She’s baaack… When Flavia de Luce was shipped off to boarding school in Canada at the end of Alan Bradley’s last installment of the precocious detective, I sadly thought the series was over. Happily, Flavia returns in As Chimney Sweepers Come to Dust, with a charred and mummified body falling from the chimney in her dorm room at Miss Bodycote’s Female Academy before she has a chance to settle in.
With Flavia’s penchant for chemistry, as she concocts imaginary ways to eliminate annoying characters, she rivals Agatha Christie for powerful and effective ways to murder. You wouldn’t want Flavia for an enemy. Bradley’s tongue-in-cheek humor appeals to adults; where else can you be a twelve year-old again, planning revenge for perceived slights.
But the discovery of the murder, and the journey to whodunit drives the plot with suspects and motives. Flavia always uncovers key clues, and following her to the final reveal through several plot twists is fun. What a relief to know she will continue to entertain readers as she solves unlikely murders.
For more reviews of Flavia de Luce novels, start with The Dead in Their Vaulted Arches