Adrienne Kress

"Alex and the Ironic Gentleman"

(Reviewed by Amanda Richards SEP 29, 2007)

In which we meet ten-and-a-half-year-old Alex Morningside…

This book is sure to be a hit with fans of the Lemony Snicket, Spiderwick Chronicles, Artemis Fowl and Children of the Lamp series.  Imaginative and funny, action packed and exciting, this is a book that any child (and some adults) would want to read again and again.

Alex is an orphan, her parents having been involved in a tragic spelunking incident in Iceland.  She lives with her Uncle, who owns a doorknob store on the side of a bridge, and she attends a fancy-schmancy school called The Wigpowder-Steele Academy.

It seems that the original Wigpowder was a very wealthy pirate, who entrusted the distribution of his spoils to a rich philanthropist named Steele by way of a treasure map.  Over time, bitter family feuds and fencing duels, the location of the map was forgotten and new generations of Wigpowders and Steeles are still quite busy hunting for it.  Sure enough, some very unpleasant gentlemen soon arrive in town, and before long the trouble begins.

The next chapters follow Alex on dangerous missions, including encounters with the dastardly Daughters of the Founding Fathers’ Preservation Society, a train ride to nowhere in particular, and a hotel very much like the Hotel California (you can check out any time you like, but you can never leave.)  She also encounters fascinating characters like The Extremely Ginormous Octopus, Lord Poppinjay, the MakeCold 6000 and Coriander the Conjuror, and ingeniously named places like Port Cullis and The Gangrene Inn.

Her goal is to find the notorious Pirate Captain Steele and the ship Ironic Gentleman, and then hopefully successfully execute a rescue mission.  Along the way she enlists the services of the noble and upright Captain Magnanimous and his ship HMS Valiant, and takes part in a nautical battle.  As if all that weren’t enough, there’s a tricky riddle still to be solved, and treasure to be found.
Immensely entertaining and wonderfully creative, this one is highly recommended for readers of all ages.

  • Amazon readers rating: from 26 reviews

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About the Author:

Adrienne KressAdrienne Kress was born and raised in Toronto, Canada. At the age of 11, she majored in Drama at the Claude Watson School of the Arts, and continued to follow this path through post secondary school, graduating summa cum laude from the University of Toronto with an honours BA in theatre in 2003. She then moved to London England to study at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts and stayed for three years acting in a variety of productions.

Running parallel to her passion for acting, was always her passion for writing. In high school she won the Gordon C Johnson award for her work, and in university she studied with top Canadian playwright Djanet Sears. A play she wrote as a result of that experience was performed at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe to excellent reviews and sold out houses.

Currently Adrienne resides in Toronto. About Us | Subscribe | Review Team | History | ©1998-2014