This Alan Bradley series is one of my favorites to recommend to others. Light and fluffy I describe the protagonist as a young and plucky Jessica Fletcher, a la TV’s “Murder She Wrote.” At this point Flavia is a pre-teen and still using her smarts to solve murders in her village, and I find these books, and her, delightful.
This is the 8th installment and it’s been over a year since I read the 7th. As murder mysteries go, they have become a little predictable, not the outcomes persay, but there are a lot of familiar tropes, so I like have some time in between them. The mister bought me this one for Christmas and it was a cozy book to start off the new year.
The previous installment of this book was a departure from the series, Flavia was sent away to boarding school in…Canada? The U.S.? (Like I said, been a year). It was strange at the beginning but I was beginning to like the new setting and new characters, so it was a bit of a disappointment when this installment landed us right back in rainy ol’ England, but, it was a comfortable place to be.
One thing that elevates this series is that there is a great plot arc happening with Flavia and her family that moves forward in each installment, so it isn’t just murder of the week. There are serious things happening, sad things even, that our heroine has to navigate and adjust to, so the mystery is overlaid by that, which makes each book fresh.
I’m glad Mr. Bradley got into writing in his later years, and I will continue recommending the delightful Flavia to anyone who asks.