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Montmorency on the Rocks

Montmorency on the Rocks [Kindle Edition]

Eleanor Updale
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Product Description

Product Description

1885: Five years after his release from prison, Montmorency is working undercover for the government. But his life, and national security, are threatened by his addiction to drugs. Can his friends restore his health in time to discover who is bombing London, and why, on the Scottish island of Tarimond, a whole generation of children has died?

‘The pace is thrilling, the intrigue absorbing and the outcome a surprise. She's done it again!’ Joan Bakewell

The second book in the award-winning Montmorency series, which won the BBC Blue Peter Book I Couldn’t Put Down award.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 375 KB
  • Print Length: 368 pages
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B009XGIV7G
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #75,501 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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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

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A brilliant sequel 17 Jun 2005
By A Customer
This is an amazing sequel to the first book in the Montmorency series. It has the same pacy style as the first book making it a page turner. Montmorency has found it hard during his undercover work to keep his alter ego Scarper out and we see him in the grip of drugs encountered on his travels struggling with his addiction a theme that struck me as being relevant to today as anyone who has known someone struggling with addiction will identify. His friend George Fox Selwyn sticks by him and introduces him to someone who knows more of Montmorency's past than he does to help his recovery. The three are then plunged into two seperate mysteries on a isolated island where Montmorency ends up trying to recover and in the heart of London where a bomber has caused panic (again resonant with issues of today) Characters are developed more fully than in the first book and Montmorency's friends learn more of his past giving rise to complex feelings between the three friends as they come to accept Montmorency for who he is and help and are exasperated by his struggle to get rid of the darker side of Scarper while his skills are still needed. The relationships between characters are woven into the book in a subtle and interesting way that allows you to empathise with each character. The humour of the first book is still present in this fascinating and highly readable book. I feel that unsually for a sequel it is better than the first as it is slightly more developed in the issues characters face and in the storyline. Read the first in the series first though as it is also excellent and needs to be read to appreciate this book fully.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 100 times better than the first 13 April 2006
By Hegarty
Wow! I read this after I'd read the first Montmorency tale (which is considerably thinner) and I couldn't believe they were written by the same person. Whilst it would be harder to find a book with a better storyline than Montmorency I felt no sympathy for any one of the characters. Also it moved along far too quickly. Then, I bought Montmorency On The Rocks and was blown away. I rank this the 3rd best teenage novel I have read (after Stravaganza:City Of Flowers by Mary Hoffman and Small Steps by Louis Sachar respectively). Updale deals withs the consequences felt by Montmorency because of his drug addiction brilliantly and Fox-Selwyn's desire to help his friend equally well. The feelings experienced on Tarimond by Montmorency is a highlight as is the superb chapter on the train when Fox-Selwyn realises that if he can't resist eating his toffee in the middle of the night then how can Montmorency cope with his addiction. I also liked the way Chivers' unquestionable loyalty to Fox-Selwyn, Farcett and Montmorency was portrayed. But, for me the best part is Doctor Robert Farcett and the insight into his feelings from his despair after the death of his patient to the surprise at refinding Montmorency to the refusal of believing Maggie Goudie is a murderer. Read this.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.6 out of 5 stars  11 reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thrilling Victorian Mystery 2 Mar 2006
By Miss Jennifer - Published on
This is the sequel to "Montmorency: Thief, Liar, Gentleman", which I found necessary to read before I started on this one. Actually, I listened to it on tape and it was excellent. I never would have picked up either volume because the covers did not appeal to me, but as you read the story it becomes clear what is trying to be conveyed. This volume picks up 5 years after the first one ends and it is assumed that Montmorency and his partner Fox-Selwyn have spent it working undercover for the Home Secretary. However, somewhere towards the end of that time Montmorency has picked up the bad habit of using some Turkish drug and is quite addicted. When they return to London, Fox-Selwyn has worked out a scheme of whisking Montmorency away to the Scottish country and having another one of his friends, Doctor Farcett, come along to cure Montmorency of his habit. This would be the same Doctor Farcett that had used Montmorency as a medical speciman during the years when he was in prison. Following some initial awkwardness, the three become inseparable and begin working on a couple of capers. One involves the death of dozens of babies being born on the remote island of Tarimond in the northern Scottish isles, and the other involves two bombings in London. Many characters from the first book are reintroduced and the twists and turns in the plot leave the reader wanting more. And there is room for a third volume. An excellent purchase for those wanting a good mystery.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Full of life and the plot was suspensful 18 Sep 2005
By Team LitPick - Published on
In the sequel to the first book Montmorency, Montmorency now works with Sir Fox-de-Sewlyn as spies for England. Unfortunately, Montmorency must battle his addiction to a foreign drug and meet the man who saved his life in the first book: Doctor Farcett. In getting the doctor and fellow spy to meet, de-Sewlyn arranges for the three of them separately to go to his brother's estate in Scotland where the doctor eventually helps Montmorency get off his addiction, and then he and Montmorency must help a servants' village escape a massive death of dead babies.

Overall this book was written well, the characters were full of life and the plot was suspensful. I felt that while I was reading it, I was actually in the story. The characters were not bland but were vivid and full of life. The book contains intellegent language but not too hard for any one. I recommend this book to people who wish to read a historical fiction or are interested in spies.

Preteen, teen, and young adult book reviews and recommendations
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Engaging Mystery 22 Aug 2006
By The Inveterate Reader - Published on
The search for something as engaging and magical as Harry Potter is a tough one. However, I found the characters of Montmorency, Fox-Selwyn, and Dr. Farcett wonderfully human with both unsavory pasts and compassionate hearts. And the thickly interwoven mysteries compelled me to read late into the night.

I picked up this trilogy at its midpoint reading the second in the series first (Montmorency on the Rocks). Nevertheless, Eleanor Updale manages to catch up the reader quite quickly on the who's who and sketches the important events which lead up to the current plot. For a yonger reader (I'm not sure I shall admit to being a 20-something reading this book for fun:), I would suggest starting with the first in the series to make the chronology easier to understand.

For those children who gobble up Sherlock Holmes, Montmorency will quench their thirst. A very high recommendation.
4.0 out of 5 stars "We Both Know You've Faced Bigger Challenges to your Principles than this..." 14 Oct 2010
By R. M. Fisher - Published on
Set five years after the events of Montmorency, Eleanor Updale's sequel to her loveable anti-hero has him basking in the wealth and glory that comes with being a patriot and spy for his country. That is, he would be if it weren't for the opium addiction he picked up whilst traveling undercover in the East. His friend George Fox-Selwyn is desperate to wean him off it, and so destroys his stash and spirits him away from London society to his brother's house in Scotland. From there, the two men end up on a remote island off the coast where the inhabitants are suffering a under a strangely high infant mortality rate. Joined by their friend Doctor Farcett (who is himself suffering from a crisis of faith after he accidentally kills a man on the operating table) they begin their investigation.

The doctor's presence is welcome to the people of Tarimond Island, but Montermerency lives in fear of the good doctor - for he is the only man who could identity Montmerency as prisoner number 493, being the doctor who treated Montmerency after a devastated fall that left numerous scars across his body. After leaving prison Montmerency made his current fortune by using the underground sewer system to steal from the wealthy; and it's a secret that he still conceals from his friends to this day.

But meanwhile, a bomb has gone off at a London train-station, and though the authorities manage to blame it on a gas leak, it's suspected that insurgents seeking to undermine the government are responsible. Once again Montmerency must call upon his disreputable alter-ego Scarper to find the culprit and bring him to justice, the clues leading him to the proprietress of a boarding house that - like him - has to make the transition from poor to rich in order to disguise her true identity. But Montmerency's opium addiction means that he's constantly in danger of loosing his inhibitions and exposing his true identity. Thus the title of the book not only refers to the rocky island off the coast of Scotland, but the fact that Montmerency is figuratively "on the rocks" when it comes to his personal wellbeing.

"Montmerency on the Rocks" is, like its predecessor, an enjoyable but unique story, largely thanks to its unexpected plot. That is, they're unexpected because they're so straightforward. At the risk of making the book sound dull (which it certainly is not), there is no melodramatic flair or dramatic plot twists here. Everything unfolds at a steady pace. The character's plans are achieved with no major setbacks. Temptation is not succumbed to. Angry mobs are reasoned with. All of it is told in lovely clear prose, but some readers might be surprised by how "easily" Updale lets her characters overcome their challenges; it's not that intelligence and hard-work isn't involved, but that there are no convoluted attempts to make difficult situations *more* difficult.

It's oddly refreshing and it lends a sense of realism to the proceedings that is often lost in many "cloak-and-dagger" novels, and yet Updale still manages to infuse the book with several moments of insight and moral complexity - the man who is blamed for the "gas-leak" eventually commits suicide, but only the reader is privy to this information as the protagonists obliviously congratulate themselves on the cover-up.

Another unusual feature is the dual plots. The bomb and the sickness are completely unrelated, are solved in different ways, and never intersect with one another (though they are thematically related). Likewise, Montmerency's drug addiction is dealt with early and has little bearing on the rest of the story, making the book a three-pronged tale that has pacing which would be downright bizarre if it weren't for the obvious talent inherent in Updale's writing style. She's wonderfully descriptive, from the busy streets of London to the bleak landscape of Tarimond Island, and it's impossible not to feel immersed in the vivid setting that she's created for her flawed but honorable three-dimensional characters. Throughout this series, even the so-called "villains" are worthy of sympathy and understanding.

Unusually for a children's or young adult's book, most of these characters are adult males, but there's no reason at all why the target audience shouldn't thoroughly enjoy what the "Montmerency" books have to offer.
5.0 out of 5 stars best book recently read 28 Sep 2010
By montverde - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
after reading this book - I immediately ordered the balance of the series
I could not put the book down. Loved the way it flowed from chapter to chapter.
Even tough I thought it was written for a younger audience, I soon realized
this was NOT the case. Now I am onto the next book in the series. My husband
is also reading the books. I would recommend these books to people of all
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