Due to the recent demise of my laptop (sniff.) and my increasingly hectic schedule, I have an enormous backlog of books to review. So I'm back to last year's strategy of nutshell reviews: reviewing the books in ten or fewer sentences. My goal is to get caught up with all my books by the end of the year.
This book is by the same author as The Strange Case of Origami Yoda, and while the humor is still there, this one is set in Victorian England rather than a modern American middle school. Our hero is Horton Halfpott, a servant at the elegant Smugwick Manor. A bizarre and humorous chain of events begins when M'Lady Luggertuck, mistress of Smugwick Manor, loosens her corset one fine morning, culminating in the mysterious disappearance of a precious family heirloom, the Luggertuck Lump. Of course the scrupulously honest Horton is innocent, despite the accusations against him. A lively and unusual cast of characters combine to make this an intriguing, amusing and absurd mystery novel that I enjoyed very much.
I did wonder as I read whether younger readers would appreciate the humor as much as I did, however. My ten-year-old adored Origami Yoda but sadly only made it partway through this one before she gave up. So I would suggest Horton Halfpott as an excellent choice for a read-aloud - I think if we'd read it together, I could have stopped to explained things so she'd have appreciated the humor much more. Fans of humor and historical novels should definitely give this one a try.
Also by Tom Angleberger: The Strange Case of Origami Yoda
Horton Halfpott or The Fiendish Mystery of Smugwick Manor or The Loosening of M'Lady Luggertuck's Corset by Tom Angleberger (Amulet Books, 2011)