Monday, February 6, 2012

Flavia de Luce

If you haven't met Flavia de Luce yet, I hope you have the opportunity soon. Although visitors to Bishop's Lacey seem to get attacked or killed a lot. I just finished reading A Red Herring Without Mustard, by Alan Bradley. It is the third book in a series that will consist of at least ten (four have been published, so far).

Flavia is eleven years old. It's 1950, and she lives in her ancestral home Buckshaw outside the English village of Bishop's Lacey. Her mother died when she was a baby, and now she lives with her sad father, the former colonel and current philatelist, and her older sisters Ophelia and Daphne. Flavia is smart, independent and has a fondness for chemistry and poisons. She is a wonderful character.

This book begins when Flavia accidentally sets a gypsy's tent on fire then invites the gypsy to stay at the family estate for as long as she needs. After the gypsy is attacked and someone else is murdered, Flavia sets about solving the mystery. I wonder when she goes to school?

I don't think this is my favorite of the three Flavia books I've read so far, but it is still a lot of fun. It gives a little more insight into Flavia's character, such as her need for a friend and her relationship to her parents than the previous books. It's fun to follow her as she solves the crime. Alan Bradley writes beautifully and the characters are distinctive and well fleshed-out.


  1. I recently read "I Am Half-sick of Shadows" which brings a film company - and a murder - to the estate. Of course, it's Flavia to the rescue when the police are slow to pick up on the pertinent clues! She also devises a plan to see if Father Christmas is real!

  2. Oh my gosh! I just discovered Flavia in December in reading The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie! BEST. MYSTERY. EVER. (I honestly think so.) I wanted to EAT the sentences they were so delicious.