Pure Dead Trouble
Ages 10 and up
Random House, 2005, 0-375-83311-0
When the harassed and exhausted Strega-Borgia family comes home from their holiday in Italy they discover that their much loved butler, Latch, is lying in a coma on the front steps of their home. Mrs. McLachlan, the family nanny who just happens to be a very competent witch, immediately recognizes that something very terrible and dangerous has visited StregaSchloss and that it will, most definitely be back. Someone, she has to do all she can to protect the family that she has come to love so much.
Meanwhile, oblivious of the danger that they are in, Pandora moons around after the temporary butler (who isn’t a butler at all) and Titus makes some very interesting discoveries about a corporation which has set up shop on the shores of the nearby Loch. The beasts are also distracted, what with Ffup’s upcoming nuptials to plan and Tock’s plans to redecorate the moat, they are far to busy to notice that something decidedly sinister is afoot.
The continuing story of the Strega-Borgia household takes a decidedly darker turn in this fourth book in the series. We are transported between the chaotic but generally happy world of the Strega-Borgias and the horrific underworld of Hades where demons torment each other and make terrible plans to change the world as we know it. The power of family unity and the love that binds its members together is a recurring theme and we see that even bickering siblings can stand together and help one another when tragedy strikes. Interspersed with Debi Gliori’s unique brand of sometimes gross humor, the tale unfolds to a shocking conclusion which will leave readers wondering what is going to happen next.
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