“The Hidden Gallery (The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place #2)” by Maryrose Wood
Genre: Children’s/Middle Grade Fiction, Mystery, Historical Fiction
Summary from Goodreads:
Of especially naughty children it is sometimes said, “They must have been raised by wolves.”
The Incorrigible children actually were.
Thanks to the efforts of Miss Penelope Lumley, their plucky governess, Alexander, Beowulf, and Cassiopeia are much more like children than wolf pups now. They are accustomed to wearing clothes. They hardly ever howl at the moon. And for the most part, they resist the urge to chase squirrels up trees.
Despite Penelope’s civilizing influence, the Incorrigibles still managed to ruin Lady Constance’s Christmas ball, nearly destroying the grand house. So while Ashton Place is being restored, Penelope, the Ashtons, and the children take up residence in London. Penelope is thrilled, as London offers so many opportunities to further the education of her unique students. But the city presents challenges, too, in the form of the palace guards’ bearskin hats, which drive the children wild—not to mention the abundance of pigeons the Incorrigibles love to hunt. As they explore London, however, they discover more about themselves as clues about the children’s—and Penelope’s—mysterious past crop up in the most unexpected ways. . . .
I really enjoyed the first book so I was quite excited to pick up the next installment. It was a nice mix of the first book as well as a whole new story. I loved the appropriate amount of mystery and humor. The mysteries were all intriguing. There were many mysteries going on but it didn’t feel overwhelming. There is still the big mystery (where the children came from) that was never solved. There were some new developments and I have my suspicions of where things are going to go. There’s the title’s sake mystery (which kind of randomly popped up towards the end). Then of course there were many other small mysteries going on.
I still liked the humor. It’s very silly but very enjoyable. What can I say, I like little side comments throughout stories. I don’t know if there were more comments or tangent in this book compared to book one but it almost felt like it. There were definitely a few sections where the narrator got off on a random tangent and rambled for a while. I was a bit annoyed. I don’t mind a quick comment of a sentence or two but when the tangents last for a whole page or longer it’s a bit much (especially when they happen frequently).
The new story was fun. We took the characters out to a whole new city! What could be more fun than exploring London with the children? I loved that the children have developed and matured since the last book. They certainly have lost much of their wildness (except when small animals are involved). Alexander and Beowulf are especially impressive. I’d imagine it’s hard enough to get young boys (8-12) to act like proper young gentlemen let alone boys who were raised by wolves!
The bottom line? Yet another fun book. I’ll definitely pick up book three in the future!