Thrice the Brinded Cat Hath Mew'd by Alan Bradley
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Book 8 in Alan Bradley's wondrous series picks up with Flavia returning home from Canada--no longer in boarding school--and back home among her sisters, family servants, and faithful bike, Gladys. Unfortunately, upon returning home, she is met with the news that her father is gravely ill with pneumonia. Only Flavia's pesky cousin, Undine is around to greet her. Out and about in town, Flavia runs an errand and--in true Flavia fashion-- stumbles across the body of a dead man. He appears to be the local woodcarver, and Flavia finds him hanging upside down in his home. From there, Flavia's downtrodden spirits lift immediately, as there is nothing like a dead body to return her to her true self. She sets out to solve the case before her pal, Inspector Hewitt, can, but this case will offer plenty of twists and turns, even for our young sleuth.
This novel is immediately Flavia, from the start, like picking up with an old friend. The beginning finds Flavia feeling a little lonely and sorry for herself until finding a corpse, of course. With Flavia back from Canada, it's a return to Bradley's tried and true Flavia de Luce formula, but it's certainly not trite, or tired. While the plot is a bit twisty and keeps you guessing, as always, it's Flavia who is the true star. In this book, we see our heroine growing up a bit: not just in age, but in maturity. Thankfully, though, she's still our Flavia, with her feisty spirit and deep love of chemistry. Truly, she's just a dear character and Bradley is amazing in how he captures her voice so perfectly.
These novels never fail to disappoint -- this one, as well. I will continue to highly recommend this series. This can certainly be read as a standalone, but you would be doing yourself a disservice if you don't start at the beginning of Flavia's journey.
I received a copy of this novel from the publisher and Netgalley (thank you!); it's available for U.S. publication everywhere as of 9/20/16.
You can read my review of the previous Flavia novel, AS CHIMNEY SWEEPERS COME TO DUST, here.
View all my reviews