Friday, April 6, 2012

F is For... Flavia

Good Evening Humble Readers...

I hope you'll take a minute and scroll down to my Foodie Friday post from earlier this evening.  I was very happy with how my Spring Chicken Stew turned out, and I hope you'll like it too. 

Tonight's post is brought to you by the letter F.  And I can't think of any fictional character other than the precocious Flavia De Luce.  Youngest daughter of the practically destitute Colonel Laurence De Luce, Flavia is 11 years old in 1950.  She has two older sisters who live to torment her, lives in a run down old manor house in England, and has a fascination with chemistry... poisons in particular. 

Shortly after we first encouter Miss Flavia, she discovers a dead body in the cucumber patch behind her house.  With this event, Flavia embarks on a mission to clear her father of the charge of murder leveled against him by the local pompous-yet-bumbling Inspector.  A boy-crazy eldest sister, a bookworm middle sister, a shell-shocked houseman, and a nosy housekeeper/terrible cook round out the De Luce household. 

Mix in a good dose of humor (Flavia, with her penchant for chemistry, manages to imbue her eldest sister's lipstick with the essential oil of poison ivy), an excellently written whodunit in the flavour of Agatha Christie and G.K. Chesterton, and the backdrop of a small English village recovering from the after-effects of WWII... it all adds up to a fun 'cottage' mystery. 

Sweetness At the Bottom of the Pie, The Weed That Strings The Hangman's Bag, A Red Herring Without Mustard, and I'm Half-Sick of Shadows are the first four in what is anticipated to be a series of ten books.  They are all great fun, and accessible for audiences from 9 to 90 years old. 

(Fun trivia... for a while, the author Alan Bradley lived in my hometown!  And he published the first Flavia book when he was 70 years old.  I guess that means there's still time for me to write and be published!)

Do you prefer cottage mysteries or the blood-and-guts variety?


  1. I don't prefer one type of mystery over the other. I just want a good story.

  2. 'Cottage' type. Many years ago, I enjoyed a set of books about a rabbi who solved murders by Harry Kemelman.

  3. I thought Flavia's character was neat! I only just read the first book. As for mysteries, I generally don't love reading them......

  4. Definitely cottage type. I have zero ability to deal with blood, gore, horror, etc without weeks of nightmares.


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