(The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place: Book 1)
Penelope Lumley is looking forward to being the governess at Ashton Place. It sounds like the perfect position for her--"experience with animal strongly preferred." Little does Penelope know that the animals are not the fat, content ponies she imagined, but the children themselves. Found in the forest by Lord Fredrick, he has appointed himself their guardian.
Penelope is not daunted by the task of humanizing the three Incorrigible children, as Lady Constance and Lord Fredrick call them. Alexander, Beowulf, Cassiopeia, and Penelope have a fine time educating each other. But why does Old Timothy always watch them? Why is Lord Fredrick adamant that the children attend the holiday ball? These and more mysteries thrive in The Mysterious Howling.
What I thought: A charmingly mysterious book and a fine start for a new series. I admire Penelope's endurance and intelligence. She is a credit to the Victorian governess character. The children are endearing. Their circumstances before Ashton Place are intriguing. I mean, how did they come to be in the forest in the first place? They must have been there for some time to pick up those animal mannerisms. The ending was just right--I feel that Penelope and the children will be safe until I see them again. As you know, I love a good mystery--all the better if it's a series. I look forward to reading the next book.
(New York: Balzer & Bray, March 2010. ARC provided by publisher.)