From Goodreads: It is the summer of 1950–and at the once-grand mansion of Buckshaw, young Flavia de Luce, an aspiring chemist with a passion for poison, is intrigued by a series of inexplicable events: A dead bird is found on the doorstep, a postage stamp bizarrely pinned to its beak. Then, hours later, Flavia finds a man lying in the cucumber patch and watches him as he takes his dying breath.
For Flavia, who is both appalled and delighted, life begins in earnest when murder comes to Buckshaw. “I wish I could say I was afraid, but I wasn’t. Quite the contrary. This was by far the most interesting thing that had ever happened to me in my entire life.”
What’s not to love about a story revolving about an 11 year old chemistry genius with a flare for poisons living on an English estate in 1950 with her two wicked (well, not really-but she thinks they are) sisters and her philatelist father who is ready to jump right in and solve a murder.
I just loved this book. From the very beginning Flavia had me won over. As she rode her bike, Gladys, to and fro trying to prove her father’s innocents and lightly poisoning her sister’s lipstick I was happy to follow along. There’s a small amount of suspending disbelief but Flavia as a character is not all that far-fetched.
Though I don’t think it is marketed as a Young Adult novel I think it would be entertaining to both teens (maybe even tweens) as well as adults. The mystery was quite good and had me guessing. It also had me looking up a little more info. about stamps. There are two more Flavia DeLuce novels out now and I’m looking forward to seeing what she get’s into next.
A little bit about the audio version, I downloaded this from the library and I’m so glad I did. It was read by Jayne Entwistle (who I just looked up and she reads all three) and she did a wonderful job. Here’s the thing, when I first heard her read she sounded exactly like Glynnis Johns. For those of you who have not watched Mary Poppins repeatedly she is the mother of the adorable Banks children in said movie. So, the whole time I listened I heard the mom from Mary Poppins. Which for me, made it much like being read a bedtime story. It was quite wonderful and made the book all the more enjoyable. I think I’m going to have to let Jayne read the other Flavia stories to me.