Curtsies & Conspiracies
by Gail Carriger

Publisher: Little Brown Books
Publication date: 10-Oct-2014
Format: paperback
Pages: 310
Series: Finishing School Series
Genres: YA Fiction
ISBN: 9780316190206
Source: Barnes & Noble
Rating: 5 stars

Does one need four fully grown foxgloves for decorating a dinner table for six guests? Or is it six foxgloves to kill four fully grown guests?

Sophronia’s first year at Mademoiselle Geraldine’s Finishing Academy for Young Ladies of Quality has certainly been rousing! For one thing, finishing school is training her to be a spy (won’t Mumsy be surprised?). Furthermore, Sophronia got mixed up in an intrigue over a stolen device and had a cheese pie thrown at her in a most horrid display of poor manners.

Now, as she sneaks around the dirigible school, eavesdropping on the teachers’ quarters and making clandestine climbs to the ship’s boiler room, she learns that there may be more to a field trip to London than is apparent at first. A conspiracy is afoot–one with dire implications for both supernaturals and humans. Sophronia must rely on her training to discover who is behind the dangerous plot–and survive the London Season with a full dance card. -Goodreads

As the second book in the “Finishing School” Series, this novel picked up right where the first left off. This time around we get to see romance, even though the protagonist does not see it. I love that Sophronia is not wrapped around a boy, but is just an adventure seeker. I read this novel, right after the new year began, so my recollection of the story is a bit fuzzy. I do remember that I thoroughly enjoyed it and I rated it five stars on goodreads.

An interesting aspect of this series is that it is an alternate history of our world, essentially a world overlapping ours in an interesting and humorous way.

Carriger managed to divulge how a vampire can fit into Sophronia’s world. The more I think about how that works, the more I don’t like it. I don’t want to give too much away, but I feel that it is a bit controversial in an academic setting. Besides Vampires, the author added more depth to characters we didn’t see much in the first novel as well.

This is a great story and I am looking forward to getting my hands on the third book “Waistcoats and Weaponry” soon.

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