Mr. and Mrs. Bunny are back, and so are Madeline and her ex-hippie parents, Flo and Mildred, in this sequel to Mr. and Mrs. BunnyDetectives Extraordinare! Imagine if Tina Fey wrote a middle grade novel, and you’ll have a sense of the nonstop quips packed into these pages. (For example: “Mrs. Vandermeer’s soccer-mom friends . . . knew that if they didn’t drive their children to some form of entertainment or find some way to keep them occupied every second from school closing until bedtime, the children . . . would resort to staring at the walls until their heads exploded. Suburban homes were very neat, and no one wanted to be picking brain bits off the walls.”)

You don’t need to have read the first book to roll with this one’s many punches. Young Madeline is starting to think about a college fund, but her parents have saved exactly $6.27 when they learn that they’ve inherited a candy shop in England. Meanwhile. Mrs. Bunny wants to be the queen of England. All of this makes sense in Polly Horvath’s rollicking world, and everyone ends up aboard a cruise ship.

Wild adventures ensue, including a stop in the British Museum. Near the end, before Queen Elizabeth and Prince Charles appear, there’s a pivotal scene in a bookshop in which a certain popular author named Oldwhatshername shows up, signing her book about “a bunch of wizards” and a “British boarding school.”

The bookstore owner observes: “She looks so very elegant and svelte. Most writers look like they spend their days eating potato chips and sticking their fingers in light sockets.”

National Book Award-winning novelist Polly Horvath puts laughs and excitement on every page. Her latest is a page-turner, but be sure to take time to savor every bit of her wacky, yet sophisticated humor.

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