Wednesday, March 10, 2010

2010 YA Edgar Review: Petronella Saves Nearly Everyone by Dene Low

I like to think of myself as a pretty open-minded reader, but Petronella Saves Nearly Everyone truly stumped me. The book felt like some Victorian English play, with lines like, “Although one may have stacks of money, not to mention an impeccable social position, there are times when one wishes for the homely pleasure of encircling parental arms.”

This book was hard for me to read, something entirely my flaw, no doubt. Anyway, here’s the plot, in short: 16 year-old Petronella’s guardian Uncle Augustus has started eating bugs at her party. There’s police, ransom notes, and she has to solve the mystery.

As much as I hate to cop out, I’m going to refrain from scoring this one, because I don’t feel I’m qualified. One thought did come to mind: how many teenagers are into Victorian-style dialogue? All the same, it’s a rightful Edgar nominee with a solid mystery.


  1. Since I grew up on Agatha Christie, Louisa May Alcott and the Brontes, I'll take a run at it for you. Of course, I'm not a 14-year-old girl. Although I do still act like one at times.

  2. I'd love to hear what someone more versed in this Victorian dialogue would think. I felt like I was underqualified to read this :-)

  3. This is how I felt reading THE SWEETNESS AT THE BOTTOM OF THE PIE. You can't recapture another period without providing commentary on it, I think. THE LITTLE STRANGER did it brilliantly.

  4. This one was just... too much. I really wonder where the audience is, but maybe I'm looking at it from my own perspective too much.