Reviews for Weed That Strings the Hangman's Bag : A Flavia De Luce Mystery


Booklist Reviews 2010 February #2
Flavia, the precocious, imaginative, and adorable 11-year-old sleuth, returns for her second adventure. It's a mystery in itself how a mature male author can pen the adventures of such a young female child and keep readers believing in the fantasy. Flavia's world is 1950s England--specifically, a very old country house that just happens to have a long-abandoned chemistry laboratory. And Flavia just happens to be fascinated by chemistry--particularly poisons. This helps her solve mysteries because, as Flavia says, "There's something about pottering with poisons that clarifies the mind." This time she becomes involved with the members of a traveling puppet show that features the tale of Jack and the Beanstalk. When the puppetmaster is mysteriously electrocuted during the show, Flavia knows it can't be an accident and eventually finds the murderer. The rest of Flavia's family are also eccentric, to say the least, and add greatly to the overall fun. Thank goodness Bradley is not allowing Flavia to grow up too quickly; we need more sleuths whose primary mode of transportation is a bicycle. Copyright 2010 Booklist Reviews.

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Kirkus Reviews 2010 January #1
Almost 11 and keen on poisons, Flavia de Luce gets a second chance to broaden her lethal knowledge.Roused from a detailed fantasy of her own funeral by a nosy jackdaw and the sound of a woman weeping, Flavia encounters Mother Goose--or so the pretty redhead introduces herself. Actually Nialla only plays the role in Rupert Porson's puppet show, currently bogged down with van trouble. The vicar of Bishop's Lacey suggests a mechanic and puts the puppeteer and his assistant up with the Inglebys at Culverhouse Farm. Rupert will repay the help by staging his production of "Jack and the Beanstalk" at St. Tancred's parish hall. Oddly, although Rupert claims never to have met the Inglebys before, his Jack puppet bears the face of their son Robin, deceased five years ago in what a 1945 inquest termed misadventure. Inspector Hewitt, whose first acquaintance with Flavia (The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie, 2009) solved a murder, must wait patiently once more while Flavia chats up the neighbors, breaks into the library, researches the past, washes down scones, horehound candies and cucumber sandwiches with tea, and sabotages a box of chocolates meant for one of her tormenting sisters.A gloriously eccentric cast of characters, from Flavia's dad, whose stamp collection is bankrupting the ancestral digs, to her sisters Ophelia and Daphne, who tell Flavia she was a foundling. There's not a reader alive who wouldn't want to watch Flavia in her lab concocting some nefarious brew. Copyright Kirkus 2010 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

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Library Journal Reviews 2010 February #1

When our heroine, conducting a mock funeral for herself in the village churchyard, encounters a weeping red-headed woman, the 11-year-old's precocious wit and sympathy immediately charm the tearful Nialla: "I like you, Flavia de Luce." The many readers who made Bradley's The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie a best seller will concur, and newcomers, too, will fall under Flavia's spell in this second sleuthing adventure. Nialla is the assistant to master puppeteer Rupert Porson, whose van has broken down in the English hamlet of Bishop's Lacey. When he is fatally electrocuted during a performance, Nialla becomes a suspect in his murder. Putting aside her chemistry experiments and poisoning plots against her tormenting older sisters, Flavia sets out on her trusty bike, Gladys, to investigate. VERDICT While the plot at times stretches credulity, with some characters veering close to Agatha Christie stereotypes, Flavia is such an entertaining narrator that most readers will cheerfully go along for the ride. Sure to appeal to Anglophiles and mystery fans nostalgic for the genre's Golden Age. [See Prepub Mystery, LJ 11/1/09; see Prepub Alert, LJ 11/1/09; library marketing; available as an ebook and unabridged CD.]--Wilda Williams, Library Journal

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Library Journal Reviews 2009 November #1
After the international best seller The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie, plucky girl detective Flavia sets out to solve another murder when a puppeteer drops dead midshow. Library marketing. Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.

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Publishers Weekly Reviews 2010 January #4

Bradley's endlessly entertaining follow-up to 2009's The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie finds precocious 11-year-old Flavia de Luce once again indulging her curiosity about corpses. Wandering near her threadbare ancestral home in early 1950s England, Flavia bumps into famed TV puppeteer Rupert Porson and his pregnant wife, who have been marooned by an ailing van. While they wait for repairs to be completed, they agree to put on a performance for the village of Bishop's Lacey--but Rupert's sudden death ends the show. Feigning an innocence entirely at odds with her shrewdness about adult doings, Flavia uses her skills in chemistry and questioning to puzzle out which of the many possible suspects murdered Rupert and why. The author deftly evokes the period, but Flavia's sparkling narration is the mystery's chief delight. Comic and irreverent, this entry is sure to build further momentum for the series. (Mar.)

[Page 101]. Copyright 2010 Reed Business Information.

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