Book Review: Thrice the Brinded Cat Hath Mew’d

While on vaca I was enjoying tearing through almost a book a day. I just had free time. A seven year old can only sight see so many hours a day, which translated nicely into down time for mom as there was no house to clean, no books to edit, no classes to prepare for. So I READ. I was super excited to see a new Flavia de Luce book from Alan Bradley available for download. I’ve read the whole series.

I am torn by this book. I wanted to like this book. I was predisposed to like it, as I adored the last 7 or 8. But this one just missed the mark for me. Flavia is back in the UK. She is growing up, but you don’t see the growth, she is just completely different than she has been in previous books and her inner monologue tells you this is growth. wrinkles nose. She lost a lot of her charm to be frank.

Then in the actual mystery, she is super dense about certain things that are glaringly obvious and then in the last ten pages she pulls off a magical, “this is how it was done.” I am not really a fan of that. And I don’t remember the previous Flavia books being that way.

The final nail in the coffin for me I won’t tell here as it gives away too much but it was unnecessarily harsh.

℘℘℘ – Three Pages, I finished it. Maybe I’m being too critical. But if I separate out the rest of the books in the series and just judge this one by itself, I probably wouldn’t have finished it. It just had too many issues for me. And I desperately missed the Flavia of old. Impetuous, bold, honest, and charming in the way children are when they haven’t learned not to say certain things and they feel things fully. sigh. I’ll read the next one just to see if the author brings her back, that Flavia.

Monday Book Review: The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie

So before I left on vacation my friend G recommended two books to me. The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley was one of them. And I have to say in the first five pages, I seriously wondered what G was smoking.

Sweetness starts off with the protagonist poisoning her oldest sister. And as much as I love serial killer novels, an 11 year old murderer was not something I wanted to read about. Turns out the poison she employs is actually poison ivy. LOL. Added to the sister’s lip stick. As punishment for telling her she was adopted. LOL.

The book is really quite good. Well written. Compelling. Amusing protagonist unlike an other I have read. Flavia de Luce doesn’t quite come across as an 11 year old girl but she is believable as a precocious chemistry obsessed child. In this book, the first in a series, she solves a murder in her cucumber patch learning a considerable amount about herself, her family, and the past that haunts them. I really can’t wait to see where this will go. Will Bradley let her grow up? Will he expand her world? Will things keep happening in her small little hamlet?

℘℘℘℘℘ – Five Pages. Loved this book. I don’t think I quite read it in one sitting but it didn’t take much and I am already on the waiting list for an ebook version of Bradley’s next book in the Flavia de Luce series.