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The Interrupted Tale

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For fans of Lemony Snicket s Series of Unfortunate Events and Trenton Lee Stewart s Mysterious Benedict Society comes the fourth book in the Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place, the acclaimed and hilarious Victorian mystery series by Maryrose Wood. In The Interrupted Tale, Miss Penelope Lumley receives an invitation to speak at the annual Celebrate Alumnae Knowledge Expos For fans of Lemony Snicket s Series of Unfortunate Events and Trenton Lee Stewart s Mysterious Benedict Society comes the fourth book in the Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place, the acclaimed and hilarious Victorian mystery series by Maryrose Wood. In The Interrupted Tale, Miss Penelope Lumley receives an invitation to speak at the annual Celebrate Alumnae Knowledge Exposition (or CAKE) at the Swanburne Academy for Poor Bright Females. Optoomuchstic as ever, Penelope hopes to give her CAKE talk, see some old friends, and show off the Incorrigible children to Miss Mortimer, but instead she finds her beloved school in an uproar. And when Penelope is asked by the Swanburne Academy board of trustees to demonstrate the academic progress of her three wolfish students so the board can judge the true worth of a Swanburne education, the future of her alma mater and of her job as governess to the Incorrigibles hangs in the balance.


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For fans of Lemony Snicket s Series of Unfortunate Events and Trenton Lee Stewart s Mysterious Benedict Society comes the fourth book in the Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place, the acclaimed and hilarious Victorian mystery series by Maryrose Wood. In The Interrupted Tale, Miss Penelope Lumley receives an invitation to speak at the annual Celebrate Alumnae Knowledge Expos For fans of Lemony Snicket s Series of Unfortunate Events and Trenton Lee Stewart s Mysterious Benedict Society comes the fourth book in the Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place, the acclaimed and hilarious Victorian mystery series by Maryrose Wood. In The Interrupted Tale, Miss Penelope Lumley receives an invitation to speak at the annual Celebrate Alumnae Knowledge Exposition (or CAKE) at the Swanburne Academy for Poor Bright Females. Optoomuchstic as ever, Penelope hopes to give her CAKE talk, see some old friends, and show off the Incorrigible children to Miss Mortimer, but instead she finds her beloved school in an uproar. And when Penelope is asked by the Swanburne Academy board of trustees to demonstrate the academic progress of her three wolfish students so the board can judge the true worth of a Swanburne education, the future of her alma mater and of her job as governess to the Incorrigibles hangs in the balance.

30 review for The Interrupted Tale

  1. 5 out of 5

    Darla

    The writing in this series is so clever. In this fourth installment, there is much ado about birds. The chicken coop at Ms. Lumley's alma mater becomes the setting for many scenes. One of my favorites is the fact that the chickens have been taught three dances: 1) The Waltz, 2) The Quadrille, and (wait for it) 3) The Hokey Pokey. You didn't think I was going to say it was the Chicken Dance, did you? There is also a scene where two of the chickens are disguised, not dipped in paprika. Good thing The writing in this series is so clever. In this fourth installment, there is much ado about birds. The chicken coop at Ms. Lumley's alma mater becomes the setting for many scenes. One of my favorites is the fact that the chickens have been taught three dances: 1) The Waltz, 2) The Quadrille, and (wait for it) 3) The Hokey Pokey. You didn't think I was going to say it was the Chicken Dance, did you? There is also a scene where two of the chickens are disguised, not dipped in paprika. Good thing the goulash has already prepared for the big dinner. Early on the Incorrigibles become enthralled with the fall of Rome after discovering the tomes of Gibbons on the nursery bookshelves. If anyone mentions Rome, they call out "Fall of Rome" and then enact the tragedy. All of this occurring whilst Penelope is trying to save her beloved school from the clutches of Edward Ashton and his evil trustee cohorts. Can't wait for the next one! One small note about the audio version: the voices for the children were a bit difficult to adjust to -- very screechy. In the end, I still found this to be a delightful production.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Kaethe

    When Wood is writing, or planning, whatever her process, I like to imagine her sitting there asking herself what else she could possibly throw in for entertainment. She included a song, which is possibly as far as an author can go toward "all-singing, all-dancing" without including video links. Read alikes: A Series of Unfortunate Events, Defoe's Pirates!, Jane Eyre (sort of), The Pirates of Penzance. The humor here is kind, the perspective progressive. There is rather less howling than in the pr When Wood is writing, or planning, whatever her process, I like to imagine her sitting there asking herself what else she could possibly throw in for entertainment. She included a song, which is possibly as far as an author can go toward "all-singing, all-dancing" without including video links. Read alikes: A Series of Unfortunate Events, Defoe's Pirates!, Jane Eyre (sort of), The Pirates of Penzance. The humor here is kind, the perspective progressive. There is rather less howling than in the previous books, and Penelope Lumley is maturing into a very practical young woman, as she celebrates her 16th birthday. I hesitate to use the word "rollicking" but there is a certain screwball comic aspect to the climax. It's books like this that make me really miss reading aloud to the girls at bedtime: it would have been a hoot. Library copy

  3. 4 out of 5

    Lesley

    If you follow my ratings at all you will notice that I rarely give out five stars. Librarians are constantly asked by parents for a series for their child who is an advanced reader. But they don't want content that is too advanced for a younger child. I offer the "Incorrigible Children" as a wonderful alternative!The Interrupted Tale book art Amazingly pithy, very complex, layered with mystery, and lots of detail for advanced readers. This is an amazing series, but be warned... there are SIX boo If you follow my ratings at all you will notice that I rarely give out five stars. Librarians are constantly asked by parents for a series for their child who is an advanced reader. But they don't want content that is too advanced for a younger child. I offer the "Incorrigible Children" as a wonderful alternative!The Interrupted Tale book art Amazingly pithy, very complex, layered with mystery, and lots of detail for advanced readers. This is an amazing series, but be warned... there are SIX books in this series, I didn't know that until now, so I've been frustrated with the non-conclusions conclusions of each story. While Wood does an fantastic job of bringing some of the mysteries in the plot to a close, she is really adept at keeping the larger questions still unanswered. She writes so well for the 8-12 age group, but anyone would really love these stories. They would even be completely appropriate for a 6 or 7 year old read a loud! Each chapter would even make a great bed time story. In other words, everyone should be reading these books! I devoured this book in a few days and am already counting down to the next one. The fourth installment has Ms. Lumley and the children traveling to the Swanburne Academy for Poor Bright Females, which happens to be Ms. Lumley's alma mater. While at the academy Ms. Lumley, with the help of the Incorrigibles of course, find out more about the mysterious Judge Quimby, and have also gained the trust of Lord Ashton. But just as all the pieces of the larger mystery come together, people start disappearing again! A perfect book for readers of Mr. Popper's Penguins, Mary Poppins, and Lemony Snicket.

  4. 4 out of 5

    We Are All Mad Here

    I still love this series. And I do realize it's written for middle-grade readers. BUT . . . I have officially reached the point where I am glad the next installment isn't available yet, because the storyline is actually getting a bit redundant. The clues, or perhaps red herrings, that have been exposed seem to be pointing to several obvious conclusions. Or at least semi-obvious conclusions. But these same clues have been blatantly exposed throughout the series, with little forward progress. Penel I still love this series. And I do realize it's written for middle-grade readers. BUT . . . I have officially reached the point where I am glad the next installment isn't available yet, because the storyline is actually getting a bit redundant. The clues, or perhaps red herrings, that have been exposed seem to be pointing to several obvious conclusions. Or at least semi-obvious conclusions. But these same clues have been blatantly exposed throughout the series, with little forward progress. Penelope's hair color has been hidden to keep her safe. Her hair color matches that of the Incorrigibles. Someone secretly took care of the Incorrigibles when they were living with the wolves. Old Timothy seems to be everywhere and know everything. Judge Quinzy, or whoever he is (no spoilers here) is up to something. I'm beginning to feel that the secret or secrets, whatever they are, are not going to be too very astounding because it just TOOK TOO LONG TO GET THERE. Anyway. This one was still funny, taking the readers away from Ashton Place again, this time to the Swanburne school, which seems to be in a bit of financial (and other) trouble. Penelope delivers a filibuster, chickens perform a dance routine, and Frederick Ashton learns that howling at the moon might not be so bad. Still an enjoyable read, but I, for one, am happy for a break.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Karen Arendt

    Waited so long for this installment and just wished all the answers were answered! Sigh!

  6. 5 out of 5

    Gregg

    This is the fourth book in The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place series. In my review of the first book, I lamented the whole series thing. I worried that the author was going to drag out the story into more books than was necessary. The series won me over, though, and I've continued with it. But it's time to tie up loose ends and answer questions that have been lingering since the first book. The books are very well-written and entertaining, but I think the author is pushing her readers' co This is the fourth book in The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place series. In my review of the first book, I lamented the whole series thing. I worried that the author was going to drag out the story into more books than was necessary. The series won me over, though, and I've continued with it. But it's time to tie up loose ends and answer questions that have been lingering since the first book. The books are very well-written and entertaining, but I think the author is pushing her readers' commitment to waiting for conclusions. I'm not sure I will be willing to continue past a fifth book to get satisfying answers. Please deliver! Once again I listened to the audio version and continue to enjoy the distinct voices of the characters personified by the reader. Very enjoyable.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Sesana

    An improvement over the previous book, both in terms of plot and because some questions do finally get answered here. There's still a frustrating number of unanswered questions with just two books left in the series, and many of those mysteries should have been cleared up with a truthful explanation from Miss Mortimer in this book. However, it was a lot of fun to see Penelope's alma mater. An improvement over the previous book, both in terms of plot and because some questions do finally get answered here. There's still a frustrating number of unanswered questions with just two books left in the series, and many of those mysteries should have been cleared up with a truthful explanation from Miss Mortimer in this book. However, it was a lot of fun to see Penelope's alma mater.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Cyndi

    "Do your best before lunch and do your best after lunch. During lunch have a sandwich" -Agatha- "Do your best before lunch and do your best after lunch. During lunch have a sandwich" -Agatha-

  9. 4 out of 5

    Susy C. *MotherLambReads*

    LOVE these books. We are going to miss this series when it's done. It just get better and better. We love to guess all the mysteries. I love how it's so educational.... Teaching kids about geography, science, literature, English, and history in a fun way. LOVE these books. We are going to miss this series when it's done. It just get better and better. We love to guess all the mysteries. I love how it's so educational.... Teaching kids about geography, science, literature, English, and history in a fun way.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Lori

    This was the second audio book I took on my recent trip. As I have reported in my review of Divergent, that audio version had a terrible reader. So imagine my delight when I popped this in and was drawn into the world of the Incorrigibles by this reader. It was amazing! The voices of the children were spot on. The reader made all of Agatha Swanburne's sayings even more practical and endearing. I laughed out loud throughout most of it. The fifth book just came out and I am going to look for the a This was the second audio book I took on my recent trip. As I have reported in my review of Divergent, that audio version had a terrible reader. So imagine my delight when I popped this in and was drawn into the world of the Incorrigibles by this reader. It was amazing! The voices of the children were spot on. The reader made all of Agatha Swanburne's sayings even more practical and endearing. I laughed out loud throughout most of it. The fifth book just came out and I am going to look for the audio. Of course the reader had great material. Mary Rose Woods is clever and there is a great plot. Cassiopeia in a Swanburne uniform - no one deserves it more. BRAVA!

  11. 4 out of 5

    Shannon

    I cannot get enough of this series. I love the Incorrigibles so very much, and I'm already eager for the next book! I cannot get enough of this series. I love the Incorrigibles so very much, and I'm already eager for the next book!

  12. 5 out of 5

    Joseph Brink

    I must read book five!!! This book was such a fun ride! Definitely the best book in the series so far! This book has all the charm of book one, all the mystery and intrigue of book 2, and something all it's own. And the humor in this book is priceless. I have been quoting and reminiscing about this book ever since I finished reading it last week. Set in Swanburne, the school we have heard so much about, we begin to see questions and mysteries that have been plaguing us since book one being answered I must read book five!!! This book was such a fun ride! Definitely the best book in the series so far! This book has all the charm of book one, all the mystery and intrigue of book 2, and something all it's own. And the humor in this book is priceless. I have been quoting and reminiscing about this book ever since I finished reading it last week. Set in Swanburne, the school we have heard so much about, we begin to see questions and mysteries that have been plaguing us since book one being answered and tied up, though important mysteries still remain. In this book, the central plot behind the tangled mysteries begins to become apparent and the missing pieces become more noticeable. The stakes in this book are high as our heroes set out on a daring mission that will require all they have in them! This. book. is. incredible. The cover art by Jon Klassen is super beautiful. The new interior artist, although not near as good as the unmatchable Jon Klassen, was surprisingly good for not being Jon Klassen. If that makes any sense. She was very skilled as an artist in her own right, and she portrayed the characters just as I imagined them... her art flowed nicely out of Jon Klassen's while still having a style completely it's own. So while I am sad that Jon Klassen will no longer being illustrating this series, it is not as great a tragedy as I first imagined. *squeals* I MUST READ BOOK FIVE but alas, I am at the mercy of the slow and grueling process of inter-library loan... I must learn patience.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Daphne

    I enjoyed this book a little more than book 2 and 3, but it's still a 3 star for me. I mostly feel like I can't give it more because I start to get impatient with the mystery part of this series. The author has set up a big mystery at the start and keeps hinting at it, without ever really giving the reader anything. A lot of the hints have been repeated now, and I just want more of an explanation. (view spoiler)[ Like the hints that have been dropped about Penelope and the children being related I enjoyed this book a little more than book 2 and 3, but it's still a 3 star for me. I mostly feel like I can't give it more because I start to get impatient with the mystery part of this series. The author has set up a big mystery at the start and keeps hinting at it, without ever really giving the reader anything. A lot of the hints have been repeated now, and I just want more of an explanation. (view spoiler)[ Like the hints that have been dropped about Penelope and the children being related has been set up so much that I really just want to know by now. (hide spoiler)] I am aware that I'm not the target demographic for this book, so it may be because of that that it feels drawn-out, but it's a feeling I've been having for the past few books. That said, this book's plot did pull me in more than I had expected. I liked the recurring characters and the different setting. Both Penelope and the children are growing on me more and more, which made the book more enjoyable as well. It was charming and well-written as usual, and if the mysteries being resolved very slowly wouldn't bother you, I definitely recommend this series as a fun middle grade series. The premise of a young governess raising three children who have been raised by wolves until that point is still a fun one, and the children are often both funny and sweet.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Stefan Hull

    This fourth book barely revealed any more of the mystery. If you’re looking for a fast drive with zippy plot twists and turns, this series is not for you. It’s a slow Sunday stroll in no hurry to get where it’s going. I don’t mind. There’s a lot to enjoy along the way, particularly the classical references and witty turns of phrase.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Kailie

    Friends. Romans. Countrymen! Miss P. Lumley and the Incorrigibles visit Swanburne Academy for Poor Bright Females; what new mysteries will be uncovered there?

  16. 5 out of 5

    colleen the convivial curmudgeon

    3.5 I'm rating up for this book because, even though it has some flaws, this series is just a joy to read. Anyway - We continue to story of Lumawoo and the Incorrigible children, and the plot thickens as some secrets get revealed and some only get hinted out, but with possible dire consequences. This one seemed to focus more on Penelope than the kids, which is fine in a way since she's the protagonist even though the series is named after the kids - but I also kept thinking it was a good thing she 3.5 I'm rating up for this book because, even though it has some flaws, this series is just a joy to read. Anyway - We continue to story of Lumawoo and the Incorrigible children, and the plot thickens as some secrets get revealed and some only get hinted out, but with possible dire consequences. This one seemed to focus more on Penelope than the kids, which is fine in a way since she's the protagonist even though the series is named after the kids - but I also kept thinking it was a good thing she had backup in this one, because I'm not sure what she would've done if she didn't have help taking care of the kids while she was off solving mysteries and things! I also think she could've included them more, but understand why she wouldn't want to. Also - we need more Simon! I thought Ashton's reveal was a bit anti-climatic, but I loved the idea of the (view spoiler)[howling lessons with Cassie (hide spoiler)] . And it was nice to see Lady Ashton actually develop a bit as a person. Well, sort of - but, ya know, small steps and all. I'm also very intrigued to see what dastardly scheme 'Quinzy' has up his sleeve, and what his menacing parting words will mean. Duh duh DUH!!! This series isn't without flaws, but it really is just a pleasure to slip into the world. Very much looking forward to the next in the series - though I am hoping the mystery doesn't get endlessly drawn out. While I'd be sad to see the series end, I also feel like we're coming close to a conclusion. I guess we'll see.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Tracy

    The fun continues in this 4th book in the series. Miss Lumley (Lumawoo) is invited to speak at CAKE, an alumni event at her beloved Swanburne, so she packs up the Incorrigibles and they all go spend some time at the school. Miss Lumley is shocked to find that things have changed for the worse at Swanburne, and her efforts to set things right involve much plotting. Plot twists ensue! Revelations of long-standing unknowns are looming large by the end of the book, but many questions still not compl The fun continues in this 4th book in the series. Miss Lumley (Lumawoo) is invited to speak at CAKE, an alumni event at her beloved Swanburne, so she packs up the Incorrigibles and they all go spend some time at the school. Miss Lumley is shocked to find that things have changed for the worse at Swanburne, and her efforts to set things right involve much plotting. Plot twists ensue! Revelations of long-standing unknowns are looming large by the end of the book, but many questions still not completely answered. I'm getting a little bit tired of not having it all fully revealed just yet, but I do love this series so much, and Agatha Swanburne's little proverbs continue to be a hoot! I'd like to embroider a few of them on some pillows myself.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Beth

    Not my favorite of the Incorrigibles books but Katherine Kellgren can make anything entertaining so it was still a great listen. Even not being my favorite of the four books, I still can't wait for the next one! Not my favorite of the Incorrigibles books but Katherine Kellgren can make anything entertaining so it was still a great listen. Even not being my favorite of the four books, I still can't wait for the next one!

  19. 4 out of 5

    Krystal

    Probably my favorite in the series so far. The other ones have made me giggle or snort at different parts, but this one made me laugh out loud several times. I love that these books just keep getting better!

  20. 4 out of 5

    Elise

    4.6 stars This series continues strong with mystery, mayhem, and iambic pentameter. Audiobooks are a riot and I can not recommend them enough- even if you don’t normally enjoy audiobooks - please give these a try.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Dave Atkinson

    This is the best yet in the series. Iambic pentameter and ferns: so great.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Erin

    Love this series more with each book! I want to hang out with the author-I feel like we could be friends.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Isaberu

    These books are so wholesome and cute, I can't stop These books are so wholesome and cute, I can't stop

  24. 4 out of 5

    Allie

    My favorite installment so far!

  25. 4 out of 5

    Akaigita

    It is obviously a middle grade book, but in my wildest thought I imagining an erotica story where our wolfish Lord Fredrick 'do it' with his dolly wife Lady Constance. Guess I'm waaay too grown up now 😭😭😭 I always like how a simple scene be described so rich, not in detail but with the metaphors from the stories Penelope and the children have read. In every book there will be some key words that becomes the spine of the story. Like this fourth book, the key word I guess is iambic pentameter, whate It is obviously a middle grade book, but in my wildest thought I imagining an erotica story where our wolfish Lord Fredrick 'do it' with his dolly wife Lady Constance. Guess I'm waaay too grown up now 😭😭😭 I always like how a simple scene be described so rich, not in detail but with the metaphors from the stories Penelope and the children have read. In every book there will be some key words that becomes the spine of the story. Like this fourth book, the key word I guess is iambic pentameter, whatever it is 😂 But the third act felt exaggerated with Cecily's scream and 'mayhem' that is not really do something. Our evil lord even can take what he wants so easy without too much effort (but it is a series, so just read the next book before complaining 😂). The epilog is also less solid than the previous books, with unanswered questions that start to seem dull. But maybe it's because I read it half sleepily. Um, yes, if there's an adult version of Lord Fredrick story, I'm in 😅😅😅

  26. 4 out of 5

    Jamie Dacyczyn

    At this point, I'm just continuing to read this series for the audiobook narrator. The plot itself feels a bit sillier with each book, especially the ongoing mystery of why Penelope has hair the same color as the incorrigible children. And also the painting of the former headmistress of Penelope's old school shows that she too had the same shade of auburn red hair......I guess kids might enjoy this ongoing aspect, because they can have the satisfaction of guessing the secret, but adults are goin At this point, I'm just continuing to read this series for the audiobook narrator. The plot itself feels a bit sillier with each book, especially the ongoing mystery of why Penelope has hair the same color as the incorrigible children. And also the painting of the former headmistress of Penelope's old school shows that she too had the same shade of auburn red hair......I guess kids might enjoy this ongoing aspect, because they can have the satisfaction of guessing the secret, but adults are going to be like, "Omigod, how thick can you be? How long can they keep hinting and dragging this out?" Presumably the answer to the latter question is six books, the length of this series. Anyway, a cute, fun, silly series....but not likely to be classics. Katherine Kellgren's performance is the reason to keep going.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Amanda

    Though some parts felt like a filibuster, I love reading this spunky series aloud. Somehow, every word (and there are a lot of them!) rolls off the tongue. I appreciate that these are age appropriate AND that they offer clever witticisms and pithy gems for young and less young alike! I relish the references to Latin, mythology, science (we also have been studying pteridophytes!) and plan to look up the poems: William Blake’s Tyger, as well as Longfellow’s Wreck of the Hesperus. What the series l Though some parts felt like a filibuster, I love reading this spunky series aloud. Somehow, every word (and there are a lot of them!) rolls off the tongue. I appreciate that these are age appropriate AND that they offer clever witticisms and pithy gems for young and less young alike! I relish the references to Latin, mythology, science (we also have been studying pteridophytes!) and plan to look up the poems: William Blake’s Tyger, as well as Longfellow’s Wreck of the Hesperus. What the series lacks in plot pacing, it makes up for in charm and read-aloud magic.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Emmalynn

    Book 4 complete. Penelope is now 16 and invited back to speak at her Alma Mata. Simon is missing, a curefor the curious affliction on the Alford family still proves to be elusive, but, the incorrigibles are thriving! A fun filled adventure gets us a little closer to solving the mystery of the children, exposing Penelope’s past ( why was she hidden away at the School?), is the Judge really the late not great Edward Ashford??? Was Simon really swashbuckled by pirates??? Really Simon? Really? Or di Book 4 complete. Penelope is now 16 and invited back to speak at her Alma Mata. Simon is missing, a curefor the curious affliction on the Alford family still proves to be elusive, but, the incorrigibles are thriving! A fun filled adventure gets us a little closer to solving the mystery of the children, exposing Penelope’s past ( why was she hidden away at the School?), is the Judge really the late not great Edward Ashford??? Was Simon really swashbuckled by pirates??? Really Simon? Really? Or did you just forget to call a girl 😑😑😃😃

  29. 5 out of 5

    Ann-Marie

    This latest book of the series was just as enduring as the first three. In this story the governess is invited back to the much heard of Swanburne Academy to give a speech. We learn so much more about this place where Penelope spent her childhood and she was raised. Again, I appreciate how long the plot lines are taking to unfurl. These stories are well written, hilarious, and such easy fun to read!

  30. 4 out of 5

    Christie McLaughlin

    3.5. My least favorite in the series so far because it was just a little too silly for my taste, but children the intended audience would love it. We got a couple of answers this time, but still a lot more questions to go.

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