The Wolves of Willoughby Chase, a little tale of orphans in a fix. The children triumph despite the odds. The atmosphere of the story is dark and foreboding, but the characters are bright and plucky. I appreciated the author's daughter's comments about the story at the beginning of the audio version, as well as her narration of the story.
Bonnie cannot wait for the arrival of her cousin Sylvia from London. She flies out with enthusiasm only to find that it is a governess, come to look after the girls in her parents' absence. Her parents are heading off on a sea voyage to a more pleasant climate in the hopes of restoring the health of Bonnie's mother. The governess, a Miss Slighcarp proves to be a nasty old woman with a sharp disposition and a sinister design. The children are thrust into immediate peril and must fight back with the aide of their little friend, Simon, and two loyal servants.
This was a story full of British flair, from grim orphanages to elaborate country estates, from evil governesses to doting maids. The threatening wolves serve to intensify the dangers and darken the atmosphere. Though recommended for listeners between the ages of 9 and 14, I think it will equally appeal to adults. I will have to look into the movie version to see if I can find it.