It does not seem like it, but five years have passed since the first book in the Flavia de Luce series, The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie, came out and caught my heart.
Flavia, still 11 years old (almost 12) after all these years, has been an annual delight –
- The Sweetness At the Bottom of the Pie (2009)
- The Weed That Strings the Hangman’s Bag (2010)
- A Red Herring Without Mustard (2011)
- I Am Half Sick of Shadows (2011)
- Speaking From Among the Bones (2013)
- The Dead in Their Vaulted Arches (2014)
Alan Bradley, who was born in Toronto, has hit on a formula that brings this reader back for more – an 11-year-old chemistry whiz living in a crumbling manor in England solves mysteries for the local police, dodges the daggers of disdain and dislike issuing from her two older sisters (one a face in the mirror otherwise found at the piano and the other an obsessive reading fixture in the library), and pines for her mother, Harriet, who went missing while mountain-climbing when Flavia was but a baby. Her father seems to love nothing but his stamp collection, and a dogsbody named Dogger keeps the family largely on course with the help of a hapless housekeeper whose meals resemble nothing so much as stone soup.