scholastic Children’s Books
Available from:  Amazon.co.uk
* £9.09, usually dispatched within 24 hours.
Mrs Mad's humble opinion
9/10 Very good. I am pleased with this.
What's it about?
Just who is Montmorency? The man about town in Victorian society or the dark servant Scarper, who lurks in the shadows of the underworld?
What happens?
When a thief crashes to his fate, through a skylight whilst running from the police, a young doctor revives him and over the next few years rebuilds his shattered body. Showing off his work at Scientific Society meetings, where the thief is held up for public display. But this thief listens and learns from those around him and gradually forms a plan, a way to make a new life when he leaves prison, a new life and a new identity. So when he is finally free Montmorency is born, a respectable Victorian gentleman, with a degenerate servant called Scarper. Suddenly a whole new spate of thefts are carried out across London, daring impossible raids that baffle the police, and leaveeveryone bewildered. For how long can Montmorency and Scarper keep their identity secret, one little slip could bring them to a last walk to the gallows!
Is it easy to read?
A good read for the competent suitable for all.
Anything else?
I really enjoyed this book, it is out of the ordinary. It is based in Victorian England and clearly attention to historical detail has been to the fore of the author's mind. The actual creation of the characters is skilful and we gradually learn more about our hero as he learns how to handle the two lives he is living. I call him hero because I felt on his side throughout the story, and always had the idea in my head that he was a good person who wouldn't harm someone if he could help it. It is an amazing skill to make your readers like someone who is essentially doing bad things and knows it as well, but that is what Updale has done here. You know that come the next book there will be no question but that Montmorency will have our full backing and we will be cheering him on! An excellent read!
Who says so?
This review by Mrs Mad.
The publisher reckons...
When a petty thief falls through a glass roof trying to escape the police what should have been the death of him marks the beginning of a whole new life. For he is chosen as a medical guinea pig for the Royal Society, where he comes into some very interesting information - a map of Sir Joseph Bazalgette's new sewage system. Memorising the system and adopting the affectations of the rich young gentlemen of the Society, the thief uses his knowledge to become the most elusive burglar in Victorian London. From now on, he will have two identities: Scarper - servant and sewer-rat, robbing jewels and making his escape by the underground labyrinth that lies beneath London - and Montmorency - fashionable, wealthy gentleman. But Montmorency's new existence is fraught with danger - can he pull off the transformation and keep his secret safe...?
And what do you think?
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