February 12, 2012

A Red Herring Without Mustard - Alan Bradley

This is the third Flavia de Luce mystery (there is a fourth one that came out just before Christmas - I am Half-Sick of Shadows - but this is one series that I tend to wait for in paperback). I was mildly entertained by the first two books (The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie and The Weed that Strings the Hangman's Bag), so figured that the series was worth sticking with.

What I liked and disliked about this book is pretty much the same as the other books. I thought that Flavia was just a bit to precocious to be believable as an 11 year old; and yet I loved the relationship between the 3 sisters and thought that was quite believable (as one of 3 sisters myself!).

As in the last book, there are several mysteries some of which are loosely tied together in the end. A gypsy woman is attacked in her caravan. A local fish-poacher and sometimes antiques-dealer is found murdered at Buckshaw (Flavia's home). And there seems to be something suspicious going on around an antiques shop.

In this book, Flavia does more active detective-ing than in the last book - rather than just overhearing gossip, she is out actively searching for clues. However, the longer that this series carries on, the more one has to wonder just how many murders can take place in a small village like Bishop's Lacey, and specifically Buckshaw. This is the same question that is always lurking in the back of my mind with successful mystery novels or television series (think Miss Marple or Midsomer Murders)...

So a pleasant, easy-reading diversion this week; and I will continue to follow this series, and I suspect that I will continue to enjoy it.

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