The most recent installment of the Flavia de Luce series by the inspiring Alan Bradley is a big step for Flavia and the series.
After her stay at Miss Bodycote’s Female Academy cum boarding school in Toronto, Canada, Flavia returns triumphantly to her homeland: England and her beloved estate Buckshaw.
Alas alack, Buckshaw has changed and so has our heroine. Father has taken ill and is hospitalized, Buckshaw feels uninhabited, and Flavia has her freedom to visit dear friends and strangers–who of course, end up murdered.
TTBCHM is a bit predictable: prior to the “big reveal”, I guessed quite easily who had perpetrated the crime. That being said, the novel was still entirely engrossing. There is a bigger focus (again, as with the previous novel) of Flavia growing into herself, while still remaining the precocious girl that she is.
My chief complaint about this novel was the very apparent lack of chemistry used in a practical way. Throughout the series we have been treated to Flavia’s intellect and her practical use of chemistry in her sleuthing and every day activity. However, chemistry does take a backseat in this chapter of the series, which was a little saddening.
Of course, there is no de Luce novel without a touch of mourning and sadness…and I will end off there before spoiling any potential reader.
4/5 for another great Flavia novel. I eagerly anticipate the next one and the arrival of Flavia on television (eventually).