Reading Reviews for The Penelope Papers
9 Reviews Found

Review #1, by Lululuna R is for Revelations

7th July 2014:
Hi Isobel! :) So confession, I actually read this ages ago but totally blanked on reviewing - I'm sorry! :( I'm glad to be making up for lost time for now!

Wow, it's really interesting to see the background behind Penelope's grandmother and their relationship. I was so curious throughout the beginning of that section - good job building up the suspense! - and I love how you tie in issues of religion and bigotry and prejudice into this murder mystery, it really makes the story so rich. It's quite unique to see that prejudice from both sides, and that people like Penny's grandma and the Death Eaters have similar hatred of one another, despite the second group having more violent power of exclusion while Mrs. Clearwater had emotional power. Though locking Penny out of the house was just awful and is child abuse, I'm quite sure. I also like though how while religion is the reason Mrs. Clearwater used to discriminate, you showed the balance in that not all religious people are prejudiced through Oliver's teammate.

Can I just say how awesome it is that you liked the idea of the Pirates of Penzance and tied in the pirate portrait? I feel so proud! :P And the inn sounds really neat and wizarding, if that makes sense. I love how Fred was playing chess with the pirate, and that he's Leanne's ancestor: I definitely would want to hear more about that! :P

The chaos and banter between the friends was a lot of fun to read about, and I especially love how you wrote the twins, with the charmed chess pieces and Fred asking about oxygen. I think Bex was right about her friends needing an escape and finding different ways to grieve, and I'm pleased she stood up for them to Oliver. And as for Lee being the killer...hmm, well I definitely don't think so considering their future together and everything, but I'm very curious to see how the case and their relationship develops.

Hmm, I'm a little uncertain about ABC and whether he/she killed Penelope or not. Frankly my first reaction to the letter was to call nonsense and say that the killer's just trying to mess with the police but I'm not so sure, especially because of the line about "if only her suspicions had been noticed earlier..." So I'm not sure yet. Though this killer clearly knows a lot about Penny and her friends. I loved the description of Bex's picture as well: it suits her so well and how elusive she is, so that was a really neat detail.

Great chapter, Isobel! :) I'm really looking forward to the next one and promise to be more prompt about reviewing next time! :)

House Cup 2014 Review

Author's Response: Hi Jenna! Don't worry, I'm just really happy you wanted to come back and R&R the next chapter! :)

Yay, I'm really pleased that you enjoyed the background of the Clearwaters. Their lives are very murky (pun intended, heh) when you include the emotions that are clearly dictating their lives. I'm really pleased that you enjoy the suspense here, since of course suspense is needed in a murder mystery! I'm quite pleased that you enjoyed the inclusion of Mrs Clearwater's prejudice and the balance of including Oliver's teammate -- I didn't want to paint all religious people with the same brush so he was necessary!

Haha thank you so much! You're quite right to feel proud -- Dee, Nicole and I are collabbing now to write a story about the pirate and Walburga Black! :D I'm really pleased that you like the inn -- I figured that there /had/ to be more than just the Leaky Cauldron, the Three Broomsticks and the Hog's Head! Fred certainly is the type of person who would willingly play chess with a pirate in a portrait :P

Haha thank you so much, I was word racing that scene late at night so I was really worried about the quality so it's great to hear that you loved how I wrote the twins! Absolutely -- bear in mind that at this time, they're all late teens/early twenties and in the middle of a war so they were bound to need to let go and just de-stress and for people of their age, that usually involves a visit to the pub :P Well, you never know -- Lee is a good friend of Bex's and if he has a good enough motive for killing Penelope (if he did) then Bex might be persuaded to keep quiet.

Hehehehe. You'll just have to see what happens when the killer is revealed! As for your theories, again, I can neither confirm nor deny ;) You're quite right though -- ABC does know a lot about Penelope and her friends. Haha, that's great to hear!

Thanks for such a fab review, Jenna, and no worries! Honestly, it's just great that you want to come and leave some reviews on my little story! ♥

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Review #2, by Rumpelstiltskin R is for Revelations

2nd May 2014:
Hey there!

Plot/plot arch: Revelations about Penelope's rather lack of a relationship with her grandmother due to the latter's beliefs was a little heartbreaking...probably moreso for Mrs. Clearwater now that Penelope is dead. Unfortunately, short of dating a Muggle police officer, it doesn't seem as though she was able to give Rebecca and Oliver many clue towards Penny's death. Rebecca's dedication to the case is absolutely endearing! Her careful examination of possible clues and photographs really shows her drive. I particularly love the note at the end from the ABC killer, claiming that they, in fact, did NOT commit the murder!

Characterization: Rebecca's state of mind is naturally in a state of distress. I can't blame her, losing a friend without very many clues can be completely heartbreaking. Meanwhile, your canon characters are magnificent! I absolutely love the twins!

Detail: You effective use an immense amount of detail that flows into the rest of your story, adding to it's depth.

Notes/other: Give me a heads up when you update! I'd love to continue to read this!!


Author's Response: Hi Rumpel!

Thank you so much! I'm sorry to hear you considered the relationship between the Clearwaters heartbreaking, but I think it must have been something that happened with Muggle-borns who came from very religious families. You never know, the smallest of clues just might be the ones that break the case! I'm glad you like the final section from ABC's POV!

It's great that you feel Bex's state of mind is in distress, as that was something I was concerned about -- I didn't want her to be too analytical but I felt she might have been numb and searching for answers and in a state where the truth hasn't yet quite sunk in and she just wants to know the truth. I'm really happy you like the twins too -- I'm always scared writing canon characters because JKR wrote them so perfectly that it scares me to try writing them as I feel that I can never do them justice!

Ooooh, I'm pleased that you enjoy the detail I've included and that you feel that it helps improve the story! I definitely will be letting you know when I update, if that's what you want! :)


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Review #3, by teh tarik R is for Revelations

28th April 2014:

I'm soo glad you asked me to give you reviews because then I had the chance to get back to TPP and read the second chapter...which is crucial coz after all we're supposed to be collabbing about the pirate in this.

Anyway, yeah. ANOTHER fic of yours that I love. I never read any Agatha Christie in my life - my mum did, though. She was like a big fan in her youth, - but so far this sounds absolutely fabulous. And so intriguing. And you've set the fic during one of my favorite eras to read...trio era, during DH! So I love Becky. I love what she's doing, falsifying papers for the Muggle-born Registration Commission - there really should be more fics about the Commission; it's such a fascinating topic.

I love how steely Becky is, and yet it's clear that she's badly affected by Penelope's death, even though the two haven't met for awhile. And that she's a bit out of touch with Pen's life, her dating partners and all that. Love how analytical her mind is, how she works out that Lee is a possible suspect, and despite him being part of the circle of friends, she's still calculating and detached enough to isolate him as a possible suspect. She doesn't let friendships get in the way of logic. And I really like that.

Well, I pretty much love your whole cast of characters, from depressed!Oliver to the religious bigot granny, to the Order / former DA bunch. Drunk at 3pm in the afternoon in the middle of a war as well! :P

AND THE PIRATE. ZOMG THE PIRATE. I LOVE THAT CHESS SCENE. I can totes imagine him hollering at Fred, "Walk the plank, ya scurvy dog ARRR!!" or something like that. Clearly, i need some practice with my pirate talk before we start collabbing lol.

The final section of this chapter was AMAZING. love that it's from the killer's POV; I really wish I knew how the original agatha Christie book was like so I'd have some sort of idea on his modus operandi...I guess maybe I'll go read a summary on Wikipedia or something.

fab writing, Isobel!

Author's Response: NICOLE! ♥

Yay! (When did I ask you to give me reviews though? I don't remember... Yikes. That's how long I haven't responded to this, sorry!) However, I'm glad you enjoyed this chapter! And the pirate! Captain Whathisname! (We'll actually need to credit Jenna for sparking off his existence in the first place since it was her review on chapter one of this story that made me include him in this chapter!)

YAY! Another fic you'll hopefully spam me with reviews for, since your reviews are amazing! ^.^ I love Agatha Christie, I haven't read all of her books yet but I've read them since I was little, like nine or ten -- this is probably why I'm such a homicidal mass-murderer in my fanfic, muahaha! I feel like there must have been so many people Harry didn't know, but who fought back and tried to help those people affected by the war and Voldemort's regime and Bex is one of them. Maybe I'll write a one-shot detailing how she saves people from the Commission and so on.

Bex (autocorrect tried to call her Bed there) is one of those characters who thinks before she speaks, who analyses pretty much everything, it's kind of in her Ravenclaw nature really. And of course being on the run basically means keeping in touch with friends and family is nonexistent (like Slughorn) unless you're Colin Creevey and you can't bear to be separated from your beloved Astoria :P She would make a good Auror if she didn't hate the Ministry so much; I think it'll take a long time for people to forgive the Ministry post-BoH. I'm glad that you like her though!

Haha thank you! I wanted to make them as different as possible, and of course Oliver's going to be depressed -- his ex-girlfriend (who he's still in love with) has carked it and being a Quidditch player isn't much fun during war (where are his non-pure-blood supporters?). I though that since Bex and co are late teens/early twenties, they'd be the type to drown their sorrows in the pub and of course life is pretty rubbish at the moment so they'd want to forget for a few hours. And of course Captain Whathisname might be a portrait but that doesn't stop him for asking for rum; he was probably hoping Fred would have had too much and lose the chess game bahahaha!

Ooooh thank you! We don't see ABC's POV in the book by Christie, that's something I've come up with, but be careful, he did say he wasn't Penelope's killer. He could be lying... or he could be telling the truth. ;)

Thank you so much for your fabulous review, Nicole!

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Review #4, by HeyMrsPotter R is for Revelations

24th April 2014:
Hello! I'm back again :D

This was another really great chapter, Isobel, I'm so hooked on this story after only two chapters! I really love the attention to detail you've got going on in this chapter. There's good plot development but the details help to pace it nicely. My favourites were one-eared George and the hint of his relationship with Angelina, the chess game and the fact that Bex took the time to think about the moves that could be made. Oh, and the pirate picture screaming profanities and wanting people to walk the plank, I love him! (Also seriously shipping him and Sirius' mum's portrait :P)

Speaking of the pirate, you have really good comedic timing in your writing, has anyone ever told you that? This line in particular made me laugh out loud and I'm not even sure why:
My friends are drunk. At half past three in the afternoon.

The end part of this has got my mind racing! So there's two killers then? This ABC and then whoever killed Penelope? The plot thickens :D I really cannot wait for the next installment :D

Author's Response: Hello!

AHHH that is such a brilliant thing to hear! I was actually a little worried that there wasn't enough detail, so to hear your comments is super. Hahaha, thank you! Actually, the pirate wasn't originally there -- the pub was meant to be called the Penzance Pixie (after Lockhart's Cornish Pixies in COS) but after a review from Lululuna saying that the Penzance location made her think of the pirate musical, I changed the name to the Penzance Pirate and included the pirate portrait :P

Honestly, I didn't think I could do humour, but your review and some others are beginning to make me think that perhaps I can. Thank you for the lovely comment though, and haha! I love that line too!

OH. Are you quite /sure/ there's two killers? ;) The plot is indeed thickening -- but don't worry! Chapter three should be up in the first week of May (and feel free to hold me to that).

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Review #5, by HeyMrsPotter T is for Treachery

24th April 2014:
Hi Isobel! I remember seeing this story when I did the new stories section for the newsletter this month and thinking it sounded really interesting so I'm glad you asked for this one :D

First off, I love the opening to this. I had no idea who your main character was but I was in love with her just because she was going to attack a stranger with frozen meals, soup and potaotes :D

I think this is a really good opening chapter, it definitely makes me want to read on! I really like Bex's character so far, I love the idea of her helping Muggleborns to escape, there's a great sense of rebellion to that which I love. I also really liked the interaction between her and the man in the cafe, it showed that she's quick-witted and a little feisty. That poor man never had a chance!

If things go as anticipated, I'm hoping she and Oliver are going to make some sort of crime-fighting team to find Penelope's killer :p I really hope it isn't Lee though, I always liked him :p

Super first chapter, Isobel, I'm looking forward to seeing how this progresses. Expect me back for the next chapter soon!

Dee :)

Author's Response: DEE! HI! Haha, I'm clearly psychic then ;)

Heh, I wanted to write an unusual beginning and I'm really glad you liked it! I felt that although the Order tried their best, they were a secret organization and people who wouldn't know about them or who wouldn't want to be ordered round by the Order would do their bit to help, too. The poor man certainly never had a chance... or did he? ;)

You'll have to wait and see what happens, I'm not going to give away my entire plot, am I? And Lee /does/ survive because he creates Jordan & Parsons (the story that this is a prequel of) but whether he does that as an innocent man or a fugitive remains to be seen. ;)

Thank you so much, I'm so pleased that you like this story! ♥


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Review #6, by PolyJuice_ T is for Treachery

18th April 2014:
Oh my goodness, Isobel. This was fab. As usual you drew me right in, and made broke my heart strings one at a time. I love the idea of the 'copy cat murder' you've done.

Poor Bex, oh no. Paying out of pocket for Muggleborns, and then having her best friend die! Sheesh, I'd wanna hit people with my groceries too, if I'd been her. :P

But yeah, make sure to keep me updated on updates ('specially if there's another in the queueee~) because, you know, you left it on an emotional cliff-hanger and you'll have to deal with my emotional turmoil if it takes too long, hahah.

Anyway, I loved this chapter, and I can't wait for the rest!


Author's Response: Hi Liz! Ahhh thank you -- I'm sorry you were heartbroken, but at the same time I'm grinning because that means I wrote the chapter well :P

Bex certainly does resort to violence even when it isn't necessary, but she does have a genuine reason for it.

I shall keep you updated, and I will most certainly beware of your emotional turmoil ;)

Thank you for reviewing, m'dear ♥


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Review #7, by Rumpelstiltskin T is for Treachery

16th April 2014:
Hey there, I'm here with your challenge review!

Plot/plot arch: The opening scene is packed-full of delicious scene-setting information. Immediately we realize that our possible main character, Rebecca Parsons, is a witch hiding out from the madness of the second wizarding war in a Muggle community. I'm making the assumption that it is the second wizarding war due to Thicknesse's position as Minister as a puppet under Voldemort's reign. That's a good deal of information to establish already, while saying very little about the situation. It's a brilliant tactic that doesn't overload the readers with an info-dump, while at the same time providing that vital information to lead us to conclusions. What is more interesting is that Muggle officers have come to tell her that Penelope is dead. I'm excited about the Agatha Christie's The ABC Muders route you're taking with this. I'm also excited that our main character could potentially be a victim, given the clue. I'm also pretty excited that Lee is a possible suspect, given his otherwise kind characteristics. This is very exciting!

Characterization: Rebecca -- I love that she can stand up for herself, as demonstrated in the scene with the strange and creepy man. She didn't cower, but became defensive. I think that, then, the same can be said for hiding out in the Muggle war while the war is taking its tole. "My friends canít be killers. I donít want them to be killers." -- That quote is awesome. It's a natural thought process, but I do believe that it speaks to her characterization.

Detail: There's a great deal of description and image-producing details in this that are much appreciated. They help paint the picture of what is happening when, and who is doing what.

Notes/other: This is a fantastic start! I can't wait to read more, and figure out who did it!


Author's Response: Hi Rumpel!

Oooh, you are correct, it is the second wizarding war. I'm really pleased that you felt I gave you (the reader) the information without info-dumping, as that's always a concern of mine. And indeed -- there's a lot of this story that's set in the Muggle world, and yet the connections to the wizarding world run deeper than they may first appear. In particular, the wizarding people who are present in Penzance are all hiding something -- but whether their secrets relate to Penelope's death remain to be seen. ;) I'm really happy that you're finding this story exciting!

I love that you called the man in the cafe "strange and creepy", because a) you're the only person who's explictly used those words and b) you may be onto something. ;) Or maybe not. Hehe. I wanted to keep Bex as realistic as possible while keeping the plot moving, so I'm happy you thought it was awesome.

And I'm so happy that you thought the description was good, as I always have to remember to include description in my stories/chapters. Chapter two is up, as for who did it -- feel free to give me your theories in your next review! I may just drop a hint or two ;)


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Review #8, by wonweasley T is for Treachery

28th March 2014:
I am thoroughly enjoying this so far! I love the way you've made a groundbreaking start by jumping straight into the real guts of the story. The best is that I know it will get even more exciting from here on in.

I liked the way you differentiated between the obligations of Muggle police and Ministry officials. Not only does it give a wider sense of what's going on in the war, but it throws the reader as to the cause of Penelope's death. From your description I instantly assumed she'd perished at the hands of a wizard, but then the involvement of the Muggle cops got me thinking otherwise. That's a feature I enjoy about murder mysteries: the constant second-guessing.

Well done on all the characterisation, especially for Rebecca. I love a strong OC. Can't wait to read more!

Author's Response: Thank you so much! I wanted to keep this short, as I have quite a few other WIPs, so I think restricting the number of chapters I can write for this story has helped me to avoid getting side-tracked with sub-plots.

Hehehe, that was most certainly my intention and I must warn you not to take anything for granted. Penelope, and the circumstances surrounding her death, has never been conventional. ;)

Thank you so much, and I'm really pleased that you're enjoying Bex as an OC. The second chapter is up now and the third will be posted in the first week of May! :)

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Review #9, by Lululuna T is for Treachery

27th March 2014:
Hello! :)

Ooh, I love this! It's so tense and exciting, and I love all these plotlines coming together - the war and the registration of Muggleborns, the old gang from school, and the murders copycatting Agatha Christie. I really love how you've woven all these ideas together into such a complex story but also created a really amazing and exciting character.

I love all the little details which go into really bringing this story to life - like what Bex was buying from the store, and how she couldn't afford a TV license. It really made the story come to life in a really visual way, but also gave the impression that this is just a snapshot of a whole world that the reader is allowed a glimpse of. Your world-building is really impressive. :)

Aw, poor Penelope. :( You did really well at hinting at Bex's grief intermingled with her sense of duty. She just seems like such a compassionate yet devious character, but I loved the descriptions of her friendship with Penny, like how she was her next-of-kin. (Though perhaps not, judging by the last line :P).

The scene with the guy who came up and starting hitting on her was quite funny, I could definitely relate to her irritation. You wrote it really well, and afterwards I'm kind of wondering whether that guy was as innocent as he seemed, or if he might have something to do with the mystery.

Hmm, I think that as this is a prequel to your other story, Lee and Bex just might end up together, which makes him a less likely suspect. :P But then again it was mentioned that he was in love with Oliver, so perhaps not. But he could be bisexual too, I suppose - good for you if that's the case, fanfiction needs more bi characters in my opinion. :)

The use of the ABC story is just genius, and I really enjoyed hearing their speculations on it. Also the word Penzance just makes me smile everytime because it reminds me of the musical with pirates. :P

This is an amazing start, I love it and can't wait for the next chapter! :) And I have no idea how you're going to keep this story at just five chapters, because there are so many details and it is just pure gold. :)

Author's Response: Hi, Jenna!

I honestly don't know how to respond to this review, because you're just too wonderfully complimentary. Thank you ♥

Ah! When I saw that one of the prompts in Rumpel's challenge was copy-catting fictional murders, I immediately thought of doing something based off one of Christie's books. The ABC Murders seemed to make most sense, since if it was one individual murder, most people wouldn't notice the comparisons. And then it was simply a matter of /when/ the murder should be set, and after consideration, I realized that the obvious time frame was during one of the wars, to explain the lack of Ministry involvement. At the same time, I'd been wanting to write a prequel to Jordan & Parsons, so I merged the two plunnies together.

I was worried that the details would be distracting from the plot, so it's wonderful to hear your feedback. I'm honoured that you think my world-building is impressive, particularly as that's a skill I'll need when I eventually tackle OF seriously.

Poor Penelope, indeed. And I squeed when I read what you said about Bex, because one of my main concerns was whether she seemed compassionate enough instead of being a detached narrator. Thank you so much! ♥ (And blood isn't always thicker than water.)

LOL! Actually, I based that scene off a prior experience, although sadly I wasn't witty enough to scare him away -- after a few attempts at politely making him go, I ignored him outright until he got the hint :P And haha, you were quite smart to pick up on that ;)

Lee and Bex are a married couple in Jordan and Parsons, but that's set over 30 years after the events of this story, so anything could happen. ;) Lee is indeed bisexual, and I agree with you -- off the top of my head, I can think of four characters who I've written as bisexual. :)

Thank you so much! And haha -- I know I mentioned this on the forums, but your comment about the pirates made me change the inn's name in chapter two from the Penzance Pixie (like Lockhart's Cornish Pixies in COS) to the Penzance Pirate, which included a pirate portrait that spiralled out into a collab between myself, HeyMrsPotter and teh tarik so I have to thank you for that :P Credit is where credit's due, after all ;)

The next chapter is now up, and I'm not entirely sure, either! There's a possibility that the chapters might get longer still :P but thank you once again for all your compliments, which mean an incredible amount coming from a talented author like yourself ♥

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