4.5 out of 5 Stars
I am currently waiting not so patiently for the latest installment of the Flavia de Luce series. The new title is “Thrice the Brinded Cat Hath Mew’d“. This is the 9th book in the series and is set to release on 20 Sept 2016. I have had my preorder in since Amazon sent me the link!
Flavia is such a wonderful character and I fell in love with her completely in the first book “Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie“. She is fiery, smart, independent, young (some times the youth and curiosity can take us wonderful places), and just fun. All traits I love in my characters. She has a wicked, sharp sense of humor which is beyond her years, yet an innocence that really shows that she is a child still.
Flavia lives in England in the 1950s. The war has been over for a few years and the aristocracy is suffering from the crumbling of the social networks that have long been in place. Flavia comes from a family who was once very wealthy and they still live in the their beloved family called Buckshaw. The family is in terrible risk of losing the home they love because years before Flavia’s mother passed away in a mountain climbing accident in Nepal and the house belonged to her. There was no will found and the family has struggled to hold onto their possessions. In the first book Flavia is 11 years old and the youngest of 3 girls. She is a wiz with chemistry and likes to play tricks on her sisters who are of a certain age and are finding the boys quite lovely. Flavia is left to her own devices most of the time and she comes and goes as she wishes.
One day a bird is found on their door step with a stamp skewered on it’s beak, which is quite unusual. A little while later Flavia finds a man dying in the garden and this is where the true adventure starts.
Each book has a murder or a mystery of some sort and Flavia puts herself right in the middle of things to help solve the case, much to the Inspectors disapproval. Because things happen in a specific order, I would recommend reading the series from book one. The murders/mysteries aren’t important in order, but the background story of her family is important to stick with the order of things to really understand what is going on. You could pick up anywhere, but you will really be missing out.
What I love about this series is a man is writing from the perspective of an 11-year-old girl. Normally this doesn’t work for me, but this character does. I want to be in her world. I want to be her friend. For me she is really fun and just a joy to be around and I miss her when I am between books and waiting for the next.
I have loved each of the books. I must say my least favorite so far is “As the Chimney Sweepers Come to Dust”. I think it will likely be an important bridge book (I am hoping that is the case), but Flavia goes to school in Canada, and she leaves behind so many of the other characters I love – Gladys her trusty bike for instance. And her family. And the Inspector. There were new characters that were great, but it just wasn’t the same.
It seems she is going home in this new book and I can’t wait!!
The Book Series in order:
- The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie (2009)
- The Weed That Strings the Hangman’s Bag (2010)
- A Red Herring without Mustard (2011)
- I Am Half-Sick of Shadows (2011)
- Speaking from Among the Bones (2013)
- The Dead in their Vaulted Arches (2014)
- The Curious Case of the Copper Corpse (2014-this is a short story only available as an ebook)
- As Chimney Sweepers Come to Dust (2015)
- Thrice the Brinded Cat Hath Mew’d (releasing 20 Sept 2016)