Monday, February 15, 2016
As Chimney Sweepers Come to Dust by Alan Bradley
The Flavia de Luce series is one of those rare collections of books that divides my family in opinion. My father finds Flavia too precocious (and thus unrealistic and somewhat irritating) for her purported age, while I consider her a brilliant heroine who makes me think of my beloved Nancy Drew, if Nancy had a lot more attitude and a fascination with chemistry and famous poisoners.
In this entry in the series, Flavia has been sent away from home to a boarding school. Homesick and feeling like an outcast, she soon finds her footing when she happens onto a corpse.
The mystery is exciting, full of intrigue, twists, turns, and a lot of highly unique characters. Readers (at least this reader) can't help but cheer for Flavia as she uses her immense intellectual aptitude to outsmart the adults around her, conduct clandestine chemistry experiments, and sneak around after hours in search of clues.
If you haven't read any of this series before, you should start with the first book in the series, The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie. I'm hopeful you'll agree with me, and walk away wanting to spend more time with the indomitable spirit of Flavia de Luce.