Synopses & Reviews
Award-winning author Alan Bradley returns with another beguiling novel starring the insidiously clever and unflappable eleven-year-old sleuth Flavia de Luce. The precocious chemist with a passion for poisons uncovers a fresh slew of misdeeds in the hamlet of Bishop’s Lacey—mysteries involving a missing tot, a fortune-teller, and a corpse in Flavia’s own backyard.
Flavia had asked the old Gypsy woman to tell her fortune, but never expected to stumble across the poor soul, bludgeoned in the wee hours in her own caravan. Was this an act of retribution by those convinced that the soothsayer had abducted a local child years ago? Certainly Flavia understands the bliss of settling scores; revenge is a delightful pastime when one has two odious older sisters. But how could this crime be connected to the missing baby? Had it something to do with the weird sect who met at the river to practice their secret rites? While still pondering the possibilities, Flavia stumbles upon another corpse—that of a notorious layabout who had been caught prowling about the de Luce’s drawing room.
Pedaling Gladys, her faithful bicycle, across the countryside in search of clues to both crimes, Flavia uncovers some odd new twists. Most intriguing is her introduction to an elegant artist with a very special object in her possession—a portrait that sheds light on the biggest mystery of all: Who is Flavia?
As the red herrings pile up, Flavia must sort through clues fishy and foul to untangle dark deeds and dangerous secrets.
From the Hardcover edition.
Praise for Sara Gran and Claire DeWitt and the Bohemian Highway
"The most interesting private eye Ive encountered since Stieg Larssons Lisbeth Salander…A fascinating read." —Washington Post
"A fresh, fully realized noir world…The world-weary hipster voice and the absurdist perspective of Claire DeWitt and The Bohemian Highway
are what really hold a susceptible reader spellbound. Think of the noir-inflected novels of Paul Auster or even the labyrinthine stories of Jorge Luis Borges. Gran's narrative is an intricate one…[An] introspective and, yes, poetic mystery adventure." —NPRs Fresh Air
"Claire's quest to avenge Paul is compelling, but her insistence on uncovering the mystery of her own self-destruction is what makes this book not just a compelling mystery, but a novel." —O, the Oprah Magazine
"There's absolutely nothing predictable about either the multilayered investigation—cloaked in references to Indian scriptures, Thomas Merton, and cheesy 1980s TV mysteries—or DeWitt herself, who charms despite her fraying life. A" —Entertainment Weekly "There's a long and distinguished line of famous women in mystery fiction. I have a new favorite female sleuth to add to the list, Claire DeWitt." —CNN.com "Claire, though withdrawn and difficult, is deeply empathetic…Grans building something here, something bigger and better than a mere series. Shes building a labyrinthine world and filling it out completely, and Im just happy to be along for the ride." —Los Angeles Review of Books "The [Claire DeWitt] stories are wise, chilling, insightful and reeking with despair—and yet so beautifully written in an original, quirky style that it is difficult to resist them." —Bruce DeSilva, Associated Press
"The first fresh literary voice Ive heard in years. Sara Gran has pulled the traditional female sleuth into the twenty-first century." —Sue Grafton
"Reminds me why I fell in love with the genre." —Laura Lippman "Claire, or another PI much like her, might have been inevitable—or maybe it just takes a writer as good as Sara Gran to make her seem that way…Its well worth following Claire wherever she decides to look." —Salon.com "Claire DeWitt and the Bohemian Highway, with its snappy prose and San Francisco setting, is both an homage to hard-boiled detective novels in the tradition of Dashiell Hammetts The Maltese Falcon and at the same time a brash reboot of the genre for the 21st century…Sara Gran has given the hard-boiled detective a good, hard hipster twist, creating a character with a savagely vigilant mind and a black heart always on the verge of breaking." —The Millions "Gran writes in that hard-boiled staccato style of Dashiell Hammett and Raymond Chandler…It works brilliantly and often to comic effect…If I were to follow my gut instinct I'd say that Gran has a best-seller on her hands." —The Independent "One of the freshest voices in modern crime fiction… Gran has created a female sleuth to cherish." —Daily Mail
"A distinctive new American voice in mystery fiction." —NPRs Fresh Air
"A distinctive new American voice in mystery fiction." —NPR’s Fresh Air
When Claire DeWitt’s ex-boyfriend Paul Casablancas, a musician, is found dead in his Mission District house, Claire is on the case. Paul's wife and the police are sure Paul was killed for his valuable collection of vintage guitars. But Claire, the best detective in the world, has other ideas. Even as her other cases offer hints to Paul’s fate—a missing girl in the grim East Village of the 1980s and an epidemic of missing miniature horses in Marin County-–Claire knows: the truth is never where you expect it, and love is the greatest mystery of all.
About the Author
“She remains irresistibly appealing.” —New York Times Book Review
“A Red Herring Without Mustard will steal a mystery lover’s heart, and the clever Miss Flavia will surely keep it forever.” —Las Vegas ReviewJournal
“Flavia, oh Flavia, how I’ve missed you!.....If you like your heroines whip-smart, lippy, and resourceful, Flavia’s your gal.” —Montreal Gazette
“As satisfying as the mystery is, the multiple-award winning Bradley offers more…beautifully written, with fully fleshed characters…[Bradley] secures his position as a confident, talented writer and storyteller.” —Toronto Globe & Mail
“Delightful….The book’s forthright and eerily mature narrator is a treasure.” —Seattle Times
“As hilarious, gripping, and sad as the previous books in this enjoyable series….once again, Bradley succeeds. And so, of course, does Flavia.” —Bookpage
"This idiosyncratic heroine continues to charm." —Wall Street Journal
“Think preteen Nancy Drew, only savvier and a lot richer, and you have Flavia de Luce….Don't be fooled by Flavia's age or the 1950s setting: A Red Herring isn't a dainty tea-and-crumpets sort of mystery. It's shot through with real grit.” —Entertainment Weekly
“Outstanding….In this marvelous blend of whimsy and mystery, Flavia manages to operate successfully in the adult world of crimes and passions while dodging the childhood pitfalls set by her sisters.” —Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“Oh, to be 11 again and pal around with irresistible wunderkind Flavia de Luce….A splendid romp through 1950s England led by the world’s smartest and most incorrigible preteen.” —Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
“Whether battling with her odious sisters or verbally sparing with the long-suffering Inspector Hewitt, our cheeky heroine is a delight. Full of pithy dialog and colorful characters, this series would appeal strongly to fans of Dorothy Sayers, Gladys Mitchell, and Leo Bruce as well as readers who like clever humor mixed in with their mysteries.” —Library Journal (starred review)
“Think of Flavia as a new Sherlock in the making.” —Booklist
ACCLAIM FOR ALAN BRADLEY’S BELOVED FLAVIA DE LUCE MYSTERIES
“Flavia is incisive, cutting and hilarious . . . one of the most remarkable creations in recent literature.”—USA Today
The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie
“Wonderfully entertaining . . . sure to be one of the most loved mysteries of the year.”—Chicago Sun-Times
“If ever there was a sleuth who’s bold, brilliant, and, yes, adorable, it’s Flavia de Luce. . . . [A] scrumptious first novel.”—USA Today
“A five-star performance for young and old . . . written with Dickensian flair, Sherlockian suspense and tongue-in-cheek fun.” —Mysterious Reviews
The Weed That Strings the Hangman’s Bag
“Utterly beguiling . . . wicked wit . . . The real delight here is [Flavia’s] droll voice and the eccentric cast.”—People (four stars)
“Bradley takes everything you expect and subverts it, delivering a smart, irreverent, unsappy mystery.”—Entertainment Weekly
“Discovering Alan Bradley’s Flavia de Luce books is several steps beyond pleasure—it’s a sheer delight.”—Winston-Salem Journal
From the Hardcover edition.