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Sunday, September 25, 2016

73) Thrice the Brinded Cat Hath Mew'd by Alan Bradley

The Blurb :

In spite of being ejected from Miss Bodycote’s Female Academy in Canada, twelve-year-old Flavia de Luce is excited to be sailing home to England. But instead of a joyous homecoming, she is greeted on the docks with unfortunate news: Her father has fallen ill, and a hospital visit will have to wait while he rests. But with Flavia’s blasted sisters and insufferable cousin underfoot, Buckshaw now seems both too empty—and not empty enough. Only too eager to run an errand for the vicar’s wife, Flavia hops on her trusty bicycle, Gladys, to deliver a message to a reclusive wood-carver.

Finding the front door ajar, Flavia enters and stumbles upon the poor man’s body hanging upside down on the back of his bedroom door. The only living creature in the house is a feline that shows little interest in the disturbing scene. Curiosity may not kill this cat, but Flavia is energized at the prospect of a new investigation. It’s amazing what the discovery of a corpse can do for one’s spirits. But what awaits Flavia will shake her to the very core.

My Thoughts :

I haven't read much in last couple of weeks and instead of listening to audio books I have been listening to music.  For some reason nothing appealed to me and also a book I was waiting to listen to doesn't seem to be available yet on audible so that put me off a bit.  Then I noticed a new Flavia de Luce installment was coming out and waited for its arrival.  Nothing like a bit of Flavia to get me busy listening to books again.

Now I basically listened to all the Flavia de Luce mysteries in one go sometime last year so this first time I have had to wait for a new installment.  The series is unique and funny with a wonderful main character who you can't help but love.  Flavia is too big for her boots, a nosy troublemaker and twelve going on thirty but she is also clever, amusing and entertaining.

After getting home from Canada, Flavia gets some bad news.  Her father is in hospital and despite the pull to go and see him, she is stopped from visiting by various reasons and excuses from others.  So Flavia does what only Flavia can do and finds a dead body and distracts herself with the murder investigation.  With Gladys helping and a bit of a support from Dogger and her new friend Mildred, Flavia goes about unraveling a mystery that has been around longer than she has.

Once again I was pulled into this postwar world that has only started to get some resemblance of the modern amenities that we take for granted of today.  Delighted by her naive but genius logic as she solves another mystery I couldn't stop myself from listening to just a little more every time I had the chance.  The talk of Steepholm, an island I have unfortunately never visited but saw nearly everyday growing up, made me a little homesick.  However this whole Britishness, even if from another part of history, makes me want to go home and visit.  The author just does a wonderful of job of capturing the place so well.

Anyway, well worth getting a hold of if you are a fan of the series.  If you haven't tried the series yet then think about doing so!  I didn't think I would like it at first but there is something special and addictive about Flavia de Luce.  Also I highly recommend the audio books as the narrator does a brilliant job of bringing the characters to life.  I couldn't even think about reading these.  I have been spoilt by the outstanding audio versions.

Now the wait is on for the next installment.  It should be another interesting one with the ending this eighth book left us with.  I feel for Flavia but I know she is strong.  I wonder if the author will ever jump ahead a little and give us an older version...I would love to find out what becomes of the youngest de Luce.

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