It’s 1899. There is a young girl named Penelope Tredwell who writes the best-selling “Penny Dreadful”, a very popular Victorian magazine, using the pen name of Montgomery Flinch. She writes murder stories as her speciality, so one day, a doctor who reads the Penny Dreadful, writes to say of strange happenings in the hospital, and reading Flinch’s stories, would he be able to help?
The situation is that at Twelve minutes to midnight, the patients rise from their beds, and write what seem to them like ramblings – can you work out any significance in them? For example: Countdown. Ignition. Lift off. A towering rocket splits the sky, filling the night with fire. Saturn Five. Apollo Eleven. The Eagle has landed. One small step for man, One giant leap for man kind. Collins. Aldrin. Armstrong. Footprints in moon dust – the stars and stripes flying across a lunar sea, or E=MC2.
Penny soon realises that these ramblings might mean more than meets the eye – that they hold secrets of things yet to come, and if these secrets got in the wrong hands, bad things would happen, and who – or what – is making this happen – perhaps… a spider.
Creepy and eerie, yet not off-putting, I would definitely recommend this book, and it is very sinister. My favourite part is when Penny needs to go into a museum, but a museum guard won’t let her. She pretends to be younger than thirteen, and starts bawling her head off and says that her ‘daddy’ will sue him if he doesn’t let her through.