Reviews by Jen Chapin-Smith
Young Detective Solves the Crime
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In this first of a series of mysteries for young readers, Bradley introduces us to Flavia de Luce, a young genius living with her father and two older sisters in the fictional English town of Bishop's Lacey in the 1950s. The girls' mother had died, leaving their father too sad to handle raising or even much educating his children, who are left to their own devices. Flavia has decided to teach herself chemistry and she particularly enjoys making poisons.

When she discovers a corpse in her garden, Flavia begins her career as a young detective. The police don't appreciate her meddling, but [SPOILER ALERT], she solves the crime in the end.

I very much appreciated having a young female character demonstrate so much intelligence and bravery, something I find lacking in many novels for children. Note, however, that as it is set in the 1950s, the Flavia series does demonstrate the prejudices of the era, including sexism and xenophobia.

I appreciated hearing the voices read with an English accent as that made the experience more authentic.
English Girl Saves the Day
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In this first of a series of mysteries for young readers, Bradley introduces us to Flavia de Luce, a young genius living with her father and two older sisters in the fictional English town of Bishop's Lacey in the 1950s. The girls' mother had died, leaving their father too sad to handle raising or even much educating his children, who are left to their own devices. Flavia has decided to teach herself chemistry and she particularly enjoys making poisons.
When she discovers a corpse in her garden, Flavia begins her career as a young detective. The police don't appreciate her meddling, but [SPOILER ALERT], she solves the crime in the end.
I very much appreciated having a young female character demonstrate so much intelligence and bravery, something I find lacking in many novels for children. Note, however, that as it is set in the 1950s, the Flavia series does demonstrate the prejudices of the era, including sexism and xenophobia.
Young English Detective Solves the Crime
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Part of a series of mystery novels for young readers, "The Weed that Strings the Hangman's Bag" features 11-year-old genius Flavia de Luce who lives in the fictional English town of Bishop's Lacey with her father and two older sisters. Flavia is a self-taught chemist who is always solving crimes for the police, who do not appreciate her intervention.

In this book, Flavia solves the hanging death of a very young boy, so the story is rather disturbing and some readers may chose to skip this one.

As it is set in the 1950s, the Flavia de Luce novels show the prejudices of the time period and place, including against a German former POW and against women in general. Some readers may find the characters' reactions to then-new technology, such as television, interesting.
Young Detective Saves the Day
»
Part of a series of mystery novels for young readers, "The Weed that Strings the Hangman's Bag" features 11-year-old British genius Flavia de Luce, who lives in the fictional English town of Bishop's Lacey with her father and two older sisters. Flavia is a self-taught chemist who is always solving crimes for the police, who do not appreciate her intervention.
In this book, Flavia solves the hanging death of a very young boy, so the story is rather disturbing and some readers may chose to skip this one.
As it is set in the 1950s, the Flavia de Luce novels show the prejudices of the time period and place, including against a German former POW and against women in general. Some readers may find the characters' reactions to then-new technology, such as television, interesting.
The Vanyel triology beings.
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The first of a trilogy about openly gay Harold Mage Vanyel, this book is both a fascinating read and very sad. It contains violence and death. There are also love scenes. I recommend it, but some readers may find it disturbing or may be too young to read it.
I highly recommend this and almost all of Lackey's novels about Valdemar, particularly the ones about Vaneyl.