Horton HalfPott or The Fiendish Mystery of Smugwick Manor or The Loosening of M'Lady Luggertuck's Corset by Tom Angleberger
This title is a mouthful. At first I was simply going to put Horton HalfPott, but in the end I simply enjoyed this book too much to shorten it. Plus I it be wrong since this is a 2011 Newbery contender.
The Luggertuck family lives in Smugwick Manor with many many workers on the premises, from cooks, to maids to stable hands. The family treats the staff horribly M'lady Luggertuck, the lady of the house is the worse. Everything changes when M'lady's corset is loosened. The very strict rules of the manor are no more. Now that M'lady can breathe, see agrees to let her nephew Montgomery stay for the summer and host a ball.
Horton Halfpott is a lowly kitchen boy. He's kind, quiet and honest. When valuable things start missing from the Manor all the evidence points to Horton. Horton's very good friends, Bump, Blight and Blemish are determined to uncover the truth of the missing items.
I loved Horton and wanted him to have his happy ending. Angleberger does a beautiful job flipping things around. Usually its the poor honest hardworking girl who needs some luck to change her fortune.Horton is surrounded by some great characters. Horton Halfpott was a very fun and entertaining mystery, with a few close calls.