Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Book Review: A Red Herring Without Mustard by Alan Bradley

✰✰✰✰ Amateur sleuth and chemist, Flavia de Luce, is back in her third mystery. When Flavia accidentally sets a gypsy's tent on fire at the town fête, she decides that the least she can do is to allow the old woman and her caravan to stay on the de Luce family property. Unfortunately, Flavia had no way of knowing that the gypsy had previously been blamed for a child's disappearance many years ago. When the gypsy is attacked and beaten in the middle of the night, it's up to Flavia to figure out why. The investigation heats up when the gypsy's granddaughter, Porcelain, shows up and one of Flavia's suspects turns up dead. Flavia must figure out if the crimes are connected while uncovering many other secrets along the way.

The Bottom Line: The Flavia de Luce mystery series is one of my favorites. Like the first two books, A Red Herring Without Mustard, is an engaging tale told from Flavia's point of view. Flavia's passions for chemistry (especially poisons) and forensics continue to grow. As clever, spunky, and independent as ever, Flavia is growing up fast and at times can seem wise beyond her years. However, with this book Flavia's father and older sister, Ophelia, start to show some concern for the neglected 11 year old. Also, we get to learn more about the secrets of the family estate, Buckshaw. This quick read is highly recommended for everyone who loves cozy mysteries. It is appropriate for young adult and adult mystery fans.

Details: A Red Herring Without Mustard: A Flavia de Luce Novel by Alan Bradley. Hardcover published by Delacorte Press in 2011. 400 p. ISBN: 978-0-385-34232-2

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