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Lunch » Tags » Books » Reviews » The Weed That Strings the Hangman's Bag: A Flavia de Luce Mystery (Flavia De Luce Mysteries) » User review

"Murder. I fear we have seen murder."

  • Feb 2, 2010
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It's always so refreshing to read a book that is not the typical cookie-cutter stuff. One with a main character who is just plain, old-fashioned fun and a story that keeps you guessing. As with his first novel, "The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie", Alan Bradley has such a story here.

The second book in a (reported) six-book series, "The Weed That Strings the Hangman's Bag" carries on a short while after Sweetness. Flavia de Luce is 11, still extremely precocious, and still (if not more so) mucking about with her precious chemistry. Of course, if said chemistry involves poison of *any* sort, then that makes for an even better time. As before, Flavia stumbles into a murder mystery, though this one is a bit more complicated than the last. But, as a brilliant 11-year-old girl, she is able to go places that even the Inspector cannot. This time, the death involves a famous puppeteer, who dies mid-performance after his van breaks down in Flavia's village. With her fascination for death, and her child's talent for being in the middle of absolutely everything, Flavia decides she must find out who killed Rupert Porson and why.

I eagerly awaited this sequel, having thoroughly enjoyed my first visit with Flavia. My anticipation was heartily rewarded. The story was quick-moving and entertaining, and reading a story about Flavia is like spending time with a particularly exasperating friend. The ending was not something I anticipated, and left me reading (far past my bedtime!) with my mouth hanging open to finish the last bit (explanations, you know).

I can honestly say that I don't recommend many books I read to many people - there are far too few that truly touch me. However, I can honestly say that I've recommended the first book (and will carry on with this one) to several people. With so much going on in the real world, and so many lukewarm or heavy-handed books, I quite enjoy just sitting down and having a bit of fun with a girl who makes a great companion for the journey.

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More The Weed That Strings the Hang... reviews
review by . February 11, 2010
         First, my thanks to the Amazon Vine Review program for both offering and sending me this book.      Second in the series featuring young Flavia de Luce, The Weed that Strings the Hangman's Bag has our young heroine embroiled in yet another sticky situation or two, trying to uncover the identity of a murderer who dared do the deed in the middle of a performance of Jack the Beanstalk at the village church. As it just so happens, Flavia and …
review by . March 11, 2010
"Eleven-year-olds are supposed to be unreliable. We're past the age of being poppets: the age where people bend over and poke us in the tum with their fingers and make idiotic noises that sound like `boof-boof'--just the thought of which is enough to make me bring up my Bovril. And yet we're still not at the age where anyone ever mistakes us for a grown-up. The fact is, we're invisible--except when we choose not to be." - From The Weed That Strings the Hangman's Bag (Book 2 in the Flavia De Luce …
review by . January 28, 2010
This second installment of the series is even more satisfying than the first; Flavia de Luce is without a doubt the most entertaining sleuth to make an appearance in decades. In this story, Flavia finds herself embroiled in the mysterious death of visiting puppeteer Rupert Porson, a BBC personality marooned in Bishop's Lacy by the breakdown of his van. As Flavia learns more about Rupert's many women, she is haunted as well by the bizarre hanging death of five year-old Robin Ingleby some years before.  &nb …
review by . January 26, 2010
Book 2 in the Flavia de Luce Mystery Series
“Eleven-year-olds are supposed to be unreliable. We’re past the age of being poppets: the age where people bend over and poke us in the tum with their fingers and make idiotic noises that sond like ‘boof-boof’—just the thought of which is enough to make me bring up my Bovril. And yet we’re still not at the age where anyone ever mistakes us for a grown-up. The fact is, we’re invisible—except when we choose not to be.” – From The Weed That …
About the reviewer
Beth C. ()
Ranked #270
I'm a SAHM of two, a board member of my son's charter school, and an avid reader. I am also an Amazon Vine member and the wife of a retired Coastie.
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About this book


Amazon Exclusive: An Essay by Alan Bradley

Flavia de Luce walked into my life one winter day, parked herself on a campstool, and refused to be budged.

It took me quite a while to realize that she wasn’t even faintly interested in the mystery novel I was attempting to write at the time: the one into which she had wandered. I found out quickly enough that Flavia wanted her own book--and that was that.

And it was just the beginning. There were still more problems to come.

The first was this: Flavia lived in 1950, while I was writing about her in 2006 and 2007.

As an author, it’s not as easy as you might think projecting--and keeping--your mind in a different century from your body--not without forever being yanked back into the present by everyday annoyances such as frozen water pipes, expiring license plates, incessantly barking dogs, and the need to shop for food.

Another problem was this: I lived on Canada’s west coast, where the clocks are set to Pacific Time, while Flavia lived in Bishop’s Lacey, England, which is on Greenwich Mean Time--a difference of nine hours. In practical terms, this meant that Flavia was raring to go every day just as I was getting ready for bed. Because there was no point in either of us being tired and cranky, we finally managed to work out a compromise in which I began awakening at 4:00 a.m. to write, while Flavia (rather impatiently) hung around until after lunch, waiting for me to show up.

As The Sweetness at ...

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ISBN-10: 0385342314
ISBN-13: 978-0385342315
Author: Alan Bradley
Publisher: Delacorte Press

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