On a spring morning in 1951, 11-year-old chemist and aspiring detective Flavia de Luce gathers with her family at the railway station, awaiting the return of her long-lost mother, Harriet. Yet upon the train’s arrival in the English village of Bishop’s Lacey, Flavia is approached by a tall stranger who whispers a cryptic message into her ear. Moments later, he is dead, mysteriously pushed under the train by someone in the crowd. Who was this man, what did his words mean, and why were they intended for Flavia? Back home at Buckshaw, the de Luces’ crumbling estate, Flavia puts her sleuthing skills to the test. Following a trail of clues sparked by the discovery of a reel of film stashed away in the attic, she unravels the deepest secrets of the de Luce clan, involving none other than Winston Churchill himself. Surrounded by family, friends, and a famous pathologist from the Home Office - and making spectacular use of Harriet’s beloved Gipsy Moth plane, Blithe Spirit - Flavia will do anything, even take to the skies, to land a killer.
"If ever there were a sleuth who’s bold, brilliant, and, yes, adorable, it’s Flavia de Luce." (USA Today)
"Irresistibly appealing." (The New York Times Book Review, on A Red Herring Without Mustard)
"Flavia de Luce, irresistibly rendered once again by narrator Jayne Entwistle, is an 11-year-old wannabe detective who has a fully functional chemistry lab and a somewhat less functional family. Entwistle's posh accent reflects the family's more fortunate past, and she manages to capture both the child that Flavia mostly is as well as her slowly emerging maturity. Secondary characters are not neglected; Flavia's various relatives and friends--especially her sisters, an aunt, and the household help--are fully realized. Newcomers to the de Luce/Entwistle world may want to start with an earlier book, but starting somewhere is highly recommended." (AudioFile)
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One of my favorite series: try it!
- Chad E.