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20 May 2015

Alan Bradley's The Weed That Strings The Hangman's Bag

Back in January I fell in love with Alan Bradley's eleven-year-old character Flavia de Luce. I've put off returning to the series because, well, I don't marathon book series. Bad things happen when I read series books back-to-back ... like I end up reading them all and then I'm left to whimper.

So, I've put it off.

I've had it sitting patiently in my cloud since before I even finished the first and finally decided it was time. I even checked it out of the library because they feel like books that need to be held and read more intimately than an ebook.

From the get-go, The Weed That Strings the Hangman's Bag was just as I had hoped it would be -- like revisiting an old friend.

Of course, the "I" was Flavia and she wasn't quite dead. She's still incorrigible and imaginative and obsessed with chemistry (especially poisons) and, according to her father, unreliable.

Once again, Flavia ends up helping to solve a murder mystery (well ... two) as only she can. Being eleven and "invisible" does have its advantages, after all, even though her previous exploits have already earned her quite the reputation.

Through it all, we learn more about Flavia and her family and neighbors and meet some new ones along the way. And, of course, she tells us a lot about chemistry. A LOT. It's gotten to the point where I just skim it like I do the steamy scenes in romance novels. Still, even with the skimming I love the tale and the fact that I didn't have it all figured out right away. As much as it sometimes exasperates me to need things figured out for me, the pay-out of reading how Bradley-via-Flavia gets the job done is worth a little exasperation.

Maybe I won't wait four months before reading the third.

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