There is something about fall weather that makes you want to curl up with a good mystery. While the York County Library has plenty of mysteries to choose from, Thrice the Brinded Cat Hath Mew'd—the latest Flavia de Luce mystery by Alan Bradley—should surely be at the top of your list.
The precocious 11-year-old debuted in 2009 with The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie. In it, we meet Flavia de Luce, a young girl living in her family's crumbling manor home in the English countryside in 1950. She spends her days in her beloved chemistry lab while hiding from her encounters with her dreaded older sisters. But life gets a whole lot more exciting when she witnesses a death in her garden and sets out to solve the mystery before her father takes the blame.
Seven books later, and the now 12-year-old returns home from a banishment to a girl's academy in Canada to find her father is sick and her family just as strange as always. On an errand from the vicar's wife, Flavia finds another body, setting off a new mystery that will take all of Flavia's skills to solve.
It can be difficult for an author to keep a series fresh and new, especially when the main character ages merely a year in eight books. But Bradley does a fine job of balancing the familiar that bring readers back with the unknown that keeps them guessing. While still her precocious, witty self, Flavia has matured thanks to her experiences in the previous books. However, Flavia's outlook is darker than in previous outings. Never meant as a book for children despite the young protagonist, Flavia's asides have taken on a more depressed tone, as if to convey the tragedy that she has dealt with in the past and must deal with by the end of this tale.
Despite the darker tone, the book is a satisfying entry in the Flavia de Luce series. Though regular readers may find it easy to guess some of the twists, Bradley is always able to provide at least one surprise.
While there is nothing out there quite like Flavia de Luce, readers who like Flavia may also like the following:
To request your copy, log in to our online catalog today.