Flavia de Luce, an eleven-year-old British sleuth who very recently entered the literary scene, already has a fan club! I'm joining the quickly-growing group of readers who have fallen in love with this winning heroine, penned by septuagenarian debut novelist Alan Bradley. After following Flavia through her first crime-solving adventure, with five more to come, I say, "Sign me up and bring them on!"
What makes Flavia such a fun heroine? Through her first-person narration we enjoy her illuminating thought processes - which can take us from the brilliance of Sherlock Holmes to the schemes typical of a young girl seeking revenge on two older sisters who often belittle and torture her. I found myself saying, "You go girl!" as Flavia passionately concocts a poison in her chemistry lab - not fatal of course, just enough to mix into the vain sister's lipstick, causing her lips to swell....
The Weed That Strings the Hangman's Bag (USA: March 2010. UK: April 2010)
Blood at the Root
"A gripping, timely, and important examination of American racism."
- PW Starred Review
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