Sunday, March 21, 2010
THE WEED THAT STRINGS THE HANGMAN'S BAG by Alan Bradley (2010)
In this second whodunnit by Bradley , eleven year-old chemistry whiz and neighborhood snoop Flavia de Luce finds herself muddling her way through another mystery in 1950 Bishop's Lacey--the sleepy English town where she is to the manor born.
There are two deaths that demand Flavia's sleuthing attention: a 5 year-old hanging of a young boy and the likely electrocution of a famous visiting puppeteer who expires in full view of his audience.
While she pieces together the clues, Flavia is faced with the irritating teenish behaviour of her older sisters Daffy (Daphne) and Feely (Ophelia) that temporarily distracts her, though she is reassured in her quest by her father's faithful servant Dogger who acts as her conscience.
Again, Bradley has wound a tale that is intriguing and playful and mischievous: Flavia's precocity is just what the doctor ordered.