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review 2017-08-30 17:18
The Dead in Their Vaulted Arches - Alan Bradley

How much did I love this story!!  My favorite of the series so far.  The writing is superb, the storyline engaging, and Flavia and household are always fun to spend time with.  When I listen on Audible (on my work commute) Jayne Entwistle brings it all to life perfectly - she is an absolute delight to listen to.   

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review 2017-08-11 16:24
"The Weed That Strings The Hangman's Bag - Flavia de Luce #2" by Alan Bradley
The Weed That Strings the Hangman's Bag - Alan Bradley

This is the second book about eleven-year-old Flavia De Luce, who was first introduced in "The Sweetness At The Bottom Of The Pie", where she put her considerable talents to work in solving a murder her father had been accused of.


In this instalment, Flavia becomes involved with a travelling puppeteer who has a show on the BBC, a shocking murder and ripples from the death of young boy, alone in the woods.


It's a decent mystery in its own right, steeped in the atmosphere of rural England after the Second World War, but what makes it exceptional is Flavia De Luce herself.

She is a wonderfully wrought character: dauntless, clever, manipulative, and eccentric in the great English aristo tradition. She is fascinated by and skilled in making poisons. She knows how to get people to tell things they would never otherwise reveal and she is relentless in her quest to find out who did what and why.


All this makes her rather intimidating. Flavia knows this of course. At one point, when she shows too much insight into the affairs of a young woman she is helping, the young woman points it out to her:

“You are terrifying,” Nialla said. “You really are. Do you know that?” We were sitting on a slab tomb in the churchyard as I waited for the sun to dry my feverish face. Nialla put away her lipstick and rummaged in her bag for a comb. “Yes,” I said, matter-of-factly. It was true—and there was no use denying it.'

During the denouement, Flavia reveals a crucial piece of information to the Detective Inspector debriefing her. When he turns to his team, demanding to know why they didn't know this,  the response is:

"With respect, sir." Sergeant Woolmer ventured, "it could be because we're not Miss De Luce

For all her ferocious intellect and startling precocity,  she is still an eleven-year-old girl. She is observant enough to uncover an affair but innocent enough not to be entirely sure exactly what is involved in such an undertaking.


She is also a lonely girl without enough love in her life. Her elder sisters treat her badly. Her father is distant, repressed and as obsessed with stamps as Flavia is with poisons. Her mother is dead and her only connection to her is to sit in the Rolls she owned or to ride the bike she used, which she has rechristened Gladys and sometimes treats as if it were sentient.


Flavia is not a girl who is trying to be older. Above all, she seems to be trying just to be herself which she does with great self-assurance. When she turns up late (again) and her father describes her as "Utterly unreliable:" she thinks to herself

Of course I was! It was one of the things I loved most about myself. Eleven-year-olds are supposed to be unreliable.


Flavia knows that she is willing to overstep the bounds of politeness and perhaps even decency, to get the infomation she wants but she's reconciled to that aspect of herself. She says:

Sometimes I hated myself. But not for long.

This was a delightful read and a pleasing sequel. I will be back for more.

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review 2017-07-30 23:59
Always Fun Spending Time with Miss Flavia & Co.
Speaking from Among the Bones - Alan Bradley

Another fun read is this book #5 in the Flavia de Luce series.  Don't want to spoil anything, but when you reach the final page...  let's just say I'm glad book #6 was on my shelf ready to open! 

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review 2017-05-01 13:43
Flavia de Luce 8 - Mord ist nicht das letzte Wort von Alan Bradley
Flavia de Luce 8 - Mord ist nicht das letzte Wort: Roman - Alan Bradley,Gerald Jung

Wie, was und wer?


Ach, wie lange musste ich auf einen weiteren Flavia de Luce - Band warten? Lange, viel zu lange nach meinem Geschmack und noch schlimmer, ich muss jetzt wieder ewig warten!!! 

Denn der neue Band ist schwupdiwups schon ausgelesen und eigentlich möchte ich sofort wissen, wie geht es weiter mit meinen Freunden auf Buckshaw!


Aber der Reihe nach...

Ander als viele andere Autoren gelingt es Alan Bradley, dass seine Reihe um die 12-jährige, zugegeben neunmalkluge und nerdige Flavia im ländlichen England der 50er Jahre immer spannender und nicht langweiliger wird. Da können sich andere mal ein paar Scheibchen abschneiden. 

Im neuen Band ist Flavia wieder zurück aus dem "Exil" des kanadischen Internets und erwartet eigentlich ein großes Begrüßungskomitee, aber nix da... keiner scheint sie so recht vermisst zu haben von der de Luce-Sippe, denn Colonel de Luce ist schwer krank und die Sorge um ihn, treibt alle um. Da braucht es schon eine Leiche, um die Spürnase Flavia abzulenken und auf andere Gedanken zu bringen. 


Der Fall war ganz schön verzwickt, aber letztlich passend und es machte Spaß, gemeinsam in Wohnungen herumzuschnüffeln, Aufflüge nach London zu machen oder Leute auszufragen. Flavia hat es echt drauf! 

Das Ende, also das Buchende, ist hingegen nicht so erbaulich und lässt den geneigten Leser nach einer Fortsetzung gieren.


Es gibt 5 von 5 Sternen für eine tolle, unterhaltsame und Chemikalien reiche Lektüre!!!



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quote 2017-05-01 13:29
Dabei sind die traumlosen Nächte manchmal die schlimmsten, weil man aus ihnen zurückkehrt, ohne zu ahnen, wo man war und was man getan hat.
Flavia de Luce 8 - Mord ist nicht das letzte Wort: Roman - Alan Bradley,Gerald Jung

Flavia de Luce 8 - Mord ist nicht das letzte Wort von Alan Bradley, Seite 330.

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