Monday, August 31, 2015

A Red Herring Without Mustard by Alan C. Bradley


In the third installment of this bestselling, award-winning, sister-poisoning, bicycle-riding, murder-investigating, and utterly captivating series, Flavia de Luce must draw upon Gypsy lore and her encyclopaedic knowledge of poisons to prevent a grave miscarriage of justice.

My take: 4 looks

Another wonderful book in the Flavia de Luce series! Bradley delights in the same vein as the great Agatha Christie when it comes to British villainy. The protagonist, Flavia, is so very charming, quick-witted, and intelligent. The fact that all of these are far beyond her young 11 years adds to the charm of this larger-than-life heroine.

Faced this time with an injured Gypsy, lots of stolen loot, and a dissident religious sect, it is a mile-a minute romp in which Flavia again turns to her laboratory and reliance on chemistry to find the killer. Working with the police inspector, and sometimes behind his back, Flavia is the precocious girl we all wanted to be when we were young. With her trusty bicycle Gladys and her stalwart groundskeeper, Dogger, she is ready to face the secrets hidden right under her nose.

This book, while it can be read as a stand-alone, provides additional insight into Buckshaw, Harriett, and Falvia's father's financial concerns. The mystery is compelling, introducing temporary characters, bringing back familiar Bishops Lacey's characters, and tying it all up at the end with a nice, tight ribbon.

Bradley has six in this series, and I am keen to read each one.

Highly recommended.

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