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The Weed That Strings the Hangman's Bag: A Flavia de Luce Mystery | [Alan Bradley]

The Weed That Strings the Hangman's Bag: A Flavia de Luce Mystery

Flavia de Luce is a dangerously brilliant 11-year-old with a passion for chemistry and a genius for solving murders. This time, Flavia finds herself untangling two deaths—separated by time but linked by the unlikeliest of threads.
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Publisher's Summary

From Dagger Award-winning and internationally best-selling author Alan Bradley comes this utterly beguiling mystery, starring one of fiction’s most remarkable sleuths: Flavia de Luce, a dangerously brilliant 11-year-old with a passion for chemistry and a genius for solving murders. This time, Flavia finds herself untangling two deaths—separated by time but linked by the unlikeliest of threads.

Flavia thinks that her days of crime-solving in the bucolic English hamlet of Bishop’s Lacy are over—and then Rupert Porson has an unfortunate rendezvous with electricity. The beloved puppeteer has had his own strings sizzled, but who’d do such a thing and why? For Flavia, the questions are intriguing enough to make her put aside her chemistry experiments and schemes of vengeance against her insufferable big sisters. Astride Gladys, her trusty bicycle, Flavia sets out from the de Luces’ crumbling family mansion in search of Bishop’s Lacey’s deadliest secrets.

Does the madwoman who lives in Gibbet Wood know more than she’s letting on? What of the vicar’s odd ministrations to the catatonic woman in the dovecote? Then there’s a German pilot obsessed with the Brontë sisters, a reproachful spinster aunt, and even a box of poisoned chocolates. Most troubling of all is Porson’s assistant, the charming but erratic Nialla. All clues point toward a suspicious death years earlier and a case the local constables can’t solve—without Flavia’s help. But in getting so close to who’s secretly pulling the strings of this dance of death, has our precocious heroine finally gotten in way over her head?

©2010 Alan Bradley (P)2010 Random House Audio

What the Critics Say

"Billiant, irresistible and incorrigible, Flavia has a long future ahead of her. Bradley's mystery debut is a standout." (Kirkus Reviews)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.3 (916 )
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4.6 (659 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Robbin B. Williams 02-12-15

    Robwms

    HELPFUL VOTES
    15
    ratings
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    "I love this little girl!"

    These stories are amazing. Flavia is funny, witty and exceptionally smart! You feel what she feels and sees what she sees. So on rare occasions when her feelings are hurt, because after all she is only eleven, your heart breaks. Then it leaves you wishing for the culprit to get their comeupins... lol

    I love that kid!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer TALLAHASSEE, FL, United States 11-05-13
    Amazon Customer TALLAHASSEE, FL, United States 11-05-13 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    214
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    138
    138
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    "Lackluster story, great performace"

    After the first book, I had high expectations of this one. I was somewhat disappointed. The performance was just as magnificent as it was in the first book. Jayne Entwistle is a truly talented storyteller, but the plot was just not up to the standard of the first book. It moves very slowly because it lacks action and tension.

    The mystery is somewhat interesting, but I would have liked it more if there had been more danger involved. Don't get me wrong - I don't like blood and guts - but I need more than descriptions to keep me motivated.

    I wouldn't say this was a waste of my time or credit, but don't look to this as any sort of an action book. It was worth it for Jayne Entwistle's performance, and I will continue to read this series, but I hope the rest of the books are more like the debut and less like this one.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Donna 09-20-13
    Donna 09-20-13 Member Since 2012
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    31
    2
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    "Loved the 1st book by Bradley but not this one..."
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    I find the story itself just wasn't compelling. When I listened to the 1st book I remember really enjoying it, laughing out loud, interested in the story. I listened to the 1st book quite a while ago but remember saying I was going to listen to his next one. Well, what a disappointment....


    What could Alan Bradley have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    The story just didn't grab me...


    Did the narration match the pace of the story?

    The narration was quite good...


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    Uhm, I would have to say no...


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Julie San Jose, CA, United States 08-07-13
    Julie San Jose, CA, United States 08-07-13 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Better Ending"

    Once again, Jayne Entwistle brings Miss Flavia de Luce to life in the second book. The ending to this story did not disappoint me. It was much different than the first. If the author had used the same technique as he did in the first book, I would not be looking forward to listening to the next. As a sequel, this book provides another very interesting mystery and advances our knowledge and understanding of the de Luce family and their friends with character development and back story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tanya Dunedin, New Zealand 08-06-13
    Tanya Dunedin, New Zealand 08-06-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Interesting and so well read!"

    I love this series! The narration is absolutely perfect. It is exactly what you would expect Flavia to sound like and the amount of emotion put into the reading is great. It really does justice to a well written and interesting story. All the supporting characters are equally interesting and well developed. I really enjoyed this book, as much as the first. The great thing is I recommended this to my 10 year old and she is loving it too (she is a voracious reader especially of classics like Little Women, Anne of Green Gables so these books suit her). This feels like one of the few series that successfully can cross from adult to kid (much like Harry Potter did). Highly recommended.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    M. Plyler Washington state 01-05-13
    M. Plyler Washington state 01-05-13 Member Since 2008

    Mary Mac

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A morbid & charming little girl rules this series"

    Alan Brady's Flavia de Luce mysteries provide a delightful distraction from the mundane. Flavia is 11 years old, and lives in a crumbling country house near a quintessential English village. She is willful, resourceful, neglected by her father and ignored by her two older sisters. That neglect provides her plenty of time to investigate the characters of her village and the surprisingly frequent murders in this small population. Jane Entwhistle is the perfect reader to perform this book! She does Flavia's youthful voice and the voices of the many elder ladies with aplomb, and the male voices are rendered well. Flavia has an unusual fascination with chemistry, and in particular, in the chemistry of poison. Her alarming attempts to poison her elder sister provide a counterpoint to her efforts to puzzle out why—in this instance—a traveling puppeteer dies in the middle of a performance of Jack and the Beanstalk in the parish hall of the local church.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    ArtC 09-04-12
    ArtC 09-04-12 Member Since 2010

    Mysteries, classics, non-fiction, time travel, Bounty hunters, grim reapers... anything but vampires, please!

    HELPFUL VOTES
    48
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    "My Favorite Flavia!"
    If you could sum up The Weed That Strings the Hangman's Bag in three words, what would they be?

    Witty, Winsome and Warm.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The story was solid, and the character is just enchanting. You get enough hints to guess your way ahead a little, but not enough to give the plot away.


    What about Jayne Entwistle’s performance did you like?

    Unlike other reviewers who hated the narration, I think it is one of my favorite components of this series. You can hear the smile in her voice, and get drawn into her self-delight as she figures things out. I find myself smiling along with Flavia and Jane, and people around me ask me what I am chuckling at.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    I've smiled all the way through the first two books.


    Any additional comments?

    I've bought the whole series now, - -saving the last two for vacation - and am putting them on my ever evolving "recommending to friends" list. They are just delightful and smart!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jan 04-30-12
    Jan 04-30-12 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Flavia Rules!"
    If you could sum up The Weed That Strings the Hangman's Bag in three words, what would they be?

    Flavia learns all!


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Flavia, of course. She of the indefatigable curiousity and spirit with a touch of pain supplied by her sisters.


    Which character – as performed by Jayne Entwistle – was your favorite?

    Flavia (again). Her "voice" reflects her perfectly.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    Do you need help?


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robert des plaines, IL, United States 12-28-11
    Robert des plaines, IL, United States 12-28-11
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Another fantastic story"

    Alan continues to craft wonderfully interesting characters in a beautiful landscape. I love the little details of the British countryside and people from this time period of history. The narrator takes them to the next level bringing them to life. I don't really know what else to say other that this is the best of what an audiobook can be.

    You don't need to have read the first one to enjoy this book, but if you have this is more of the same.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Terry_Pat Everett, WA, United States 09-21-11
    Terry_Pat Everett, WA, United States 09-21-11
    HELPFUL VOTES
    6
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    "A precocious & talented sleuth!"

    Take the mind of Miss Marple (Agatha Christie), add in a pinch of Sherlock Holmes' penchant for the laboratory, and put it all into the body of an almost-eleven-yr-old, precocious & independent spirit of an English girl, and you've got Flavia de Luce! What a trip! Then, have it all narrated by the incredibly talented voicing of Jayne Entwistle, and you have the makings of a truly enjoyable read/listen!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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