Series: Flavia de Luce #7
Published by Delacorte Press on January 6th 2015
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.
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.
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.