by Alan Bradley
The one big problem I had with this novel is that I read it way too fast! I’ve grown to love Flavia de Luce and I look forward to reading each new release, but it goes way too quickly. It’s a good problem to have. This is one of the few series I’ve read where the books just keep getting better.
Flavia is back from Miss Bodycote’s Female Academy in Canada, but the halls of her beloved Buckshaw are quieter than normal. Her father is sick with pneumonia in the hospital. Bradley carries the reader effortlessly into Bishop’s Lacey in the 1950s. Once again, Flavia discovers a dead body and we’re off!
As is always true for me with these books, the murder mystery is secondary to the characters. Each new book adds layer upon layer to Flavia and her relationships with her family and friends. She is growing into a brilliantly astute woman, but she still has the self-involved innocence of a child in some areas of life.
Dogger, Buckshaw’s caretaker, remains my favorite character. His steadfast devotion to Flavia’s father and his quiet guidance never disappoint.
BOTTOM LINE: I love this series now so much more than when I read the first books. The deeper you get into Flavia’s world, the more attached you are to her and the people of Bishop’s Lacey.
“Growing up is like that, I suppose: the strings fall away and you’re left standing on your own. It was sad in a way that is hard to describe.”
“One can learn from a glance at a person’s library, not what they are, but what they wish to be.”
"I do not encourage early-morning chirpiness, even in those whom I know and love. It is generally a sign of sloppy mind and is not to be encouraged."