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Montmorency [Paperback]

Eleanor Updale
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)

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Book Description

16 April 2004 Montmorency
Fleeing across a roof on a dark night in Victorian London, a thief crashes through a glass skylight to almost certain death. But an ambitious young doctor revives and reconstructs his shattered body, proudly showing off his handiwork at the Scientific Society where the city's intelligentsia meet. It's there that the robber picks up the key to a new existence, and on his release from prison begins to lead a double life. He becomes both the respectable, wealthy Montmorency and his degenerate servant, Scarper - while the police are baffled by a wave of mysterious and seemingly unstoppable thefts...But Montmorency must be on his guard at every moment. The smallest mistake could reveal his secret and destroy both his lives.

Product details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Scholastic Point; New edition edition (16 April 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0439978408
  • ISBN-13: 978-0439978408
  • Product Dimensions: 19.6 x 12.8 x 1.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 602,243 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Hello, and welcome to my author page. I'm Eleanor Updale, and I've been writing books since the turn of the century. My books are suitable for anyone who can cope with a meaty story, and I have readers aged from 9 to 99 and beyond.

2014 is a big year for me. I have several books coming out. The New MONTMORENCY book, MONTMORENCY RETURNS will be available here very soon. It's the fifth book in the Montmorency series of historical novels, and to celebrate its arrival, the four other books have been released in a new edition, to match the new arrival. You can buy them only on Amazon, to download on Kindle, or as paperbacks. They have better paper, better print, and better covers than ever.
You don't have to read the books in the right order, but it's best if you do. Here's the list:
1. MONTMORENCY - Look for the top hat on the cover, on a purple background.
ISBN: 978-1482657661
2. MONTMORENCY ON THE ROCKS - Look for the Scottish island on the cover, on a red background. ISBN: 978-1482657609
3. MONTMORENCY AND THE ASSASSINS - Look for the X-ray on the cover, on a blue background.
ISBN: 978-1482657692
4. MONTMORENCY'S REVENGE - Look for the fire on the cover, on a gold background.
ISBN: 978-1482657623
5. MONTMORENCY RETURNS - Look for handwriting on the cover, on a green background.
No ISBN number yet.

If the right edition doesn't come up straight away on Amazon, try entering the ISBN number, and the newest version should pop up.

Meanwhile, THE LAST MINUTE is coming out in paperback, there's a new book for the very young called ITCH SCRITCH SCRATCH (about head lice), and later this spring an new edition of SAVED.
There are also international editions of most of the books, including JOHNNY SWANSON, in languages varying from French, German and Spanish to Chinese and Japanese.

I have won several prizes on both sides of the Atlantic, including the Blue Peter Prize for The Book I Couldn't Put Down, the Silver Smarties Prize, and the Fantastic Book award. I have been long and shortlisted for many others, including the Carnegie Medal and the Guardian Prize. You can read more about me at my website You can also find my blogs on The History Girls site: or at

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
The pain woke him again. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Down in the sewer something stirs 13 Feb 2005
By I. P. Gearing VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
There seems to be a penchant for sewer-as-highway fiction at the moment, but no matter, this is absolutely one to read. I bought it for my eight year old as part of her read-a-million words project because I had seen it reviewed on the first edition of Blue Peter I had seen in years. It was roundly recommended by the jury of children, though I thought it might be a little old for someone of eight. So I thought I would read the first chapter, just to get a feel of it, and see if it would be within her capabilities. I read the whole book in one sitting, which I think qualifies it as a "Page Turner", and yes I think she could cope with it, though it would stretch her - no bad thing. Actually, I think I might just have to read it with her just to make sure she doesn't get stuck, but as she is about to undergo an operation I think I might leave it a while as I don't think she will take kindly to the doctor character!
Fast paced without too much detail, this is unusal enough to engage the imagination of a wide range of readers. I really must check out the sequel......
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An awesome read 17 Jun 2005
By A Customer
This is a page turner, both exciting and humourous the central character being more complex and interesting than would be expected of a children's book due to his two personalities. Although classed as a childrens book this book is definately as enjoyable at 17 as it was when i first read it at about 14. Despite his beginnings as a criminal you can't help but root for Montmorency and the vivid images of victorian life the book creates are facinating. The short chapters and pacy style make it a book that is hard to put down as you just "read the next chapter - oh and the next!!" I for one was delighted when i found there was another book in the series!
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24 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An unusual, superb book 30 Jun 2004
By John L
After I had read a chapter or two to my 9-year old, he asked whether the eponymous central character (certainly nothing like the stereotypical hero) was a child. We realised that unlike virtually all modern writing for children there is not a single child/teenager character in this book. And it doesn't matter at all. The snobbery, brutal inequality, filth and chaos of Victorian London is depicted in a way that remains fresh, yet the pace of the plot is never lost.
It's a perfect book to read to a child. Lots to talk about (the brutality of life in Wandsworth prison), not patronising (visits to La Traviata at the Opera House with the landlady and her daughter turning tricks outside or a foray into Balkan intrigue) - we were both sorry when we turned the final page.
Far more than a reworking of Jekyll and Hide, I cannot recommend this book highly enough.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Montmorency Review 6 Mar 2014
Montmorency (by Eleanor Updale) is a tale of a man brought back from the brink of death, who went out to do worse than the crime that landed him in prison. A story of a man who left jail with nothing and five years later has riches beyond his wildest dreams, while his motives are questionable his hart is in the right place (well most of the time anyway). Filled with intrigue, crime riches, scientific enquiry and noble friendship all set in the city of London. From back sewers to embassy’s from crime to national intrigue you just don’t know what’s going to happen next. With Montmorency all the way you won’t want to put it down till the very end.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Difficult to classify but an excellent read 5 Nov 2007
By I Read, Therefore I Blog VINE VOICE
It's difficult to work out which age group this book's aimed at. Children under 10 may be put off by the complexities of the plot whilst children over 10 may be put off by the fact that there's little dialogue to break up the action. It's not helped by the fact that the book revolves an adult amoral protagonist (something of a rarity in childrens' fiction). These might put some parents off from picking up a copy for their children, but I'd nevertheless urge them to give it a go.

Montmorency is a very well told tale of a convict who hits upon the perfect plan for robbing London's rich and privileged inhabitants by using the new sewer system. Montmorency himself is something of a split personality (playing both himself and his amoral manservant), which provides a psychological complexity missing in many childrens' books. There are some sly laughs (notably at the expense of the ghastly hotelier's daughter who takes a shine to the anti-hero) and Updale has produced a plot that doesn't patronise the reader (she includes scenes giving Montmorency an interest in opera and compares the wealth of the aristocracy to the poverty of London's underbelly). The end of the book gives a hint at redemption for Montmorency and sets up an intriguing premise for future adventures, which I'm very much looking forward to reading.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Montmorency 20 May 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
MontmorencyI bought this for my daughter, howver when I picked it up I could not put it down. Well written, just a very good read.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Welcome relief from Hogwarts 16 Jun 2009
By susie
Take a trip into the back alleys and sewers of Victorian England with a common thief who comes up with a brilliant way of stealing from the aristocracy.

This is an atmospheric and slightly unnerving read with some good historical details. It races along with lots of short chapters but I couldn't quite work out what age group it was aimed at.

The characters came to life when there was dialogue - unfortunately there was a lot of description and not a great deal of dialogue in the book.

All in all an interesting read and a welcome relief from wizards and witchcraft.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great story and very evocative of the era
Published 26 days ago by Alison R Palmer
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 2 months ago by lynne harling
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing
Best book I have read in Avery long time. Would recommend to anybody. Loved a moment of this book and I am now looking to reading the next book.
Published 2 months ago by Bob Ashall
5.0 out of 5 stars good book
perfect book to help yours child to do best in literacy. awesome book very very helpful and well explained and illustrate
Published 10 months ago by imran
4.0 out of 5 stars great little book
nice easy read with short chapters. perfect for parents who are regularly disturbed or some one needing an easy bedtime book.
Published 12 months ago by cecelia
5.0 out of 5 stars fantastic - can I give it more stars??
I chose it based on a recommendation from Stephen Fry, and can see why he endorsed it. Brilliant "caper". I'm dying to read ahead but my son won't let me...
Published 14 months ago by C. Smith
3.0 out of 5 stars Realistic and researched Victorian story of mystery and a little...
: Montmorency begins a thief. He's in prison after a long run of not being caught, and then only got caught because he fell off a roof, or something like that. Read more
Published on 4 Sep 2011 by Nina (Death Books and Tea)
4.0 out of 5 stars Good start but weak finish
really good summer read. keeps up its pace almost throughout the book until the ending. I thought the end dragged and it lost its pace as well as my will to carry on reading it.
Published on 5 Sep 2008
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent book
Fantastically written, and wonderfully observational. I loved the characters of Montmorency and Scarper. Read more
Published on 4 Jun 2008 by Living Goddess
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