Oz and Lily are okay with their family moving to a larger home in another part of London, especially when they find out that their family had connections to not only a chocolate shop, but a magical one. With the help of Demerara, an immortal talking cat (who is named after a sort of light brown sugar because her fur is that color), the two realize several horrible family secrets. There were three brothers, but one of the uncle's, Isadore, fell in love with a woman who later married his brother. There was also an argument about whether their magic chocolate should be used for good or evil, and in the end, Isadore killed his brothers in a train wreck. The chocolate in question made people immortal, and it can only be made if the molds that the brothers' mother gave all three are brought together. MI6 is greatly interested in this, and arrange for a neighbor boy with some magical powers, Caydon, to help the twins find the third mold. While attempting to retrieve this from the bottom of the Thames, Oz is kidnapped by Isadore, who is immortal, and held in his home in an abandoned subway. Joined by the talking rat Spike, Lily tries to figure out what is the best plan to retrieve her brother and also to keep the family chocolate from ruining the world.
Saunders' books are always a treat for me. Beswitched and Magicalamity were great fun. This one was no exception. I adored the house in London with its secret passages and chocolate making equipment; the easily distracted parents who can be persuaded that really, their son has not been kidnapped by an immortal evil great uncle but is really at a music camp; and the endless cups of tea that are consumed for every imaginable event! Add to that talking cats, immortality, chocolate-- there's just nothing that didn't make me sigh with happiness. I saved this as an incentive for making it through the week-- perfect Friday evening reading!
I actually adore this cover, it's the reason I picked up the book to begin with. I can definitely see where boys would be hesitant to crack open the cover, though.
This book sounds seriously awesome and I'm glad it's in my lineup of my next few reads!