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The Weed That Strings the Hangman's Bag: A Flavia de Luce Mysteryby Alan Bradley
I let out a little sigh of relief when I realized that book two of the Flavia de Luce series is just as great as the first one: fears of a sophomore slump were unfounded.
The Weed that Strings the Hangman's Bag finds Flavia again stumbling upon an unexpected death, which turns out to be a murder. In this installment, 10 year-old Flavia becomes involved with a traveling puppet show, complete with a surly puppeteer and his put-upon assistant. When the puppet master dramatically turns up dead, Flavia is in the thick of it again. Her almost super-human powers of observation serve her well, and with a little tinkering in her chemistry lab, she proves her hunches.
While trying to avoid her father's wrath, her sisters' tauntings and her aunt's prickly presence, Flavia makes her way around town questioning all possible sources of information and untangling the connections and relationships that lie underneath the surface. Bishop Lacey's inhabitants are a motley crew of charming eccentrics, and Flavia manages to coerce even the most guarded townsfolk into dropping tantalizing nuggets of information.
Luckily for us, Flavia misses nothing, and her discoveries build a complex tale of love, need, sorrow, revenge and madness. With her fabulous chemistry lab, ubiquitous notebook, and trusty bicycle, Gladys, there's no containing the force that is Flavia. I wish many long years of fruitful writing upon Alan Bradley. The man is, like no one else, uncannily able to crawl inside a 10-year-old girl's precocious mind. Bravo!
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About the Author
ALAN BRADLEY was born in Toronto and grew up in Cobourg, Ontario. Prior to taking early retirement to write in 1994, he was Director of Television Engineering at the University of Saskatchewan media centre for twenty-five years. His versatility has earned him awards for his children's books, radio broadcasts of his short stories, and national print for his journalism. He also co-authored Ms. Holmes of Baker Street, to great acclaim and much controversy, followed by a poignant memoir, The Shoebox Bible. Bradley lives in Malta with his wife and two calculating cats, where he is at work on the third of six planned Flavia de Luce tales.
From the Hardcover edition.
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