Petronella Saves Nearly Everyone: The Entomological Tales of Mr. Augustus T. Percival by: Dene Low
“Sherlock Holmes meets Victorian England’s high society with quirky sarcasm and adventurous activities.”
About: You would think Petronella’s sixteenth birthday would be cause for celebration. After all, fashionable friends are arriving at her country estate near London, teas are being served, and her coming out party promises to be a resplendent affair. Everything is falling nicely into place, until, suddenly—it isn’t. For Petronella discovers that her guardian, Uncle Augustus T. Percival, has developed a most unVictorian compulsion: He must eat bugs. Worse still, because he is her guardian, Uncle Augustus is to attend her soiree and his current state will most definitely be an embarrassment.
During the festivities, when Petronella would much rather be sharing pleasantries with handsome Lord James Sinclair (swoon), important guests are disappearing, kidnapping notes are appearing, many of the clues are insects, and Uncle Augustus is surreptitiously devouring evidence. It’s more than one sixteen-year-old girl should have to deal with. But, truth be told, there is far more yet to come . . .
Why I Loved This Book: When you first meet Petronella, you can immediately tell that she’s got gumption. Her quick-witted, independent attitude pulls you in alongside her as a confidante and fellow detective from the very start of the story. Filled with hilarious quips and just the right amount of Victorian uppity-ness, you get a taste for Victorian England without being bogged down by it and gleefully watch our heroine challenge its statutes in her own sassy way.
The story moves forward quickly and is over before you know it which makes every detail you do get all the more enjoyable to digest. There’s a hint of romantic interest throughout the story, but in a refreshing twist from many other YA novels, our heroine doesn’t let herself get too distracted by it and consistently focuses on the task at hand, solving the case. If you like a story that keeps you guessing, giggling along the way, and left with a sense of pleasant contentedness, Petronella Saves Nearly Everyone will be a perfect fit.
Take a listen to the audiobook sample to get a feel for Petronella’s snarky, sassy self:
Reviewed by: Lindsay