"The world's greatest adolescent British chemist/busybody/sleuth" (The Seattle Times), Flavia de Luce, returns in a twisty new mystery novel from award-winning and New York Times bestselling author Alan Bradley.
In the wake of an unthinkable family tragedy, twelve-year-old Flavia de Luce is struggling to fill her empty days. For a needed escape, Dogger, the loyal family servant, suggests a boating trip for Flavia and her two older sisters. As their punt drifts past the church where a notorious vicar had recently dispatched three of his female parishioners by spiking their communion wine with cyanide, Flavia, an expert chemist with a passion for poisons, is ecstatic. Suddenly something grazes against her fingers as she dangles them in the water. She clamps down on the object, imagining herself as Ernest Hemingway battling a marlin, and pulls up what she expects will be a giant fish. But in Flavia's grip is something far better: a human head, attached to a human body. If anything could take Flavia's mind off sorrow, it is solving a murder—although one that may lead the young sleuth to an early grave.
ALAN BRADLEY was born in Toronto and grew up in Cobourg, Ontario. He coauthored Ms. Holmes of Baker Street to great acclaim and much controversy, followed by a poignant memoir, The Shoebox Bible. Now the internationally bestselling author of the Flavia de Luce series, Bradley lives with his wife and two calculating cats in the Isle of Man, where he is at work on future Flavia mysteries. The author lives in Isle of Man, UK.
A New York Times bestseller
"This is another top-notch installment in a mystery series that manages to be both funny and creepy. More, please." —People
"Outstanding. . . . As usual, Bradley makes his improbable series conceit work and relieves the plot's inherent darkness with clever humor." —Publishers Weekly, starred review
"There's only one Flavia. . . . Series fans will anticipate the details of this investigation, along with one last taste of Flavia's unorthodox family life." —Library Journal, starred review
"Fans of the precocious sleuth who share her unapologetically enthusiastic sense that 'an unexamined corpse was a tale untold' will rub their hands gleefully, confident that her resolution will unleash a dazzling barrage of innocent-seeming questions, recherché chemical and pharmacological tidbits, fibs and whoppers, and the most coyly bratty behavior outside the pages of Kay Thompson's chronicles of Eloise. . . . Bradley's unquenchable heroine brings 'the most complicated case I had ever come across' to a highly satisfying conclusion, with the promise of still brighter days ahead." —Kirkus Reviews
Praise for the Flavia de Luce series:
• "[Bradley] has created one of the most endearing protagonists the traditional mystery genre, typified by the works of Agatha Christie, has seen in a very long time. . . . Bradley secures his position as a confident, talented writer and storyteller." —The Globe and Mail
• "Flavia de Luce [is] perhaps contemporary crime fiction's most original character." —Maclean's
• "There is such a thing as willing suspension of disbelief brought on by sheer outlandish charm, and that's what [Alan] Bradley and some delicious writing have tapped." —London Free Press
• "Flavia de Luce [is] one of the most original and charming sleuths to appear in recent memory." —Quill & Quire
• "Flavia, on the page, remains one of the most original and endearing characters around." —Calgary Herald
• "Utterly beguiling." —People
• "Flavia walks right off the page and follows me through my day. I can hardly wait for the next book. Bravo." —Louise Penny, acclaimed author of Still Life