I loved this intelligent, smart-aleck-y 11 year old chemistry whiz. Jayne Entwistle is a perfect voice for her. Sometimes sweet, sometimes wistfully craving affection from her older sisters and remote father, sometimes the crafty brat getting revenge for the frequent unkindness of her sisters, often cocky and always independent--all those voices Entwistle does with aplomb.
Riding around her community on her bicycle, Gracie, which she anthropomorphizes into her best friend, she uses her lack of parental supervision, her wits, her chemistry and a good dash of 11 year old deviousness to find clues even the Inspector misses in this post-WWII English countryside setting.
You might think it a book for young adults and I suppose it could be (I sure would have enjoyed it), but it is a very worthy adult "read" and both myself and my husband fell for her completely.
I will be listening to this one again.
Yes, this reminds one of Nancy Drew (although much more complex), and yes the reader chooses a child like lisp, BUT, the book was a lot of fun and the reader very appropriate for the main character. Good for older children AND older adults!
The charm of this mystery lies in its refreshing sleuth--a cold-blooded, brilliantly precocious eleven-year-old girl named Flavia de Luce, who reminded me more than a little of Wednesday Addams. I am glad to discover that there has been a sequel.
I get why people like the book - the main character is adorable. BUT I couldn't understand what they were saying half the time, the accents were so thick. I ended up bored and never went back to it.
Irresistable! I agree with Jonathan of Ottowa's review wholeheartedly. This is one of two (so far) Flavia de Luce books by Alan Bradley - I think both are delightful. I highly recommend this series and hope Bradley will write more, and that Entwhistle will narrate them - she brings them so beautifully to life. The main character is a smart, witty, observant, precocious (in a fun, amusing way) Pippi Longstocking type character - full of mischief, independent spirit and bursting with the sheer joy of being alive. Flavia, whose mother died when she was one, lives with her sisters and father on her family's old country estate in England. She loves scientific experiments and solving mysteries. She weaves facts about science and history with funny and often wise observations about life - these contribute to and never get in the way of the flow of the story. The descriptions of English country life and of the landscape and village characters are also good and round out the story. It was an act of genius to pair this delightful heroine with narration by Jayne Entwhistle - It's an inspired combination that adds to the truly fun experience of listening to the story. I have been a member of audible for years and cannot remember enjoying a character or a story more than this. This book (as well as The Weed That Strings The Hangman's Bag) have made me smile and laugh out loud with the wit, spunkiness and vibrance that Entwhistle conveys through her narration of the character of Flavia. Please write more in this great series, Mr. Bradley, and please have Entwhistle narrate any forthcoming books in the series, Audible. Though written by a man, I think perhaps this series might appeal in a special way to females. It is not a children's book, but will appeal to persons of any age who remember what it was like to be eleven years and old and full of enthusiasm, curiosity and energy for life.
This is a prime example of a book that I would NEVER be able to get through a paper copy of, but the audio book is good fun and definitely worth using up a credit. This is because Jayne Entwistle is such a talented narrator with a truly delightful voice. She has good material to work with, however. Bradley's vivid imagery, clever use of idioms, and attention to even the smallest details, coupled with Entwistle's endearing British accent, make this a perfect read-aloud. I only gave it 3 stars because of several annoyingly unlikely coincidences in the story line.
If there were a 4.5 I would give it that. I really liked this book a great deal, but I just couldn't buy into the idea that this girl was 11 years old. I thought the character was both charming and smart, but I imagine her to be more like 15. Other than that the story was interesting and the writing was very well done, if a little flowery. I look forward to more from this author. And the narrator was great. I think she really brought Flavia alive for me.
The main character is a bit to clever compared to most young people i know. the knowledge and interest in chemistry at that age seems nearly impossible. The story itself was interesting and a fun listen, very appropriate for young adults. The narration is very nice, with a soft accent.