I have blogposts piling up in my brain like multiple snow drifts, so I’m just mentioning two of Alan Bradley’s Flavia de Luce series, numbers 2 and 3. For once I was determined to hang off and get the books read in order and I’m glad that I did as Flavia’s relationship with her family and in particular her sisters is developing nicely.
The Weed that Strings the Hangman’s Bag involves a travelling puppet show. The couple who are performing are well known to everyone with TV as they are on the BBC and so the villagers are all desperate to see the celebrities in the flesh – but of course there’s a murder and Flavia rides to the rescue on her trusty bike Gladys again.
Not only are these books enjoyable tales with some great characters but there is some lovely writing too, lots of description to help you picture the scene such as: Bright cobwebs hung suspended like little portcullises of light between the rotted tree stumps. I was absolutely there in that bluebell wood with her.
The third one A Red Herring without Mustard was equally as good. At the village fete Flavia goes into a gypsy tent to have her fortune told, for a bit of a laugh of course but the gypsy mentions ‘seeing’ Flavia’s dead mother Harriet and that’s a subject which is bound to grab Flavia’s interest.
Flavia is always about five steps ahead of the police it seems but Inspector Hewitt isn’t one to take umbrage at that. I’ve been indulging myself with this series recently but I think I’ll be taking a wee rest from them, apart from anything else I’ll have to request number 4 from the library. Speaking of which, I now have 8 books out on my library ticket – and I’m supposed to be concentrating on my own books! How did that happen?
Anyway – it did happen and I came across a Susan Hill book which fortunately for me was not the beginning of the series otherwise I would have had 9 books out. I’ve been thinking of trying her Simon Serrailler series, have any of you read them? It’s ages since I’ve read anything by Susan Hill and in the past I’ve found her books to be a bit ‘curate’s eggish’ in other words – good in parts – but sometimes disappointing.