Where I Got It: The library.
Who I Recommend This To: Mystery lovers, poison aficionados, and fans of precocious kids with English accents.
Narrator: Jayne Entwhistle
Publisher: Random House Audio (2009)
Length: 10 CDs
Series: Flavia de Luce Book 1
This was one of the most delightful mysteries I had read in some time. Set in 1950s England and told from the view point of the master slueth Flavia, an 11-year old girl, the reader is taken on bicycle rides, assists on chemistry experiments, and of course, solving a murder. Flavia is fascinated with chemistry in general and poisons in specific. Her knowledge of both drives this mystery and, without surprise, is key in solving the murder.Tormented by older siblings, ignored by most adults, motherless, and far too smart for her own good, Flavia steals the show. The mystery is centered on a small group of academics and philately (the study of stamps). And yes, there is pie. This book was fast-paced and over too soon. Luckily, there are more Alan C. Bradley mysteries waiting for me at the library.
The narrator Jayne Entwhistle did a marvelous job; I truly felt she was a kid again reading this book. I especially love how she made Flavia’s voice revel in the downhill bikerides and slip into seriousness over her chemistry or perk up at the thought of some mischievousness.
What I Liked: The poisons; the heroine is a well-grounded 11-year old girl; there’s stamp collecting; mystery kept me in suspense and guessing.
What I Didn’t like: Flavia’s choice in candies.
Note: This review was originally published on Darkcargo.com on 04/20/2011 and republished, and reformatted, here with permission of Lady Darkcargo.