Tuesday, February 8, 2011

The Return of Flavia de Luce in Book Three

One of the most highly acclaimed new mystery series in recent years has been the delightful Flavia de Luce series, written by Alan Bradley. I wrote about the first book, The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie, when it came out in 2009. The second book, The Weed That Strings the Hangman's Bag, was published in 2010. These books have received several awards from readers and organizations, including the Crime Writers' Association Debut Dagger Award, Barry Award, Agatha Award, MacCavity Award, Dilys Winn Award, and Arthur Ellis Award.

Today the third book in the series comes out (and at the same time the paperback version of The Weed That Strings the Hangman's Bag): A Red Herring Without Mustard. When I first wrote about the series, I described it as Nancy Drew meets Harriet the Spy for grown-ups. The newest installment once again features the unflappable, insidiously clever, and just a little bit cheeky eleven-year-old sleuth Flavia de Luce, living in a broken down mansion with her father and sisters in the hamlet of Bishop's Lacey in post-WWII rural England.

The Red Herring Without Mustard involves a cantankerous old Gypsy woman who reads Flavia's palm, a murdered local layabout, and a village baby who went missing years ago. Flavia's deceased mother, Harriet, also plays a role.

While I haven't yet read the newest book, I expect it to once again tickle my fancy. The books are terrific for anyone who appreciates a little whimsy and clever humor with their mysteries and who isn't keen on gore and high body counts. I highly recommend the series, and it's been quite popular with our customers.

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