With Goth Girl and the Fete Worse Than Death we are back at Ghastly-Gorm Hall with Ada and her father the cycling poet Lord Goth and the wonderful cast of characters that surround them. This time everyone is getting ready for the annual Full-Moon Fete and:
the Great Ghastly-Gorm Bake Off. Celebrity Cooks are arriving at the hall for the big event, and as usual Maltravers is acting suspiciously. On top of all this, Ada’s elusive lady’s maid Marylebone has a surprising secret and everyone seems to have forgotten Ada’s birthday.
Into all of this comes her father’s dashing friend Lord Whimsy who is more than he at first appears.
Why did I want to read it?
I absolutely adored the previous book in the series (you can read my review of it here) and this is just as good. Again, it’s a beautiful physical object full of wonderful illustrations and tucked into the back another little miniature book, Marylebone’s biography. Just lovely to read.
What did I think of it?
It has all of the strengths of Ghost of a Mouse and builds on that earlier story with the same cast of characters bolstered by some strong new additions. Maltravers is still up to no good, Ada and her father’s relationship has developed and she is learning a great deal from her vampire nanny Lucy Borgia. The delight is as always seeing the real-life models for the chefs in particular (Nigellina Sugarspoon and Heston Harboil, anyone?) and the influences on the plot (Paddington obviously but also a mix of Scarlet Pimpernel and a Regency James Bond). But of course it’s all about he illustrations and the wonderful silliness.
The footnotes this time are webbed and written by a well-travelled Muscovy duck. My favourite relates to Abba the Swedish minotaur, who is naturally depressed and who:
likes pickled herring, knitted jumpers and long walks in the rain. He composes annoyingly catchy songs on his Scandinavian lyre.
Wonderful, and a very fun and unplanned end to my RIP IX reading experience.