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Other titles in the Flavia de Luce Mysteries series:
The Weed That Strings the Hangman's Bag: A Flavia de Luce Novelby 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!
Synopses & Reviews
From Dagger Award–winning and internationally bestselling author Alan Bradley comes this utterly beguiling mystery starring one of fiction’s most remarkable sleuths: 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?
From the Hardcover edition.
Flavia de Luce, a dangerously smart eleven-year-old with a passion for chemistry and a genius for solving murders, thinks that her days of crime-solving in the bucolic English hamlet of Bishop’s Lacey are over—until beloved puppeteer Rupert Porson has his own strings sizzled in an unfortunate rendezvous with electricity. But who’d do such a thing, and why? Does the madwoman who lives in Gibbet Wood know more than she’s letting on? What about Porson’s charming but erratic assistant? 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?
About the Author
Alan Bradley received the Crime Writers’ Association Debut Dagger Award for The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie, as well as the first Saskatchewan Writers Guild Award for Children’s Literature. He is the author of many short stories, children’s stories, newspaper columns, and the memoir The Shoebox Bible. Bradley lives in Malta with his wife and two calculating cats, and is currently working on the next Flavia de Luce mystery, A Red Herring Without Mustard.
From the Hardcover edition.
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