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Monday, May 27, 2013

72) The Weed that Strings the Hangman's Bag by Alan Bradley

The Blurb :

Flavia de Luce, a dangerously brilliant eleven-year-old with a passion for chemistry and a genius for solving murders. This time, Flavia finds herself untangling two deaths—separated by time but linked by the unlikeliest of threads.

Flavia thinks that her days of crime-solving in the bucolic English hamlet of Bishop’s Lacy are over—and then Rupert Porson has an unfortunate rendezvous with electricity. The beloved puppeteer has had his own strings sizzled, but who’d do such a thing and why? For Flavia, the questions are intriguing enough to make her put aside her chemistry experiments and schemes of vengeance against her insufferable big sisters. Astride Gladys, her trusty bicycle, Flavia sets out from the de Luces’ crumbling family mansion in search of Bishop’s Lacey’s deadliest secrets.

Does the madwoman who lives in Gibbet Wood know more than she’s letting on? What of the vicar’s odd ministrations to the catatonic woman in the dovecote? Then there’s a German pilot obsessed with the Brontë sisters, a reproachful spinster aunt, and even a box of poisoned chocolates. Most troubling of all is Porson’s assistant, the charming but erratic Nialla. All clues point toward a suspicious death years earlier and a case the local constables can’t solve—without Flavia’s help. But in getting so close to who’s secretly pulling the strings of this dance of death, has our precocious heroine finally gotten in way over her head?

My Thoughts :

I was very impressed by the first book in this series and immediately purchased the second part to listen to.  The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie didn't take long to make its mystery known but this sequel frustrated me slightly as nothing of real interest became apparent at first.  No dead bodies and no scandal as such.  However there was the promise of something and I kept with it and finally about halfway into things the crime was committed!

Flavia De Luce may only be eleven years old but she is more intelligent and resourceful as the majority of the adults you know.  Her view of the world is interesting and sometimes childish but she knows how to get involved in a good mystery and solve it.  Her leaps in deduction can sometimes mean she goes down the wrong path for a while but sometimes her diversions actually help her in the long run.

The tales she tells between her sleuthing are just as entertaining as her chemistry lessons and Flavia really is a character you can find yourself liking even if she is only a child.  The Young Adult aspect of this cozy mystery series may put off some people but the 50's English countryside location is more than enough to make you ignore the age of the main character.  Afterall there is something very fascinating about this age after the world wars and how the country was surviving.

I am looking forward to listening to the rest of this series soon.  However I am going to take a short break from Flavia and listen to something else inbetween.  Not because I am not enjoying this series but more because I find myself thinking and talking like the child.  Her influence is rather disturbing :)  More to come from the great Flavia soon!  I am looking forward to seeing what mischief the girl gets herself into next and how her family continue to evolve.

Try this series and be prepared to be surprised.  I was!

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1 comment:

Dot S.(ladeetdareads.wordpress.com) said...

I, too, love the Flavia series. I tend to read it out of order but it doesn't seem to matter. You can't help but like her even if she is a bit obsessed with Poison. :-)