Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Nicki Talks About the Flavia de Luce Series

Okay, everyone. I haven't really talked about books in a while. So I'm going to talk about the Flavia de Luce series, by Alan Bradley. It's one of my favorite series. There are four books out, and there are going to be a total of ten in the series.

Book 1: The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie

Eleven-year-old Flavia de Luce's sister's have locked her in a closet. Since Flavia doesn't won't take that lying down, the aspiring young chemist adds poison ivy to her sister's lipstick. But soon she has other things on her mind. A dead bird shows up on the front porch, a stamp on its beak. Then a late night visitor appears, and Flavia finds a dying man alone in the cucumber patch at Buckshaw, Flavia's home. He breathes his last words to her - "Vale." Flavia finds this all thrilling and determines to find what who killed him. Or who. And find out who left a dead bird on the porch. Soon, she finds herself in the middle of a mystery involving stamps, a magician, and the death of a local schoolteacher years before.

Book 2 : The Weed that Strings the Hangman's Bag

When a puppet show comes to her home, Bishop's Lacey, Flavia is excited, like any other eleven-year-old would be. When the puppeteer becomes the victim of electrocution, during the middle of a production of Jack and the Beanstalk, Flavia decides to solve the murder. Relying on her knowledge of chemistry and Gladys, her trusty bicycle, she starts to uncover the mystery. Between her sister's attempts to convince her she's adopted and Flavia's attempts to poison them, she uncovers secrets concerning the death of a little boy many years ago.

Book 3: A Red Herring without Mustard

When Flavia finds a gypsy woman nearly dead inside her caravan, she does what she thinks best. She gets help, then decides to solve the mystery for herself. Again. She discovers that a local family suspects the woman of kidnapping their baby son years ago. And a body is discovered at her home, murdered. Again.

Book 4: I Am Half-Sick of Shadows

It's Christmas, and Flavia is determined to catch Saint Nick to prove he's real. But that's not all. A film is being shot at Buckshaw! Flavia instantly becomes friends with the lead actress, Phyllis Whyvern. After putting on a charity show, the actress is found in by Flavia her room, strangled, a ribbon tied around her neck in an elaborate knot. And the whole of Flavia's hometown is at Buckshaw, wintering a storm. The aspiring chemist must find the culprit for the murder, but, when she does, will she escape?

My thoughts on these books.

I really enjoy them. Flavia is great. Her fastination with poison got me interested in it enough to do a little research. (Hence, the posts on poisonous plants on, which is my other blog.) I would love to spend some time in her lab with her. There are some people, though, who don't like her. My mom and sister, for example. I really like Flavia. I don't actually like chemistry all that much, but she makes it sound so interesting.