Sullivan Free Library's Blog

May 14, 2010

Like mystery?

For the fans of the mystery genre who prefer plot and style to gore and sex,  a new series by Canadian author Alan Bradley  is sure to please. His protagonist/detective is a character that readers won’t soon forget–Flavia Deluce, a precocious eleven-year old with a penchant for chemistry (speciality: poisons!) and deductive reasoning.

Flavia lives with her preoccupied father and two sisters in a dilapidated country  estate outside of London.   Her mother died when Flavia was a year old and her father’s  solace is his rare stamp collection, leaving Flavia to wander about the countryside with little supervision.

In the first mystery “The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie”, Flavia tries out her detective skills when a red-haired stranger show up dead in the family cucumber patch.  Her father appears to be a the mostly likely suspect, and Flavia sets out to solve the case herself before he is locked away forever and she has to live at the mercy of her two older sisters.  Published in 2009, “Sweetness” has already won a score of prestigious awards, including the 2009 Agatha Award for best novel.

The second book in the series is  “The Weed that Strings the Hangman’s Bag”  and once again, Flavia is putting her resources to work to solve a murder when a travelling puppet performer is electrocuted under suspicious circumstances during a performance.

Bradley has four more books planned in the series, all with equally intriguing titles.  He writes with humor and attention to detail.

If you like to listen to books, the audio versions are delightful; narrator Jayne Entwistle brings Flavia to life perfectly.

I fell in love with Flavia when she exclaimed, in the first book: “Heaven must be a place where the  library  is open seven…no! eight days a week.”

The books are available in large-type, hardcover and CD format through the Mid-York Library System.

For more information about the books and characters, visit:

KFT 5/14/10


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