Thursday, September 29, 2016

Review: As Chimney Sweeper Come to Dust by Alan Bradley (Flavia de Luce, Book 7)

Synopsis: Banished! is how twelve-year-old Flavia de Luce laments her predicament, when her father and Aunt Felicity ship her off to Miss Bodycote’s Female Academy, the boarding school that her mother, Harriet, once attended across the sea in Canada. The sun has not yet risen on Flavia’s first day in captivity when a gift lands at her feet. Flavia being Flavia, a budding chemist and sleuth, that gift is a charred and mummified body, which tumbles out of a bedroom chimney. Now, while attending classes, making friends (and enemies), and assessing the school’s stern headmistress and faculty (one of whom is an acquitted murderess), Flavia is on the hunt for the victim’s identity and time of death, as well as suspects, motives, and means. Rumors swirl that Miss Bodycote’s is haunted, and that several girls have disappeared without a trace. When it comes to solving multiple mysteries, Flavia is up to the task—but her true destiny has yet to be revealed. (from the online description)

Review: This was an oddity in the Flavia de Luce series, in that it took place far away from Buckshaw, in the wilds of Canada. Sent to Miss Bodycote’s Female Academy by her father, she is supposed to follow in her mother’s footsteps. But when a body falls out of the chimney in her bedroom, Flavia does what she does best – meddle, and solve murder.
Flavia, as always, is precocious, delightful, and brilliant. But the story, over all, bothered me. There were so many questions about Harriet, brought up, but not answered. I wanted to know more about Harriett, her life and role. I expected at Miss Bodycote’s, to get them. But we didn’t and I was frustrated by that. However, as for Flavia, she becomes a different person, someone older, and in her own way, wiser.
Worth reading, of course, but the episode has a different feel than the other stories. 

Bookmarks: 7 of 10

Awards: None

ISBN: 978-0-345-53994-6
Year Published: 2015
Date Finished: 9-24-2016
Pages: 389

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