Wednesday, January 16, 2013

"Waiting On" Wednesday: Belle Epoque and The Wig in the Window

Belle Epoque
Elizabeth Ross
June 11, 2013

When Maude Pichon runs away from provincial Brittany to Paris, her romantic dreams vanish as quickly as her savings. Desperate for work, she answers an unusual ad. The Durandeau Agency provides its clients with a unique service—the beauty foil. Hire a plain friend and become instantly more attractive.

Monsieur Durandeau has made a fortune from wealthy socialites, and when the Countess Dubern needs a companion for her headstrong daughter, Isabelle, Maude is deemed the perfect foil.

But Isabelle has no idea her new "friend" is the hired help, and Maude's very existence among the aristocracy hinges on her keeping the truth a secret. Yet the more she learns about Isabelle, the more her loyalty is tested. And the longer her deception continues, the more she has to lose.

I pride myself on generally not being a shallow reader and sticking to the whole adage of "don't judge a book by its cover" - but let's just forget about that for now, because the Mucha-esque font and gilded pattern is just driving me nuts.

Some girls fall for diamonds and gold bracelets.

I am a sucker for a good cover.

(Well, at least my future hubby's wallet can breathe a sigh of relief.)

Anyway, not only is the cover good for this one, the summary is utterly captivating. I mean, of course, I've heard about bridezillas who pick 'ugly' bridesmaids in order to make themselves drop dead gorgeous on their wedding day - but a whole agency designed on giving rich girls best friends in order to look better? After an influx of The Luxe (rhyme not intended) - he said, she said and all that irritating jazz - this type of literary scandal and intrigue is very much welcome.

The Wig in the Window
Kristen Kittscher
June 18, 2013

Sophie Young and Grace Yang have made a game of spying on their neighbors, but when they stake out the home of notoriously phony middle school counselor Dr. Charlotte Agford (aka Dr. Awkward), they stumble across a terrifying scene.

Or do they? The girls are convinced that Dr. Agford’s sugary sweet fa├žade hides a dark secret. But as they get closer to the truth about Agford, the strain of the investigation pushes Sophie and Grace farther apart. Even if they crack their case, will their friendship survive?

Perfect for fans of The Mysterious Benedict Society, The Wig in the Window is a smart, funny middle-grade mystery with a Rear Window twist.

As you probably know by now, I have a brother in the middle-grade spectrum of things. As you might also know by now, he's a ridiculously picky reader. That being said, The Mysterious Benedict Society was one of his favorite series within the past year or so, and - since he actually deigned to acknowledge it with his attention - I picked it up and enjoyed it as well.

I think my basic success code with MGs has to be smart and funny (hence, my obsession with A Series of Unfortunate Events, and subsequently, suspicions of unibrowed men) - thus, this story seems like it's going to be right up my alley. It involves best friends, a suspicious school counselor, and a dark secret. Oooh la la!

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly meme run by Breaking the Spine. Please refer to the hosting blog for more information.


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