Montmorency: thief, liar, gentleman? by Eleanor Updale (2003)
This new sewer system allows him access to –and escape from – nicer areas than he has thieved in before. This means more expensive treasures to sell, and he can’t sell them as a ruffian. So he divides himself into two personas: Scarper, the thief, and Montmorency, a gentleman.
This is considered a young adult book, but I’m not sure why. I thought at first that Montmorency was teenaged, but as he traveled more in upstanding society the people he associated with were definitely adults.
I always like stories set in the Victorian era, and there were some interesting elements here, like the new sewer systems and some bits about contemporary medicine. But there wasn't a lot to love. Montmorency/Scarper was fairly two-dimensional. I was less bothered about not knowing his real name than the fact that I knew nothing else whatsoever about him - there was just no context for his life, not even a passing reference to his childhood or family, as though he was born in prison.
This book is the first in a series, and although it was mildly entertaining I don’t feel compelled to continue. Has anyone read this series beyond this book? Does his character become more developed? I like the idea, but was just disappointed by the execution.