Friday, December 12, 2014

As Chimney Sweepers Come to Dust by Alan Bradley

Flavia is back!  She's out of favor with her family, so she gets sent to a boarding school.  It just happens to be in Canada, so they've put an ocean between them.  She's tired, has hurt feelings and goes to bed in her new room with her clothes on.  Imagine her surprise when someone comes in and starts pounding on her!

Delacorte Press and Edelweiss allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published January 6th, so watch for a copy then.  I've read the earlier book in this series and enjoyed it.  You could start with that one while you wait for this one to come out.

Flavia is an odd little duck.  Normal things bother her more than abnormal things.  When the girl beating on her stops long enough to realize that Flavia is the new student, she's mortified.  She thought she was someone else.  Of course, with all the noise, the head of the school comes to find out what's going on.  They aren't allowed out of their rooms at night, so Flavia hides the other girl in the chimney.  That's all well and good until the girl and a corpse fall back out of the chimney right in front of the mistress.

This is just the beginning of this tangled tale.  She knows the secret society is here but no one will acknowledge it.  She has no friends.  She's not sure what teachers to trust.  And no one seems to care about the corpse.  She's not going to ignore that dead woman.  After all, it was found in her room!

You get several subplots, Flavia uses her science and chemistry knowledge to determine cause of death, and it's not until the very end all the pieces tie together and show her what happened.

Mr. Bradley has done an excellent job of creating a character you can't forget.  Flavia is her own unique person and I love her.  Somehow life just doesn't work out well for her, but she loves the challenge.  I know the author must have something big planned for her down the line, but I'm quite content to follow along during her learning years.  She might be an embarrassment to her family, but I'd be happy to have her as a relative.  I can relate to her.  Can you?

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