Synopses & Reviews
It’s Christmastime, and the precocious Flavia de Luce—an eleven-year-old sleuth with a passion for chemistry and a penchant for crime-solving—is tucked away in her laboratory, whipping up a concoction to ensnare Saint Nick. But she is soon distracted when a film crew arrives at Buckshaw, the de Luces’ decaying English estate, to shoot a movie starring the famed Phyllis Wyvern. Amid a raging blizzard, the entire village of Bishop’s Lacey gathers at Buckshaw to watch Wyvern perform, yet nobody is prepared for the evening’s shocking conclusion: a body found, past midnight, strangled to death with a length of film. But who among the assembled guests would stage such a chilling scene? As the storm worsens and the list of suspects grows, Flavia must use every ounce of sly wit at her disposal to ferret out a killer hidden in plain sight.
"Christmas comes early for precocious Flavia de Luce with the arrival of a glamorous London film crew at Buckshaw, her family's country house, in Agatha-winner Bradley's fourth post-WWII mystery starring the endearing 11-year-old sleuth (after February 2011's A Red Herring Without Mustard). Flavia, a chemistry prodigy, must push her previous project concocting a super stickum to trap Santa to the back burner after actress Phyllis Wyvern turns up dead in a wingback chair with 'a length of cinÃ© film, tied tightly, but neatly, in an elaborate black bow' around her throat. The murder investigation pits the cheeky schoolgirl's considerable deductive prowess against the local constabulary and puts her in grave danger. With its sharply drawn characters, including the hiss-worthy older de Luce sisters, and an agreeable puzzle playing out against the cozy backdrop of a British village at Christmas, this is a most welcome holiday gift for Flavia fans." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
About the Author
Alan Bradley is the internationally bestselling author of many short stories, children’s stories, newspaper columns, and the memoir The Shoebox Bible. His first Flavia de Luce novel, The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie, received the Crime Writers’ Association Debut Dagger Award, the Dilys Winn Award, the Arthur Ellis Award, the Agatha Award, the Macavity Award, and the Barry Award, and was nominated for the Anthony Award. His second and third Flavia de Luce novels are The Weed That Strings the Hangman’s Bag and the New York Times bestselling A Red Herring Without Mustard. Bradley lives in Malta with his wife and two calculating cats.