Saturday, August 10, 2019


Gail Carriger has multiple New York Times bestsellers and over a million books in print in dozens of different languages. She writes comedies of manners mixed with urban fantasy (and sexy stuff as G. L. Carriger). Her best known books include the Parasol Protectorate and Finishing School series. She was once an archaeologist and is fond of shoes, octopuses, and tea.

Carriger applied the Page 69 Test to Reticence, the fourth and concluding volume of The Custard Protocol Series, and reported the following:
From page 69:
Quesnel was amiable enough not to care about social standing. He swirled around with one of Lord Akeldama’s more impressively dressed drones.

Percy shrugged. Ah well, they were departing London soon. He suspected Rue of intentionally scandalmongering. If she could not produce the best wedding London ever saw, she could at least produce the most outrageous.

Only one other thing of note occurred, and had Percy not been on guard because of Aunt Softy’s presence he would never have noticed. Lord Akeldama, having finished their set, led Percy over to the punch bowl. As if Percy were an overtaxed young lady in need of refreshment. Percy trailed after him, obligingly.

Primrose met them, wringing her hands. “Well, that was an excessive display.” She said it to Percy, because he was the only one she could criticize to his face.

Percy stuffed a biscuit shaped like a hedgehog into his mouth as an excuse not to answer.

Tasherit, Rue, and Quesnel joined them.

“Progress never did come easily to high society, sweetling.” The vampire’s eyes crinkled in amusement.

“I hardly see how dancing can change the course of civilization,” snapped Prim.

“Give it a chance,” replied Rue, grinning.

“Come now, little one, it’s fun. Dance with me next?” Tasherit nudged up against Prim coquettishly.

Primrose batted at her lover in perturbation. “What if Mother finds out about this?”

Percy rolled his eyes. “Wasn’t that the point? We can’t all of us be accused of deviant behaviour at once.”

“Of course we can! This is Mother we’re talking about.” Prim looked at Lord Akeldama. “You’ll be blamed.”

“Indubitably, my pearl. Mr Lefoux, would you care to dance?”

“Charmed, I’m sure, but I think I want my bride back in my arms.”
What’s just happened prior to this is that a bunch of same sex couples have danced together at a large society wedding in a steampunk Victorian London, 1896. Percy’s friend Rue is responsible. It caused wide scale hysterics and a great deal of social discomfort that I use as a writer both for comedic effect and cultural commentary. Percy, the POV character, opens this page with his suspicions as to Rue’s motivations for all this drama, as well as those of others at the wedding.

The rest of the page has set up dialogue featuring different members of the crew of Percy’s airship. From an author’s perspective it’s there to show interactions between familiar characters (this is the 4th book in the series) as well as affection and familial support networks in operation.

This dialogue also sets up a major character confrontation for Percy to observe that reveals background history on one popular character that readers of my world have been requesting for a really long time. In fact, this scene will tie to the epilogue for this book, and indeed the ending for the entire series. Not to mention a few of my other works. In other words this page is the set up for a pretty significant fan service moment to come.

I swear it wasn’t intentional that this be page 69.
Learn more about the book and author at Gail Carriger's website.

The Page 69 Test: Prudence.

My Book, The Movie: Prudence.

--Marshal Zeringue