The Entomological Tales of Augustus T. Percival: Petronella Saves Nearly Everyone
Dene Low, the pen name for author Laura Card, has created a wonderful tale of Victorian fantasy in this first novel. The Entomological Tales of Augustus T. Percival: Petronella Saves Nearly Everyone is the delightful and funny story of 16-year-old Petronella. The book opens with her coming-out party, an important affair for any fashionable Victorian girl, but readers quickly find that it will prove to be a most unusual event. Her guardian, Uncle Augustus Percival, has developed a compulsion for eating bugs. Yes, that’s right—bugs! If that isn’t strange and disturbing enough, party guests begin disappearing. Kidnapping notes appear, complete with bug clues. Can Petronella keep Uncle Augustus from eating them? Low/Card has given us a spunky heroine who doesn’t disappoint.
A wonderfully crafted middle-grade mystery, Petronella Saves Nearly Everyone made me want to dig out my copy of Fabre’s Book of Insects in lieu of the imagined Insectile Creatures to examine those old entomological drawings! Seemingly first in a series of adventure/mysteries, I can’t wait to read the next.