Etiquette and Espionage


It’s one thing to learn to curtsy properly. It’s quite another to learn to curtsy and throw a knife at the same time. Welcome to Finishing School.

Fourteen-year-old Sophronia is a great trial to her poor mother. Sophronia is more interested in dismantling clocks and climbing trees than proper manners–and the family can only hope that company never sees her atrocious curtsy. Mrs. Temminnick is desperate for her daughter to become a proper lady. So she enrolls Sophronia in Mademoiselle Geraldine’s Finishing Academy for Young Ladies of Quality.

But Sophronia soon realizes the school is not quite what her mother might have hoped. At Mademoiselle Geraldine’s, young ladies learn to finish…everything. Certainly, they learn the fine arts of dance, dress, and etiquette, but the also learn to deal out death, diversion, and espionage–in the politest possible ways, of course. Sophronia and her friends are in for a rousing first year’s education.

Let me tell you, I was very excited to read this series by Gail Carriger. She’s an excellent writer and does a great job with the steampunk genre. I also think she herself is a character and it shows in her work. Etiquette and Espionage is the first book in her new YA Finishing School series. I was not disappointed! This series is set in Victorian England at the early stage of dirigible travel and there seems to be more testing of the automatons and gagdets than in her Souless series. When our protagonist is sent off to finishing school, she soon learns that it’s really a school for spys and espionage.

This book was a fun read and once you got into (or past) the silly names (Mrs. Barnaclegoose?) it really was a lot of fun with Sophronia just falling into trouble everywhere she goes. The main character was enjoyable and interesting and the supporting players well developed. I especially enjoyed the sneak peak into the early years of a favorite character from Carriger’s Parasol Protectorate series. I am looking forward to reading the next in the series: Curtsies and Consipracies. This is a great series for advanced middle readers and up.

Best of Lists

I honor of the looming Black Friday and Cyber Monday, I’ve prepared a special page of links to make your life easier this shopping season. Here are a few Best of Lists, according to Amazon, to make your holiday shopping fast and easy!

20 Best books for Teens and Young Adults – The best part of this list is that I haven’t read any of them. Which also means there are 20 more books for me to look forward to reading!

Best Eye-Candy – This is a great list for the lovers of Coffee Table books. So much fun!

For the Foodie – Not just food but drinks and entertaining too.

Celebrities’ Suggestions – This is a link the an entire page of celebrities, from James Franco to Martin Short, on what to read. Beware, you could get lost in this one!

Happy Thanksgiving to all of my subscribers! I hope you have a safe and delicious holiday!

Thanks for using Amazon links to purchase!

Thank you for using Amazon links to purchase. Happy Thanksgiving to all of my subscribers! I hope you have a safe and delicious holiday!


Game by Barry Lyga

GameGame: The Sequel to “I Hunt Killers”

Billy grinned. “Oh, New York,” he whispered. “We’re gonna have so much fun.”

I Hunt Killers introduced the world to Jazz, the son of history’s most infamous serial killer, Billy Dent.
In an effort to prove murder didn’t run in the family, Jazz teamed with the police in the small town of Lobo’s Nod to solve a deadly case. And now, when a determined New York City detective comes knocking on Jazz’s door asking for help, he can’t say no. The Hat-Dog Killer has the Big Apple–and its police force–running scared. So Jazz and his girlfriend, Connie, hop on a plane to the big city and get swept up in a killer’s murderous game.
Both the stakes and the body count are higher in this suspenseful and unstoppable sequel from acclaimed author Barry Lyga.
Ani’s Review
Game, the sequel to I Hunt Killers (click here for my full review)  was a twisty roller coaster of a ride! It definitely kept you on the edge of your seat but I also found that the supporting characters were not as interesting as in the first book. Jazz’s character and plot line was still very engaging but I was unhappy with girlfriend Connie. She had typical horror-movie decision making – poor to say the least! I wanted to jump in the book and shake her! That being said, I did enjoy the book a lot and the cliffhanger ending left such a hole that I was dreaming, literally, of how Jazz’s story would end. I have to applaud authors that can make me dream about their books (even though I would have preferred a good night’s sleep instead)! Check out the book here:  Game: The Sequel to “I Hunt Killers”