Sunday, October 23, 2011

Dr. Pellinore Warthrop's Favorite Raspberry Scones

Dr. Pellinore Warthrop, aka The Monstrumologist of Rick Yancey's horrifying series, spends much of his time at his necropsy table in his basement.  When a new specimen comes his way, Warthrop works around the clock, often forgetting to eat for a day or two.  When he finally emerges from his lab, his food of choice is typically scones.  It's one of those great character quirks you can look for in each installment of the series.  Here are some passages from Yancey's books showing Warthrop's cravings for these delectables:

Book One: The Monstrumologist:

If I simply returned to bed, he would wait until I was on the brink of sleep again, and them my name would echo throughout the house, Will Henreeee! until my will was broken.  Down to the kitchen, then, I trooped, where I set a pot of water on to boil and plated the scones.  I prepared his tea, leaning against the sink and yawning incessantly while it steeped.  I loaded the tray and carried it back to his room...

"What is this?  Tea and scones!  How thoughtful of you, Will Henry."

Book Two: The Curse of the Wendigo

The monstrumologist retreated to his shuttered study, where he brooded in a gloom both actual and metaphysical, refusing to even acknowledge my halfhearted attempts to alleviate his suffering.  I brought him raspberry scones (his favorite) from the baker's.  I shared with him the latest gossip gleaned from the society pages (he held a strange fascination for them) and the local doings of our little hamlet of New Jerusalem.  He would not be comforted..."

Book Three: The Isle of Blood

I was dispatched on the occasional errand, for tea and pastries (the doctor's profound disappointment that there was not a single scone on board would have been comical, if I had not been the one to bear the brunt of his displeasure) and newspapers, any and all I could find, in any language (the monstrumologist was conversant in twenty).  He read, drank copious amounts of Darjeeling tea, he paced the compartment like a caged tiger, or stared out the window, pulling and pinching on his lower lip until it grew fat and red...

Sunday, October 16, 2011

A Fancy for Yancey

It's Halloween time, and at the tail of September, Book Phantom searches for a little something in the horror realm to make the season spooky.  I'm not usually into horror films and books - I don't relish watching or reading about the torture, maiming, and murder of my fellow man, especially when it is by another human.  But I'm not bothered by the strange and supernatural like ghosts, bogeymen, and monsters because I've never actually seen any of them under my bed (though I've had a few monsters in my bed - but that's another story).

Last Halloween, I was perusing scary books via Amazon, and I came across The Monstrumologist by Rick Yancey.  It was a Young Adult book that didn't much seem like a Young Adult book, besides the fact that it had a child narrator and some trendy leanings toward the paranormal.  What got my attention was that it was set in Victorian New England.  It had that American Gothic creepiness of Washington Irving and Edgar Allen Poe combined with the angst of Mary Shelley's Dr. Frankenstein.  The novel's historical element was a clue that this might be so much more than typical YA fare.  What sealed the deal for me, however, was this review: