I am a big Flavia de Luce fan. I have read the whole series and recommended it to loads of people. I have written about it twice here too. I love Flavia and her adventures. I love how dry her personality is and how smart she is not just with chemistry, but also in solving her various cases. Trouble follows her and she really couldn’t be happier about that. It is something I love about her.
It was with baited breath I waited for this latest installment – “Thrice the Brinded Cat Hath Mew’d”. This is the 8th installment in the series and it released in late September 2016. As soon as the preorder was available I signed up and waited. My anticipation and expectation may have been a bit high because I was so excited!
The story starts with Flavia coming back from Canada to bad news. She learns her father has taken ill and is in the hospital with pneumonia. Home doesn’t feel the same as it has – her sister Feely and Dieter have broken up, Daffy and Undine are in her way and it is Christmas but doesn’t feel it. There is a real emptiness. She is supposed to visit her father in the hospital the next morning, but the matron has turned them away because her father is just too sick and needs to rest. She decides to go visit Cynthia, the vicar’s wife, instead and is sent on a errand to fetch old Mr. Sambridge to fix some of the woodwork in the church. Upon getting to his house, she finds the door ajar and Sambridge isn’t answering. Being Flavia, she decides to have a quick look around, and finds the old man strapped to the back of a door and dead. Her disappointing homecoming is somehow forgotten as she dives into solving this new mystery and she wants to do it before Inspector Hewitt is able. We are taken to London where we get to meet back up with Mrs. Bannerman, one of my favorite characters from “As Chimney Sweepers Come to dust” but mainly stay close to the village.
While the book will probably do well to stand on it’s own, it does have flash backs to other books and prior situations which may leave a new reader a bit lost or wondering about what had happened or lead up to the situation.
The original list of characters is back with all of the sisters, Dogger, Gladys and more. I have to be honest, I was really missing all of them in the last book, “As Chimney Sweepers Come to Dust”. I will say that this book left me hanging and in a very sad way at the end. I will not give anything away, but American’s are used to tidy happy endings, and this was not that. In fact, it sets us up for the next book and now I am going to have to wait impatiently for that one.
I enjoyed this book quite a bit, but maybe not as much as earlier contributions. I recommend it thought, especially if you are a Flavia fan like me!