Twelve Minutes to Midnight
by Christopher Edge (Author)
Booktalk: Penelope Tredwell is the feisty thirteen-year-old orphan heiress of Victorian Britain’s bestselling magazine, the Penny Dreadful. Her spine-chilling tales–concealed under the pen name Montgomery Finch–are gripping the public. One day she receives a letter from the governor of the Bedlam madhouse requesting Finch’s help to investigate the asylum’s strange goings-on. Every night at precisely twelve minutes to midnight, the inmates all begin feverishly writing-incoherent ramblings that Penelope quickly realizes are frightening visions of the century to come. But what is causing this phenomenon?
Snippet: They arrived at Bedlam just after 11 p.m, the hospital suddenly looming in front of them out of the fog and drizzle. Above the entrance, its high dome and six-columned portico were wreathed in pale shrouds of mist, while the wings of the hospital stretched out on either side, countless rows of pitch-black windows staring out into the night like empty eyes. As they left their hansom cab and scurried inside, Penelope thought she could almost hear the low moans of the patients incarcerated there, carried on the chill wind that whipped across St. George’s Fields.
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