A Red Herring Without Mustard : Flavia de Luce Mysteries

  • by Alan Bradley
  • Narrated by Jayne Entwistle
  • Series: Flavia de Luce Mysteries
  • 10 hrs and 47 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Award-winning author Alan Bradley returns with another beguiling novel starring the insidiously clever and unflappable 11-year-old sleuth Flavia de Luce. The precocious chemist with a passion for poisons uncovers a fresh slew of misdeeds in the hamlet of Bishop’s Lacey—mysteries involving a missing tot, a fortune-teller, and a corpse in Flavia’s own backyard.
Flavia had asked the old Gypsy woman to tell her fortune, but never expected to stumble across the poor soul, bludgeoned in the wee hours in her own caravan. Was this an act of retribution by those convinced that the soothsayer had abducted a local child years ago? Certainly Flavia understands the bliss of settling scores; revenge is a delightful pastime when one has two odious older sisters. But how could this crime be connected to the missing baby? Had it something to do with the weird sect who met at the river to practice their secret rites? While still pondering the possibilities, Flavia stumbles upon another corpse—that of a notorious layabout who had been caught prowling about the de Luce’s drawing room.
Pedaling Gladys, her faithful bicycle, across the countryside in search of clues to both crimes, Flavia uncovers some odd new twists. Most intriguing is her introduction to an elegant artist with a very special object in her possession—a portrait that sheds light on the biggest mystery of all: Who is Flavia?
As the red herrings pile up, Flavia must sort through clues fishy and foul to untangle dark deeds and dangerous secrets.


What the Critics Say

“Flavia is incisive, cutting and hilarious . . . one of the most remarkable creations in recent literature.” (USA Today)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

An excellent addition to the series!

I loved the first two books in this series, and enjoyed this one even more. There are mysteries beyond each individual book that seem to be revealing themselves, and each contains a variety of interrelated stories surrounding colorful characters who become old friends. The story is sometimes very dark, sometimes very funny, as is Flavia herself. She can be a spoiled brat, a helpful neighbor, a sensitive soul, and a morbid sneak. All of these elements of her personality are captured perfectly by Jane Entwistle, the narrator. Although Flavia is a young girl from an aristocratic family of 1950s England, I find her easy to relate to and her world easy to imagine with the vivid descriptions by the author. Although the narration is from the perspective of a child, I don't see the series as children's books, though I think I would have loved them as a young teen. I'm looking forward to hearing about future developments in the fourth book.
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- Kelli


A previous reviewer claimed to be "Flavia'd out". After only THREE de-lightful romps with de Luce?! I say that is most definitely a person who doesn't love life or who is so bent down by the traumas of our time that he or she has no room for a little fun and a lot of joy. Alan Bradley never fails to give his readers a great time, like a day at the fair or a ringside seat at "The Greatest Show On Earth". Flavia is a precocious 11 year-old amateur chemist, part-time detective, and full-time pain in the rear-ends of adults. Not precocious in the "I want to smack this kid in the mouth" way. Flavia makes you remember when you were a kid and grown-ups paid no attention to you, talked around you and about you as if you weren't in the room, or gave you stupid admonishments like "Do as I say, not as I do"! Flavia's brilliant little mind always finds her in the middle of a murder but, unlike a regular pre-teen girl, she doesn't shy away or get the "vapors" over a little bit of decomposition. Instead her brain starts dissecting the crime in a way to be envied by the top Scotland Yard Inspector. I've read ALL of the books in the series and, at 63 years old, should have found nothing of interest in the machinations and misadventures of a girl young enough to be my grandchild. Yet, the one thing in common which we all have in common with Flavia de Luce is that, ONCE - for a mere 365 days - we were all 11 years-old.

Narrator Jayne Entwistle is the perfect voice for Flavia. She doesn't perform like an adult TRYING, but failing hopelessly, to imitate the voice of a child - Entwistle actually sounds like a young adolescent girl, complete with the tongue-in-cheek....well, "cheekiness" that IS Little Miss de Luce. Alan Bradley delivers another great story. I am definitely a fan and, in the future, will buy his Flavia books as soon as they are released!!! I'll never ever be "Flavia'd out" because I've got so much room in my life for a good time!! ❤️❤️👍❤️❤️
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- Linda Lou "OCD over books, listening to 1 a day; ANY genre, fact & fiction. Influenced by Audible reviewers so I keep mine unbiased - FRONT to BLACK!"

Book Details

  • Release Date: 02-08-2011
  • Publisher: Random House Audio