Tag Archives: Flavia de Luce

‘A Red Herring Without Mustard’ is Oh So Delicious!

Cover ImageAlan Bradley is back at it and his readers couldn’t be more pleased. Flavia de Luce is saucier than ever in A Red Herring Without Mustard, Bradley’s third and latest installment of the Flavia de Luce mystery series.

Bradley’s de Luce books are a bit like a literary Christmas; they come once a year, are full of mystery, and guarantee a wink and a smile when they’re over. If you haven’t yet caught Flavia or Bradley’s clever style in The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie or The Weed That Strings the Hangman’s Bag (the first and second books in the series), I strongly suggest backing up to the beginning for maximum enjoyment.

Flavia is a wonder to behold. Not only does she fearlessly make her way through the creepiest of spine-tingling situations, but she also knows how to fire it up in her chemical laboratory. It’s in Flavia’s beloved lab that sass turns to spark as she calmly sifts through the bizarre clues she’s collected along the way to solving the latest mystery in England’s Bishop’s Lacey.

A Red Herring Without Mustard is no exception to Bradley’s shrewd yet perky series, and easily falls in with Flavia’s past footsteps of messy murder and mischief. Once again, the cheeky eleven-year-old super sleuth has found herself a fresh body (dead, of course) on the old Buckshaw estate and aims to get to the bottom of things.

“I have no fear of the dead,” quips Flavia. “Indeed, in my own limited experience I have found them to produce in me a feeling that is quite the opposite of fear. A dead body is much more fascinating than a live one, and I have learned that most corpses tell better stories.”

And a good story it is. Though from a comparative standpoint Herring fizzled a touch for me at the end, its ramped-up eerie factor brought about a fine balance making A Red Herring Without Mustard a delicious read.

For those of you who are already hooked on the series, Bradley’s next Flavia de Luce novel is titled I Am Half-Sick of Shadows, and will be released in the United States on November 1, 2011. Yes, just in time for Christmas.

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-Post by Megan Shaffer

Related Links

NLR’s review of The Weed That Strings the Hangman’s Bag

– Review of Red Herring from National Post

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Filed under A Red Herring Without Mustard, Alan Bradley, Authors, Book Reviews

Flavia de Luce Strikes Again!

Cover ImageIt’s no secret that I loved Alan Bradley’s Dagger Award Winner The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie. Therefore, I’m happy to announce that the plucky, winsome eleven-year-old chemist Flavia de Luce is back and better than ever in Bradley’s latest release The Weed that Strings the Hangman’s Bag.

Yes, the second book in the Flavia de Luce mystery series is even, dare I say, cleverer than the first. Why? Perhaps because both Alan Bradley and Flavia are a bit bolder and a bit more daring (of course I realize that one supersedes the other). Though Flavia continues to sport a respectful air toward her elders, her inner dialogue in The Weed that Strings the Hangman’s Bag is sheer wit and genius.

Alan Bradley is a risk taker with interpretation (just look at his titles) and an absolute superstar with a simile. Ramping up both character and plot, The Weed that Strings the Hangman’s Bag is pure head candy sprinkled with smarts.  Whether you read The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie or not, Bradley’s second shot is a hit and not to be missed.

Related Links

Poem: Sir Walter Raleigh to His Son

Jack and the Beanstalk

*Support your local bookstores, libraries, and universities. It matters.

-Post by Megan Shaffer

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Filed under Alan Bradley, Authors, Book Reviews, The Weed that Strings the Hangman's Bag