Aspiring detective/veterinarian/artist Anastasia McCrumpet’s escape from vile St. Agony’s Asylum leads to radical changes of fortune, status, mission, and even name in this revelation-packed sequel to The League of Beastly Dreadfuls (2015).
Having been taken to the subterranean city of Nowhere Special (beneath the Swiss Alps), Anastasia learns not only that she’s a princess of the royal Merrymoon family, but that her grandfather Nicodemus has a special tattoo that could help her find her missing father. But Nicodemus too is missing—locked in an invisible casket at the start of a centuries-old war between witches and the shape-changing Morfolk. Calling on all the sleuthing skills learned from her fictional heroine Francie Dewdrop and hardly slowed by either snotty cousin Saskia or her own “tragic flatulence,” Anastasia sets out in search of clues to the eponymous Deed through a dizzying array of gleefully baroque distractions. Clues indeed do turn up, along with both old and new members for Anastasia’s allied League of Beastly Dreadfuls, awful hazards like thought-eating “mooncooties,” and many references to poop, vomit, waffles, bats, cupcakes with glow-in-the-dark mushroom filling, silly powdered wigs, and like diversions. Finished illustrations not seen.
A fine middle volume, lit up with “laughs and tears and the occasional fart joke.” (wig information and quiz appended) (Fantasy. 10-12)