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Agnes Wilkins is looking forward to her debut with half-dread and half-excitement in WRAPPED. At 17, she can't envision getting married and running a household --- and frankly, she finds most balls boring. But then she is invited to Lord Showalter's mummy unwrapping event. He is considered the catch of the season and seems to have a particular interest in Agnes. Just when she thinks everything is falling into place, she finds herself in the middle of an intrigue involving treachery, espionage and murder. Jennifer Bradbury brings her talent for mystery to the historical genre, just as she illustrated in the modern, edgy, missing person caper, SHIFT.

Though she's supposed to be flattered that she was invited to begin unwrapping the mummy, Agnes can't help but feel sorry for the body they are uncovering. As her host promises that everyone can keep the hidden jewels and personal objects found in the wrappings, she tucks a mysterious dog-shaped metal piece into her bodice. She flees the table to go look at it, only to find she has been followed. Things move very quickly when a body is discovered, several neighbors' homes are burglarized, and everyone begins discussing the possible curse from the mummy.

Agnes does not know who to trust. As she listens to her father's conversation through the vents in her room, she discovers he is going on a mission. She knows that Napoleon is once again rising from exile and becoming a danger to England. She worries about her officer brother and her father as he leaves for his business once more.

Trying to discover more about Egyptian history and the object she took, Agnes finds museum apprentice Caedmon to be a trusted source. The two of them search rooms and seek clues when they unearth a message related to Napoleon encoded on the object. Agnes finds herself drawn to the studious young man from a different class, when everyone else around her is celebrating her possible upcoming marriage to Lord Showalter. Little does she know that what started out as something fun to do in the midst of her boredom turns into a race to save her country and herself.

Jennifer Bradbury does an excellent job of weaving in historical detail and fascinating trivia about everything from the Rosetta Stone to fashions. Readers will be drawn into the time period as they keep turning pages to discover the villains.

Reviewed by Amy Alessio on May 24, 2011

by Jennifer Bradbury

  • Publication Date: May 24, 2011
  • Genres: Historical Mystery
  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers
  • ISBN-10: 1416990070
  • ISBN-13: 9781416990079