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In spite of being ejected from Miss Bodycote's Female Academy in Canada, 12-year-old Flavia de Luce is excited to be sailing home to England. But instead of a joyous homecoming, she is greeted on the docks with unfortunate news: Her father has fallen ill, and a hospital visit will have to wait while he rests. But with Flavia's blasted sisters and insufferable cousin underfoot, Buckshaw now seems both too empty - and not empty enough.
Only too eager to run an errand for the vicar's wife, Flavia hops on her trusty bicycle, Gladys, to deliver a message to a reclusive wood-carver. Finding the front door ajar, Flavia enters and stumbles upon the poor man's body hanging upside down on the back of his bedroom door. The only living creature in the house is a feline that shows little interest in the disturbing scene. Curiosity may not kill this cat, but Flavia is energized at the prospect of a new investigation. It's amazing what the discovery of a corpse can do for one's spirits. But what awaits Flavia will shake her to the very core.
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By GSDNH on 09-29-16
Jayne Entwistle Brings Flavia to Life
These are excellent audio books with Jayne Entwistle giving voice to Flavia in the way Jim Dale gives voice to Harry Potter. I can't hear it any other way. This was another fine addition to the series but I highly recommend starting with the first, The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie. Set in post World War II England, the highly intelligent 11-year-old Flavia de Luce solves crimes in her community. Where precocious children can get on my last nerve in stories, Flavia never does. I thoroughly enjoy her exploits and investigations. Highly recommended.
8 of 8 people found this review helpful
By Laurie A. Bobskill on 10-03-16
Maybe the best yet
In a way this is a stronger story than the earlier (delightful) books in the series.
Flavia has been an archetypal childish heroine, a British Anne of Green Gables who could hold her own with Tom Sawyer.
In The Brinded Cat she is growing up, but in a way true to her character. She has flashes of insight into her own motivations and those of others that we haven't seen in the earlier books. She is just as amusing (and auto-amused) as always, and the story follows a similar trajectory--discovery of a corpse, detection, resolution--but there's more to this book, and in the end we begin to see where the story may lead.
The combination of Alan Bradley's storytelling and Jayne Entwistle's performance is perfect. (Entwhistle does a pretty fair North American accent, a humorous bonus.)
Just two criticisms.
Thomas the cat must be Thomasina or a very rare mosaic, if feline coat color genetics are to be believed.
And I'd like a better-explained wrapup of the author-turned-woodcarver mystery.
But given the quality of the whole, I'm happy to settle for less.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful