________________ CM . . . . Volume XIV Number 14 . . . . March 7, 2008

cover

The Faceless Fiend: Being the Tale of a Criminal Mastermind, His Masked Minions and a Princess with a Butter Knife, Involving Explosives and a Certain Amount of Pushing and Shoving. (The Mad Misadventures of Emmaline and Rubberbones).

Howard Whitehouse. Illustrated by Bill Slavin.
Toronto, ON: Kids Can Press, 2007.
272 pp., pbk. & hc., $8.95 (pbk.), $18.95 (hc.).
ISBN 978-1-55453-180-6 (pbk.), ISBN 978-1-55337-130-1 (hc.).

Grades 5-9 / Ages 10-14.

Review by Maha Kumaran.

*** /4

excerpt:

Mr. Brown glowered at Rubberbones. He was hatless and scarfless. Most of all, he was faceless. This was a man completely without a face, like the “Fiend without a Face” Rab had read about in the penny dreadful papers.

Emmaline Cayley, wild Princess Purnah, the ever flexible Rubberbones, mad Professor Bellbuckle and Aunt Lucy, with her worm squirming cakes, are all back in this book. So are “the birds” and those awful teachers from St. Grimelda. But the focus here shifts from Emmaline’s aviatrix capabilities and her escapades from St. Grimelda’s to Princess Purnah’s abduction by a faceless fiend and his minions. The scene shifts from the small town Owlthwaite to a busy London with beggars, dog-fighting crowds, flying balloons and Sherlock Holmes – yes the famous Mr. Holmes.

     Faceless Fiend is a fast-paced book where the reader is kept curious until the end about the identity of faceless fiend and his interests in Princess Purnah. The climax though was a bit longer – just when you think Rubberbones will be reunited with his family, he goes off-track; just when you think Princess Purnah is in safe hands, she comes face-to-face with Mrs. Scantcommon and Mrs. Wackett; just when you think the girls are safe at a hotel, there are leather suited fellows jumping in through the windows. But with Madame Za Za’s pendant, the Baker Street Irregulars and the faithful ancient Banjo all coming to everybody’s rescue, all is fine in the end. Or is it?

Recommended.

Maha Kumaran is a Virtual Reference Librarian in Saskatoon, SK.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

Copyright the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.
Published by
The Manitoba Library Association
ISSN 1201-9364
Hosted by the University of Manitoba.
 

NEXT REVIEW |TABLE OF CONTENTS FOR THIS ISSUE - March 7, 2008.

AUTHORS | TITLES | MEDIA REVIEWS | PROFILES | BACK ISSUES | SEARCH | CMARCHIVE | HOME