Saturday, June 5, 2010
The Weed That Strings the Hangman's Bag by, Alan Bradley ~~Review
The Weed That Strings the Hangman's Bag by, Alan Bradley
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?
Flavia reminds me of an amalgamation of Pippi Longstockings and the best of all teen detectives! I wish these books had been out when I was in high school because Flavia makes chemistry interesting!
Flavia is Precocious, humorous and a Genius a somewhat scary genius at times but one none the less. I saw an interview on Library Thing with Alan Bradley where he was asked how he imagines Flavia as an adult and he said either the world’s greatest Chemist or the World’s Greatest Criminal Poisoner and I have to agree with him there!
Flavia is believable because people tell her things without even realizing they have done so because she is a child they let their guard down.
This was a great story, it kept me guessing and I didn’t figure it out till Flavia did so that’s a great mystery!
I can’t wait for the next installment in this series!
4 ½ Stars