-->''Don't get yourself noticed and you won't get yourself hanged.''

Bartholomew Kettle and his sister Hettie are [[ChangelingTale changelings]], also known as [[TitleDrop Peculiars]]--half-human, [[MixedAncestry half-fae]], and scorned by pretty much everyone. [[CabinFever Forced to stay hidden inside the house for his own protection]], [[IJustWantToHaveFriends the only thing Bartholomew wants is a friend]], and when the closest thing to it--the Peculiar boy from across the street--vanishes into a ring of black feathers at the hands of a mysterious [[GracefulLadiesLikePurple lady in plum]], he sets out to find out what's going on and hopefully find another friend--forgetting the rules and getting himself noticed. [[OhCrap Seriously noticed.]]


Arthur Jelliby is too nice to be a very good politician. All he wants is to sleep until noon, make social calls, and spend time with his [[HappilyMarried darling wife]], but when Parliament gets involved with the sinister circumstances around the recent murders of nine child changelings, Mr. Jelliby--quite by accident--finds himself investigating the powerful [[CorruptPolitician Lord Chancellor Lickerish]], and promptly decides to set out and stop Child Number Ten from meeting the same ghastly fate as his predecessors.

Child Number Ten, who, due to some unfortunate circumstances, happens to be Bartholomew.

SteamPunk [[JustForFun/XMeetsY meets]] TheFairFolk in this GaslampFantasy by Stefan Bachmann--one of the Indie Next List's top ten books for Fall 2012.

!! This book provides examples of:

* {{Adorkable}}: Mr. Jelliby.
* AlternateHistory: The Americas are British-controlled, as the Revolutionary War ended in a British victory due to troll and giant interference.
* AlwaysChaoticEvil: The fae, it would seem, though [[HumansAreBastards plenty of humans are pretty nasty as well]].
* ApocalypseHow: Regional, though implied to have much bigger implications, [[spoiler:when the faery door opens for the second time]].
* BarrierMaiden: Played With. [[spoiler: Hettie becomes one, but she's not protecting the barrier--she ''is'' the barrier to the LandOfFaerie, and once she "opens," she becomes an ApocalypseMaiden]].
* BigBrotherInstinct: Bartholomew to Hettie.
* BloodOnTheDebateFloor: There is a major scuffle after Lickerish's fae-supporting speech.
* ClockPunk: Justified in-universe, as the leading theory is that clockwork prevents the chaotic faeries from doing mischief.
* ClockworkCreature: The mechanical messenger sparrows.
* DatingWhatDaddyHates: Melusine and [[spoiler:Jack Box]]. She later comes to regret it.
-->"Tell Daddy I'm sorry."
* DeclarationOfProtection: Bartholomew to Hettie. Mr. Jelliby to Melusine, though neither of them are very familiar to each other.
* DistressedDamsel: Once [[spoiler:Hettie]] gets kidnapped. Also, Melusine, [[spoiler:who is being possessed by an evil faery. An evil faery [[UnrequitedLove who loves her]], yes, but still]]...
* DemonicPossession: [[spoiler:Jack Box takes over Melusine and then Dr. Harrow, the Sidhe specialist at the police station]].
* DrivenToMadness: The Buddelbinsters' faery mother.
* {{Elopement}}: Melusine and [[spoiler:Jack Box]], again.
* EverythingTryingToKillYou: [[spoiler: What the fae unleash on Mr. Jelliby once HeKnowsTooMuch.]]
* TheFairFolk: Obviously.
* FightingFromTheInside: [[spoiler: Melusine is trying to do this, though [[DamselScrappy she's not doing a very good job of it]]. Fortunately, it draws Mr. Jelliby's attention to the case.]]
* ForDoomTheBellTolls: Bells toll every five minutes to ward off faery magic, so they underscore many a plaintive occasion.
* GossipyHens: Mr. Jelliby's Aunt Dorcas. He also has some mental GossipyHens giving [[CrowningMomentOfFunny running commentary]] every time he finds himself in an objectionable situation.
--> ''"Did you hear, Jemima, he broke down a door? Oh, yes! In the Lord Chancellor's house! You know, behind all those handsome looks and broad smiles he must be secretly quite the violent fellow." ''
--> ''"Almost certainly, Muriel. One has to be in his profession. And how poor Ophelia is faring..."''
* GracefulLadiesLikePurple: Melusine is ''always'' wearing plum-colored attire. Lickerish does not like it.
--> "You might have her change out of that horrid dress."
* HeroicSacrifice: [[spoiler:Bartholomew gives up Hettie for the sake of the rest of the world.]]
* IJustWantToHaveFriends: Bartholomew's greatest wish, and also his fatal flaw--[[spoiler:summoning a house faery leads directly to Hettie getting kidnapped]].
* InterspeciesRomance: Bartholomew and Hettie's parents (and the parents of any changeling, usually), as well as [[spoiler:Melusine and Jack Box]], though she didn't know it at the time.
* LackOfEmpathy / ItsAllAboutMe: A major plot point. [[spoiler:Bartholomew is [[TitleDrop peculiar]] precisely because the rest of humans and faeries are too absorbed in their own desires to care about the EarthShatteringKaboom. Ultimately subverted, as Bartholomew makes his HeroicSacrifice and prevents the faery door from opening, even though Hettie is trapped inside.]]
* LandOfFaerie: Where the fae came from, and [[spoiler:Lickerish is trying to get back to]]...
* MixedAncestry: Changelings such as Bartholomew and Hettie.
* NotSoOmniscientCouncilOfBickering: Parliament quickly turns into this.
* PlantPerson: Hettie has tree branches for hair.
* PossessionBurnout: Poor, poor [[spoiler:Melusine]]...
* SpannerInTheWorks: Lickerish was ''not'' expecting a changeling to step through the mushroom circle on their own, which is exactly what Bartholomew does.
* SwarmOfRats: [[spoiler:Jack Box]]'s true form.
* TemptingApple: Lickerish eats one very sinisterly [[spoiler:as he waits for the door to faeryland to open]].
* TitleDrop: Most of the chapter titles get this. The last chapter's title is a drop of the book's title, which is dropped by Lickerish:
--> "I thought he might be dangerous. He is not dangerous. He is not even strong. He is simply peculiar."
* ZeppelinsFromAnotherWorld: The Cloud That Hides The Moon.