I keep telling you that I am not a mystery reader. You know, “Blah blah blah, mysteries meh, but this one was really good!” Okay, at some point I have to admit that I’m loving on the mysteries, even with all of the things about it that were really “mystery-y”; all the tropes, like formulaic plots, uncanny coincidences, etc. But really, you try and read about Flavia de Luce and tell me you don’t like her. It’s not possible.
Flavia and her family live on an old estate in post-war England. It’s a picturesque countryside where nothing very exciting happens. Until Flavia wakes up one night and hears her father arguing with an unfamiliar man. The next morning, as Flavia is walking outside to begin her day, she finds that same man laying in the garden. He takes a breath and says the word, “Vale!” and promptly dies. As Flavia says, it is the most exciting thing that happens in her life.
There are so many things to like about this book, but the best part is Flavia herself. Her one passion in life is poisons and using them to get back at her evil sisters. When her father is wrongly accused of murdering the mysterious man, she decides that she is going to find out who the killer is herself to save his name.
As for the rest, I’ll let you discover it. Just know that I have totally jumped on this bandwagon.
One of my favorite quotes:
“As I stepped to one side to peer in the window, I noticed a handmade sign crudely drawn with black crayon and stuck to the glass: CLOSED.
Closed? Today was Saturday. The library hours were ten o’clock to two-thirty, Thursday through Saturday; they were clearly posted in the black-framed notice beside the door. Had something happened to Miss Pickery?
I gave the door a shake, and then a good pounding. I cupped my hands to the glass and peered inside, but except for a beam of sunlight falling through motes of dust before coming to rest upon shelves of novels there was nothing to be seen.
“Miss Pickery!” I called, but there was no answer.
“Oh, scissors!” I said again. I should have to put off my researches until another time. As I stood outside in Cow Lane, it occurred to me that Heaven must be a place where the library is open twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week.
No… eight days a week. (58)
So go read this!: now | tomorrow | next week | next month | next year | when you’ve exhausted your TBR
Other reviews: everyone and their mother.
PS: Is not Flavia an amazing name?
PPS: I’m totally going to start saying “Oh, scissors!”