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Publisher's Summary

Award-winning author Alan Bradley returns with another beguiling novel starring the insidiously clever and unflappable 11-year-old sleuth Flavia de Luce. The precocious chemist with a passion for poisons uncovers a fresh slew of misdeeds in the hamlet of Bishop’s Lacey—mysteries involving a missing tot, a fortune-teller, and a corpse in Flavia’s own backyard.

Flavia had asked the old Gypsy woman to tell her fortune, but never expected to stumble across the poor soul, bludgeoned in the wee hours in her own caravan. Was this an act of retribution by those convinced that the soothsayer had abducted a local child years ago? Certainly Flavia understands the bliss of settling scores; revenge is a delightful pastime when one has two odious older sisters. But how could this crime be connected to the missing baby? Had it something to do with the weird sect who met at the river to practice their secret rites? While still pondering the possibilities, Flavia stumbles upon another corpse—that of a notorious layabout who had been caught prowling about the de Luce’s drawing room.

Pedaling Gladys, her faithful bicycle, across the countryside in search of clues to both crimes, Flavia uncovers some odd new twists. Most intriguing is her introduction to an elegant artist with a very special object in her possession—a portrait that sheds light on the biggest mystery of all: Who is Flavia?

As the red herrings pile up, Flavia must sort through clues fishy and foul to untangle dark deeds and dangerous secrets.

©2011 Alan Bradley (P)2011 Random House

Critic Reviews

“Flavia is incisive, cutting and hilarious . . . one of the most remarkable creations in recent literature.” (USA Today)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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More fun with Flavia

What made the experience of listening to A Red Herring Without Mustard the most enjoyable?

Alan Bradley's writing about Flavia sometimes reminds me of myself, as a book-obsessed young girl with a passion for learning. I get completely lost in the story and don't notice the passage of time, which to me, is the mark of a great book!

What was one of the most memorable moments of A Red Herring Without Mustard?

Flavia's experiences with the rooster - having roosters of my own, I can entirely relate!

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

Definitely Flavia - she is charming. Jayne really brings her character to life.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

I thought it was particularly moving when Flavia's father has the picture hung in her laboratory. I find the moments of softness between Flavia and her father to be very endearing.

Any additional comments?

Just a great series, and I look forward to further Flavia adventures.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Mickey
  • Lincoln, NE, United States
  • 09-18-12

Ya gotta love Flavia!

Where does A Red Herring Without Mustard rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

This series is one of my favorites - although each book is intriguing in it's own right they are best read in order and it is delightful to watch the whole story unfold with each new book. We are watching Flavia grow up. And as I read each book, it is the best.

What was one of the most memorable moments of A Red Herring Without Mustard?

When the children were trapped in the tunnel.

Which scene was your favorite?

The moments when her father begins to recognize Flavia's gifts.

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

Unraveling the secrets of the families of Bishops Lacey

Any additional comments?

Since this is an audio book I'm not sure of the spelling of the estate.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Instant classic

Would you consider the audio edition of A Red Herring Without Mustard to be better than the print version?

Definitely better. I've tried it both ways, and this is a book that's much better in audio form. Jayne Entwhistle is a genius.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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ADDICTED TO FLAVIA!!!

A previous reviewer claimed to be "Flavia'd out". After only THREE de-lightful romps with de Luce?! I say that is most definitely a person who doesn't love life or who is so bent down by the traumas of our time that he or she has no room for a little fun and a lot of joy. Alan Bradley never fails to give his readers a great time, like a day at the fair or a ringside seat at "The Greatest Show On Earth". Flavia is a precocious 11 year-old amateur chemist, part-time detective, and full-time pain in the rear-ends of adults. Not precocious in the "I want to smack this kid in the mouth" way. Flavia makes you remember when you were a kid and grown-ups paid no attention to you, talked around you and about you as if you weren't in the room, or gave you stupid admonishments like "Do as I say, not as I do"! Flavia's brilliant little mind always finds her in the middle of a murder but, unlike a regular pre-teen girl, she doesn't shy away or get the "vapors" over a little bit of decomposition. Instead her brain starts dissecting the crime in a way to be envied by the top Scotland Yard Inspector. I've read ALL of the books in the series and, at 63 years old, should have found nothing of interest in the machinations and misadventures of a girl young enough to be my grandchild. Yet, the one thing in common which we all have in common with Flavia de Luce is that, ONCE - for a mere 365 days - we were all 11 years-old.

Narrator Jayne Entwistle is the perfect voice for Flavia. She doesn't perform like an adult TRYING, but failing hopelessly, to imitate the voice of a child - Entwistle actually sounds like a young adolescent girl, complete with the tongue-in-cheek....well, "cheekiness" that IS Little Miss de Luce. Alan Bradley delivers another great story. I am definitely a fan and, in the future, will buy his Flavia books as soon as they are released!!! I'll never ever be "Flavia'd out" because I've got so much room in my life for a good time!! ❤️❤️👍❤️❤️

8 of 12 people found this review helpful

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Suspend your disbelief and enjoy this little mystery.

I found this offering to be a Lovely story well told with beautiful narration. Cheers!

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A Spicy Tale

Lots of threads woven and tangled and knotted into a delightful mystery with rattling bones of dead history

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Best performance EVER!

First, I chose this book after reading someone else's review. He'd asked himself, 'why would I read a book about an 11 year old kid?" He then went into the details and I was intrigued. I'm so glad I check out this series. I really wished I could give the performance part of the book more stars. Jayne Entwistle is incredible. She totally captures the spunky enthusiasm of this genius child. Also, she does a tremendous job on the voices of the other recurring characters -- I can actually tell them apart (unlike most other books). I understand the series may have been optioned to create either a TV show or movie. However, because I have Flavia's voice already in my head, I can't imagine anyone else's.

I love the premise of the series and was delighted that I couldn't quite figure everything out, it kept me guessing. I've since listened to all the other books in the series and am looking forward to Book 9.

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too long

Wonderfully narrated and nicely written. But, it goes on too long with too little happening that is relevant to the story.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Great detail and narration, not a great story

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.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Im Flaviaed out...

Too many murders happening in her backyard. She needs to age a little in the books and find mysteries to solve elsewhere.

0 of 3 people found this review helpful