Great story, though not my absolute favorite in the series, I'm chomping at the bits to listen to the next installment! Even though I found the ending slightly weak, it was a thoroughly satisfying read. Flavia, as always, was brilliant--a perfect mixture of Sherlock Holmes, Violet Baudelaire, and even Shinichi Kudo, (for all those anime fans out there).
While taking some getting used to, having read-not listened-to the first two books, the narrator does an excellent job overall & quickly transports listeners right into the story.
I would highly recommend this book to anyone; though I suggest consuming the first two in the series before jumping head first into this one.
My grandmother purchased this for me several years ago, and Flavia and I have become very chummy since. I adore these books!
I just love Flavia! Thank you, Alan Bradley, for creating this amazing character.
This book was great. The author is a master at character development and descriptions. I really enjoy the interaction between Flavia and the Inspector. I loved the hint at his wife, Antigone, getting to know Flavia more.
The very end was superb!
The narration makes these books. Jayne Entwistle is the perfect reader.
I am hooked on Flavia and her adventures. Thankfully, there are more ahead.
Just great listening. Such a terrific little heroine! I love her -- and her character is developing so nicely over time!
Alan Bradley excels in descriptive writing. There were times that I felt I was there, with Flavia, in the middle of a mystery. The problem was that it was not a good mystery. I really didn't like the story or the ending.
The character development was good, and this novel could have been converted into a drama, but the story line for the mystery, itself, meandered too much along the way going nowhere in particular until I lost interest.
The only reason I finished this one is because Jayne Entwistle's narration is so good that I just like to hear her read. She is an incredibly talented narrator who shines when she narrates different characters. She makes their voices and cadence very different each time, and she always adds drama to the plot with her intonations.
Overall, unless you're like me and you just like to hear Jayne Entwhistle reading something, skip this one.
Love books! Classics and lighter fiction, mysteries (not too violent please :-). And selective non-fiction--whatever takes my fancy.
It is challenging to say more about Flavia de Luce than has already been written. She is a precocious 11 year old, who seems to channel parts of the essence of older Bobbsey twins or a younger Nancy Drew--but this time for grownups. I loved Nancy Drew as a kid--and I feel as though this series touches some long forgotten place of delight & admiration I held for that clever adolescent when I was quite young!
Flavia, as most people now know, lives in a huge old house, which is burdened by debt, with her father (who is mostly concerned with his stamp collections), and two older sisters (almost as cruel as Cinderella's step sisters)--except they are full sisters who just spend all their time torturing Flavia, the youngest.
Flavia has been born with a talent and intellect that appear to be genius level, and as fate (and the writer) would have it, she has inherited the curiosity and analytical mind of her (late) Great Uncle Tarquin, who has left behind a full laboratory--complete with chemicals and scholarly books on chemistry. Naturally, by the time she has turned 11, she has mastered all of it--and so, in this rather quirky household, she turns to the laboratory and her knowledge of chemistry (as well as her quick mind for putting puzzles together) to help solve the murders and mysteries that tend to appear with regularity all around her.
In this case, she feels responsible for an old gypsy woman whom she consulted earlier in the day, when she winds up assaulted on the de Luce property in the middle of the night. She wants to find who would do this to her, and in her further adventures in that attempt, she learns of other mysterious doings that all (in the end) touch on the gypsy's plight.
One has to suspend a bit of belief of course, to enjoy the characterization of a child who cleverly solves murders that even elude the police. On the one hand, she has her young age and innocent look to help get her places that perhaps adults could only go with suspicion. She also has her great sidekick, the old bike she has named "Gladys." She has an unusual level of trust by the police (due to her previous successes) and is helped greatly by the family gardener and cook. But mostly, she just noses about, occasionally gets herself into real danger, but comes out in the end with the solution in hand.
While the mysteries are good,and the people (are deliberately--as suits the overall effrect) somewhat two dimensional, the real joy in these is the freshness of approach that Alan Bradley has used to create such a charming little character. And I would say that the narration is particularly difficult--because an adult having to simulate a child's voice through much of the book--cannot be easy. But I think that Jayne Entwhistle has done a wonderful job of achieving a credible child's voice. These are fun to listen to--made a bit easier when all the characters (and their attached personality traits) are absorbed. When I read the first one, I began it with some readiness not to enjoy it. But I have truly enjoyed them--especially for the realization that a grown man has done such an excellent job of creating an 11 year old girl for the heroine!
Flavia de Luce is a wonderful blend of youth and intellect.
Entwistle captures the immature of Flavia.