The beach book of mysteries is where I have been spending my time. The fall has been hard (health, election season, on and on). When things get hard books can be an escape into another world. I want an easy read but something that engages me just a bit. A puzzle along with a bit of fun.
Alan Bradley gives me just that with his Flavia de Luce Series. These books could fit into young adult, maybe middle grades but I think they were published as an adult read. (This is where lines blur in picking who a book is written for.) The main character of this series is a 12 years old and way smarter than she has any right to be.
His first novel, The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie, won the Agatha Award, the Barry Award, the Dilys Award, the Arthur Ellis Award, the Macavity Award and the Spotted Owl Award. (published in 2009) He went on to write 8 more and I am addicted.
This fall he released Thrice the Brinded Cat Hath Mew’d. It is a Christmas novel without the cheery Christmas doings. Flavia returns home from Canada having been kicked out of the boarding school, her father is gravely ill, they are struggling to hold onto the home estate and she finds a dead body.
Bradley’s write is clear, crisp and fun to read. The puzzle of who killed this man is set out in the first chapter with lots of clues and a few red herrings. The environment is well set and you walk into the life and times of young Flavia, her family, friends and enemies. It is Christmas
This series can be read as stand alone books but Bradley does reference some of his other stories in each book. You will not lose the story line it just helps in the enjoyment of the book if you get the references along the way.
So if you are teaching mysteries or just need a fun read Alan Bradley has a few to offer as distraction from the world around us! Check out his web site: http://alanbradleyauthor.com/