If you are interested in blogging or want to promote your book, please contact E. B. Davis at writerswhokill@gmail.com.

WWK's May interviews will be: 5/2--indie author Bobbi Holmes, 5/9--TG Wolff (aka--Anita Devito), 5/16--Chocolate Bonbon author Dorothy St. James, 5/23--Lida Sideris, 5/30--Food Lovers' Village (and multiple Agatha winner) Leslie Budwitz. Please join us in welcoming these authors to WWK.

Our May Saturday Guest Blogger Schedule: 5/5--John Carenen, 5/12--Judy Penz Sheluk, 5/19--Margaret S. Hamilton, 5/26--Kait Carson.

Congratulations to our writers for the following publications:

Tina Whittle's sixth Tai Randolph mystery, Necessary Ends, debuts on April 3, 2018. Look for it here. Tina was nominated for a Derringer Award for her novelette, "Trouble Like A Freight Train Coming." We're all crossing our fingers for her.

James M. Jackson's Empty Promises, the next in the Seamus McCree mystery series (5th), will be available on April 3, 2018. Purchase links are here.

Dark Sister, a poetry collection, is Linda Rodriguez's tenth published book. It's available for sale here:

Shari Randall's "Pets" will be included in Chesapeake Crimes: Fur, Feathers, and Felonies anthology, which will be published in 2018. In the same anthology "Rasputin," KM Rockwood's short story, will also be published. Look for E. B. Davis's interview with the authors in this anthology on 4/14! Her short story "Goldie" will be published in the Busted anthology, which will be released by Level Best Books on April 25th.

Shari Randall's second Lobster Shack Mystery, Against the Claw, will be available in August, 2018.

In addition, our prolific KM has had the following shorts published as well: "Making Tracks" in Passport to Murder, Bouchercon anthology, October 2017 and "Turkey Underfoot," appears in the anthology The Killer Wore Cranberry: A Fifth Course of Chaos.


Thursday, October 20, 2016

The Delightful Flavia de Luce

Last week I finished the eighth book in Alan Bradley’s Flavia de Luce novels, Thrice the Brinded Cat Hath Mew’d. It was as much fun reading this as the first in the series, The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie, and those that followed.

For those of you who have not yet had the pleasure of reading the series, Flavia de Luce is an eleven year old girl living in a large country manor house in England sadly in need of repairs, and money for the repairs. Flavia had discovered a large room in one of the wings that was a chemistry lab of one of her ancestors, Tarquin de Luce, who’d had mental problems. She found his books and the chemicals he used as well as all the equipment that went with them and became an amazing chemist for such a young girl. She was as bright as any adult scientist and this comes through in every book in the series.

 Her mother had disappeared somewhere in the Alps when Flavia was very young. Her father had been an officer in World War II, and ended up in a prison camp. Now he spends much of his time with his stamp collection. She has two teenage sisters who torment her and play horrible tricks on her and tell her she was adopted. But she usually gets back at them in some way or another. Another character is Dogger, a soldier who had been close to her father and also a prisoner of war, who suffers now from occasional spells from PTSD. He’s totally devoted to her father and to Flavia, too.

The first book takes place in the summer of 1950. It’s in this book that Flavia finds someone dying in the garden and watches as he takes his last breath. Being the inquisitive person she is, she sets out to solve who murdered him, much to the dismay of Inspector Hewitt. In time throughout the series, he comes to rely on her since she solves the murder and others in the books that follow. Her best friend throughout the series is Gladys. Gladys is her old bicycle, and she talks to her and treats her like her best friend in every book. One has to feel sorry for Flavia for not having any real friends because her sisters never respect her, and she is quite precocious, too, which might put those her own age off.  However, there are those in town who like her and are quite friendly. Mrs. Mullet, the housekeeper and cook and Dogger care for her, but it’s not quite like having a close relationship with anyone.

The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie was the Most Award-Winning Book of any year. It won the Macavity Award for Best First Mystery Novel, Barry Award for Best First Novel, Agatha Award for Best First Novel, Dilys Award, Arthur Ellis Award for Best Novel, Spotted Owl Award for Best Novel, and the  CWA Debut Dagger Award.

The books that followed were: The Weed that Strings the Hangman’s Bag, A Red Herring without Mustard, I am Half-sick of Shadows, Speaking From Among the Bones, The Dead in Their Vaulted Arches, As Chimney Sweepers Come to Dust.

In Thrice the Brinded Cat Hath Mew’d, his most recent book, she’s now twelve years old. It’s in the winter right before Christmas, and she’s just returned from Canada where she was sent to a special school in the last book, which she hated. Her father’s in the hospital with pneumonia and too sick for her to visit. Her sisters are still unfriendly to her. Again she discovers a body as in every other book, and gets busy trying to solve who the murderer is. And yes, to her danger, she does find out who the murderer was, and Inspector Hewitt, who tried to keep her from investigating in the beginning, is pleased with what she discovered. Dogger has been looking out for her more since her father is in the hospital, and yes, she still has her best friend, Gladys.
My only regret in finishing this book is that I know I won’t have another Flavia de Luce book to read for at least a year.

In reading the praise that has come through from many authors of the books and book reviewers, I only hope and pray he continues on with the series because not only would I be disappointed, so would thousands of other fans of the Flavia de Luce books.

Have you read any of this series?
If you haven’t, would you like to read it?


Grace Topping said...

Thank you, Gloria, for your post on Alan Bradley and the delightful Flavia De Luce books. I was at the Malice Domestic conference dinner when it was announced that "Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie" won an Agatha Award. It intrigued me, so I got a copy and was hooked. I'm so pleased to learn that there is a recent release in the series. I've also listened to the audiobook versions of the books, and the narrator is terrific. This is definitely one series to add to the TOP of your too be read list.

Kait said...

This sounds like a wonderful series. I've never heard of it. For some reason, while reading your post, I kept thinking of The Secret Garden. one of my favorite books.

Shari Randall said...

I adore this series! I'm quite a bit behind in reading them, but they are what I call my Desert Island books, the books that I read on the beach when I know I will have no distractions.

Gloria Alden said...

Grace, I was at that Malice conference, too. It's probably where I bought his first book there since I always spend a lot of money buying books there.

Kait, I know you'll love them not only because of how delightful Flavia is, but also because of his excellent writing.

Shari, they are great books. I think you'd better forget about being on a desert island and find time to read them even just a little at a time.

vicki batman said...

I would read! I love series and these titles are so intriguing. Thank you for introducing us to this author.

Gloria Alden said...

Vicki, you won't be sorry once you start them.

KM Rockwood said...

I wasn't familiar with this series, so thank you, Gloria, for pointing it out to us.

Margaret Turkevich said...

I love Flavia, a combination of Harriet the Spy with Hermione Granger's science smarts.

Gloria Alden said...

KM, I think you'll enjoy it because it's very well written.

Margaret, isn't she delightful. I was afraid when he took her to Canada that would be the last in the series so I was so glad when he brought her back to England.