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MONTMORENCY by Eleanor Updale

MONTMORENCY

By Eleanor Updale

Age Range: 14 & up

Pub Date: April 1st, 2004
ISBN: 0-439-58035-8
Publisher: Orchard/Scholastic

Merge the dark fetid sewers of London in 1875 with a newly released thief from a prison where he was a doctor’s specimen for pioneering treatments of complex wounds and the stage is set for good ole Victorian crime, deceit, and intrigue. Montmorency devises a plan to use the sewers as his escape routes, using his thefts to finance his refined life as a gentleman. Creating dual identities, Scarper as the sewer rat and Montmorency as the man of upper class, his scheme transforms his life. The underground/aboveground personas pose numerous risks: being drowned by sudden storms that flood the sewers; being recognized by his victims or the doctor; being slobbered on by the swoons of the hotelier’s nosy, goony daughter; and being asked to explain why his manservant is never seen with him. A major theft leads to Montmorency becoming embroiled in international subterfuge. Short chapters and a fast-paced, quick-witted plot make easily readable and involving historical fiction, rife with noxious smells, sinister atmosphere, and cleverness. Sequel slated for ’05. (Historical fiction. YA)