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April 13, 2015

As Chimney Sweepers Come to Dust

As Chimney Sweepers Come to DustAs Chimney Sweepers Come to Dust

By: Alan Bradley

Flavia de Luce, the brilliant, cheeky, and utterly quotable twelve-year-old detective with a fascination for poisons, has been “banished” to attend her mother’s former boarding school in Canada in her seventh book. Even though Flavia is in rare form at Miss Bodycote’s Female Academy – a charred body wrapped in a Union Jack falls out of the chimney in her room on her first night there, to her eternal delight – author Alan Bradley still allows us to see her as little girl who longs for the comfortable decay of her ancestral home in England.

While the mystery is full of interesting twists, it takes a backseat to Flavia herself, whose bold spirit and musings on everything from school nicknames to the natural beauty of chemical reactions are the real reasons I adore this series. Audiophiles are in luck too: Jayne Entwistle, who reads all books in the Flavia de Luce series, nails Flavia’s unique voice and still manages to distinguish each of Flavia’s Canadian classmates and teachers.

If you haven’t read it yet, try The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie first. Not only is it fun to watch Flavia grow, but you’ll fully appreciate the references to Flavia’s past adventures and her offstage family back in England.

Review By: Julia Welzen