As Chimney Sweepers Come to Dust by Alan Bradley

Posted January 30, 2015 by Whitney in Review / 0 Comments

As Chimney Sweepers Come to Dust by Alan BradleyAs Chimney Sweepers Come to Dust
Author Alan Bradley
Series: Flavia de Luce #7
Publisher Delacorte Press
Publication Date January 6th 2015
Genre: Mystery
Source: Netgalley
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Hard on the heels of the return of her mother’s body from the frozen reaches of the Himalayas, Flavia, for her indiscretions, is banished from her home at Buckshaw and shipped across the ocean to Miss Bodycote’s Female Academy in Toronto, her mother’s alma mater, there to be inducted into a mysterious organization known as the Nide.

No sooner does she arrive, however, than a body comes crashing down out of the chimney and into her room, setting off a series of investigations into mysterious disappearances of girls from the school.

First Impressions:

After reading  As Chimney Sweepers Come to Dust by Alan Bradley I was reminded of Sherlock Holmes.

Impressions on Characters

Flavia de Luce has a bit of arrogance with an “Elementary my dear Watson” air to her.  It may seem like a criticism, but I really enjoy seeing that side of her.

While we only got to see them for a short time I liked meeting the new characters from Miss Brodycote’s Female Academy.  In all seriousness, how many people can die in Bishop’s Lacey?  However, I much preferred the teachers over the pupils.  The pupils just seemed a little too similar.  They all seemed to have a monologue of asking for pheasant sandwiches and, for the most part, eventually become annoyed with Flavia.  The adults seemed to have a little more dimension.

The Rainsmiths were the kind of grown-ups any child would be suspicious. They reminded me of Walter Neff and Phyllis Dietrichson.  Miss Fawlthorne the strict Headmaster who is almost as good at holding back information as Flavia.  If she had been a little more laid back I could see her as a grown-up Flavia.  Mrs. Bannerman, acquitted of poisoning her husband was very Chicago Roxie Hart.  She was very interesting, but I wish they had given a little more back story for her character, a little Cell Block Tango.  Until the  end I wasn’t quite sure what to make of Miss Moate and her wheelchair. Although, we must never underestimate the disabled, she is the dark horse of the novel.

As much as I enjoyed the new characters I missed the old.  It was very similar to the children’s song “make new friends but keep the old, one is silver and the other gold.” I wish we had a little more influence from Buckshaw, especially from her father.  I simply would have liked a little more interaction than a letter from Dogger.

Final Impressions:

As Chimney Sweepers Come to Dust by Alan Bradley was another original Flavia de Luce mystery with a maze of an ending. Even so, I’m not sure if I’d say it was one of my favorites. This is because I didn’t think the supporting cast was as strong as in previous novels.  Perhaps I prefer the familiar.  In any event, I look forward to returning to Buckshaw just as much as Flavia de Luce.

About Alan Bradley

With an education in electronic engineering, Alan worked at numerous radio and television stations in Ontario, and at Ryerson Polytechnical Institute (now Ryerson University) in Toronto, before becoming Director of Television Engineering in the media centre at the University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon, where he remained for 25 years before taking early retirement to write in 1994.

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