Feb 19, 2011
Book Review: A Red Herring without Mustard: A Flavia de Luce Novel by Alan Bradley
A Red Herring Without Mustard: A Flavia de Luce Novel
by Alan Bradley
Hardcover: 416 pages
Publisher: Delacorte Press (February 8, 2011)
Comments: Bradley has done it again, another perfect mystery featuring that precocious and witty 11-year-old sleuth, Flavia de Luce. The books seem to be getting better and better and Bradley is hard at work on his fourth in the series!
In A Red Herring Without Mustard, Flavia befriends a tired old Gypsy woman at an annual fete and invites her to park her caravan on her father's property in a secluded and grassy bend of the river. When the Gypsy woman is attacked in the night and seriously injured, her head bashed in, all eyes turn suspiciously to Flavia who was the last to see her. A murder occurs on her father's property soon after, and Flavia becomes involved in the case of a missing baby the Gypsy was supposed to have kidnapped and carried off many years earlier.
Flavia dodges the attentions of her father and sisters to carry out her sleuthing in the village, day as well as in the early hours of the morning. With her trusty bicycle, Gladys, the 11-year-old glides through the village and uses her sleuthing skills, her insatiable curiosity, as well as her knowledge of chemistry to track down clues and put them together to solve the mysteries.
Told in the first person, the narrative moves swiftly, as Flavia moves from one thing to the next and takes us on her journeys with her. Witty and observant, her words are delightful and full of clever images that make the book much more than just a good plot. If you enjoyed the first two in the series, then A Red Herring will be an even better treat.