One of the things I enjoy most about being a librarian is helping people find books that I think they will love. It’s so rewarding to have a person come back and say, “You were right, that was a great book!” Of course, I don’t always hit the mark, but that’s okay. The more I get to know people, the better my recommendations become.
I do admit that sometimes friendly persuasion turns into outright bullying on my part, especially when it comes to getting people to read Alan Bradley’s series of mysteries starring the exceptional, most original sleuth—Flavia de Luce. There is a growing group of people upon whom I have forced these books. They are now fervent Flavia converts, and have started to pester me about the next installment in the series. “Is there a new Flavia book?”
“When will it be published?”
“When will you get it?”
And so on.
I’m very happy to announce that the latest Flavia de Luce adventure, titled As Chimney Sweepers Come to Dust (Book #7), is now at the McClintic Library. I ordered both the book and the audio book; the narrator of the Flavia books is Jayne Entwhistle, and she IS the voice of Flavia. The narrator can make or break an audio book, and Ms. Entwhistle is absolutely perfect.
Flavia is now 12 years old, and brings us up to speed on her life with the very first word of her tale: BANISHED!
She is being sent from her ancestral home, Buckshaw, in the little English village of Bishop’s Lacey, to a boarding school in Canada that her mother Harriet attended when she was the same age as Flavia. The novel opens with Flavia traveling to Miss Bodycote’s Female Academy and lamenting her fate in true Flavia fashion.
When asked by the Canadian customs agent the purpose for her visit to Canada, she replies, “Penal colony.”
But just because she has been banished doesn’t mean Flavia isn’t up to solving yet another murder. Her very first night at Miss Bodycote’s proves exciting due to the charred and mummified remains of a body that tumbles out of a bedroom chimney. Thank goodness Flavia has arrived to handle this situation!
For Kindle users, there is now available a Flavia de Luce short story: The Curious Case of the Copper Corpse. This is a very short story, and is only available in Kindle format, so don’t look for a print version, sadly.
If I have not yet bullied you into trying one of Flavia’s adventures, I apologize. She is a delightful character – one reviewer called her Pippi Longstocking with a PhD in chemistry – and her quirky, plucky personality is endearing.