A clamor caused him to start, a tiny yelp echoing in the chamber.When have clamours (and where'd the u go to anyway? Oh right- the American half of the duo took it out) consisted of one tiny yelp? The OED defines it as 'shouting; confused noise'-- something that persists, in any case. 'Urk!' is not clamour.
"Chaos and mayhem comes naturally to you, don't they, Miss Braun?" he seethed.No, they does not. And while I'm not draconian about using substitutes for 'said' that don't involve speaking (like "'Yes,' he nodded") I'm not at all happy with that 'seethed.'
The scrawling of Books' pen was louder than usual.Scrawl is a visual word, marking hasty and/or illegible handwriting; it has nothing to do with sound.
Well, and so on and so forth. Maybe it improves. In any case it's either this or Toby Daye being unintelligent in her inimitable fashion, so I'll take the pseudo-Victorians.