Etiquette & Espionage by Gail Carriger is the first book of a new series, set in the world of the Parasol Protectorate books.
Temminnick is active, curious, and not at all interested in clothes or
flirtations -- or attending finishing school. But when an offer of a
place at Mademoiselle Geraldine's Finishing Academy for Young Ladies of
Quality comes just after an embarrassing incident involving a dumbwaiter
and a flying pudding, Sophronia's mother decides that something must be
done about her daughter's manners and deportment. Neither Sophronia nor
her mother are aware of the exact nature of Mademoiselle Geraldine's,
however -- a school where the word "finishing" has more than one
Like the Parasol Protectorate series, this book is witty
and well-written, with excellent plotting and pacing, sparkling
dialogue, and a feisty heroine who gets into (and out of) all sorts of
predicaments. There are a few significant differences, of course -- this
book is written for the young end of the YA spectrum, with hardly any
romance yet. Also, though set some 20 years before the events of Soulless,
there are a number of differences in the worldbuilding, particularly as
relates to the numerous steampunk elements. One assumes (or at least
hopes) that the author will explain, at some point during this series,
what becomes of all of the mechanicals that are present in Etiquette & Espionage but absent in Soulless.
of the reviews I read before reading this book found more to criticize than I did. I'm not sure whether that served to lower my expectations, or
whether I am just inclined to be less picky in this particular case, but
I found this book quite as enjoyable as others by the author, and would
certainly recommend it.
(Reviewed from a copy borrowed through my library system.)