Etiquette & Espionage

Etiquette & Espionage

Book - 2013
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This young adult steampunk series debut set in the same world as the New York Times bestselling Parasol Protectorate is filled with all the saucy adventure and droll humor Gail Carriger's legions of fans have come to adore.
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 they 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.
Publisher: New York : Little, Brown, c2013.
ISBN: 9780316190084
Branch Call Number: YA CAR
Characteristics: 307 p. ; 24 cm.
Alternative Title: Etiquette and espionage


From the critics

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Jun 05, 2019

why does every other book in this series have Audio CD or Downloadable versions but not the first one? this is a frequent and annoying problem in the HPL catalog.

May 10, 2019

I enjoyed this book. It started out a little slowly but did pick up as it went along. I also got a few good chuckles out of it. This is a solid introduction to a new female protagonist, Sophronia, whom I liked, and who has a lot of potential to grow even more in future books. I am looking forward to reading the next book in the series.

Mar 23, 2019

I enjoyed this tween version of the adult The Parasol Protectorate series. Sophronia is a smart and feisty heroine who practices "question authority" with fervor. The story was enjoyable, but a little too witty at times, like it was trying too hard.

It is set in Victorian times so you have all the etiquette and dress codes, but she throws in vampires and werewolves. Sophronia is chosen, to her surprise, to attend an unusual finishing school for young ladies. Set in the same universe as Carriger’s adult series, The Parasol Protectorate, it tells the story that took place before that series. Entertaining, well-written, and intriguing, this series is good for both adults and teens. (submitted by SB)

OPL_KrisC Aug 28, 2018

Action-packed with a dash of steampunk and class. This is a book full of adventure and fun with a main character who does not conform to what is expected of her. I love how spunky Sophronia is and how the school does teach etiquette, but also teaches some serious espionage skills. Fans of Etiquette & Espionage should also try A School for Unusual Girls by Kathleen Baldwin.

LPL_KimberlyL Mar 04, 2018

Yet another Gail Carriger win! Sophronia is a lovely addition to the bright and clever heroines within the Parasolverse (the steam punk Victorian universe Gail Carriger first introduced to us in her book, Soulless). This series is suited for younger readers, but adults can also happily zoom through the wild adventures contained within this novel. The audiobook for this is particularly enjoyable.

Nov 05, 2017

Positively a blast! Engaging characters, cheeky style. Great fun!

Oct 23, 2017

This novel is so empowering and adventurous. It made me want to become a spy but still kick butt in a dress.

Check out my review of "Etiquette and Espionage" on my blog at:

Cheryl_in_IT May 11, 2017

I am a big fan of Carriger's adult steampunk book, "Soulless," which mixes up the prim and proper with a fiesty female main character's shenanigans.

This is more of the same, written to a tween audience. The book touches down lightly on racial and class discrimination without becoming heavy handed. The rest is a bit of colorful fluff (with a side of murder and mayhem), as one would expect from a fiesty, earstwhile gal who can't keep herself out of trouble.

PimaLib_ChristineR May 06, 2017

This steampunk finishing school is a blast of a novel. Whether you are a YA reader, or just like something with some laughs, adventure and a twist or two, this book has it for you. Set in an alternate Britain, Sophronia is the youngest and most out-of-hand child in a large family. Being sent to a finishing school is her mother's way of getting her out of the way, but little does she know that the school is perfect for Sophronia, who not only learns some manners, but finds that she excels at the schools other talent: espionage. The book is full of fun steampunk touches like flywaymen (highwaymen robbers that use airships), and of course, the fabulous clothes. I've already started the next book in the series and I'm glad that there are four out already so I don't have to wait for the next ones!

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Age Suitability

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OPL_KrisC Aug 28, 2018

OPL_KrisC thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

Jan 10, 2016

white_horse_316 thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

Nov 05, 2015

janetumukoro thinks this title is suitable for All Ages

Feb 06, 2015

Love_Legolas_111 thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

LadyLynx Aug 17, 2014

LadyLynx thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

Jul 19, 2014

StrawberryMilk thinks this title is suitable for 11 years and over

Jun 15, 2014

mkastar thinks this title is suitable for 10 years and over

Feb 01, 2014

Gr4c13 thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 13 and 17


Add a Quote
Oct 16, 2016

"Who doesn't want an exploding wicker chicken?"

Sep 05, 2015

Pullover Thadddeus Plumleigh-Teignmott, what are you wearing?
They heard pillover reply querulously, "a petticoat, headmaster"

Sep 05, 2015

"Boys have it far more jolly." Vieve gave one of her dimpled grins. "I assure you, I find female dress fascinating. I simply prefer not to wear it myself.

Jul 20, 2013

Our daddy is a founding member of the Death Weasel Confederacy, and Mummy is a kitchen chemist with questionable intent, but poor Pillover can't even bring himself to murder ants with his Depraved Lens of Crispy Magnification.

Jul 20, 2013

The trifle did it.


Add Notices
Feb 06, 2015

Violence: Being a finishing school training "intelligencers", the girls are taught the finer arts of "killing", and there is some violence throughout the book. There is talk of poisoning people, including one girl relishing in the subject (she wants to poison her first husband).

Feb 06, 2015

Coarse Language: Monique angerly says "a*se" (I'm not sure if this an exclusively British profanity, but...). Pillover says "We're d***ed".

Feb 06, 2015

Sexual Content: Women's bust sizes are sometimes compared. Sophronia thinks girls like Captain Niall so much because he's "completely naked" under the greatcoat he wears. One side-character who dresses like a boy is revealed to be a girl. However, she only dresses like a boy because she reasons "boys have more fun", or something like that.


Add a Summary
cmlibrary_jcurrie Sep 23, 2018

This story is set in an alternate version of England in 1851. Sophronia comes from a large family and she is the youngest child. Her mother considers her to be a troublesome child and in desperate need of learning how to behave like a lady. Her mother enrolls her in a finishing school to learn social graces. Sophronia is dreading being sent away from home and learning all about proper etiquette for young ladies. She is quite surprised when she discovers that her school not only teaches etiquette, but it also has classes for spies in the making.

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