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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

Critic Reviews

"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 Ratings

Overall

  • 4.4 out of 5.0
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Performance

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Story

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  • Story

Flavia de Luce does it again!

Loved this second in the series & will go for the third! Great performance for audio!

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The Weed That Strings. . .

What can I say, I love this series. The writing is polished, the characters are delightful, and Jane Entwistle is the perfect narrator. I hope Alan Bradley doesn't give up on it and I would love to read on as Flavia ages.

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Another fun Flavia mystery.

Great reading of this entertaining character. I plan to continue reading all of them. Good vocabulary words as well

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Fun whodunit in typical British style.

This is my second read of an Alan Bradley novel and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I will be listening to the rest of the series!

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Flavia Does it Again!

No criminal is safe when my favorite 11-year-old sleuth is on the case. Charming, precocious Miss DeLuce will keep you laughing (even when grisly murders occur). The narrator perfectly captures this unlikely heroine. Enjoy!

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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!

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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.

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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...

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  • Julie
  • San Jose, CA, United States
  • 08-07-13

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.

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  • Tanya
  • Dunedin, New Zealand
  • 08-06-13

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.