I adore the Flavia de Luce mysteries but kept this one sitting in my Amazon cart for a while. Because I like them so much I tied my reading of it to as a reward for a fitness goal, and I finally made it (self high five).
Moving right along, this installment did not disappoint, though it was pretty different than the previous novels. Each previous book had fallen into a “Murder She Wrote” esque pattern, if you are familiar with the Angela Lansbury series of a writer who solves mysteries in her small town. There’s a murder, there is some misdirection, people underestimate the protagonist because she is an amateur, the protagonist gets in a scrape with the murderer but comes out on top and solves the mystery.
This is a comfortable and predictable narrative made fresh with the setting and rich cast of characters, but formulaic none the less. Until this time!
This novel picks up where the previous left off, with a cliffhanger about the return of Flavia’s mother who has been missing since she was a little girl. That in and of itself is a new direction, but the book counties to veer as Flavia learns more about her families history and in the end we learn she will be going to boarding school, and her whole world is changing starting with the next book in the series.
Bradley is taking the series in an exciting new direction and for that I have no complaints. The only issue in the book is that while trying to introduce so many new aspects the mystery takes a back seat and is a little obvious in its conclusion, but that is a small price to pay for what will breathe new life into this charming series.