cover image Curtsies & Conspiracies

Curtsies & Conspiracies

Gail Carriger. Little, Brown, $18 (312p) ISBN 978-0-316-19011-4

Sophronia Temminnick is back for more daring yet ladylike exploits in this effervescent second installment in Carriger’s Finishing School series, which follows Etiquette & Espionage. This time, the dirigible that is Mademoiselle Geraldine’s Finishing Academy for Young Ladies of Quality is embarking on an exciting and mysterious trip to London—with boys on board, students from Bunson & Lacroix’s Polytechnique. Sophronia is excelling at the school (“Your mind seems designed for espionage,” a professor tells her), garnering the jealousy of her fellow spies-in-training, including best friend Dimity. Sophronia tries to get to the bottom of why they’re heading to London, while remaining on the lookout for the well-being of all as danger lurks, Dimity is threatened, and two young men vie for Sophronia’s romantic attention. Teenage and adult fans alike will rejoice that Carriger retains her flair for musical prose, over-the-top names (e.g. Algonquin Shrimpdittle), clever wit, and strange yet helpful mechanical devices of all kinds. Carriger’s blend of comically exaggerated characters and madcap action will easily win over readers once again. Ages 12–up. Agent: Kristin Nelson, Nelson Literary Agency. (Nov.)