Audio Review: Etiquette & Espionage by Gail Carriger

May Contain Spoilers

Oh, my, did I enjoy this audio book! Moira Quirk is an entertaining, engaging narrator.  She really made the story come to life.  Sophronia and her adventures kept me snickering, as she found herself bouncing from one outlandish caper to the next.

Sophronia is a fourteen year old tomboy. Her behavior gives her mother convulsions.  After a particularly ill-fated encounter with a dumb-waiter, she is sent off to finishing school.  Only she quickly learns that this is a special sort of finishing school. While the girls are taught impeccable etiquette, they are also schooled in poison, knife wielding, and the secret uses of fans.  In other words, it’s a school where they are taught the finer points of espionage!

Sophronia is an inquisitive young woman, and when she is caught up in the hunt for the mysterious, missing prototype, she finds herself toe-to-toe with a fellow student, picklemen, and airman.  As she struggles to master her lessons, she is also frantically searching for the prototype. With the assistance of her new friend, Dimity, Sophronia is determined to save society at large from the villains who are desperate to get their hands on the prototype for their nefarious purposes.

Etiquette & Espionage was a rousing success for me.  I enjoyed all of the characters, even stuck-up Monique.  Sophronia is a take charge kind of girl, who isn’t content to sit on the sidelines and watch the action from a safe distance.  Once she suspects a mystery, she doesn’t rest until she solves it.  This was a fun book.

Grade: 4.5 stars

Review copy borrowed fro my local library

About the book:

It’s one thing to learn to curtsy properly. It’s quite another to learn to curtsy and throw a knife at the same time. Welcome to Finishing School.
Fourteen-year-old Sophronia is a great trial to her poor mother. Sophronia is more interested in dismantling clocks and climbing trees than proper manners–and the family can only hope that company never sees her atrocious curtsy. Mrs. Temminnick is desperate for her daughter to become a proper lady. So she enrolls Sophronia in Mademoiselle Geraldine’s Finishing Academy for Young Ladies of Quality.
But Sophronia soon realizes the school is not quite what her mother might have hoped. At Mademoiselle Geraldine’s, young ladies learn to finish…everything. Certainly, they learn the fine arts of dance, dress, and etiquette, but the also learn to deal out death, diversion, and espionage–in the politest possible ways, of course. Sophronia and her friends are in for a rousing first year’s education.