The year is 1899. A new century is dawning. Arthur Conan Doyle, Rudyard Kipling, and H G Wells are the leading literary figures in England. But there's a new writer in London who's proving to be the most talented writer the world has ever seen - Montgomery Flinch...Penelope Tredwell rather. The 13 year old owner of the bestselling magazine The Penny Dreadful seeks out sinister stories to fill her magazine's pages but as the 20th century approaches she becomes involved in helping to solve the most macabre of mysteries.
Bedlam, London's notorious hospital for the insane has an epidemic that nobody can explain. Every night at exactly twelve minutes to midnight the inmates rise from their beds and begin scribbling strange words on any surface they can find -paper, walls, even their own skin! Penelope is intrigued and it's not long before she becomes aware that she's not just dealing with an eerie story, but the future of the 20th century...and it's not looking good.
Penelope has joined my list of favourite new characters. Twelve Minutes to Midnight is a gripping story for children aged 10+. The plot is totally thrilling and exciting. I never knew what to expect with each new chapter. It's got everything you want from a mystery set in Victorian times - scar-faced villains, beautiful but damned widows, and elements of the supernatural - it's the ultimate tale of terror!
(Shadows of the Silver Screen - the next book in Christopher Edge's 'Penny Dreadful' series will be out in January 2013).