The Weed That Strings the Hangman's Bag
A Flavia de Luce Novel
By Alan Bradley
(Bantam, Paperback, 9780385343459, 400pp.)
Publication Date: February 8, 2011
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Flavia de Luce, a dangerously smart eleven-year-old with a passion for chemistry and a genius for solving murders, thinks that her days of crime-solving in the bucolic English hamlet of Bishop’s Lacey are over—until beloved puppeteer Rupert Porson has his own strings sizzled in an unfortunate rendezvous with electricity. But who’d do such a thing, and why? Does the madwoman who lives in Gibbet Wood know more than she’s letting on? What about Porson’s charming but erratic assistant? All clues point toward a suspicious death years earlier and a case the local constables can’t solve—without Flavia’s help. But in getting so close to who’s secretly pulling the strings of this dance of death, has our precocious heroine finally gotten in way over her head?
Alan Bradley received the Crime Writers’ Association Debut Dagger Award for The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie, as well as the first Saskatchewan Writers Guild Award for Children’s Literature. He is the author of many short stories, children’s stories, newspaper columns, and the memoir The Shoebox Bible. Bradley lives in Malta with his wife and two calculating cats, and is currently working on the next Flavia de Luce mystery, A Red Herring Without Mustard.
“Flavia is incisive, cutting and hilarious . . . one of the most remarkable creations in recent literature.”—USA Today
“Utterly beguiling . . . wicked wit . . . The real delight here is [Flavia’s] droll voice and the eccentric cast.”—People (four stars)
“Bradley takes everything you expect and subverts it, delivering a smart, irreverent, unsappy mystery.” —Entertainment Weekly
“A pitch-perfect performance that surpasses an already worthy debut.”—Houston Chronicle
“Discovering Alan Bradley’s Flavia de Luce books is several steps beyond pleasure—it’s a sheer delight.”—Winston-Salem Journal
“Wickedly funny.”—The Times-Picayune