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Book Review

Publisher's Note:

On a spring morning in 1951, eleven-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 anyt…

Overall Book Review:

Flavia De Luce is a spunky young girl who has a nose for mystery and shenanigans. She has starred in several previous novels by Alan Bradley, and I would highly recommend reading those if you haven’t yet. In this newest book, Flavia is discovering her family life may be in more turmoil than she thought. Not only do her sisters seem to despise her, but her beloved father might be keeping some deep, dark secrets. Her deceased mother’s body has been recovered from her “accident” in the mountains, and so Flavia and her family must begin grieving again for their loss.

If you are in the mood for a light mystery that is fun and fast paced, this book is perfect for a cozy read. Though you may want to start this series from the beginning with the book The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie, it’s not necessary to understand the storyline. This delectable story will leave you wanting more adventures with its young protagonist, so be sure to read all of the books Flavia De Luce solves mysteries in!

This book was sent to Compass Book Ratings for review by Delacorte Books

Content Analysis:

Profanity/Language:  2 religious exclamations; 3 mild obscenities.

Violence/Gore:  A character is killed in an accident, blood is mentioned briefly and the accident is described with a little detail; a character is pulled under a train when it is leaving the station, this is mentioned several times but with no explicit detail; a character dies in a mountaineering incident supposedly, later it is revealed her death may have been under more dire circumstances.

Sex/Nudity:  Adults kiss.

Mature Subject Matter:

Poisoning; death of a parent

Alcohol / Drug Use:

Adults smoke; adults drink on occasion

Overall Book Rating

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About the Reviewer

Books and reading have always been an important part of my life. When I was very young, my grandma was the library director at our local public library. Years later, after she had retired, I became a librarian at the same library and worked there for several years before taking a part-time job at a local coffee shop, which gives me more time to do what I love, to read and to review books! A few of my favorite authors are Aimee Bender, Diane Chamberlain, and Curtis Sittenfeld however, I will read almost any book I come across! In my spare time you can find me reading (of course), volunteering at a wildlife animal rehab, or hanging out with my two house rabbits.