Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “A Red Herring Without Mustard (A Flavia de Luce Mystery #3)” as Want to Read:
A Red Herring Without Mustard (A Flavia de Luce Mystery #3)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

A Red Herring Without Mustard (Flavia de Luce #3)

4.06 of 5 stars 4.06  ·  rating details  ·  18,474 ratings  ·  2,671 reviews
Red Herring Without Mustard 'You frighten me,' the Gypsy said. 'Never have I seen my crystal ball so filled with darkness.' So begins eleven-year-old Flavia de Luce's third adventure through the charming but deceptively dark byways of the village of Bishop's Lacey. What the fortune teller in fact claimed to see was a vision of Flavia's mother, Harriet, who died on a mounta ...more
Mass Market Paperback, 399 pages
Published 2011 by Bantam Books International
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about A Red Herring Without Mustard, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about A Red Herring Without Mustard

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Jeffrey Keeten
Whenever I’m with other people, part of me shrinks a little. Only when I am alone can I fully enjoy my own company.” Flavia de Luce

Flavia de Luce spends a lot of time by herself somewhat by choice and somewhat by her incompatibility with the rest of the household. She is the youngest of three daughters and is most decidedly lacking from any constructive supervision. Her father is a philatelist and spends most of his time intently examining stamps with a magnifying glass for those
Full Disclosure--I'm in love with Flavia de Luce, the 11 year old who is deeply devoted to the study of chemistry, with a special interest in poisons, and an amateur sleuth. Flavia spends her time humoring her widowed father, who spends most of his time engrossed in stamp collecting, and bedeviling and avoiding her two older sisters--17 year old Ophelia whose passion is music and 13 year old Daphne whose passion is reading. In this third in the Flavia de Luce series, beginning with The Sweetness ...more
As always, a delight.

One-sentence summary: Flavia de Luce returns in her third mystery, investigating a long-ago missing child, the brutal attack on a gypsy fortune-teller, and a murdered local thug.

I feel like I've already said everything I need to about this series in my short reviews of the other two books. This one isn't any different -- it's delightful, charming, and funny, but it has dark undertones (her sisters' treatment of Flavia, which seems to be worse in this book; her father's abs
Feb 19, 2011 Tatiana rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: all Flavia de Luce fans
If you are contemplating reading A Red Herring Without Mustard you probably already adore Flavia de Luce, a precocious 12-year old amateur sleuth. If you feel wishy-washy about the girl, don't expect her to undergo a major personality transformation in this book, Flavia remains the same smart, naive, sneaky, lying chemist/detective as she was in The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie and The Weed that Strings the Hangman's Bag. And I wouldn't have her any other way.

As such series go, whenever a
Shayantani Das
Mar 10, 2013 Shayantani Das rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People who love flavia or other precocious yet not arrogant pre teens.
Recommended to Shayantani by: inoli and I can't thank him enough:)
Shelves: really-good
I absolutely love Flavia, this precocious yet not obnoxious child sleuth has won over my heart, and I absolutely love her. Which is why I totally love this book, because it shows us a little more about Flavia. Behind the lab glasses and witty remarks, lies the heart of a small kid, who misses his mother, and is hurt by her sister’s hatred towards her. Some scenes were very very touching, and although really emotional scenes sometimes fail to move me, Flavia with her simple emotions almost made m ...more
Lisa Vegan
This was a wonderful book choice to transition me from 2011 to 2012.

Flavia is so much fun! She’s a hoot. But, with each book, I also find her more & more endearing. And she really makes me appreciate chemistry.

For the first time I’m enjoying Gladys as her own character, not just as an accoutrement of Flavia’s.

I would have preferred Roma to Gypsy, though this is historical fiction and I’m sure the term is more correctly used for this time and place. But then right away the word for horse was
Perhaps I took too long to read A Red Herring Without Mustard. If I'd zipped through it on sunny Sunday afternoon, the rambling plot would have been a trifle to be indulged instead of endured. About two-thirds of the way in, brakes were put on the pace and the exposition became redundant.

There were heaps of elements that I did love, namely Flavia and her irascible, invincible spirit. Bradley loves this little girl and taking care to round out her precociousness with vulnerability. Flavia is tak
Review from Badelynge
This third outing of Alan Bradley's irrepressible Flavia De Luce gets the series back up to top form. Flavia saves the life of an old Gypsy fortune-teller who has been beaten and left for dead. Ok our young heroine had almost managed to burn her to a crisp the previous evening but the less said about such details the better. Flavia sets out to track down the assailant, trampling over several crime scenes in the process, bamboozling the local constabulary and driving her fami
I loved the first book in this series, and was not disappointed in the followup, although there seemed to be a lot more sadness in the life of the precocious 11 year old Flavia this time. She is still an intrepid detective, and her fights with her sisters have some of the funniest lines I've read in years, but the dysfunction in the family had a very lonely edge to it that made it hard to have as much FUN. The depth of it, however, was really fascinating.

The mystery in this installment was very
Richard Reviles Censorship Always in All Ways
Review: 53 of seventy-five
Authors: [[ALAN BRADLEY]]
Rating: 4.125* of five

The Book Report: Flavia de Luce of Buckshaw, Bishop's Lacey, is in it up to her neck again in this third outing of Alan Bradley's wildly popular series. This time she burns down a gypsy woman's fortune-telling tent, takes the woman home over her father's presumed objections, and then finds the lady bludgeoned almost to death in her caravan.

Next up is a meeting with the gypsy's semi-esta
I'm telling you I love these books so much I'm afraid to share them. I would be sad to hear anyone say anything negative about my girl Flavia. These are the Agatha Christie books for the young at heart. I absolutely adore them, and each is even better than the last.
I absolutely adore Flavia de Luce, a precocious 11 year old who tries to solve the murders that seem to be occuring quite frequently in the town of Bishop's Lacy. (I listen to audio, so forgive me if I spell things wrong.) Quite frankly, the little village has so many murders, I would think one would be safer living in South Los Angeles.

Reading A Red Herring Without Mustard, I realized what makes the character of Flavia so appealing. She is extremely intelligent, perhaps too much for her own go
Fearing that the first word that comes to mind for this review is inadequate, I hesitate to use the word "delightful" in describing the character of Flavia de Luce and the books in which she stars, but delightful she is and they are. I am simply smitten with this enchanting series from Alan Bradley. He doesn't miss a beat with this latest addition to the tale of an eleven year old precocious girl who has her own chemistry lab and an uncanny knack for uncovering puzzling clues and solving mysteri ...more
Since I was still half expecting a dagger to be plunged between my shoulder blades, I'm afraid I did not return her hug, which I received in stiff silence, rather like one of the sentries at Buckingham Palace pretending he doesn't notice the liberties being taken by an excessively affectionate tourist.

To say I'm a fan of this series would be an understatement.

Flavia de Luce is one of my favourite protagonists around. An 11-year old girl with a flair for chemistry and sleuthing, she possesses the
Oh Flavia, you poor, silly child.

I just love Flavia, with her "I'm so clever" attitude, and her youthful misinterpretation of all the adults around her. Bradley does a wonderful job, as usual, of portraying Flavia as an obnoxious, precocious and neglected little girl, who thinks she knows all-sees all, but is still just a child.

There's still a mystery concerning her mother, I suppose Bradley isn't going to hand us that one anytime soon. In the meantime, he gives us another dead body, more chemi
I'm somewhat torn on the subject of Flavia de Luce. I find the books fun to read, but the hail-fellow-well-met Englishness (as portrayed by a Canadian writer who never went to England prior to starting on the first book). It's just a total fantasy, and I can never tell how seriously people are taking it.

As for the mystery in this particular installment, I figured it out relatively quickly, but it's still fun to follow along, and I love that the main character is a young girl who is fascinated wi
Book Concierge
Book on CD performed by Jayne Entwistle

The third installment in this series starring a precocious 11-year-old chemistry wizard finds our heroine, Flavia de Luce, caught up with an old gypsy woman and her granddaughter.

I really enjoy this series, and this one is quite good. Bradley puts far less emphasis on Flavia’s chemistry wizardry, and relies more on her indomitable spirit, her curiosity, grace under pressure, quick thinking, and ability to lie through her teeth. Yes, her sisters contin
Eleven year old Flavia de Luce solves another mystery of a murder, an assault on a fortune teller and a buried baby, all on her backyard. She is beginning to sound like she lives in my neighborhood in Baltimore instead of an idyllic 1950's English country side of Bishop's Lacey. There is one hilarious bit in which she daydreams about how she will be showered with adulation by the police when she digs up important clues only later to be told she has contaminated the crime scene. And when she is t ...more
Carolyn Hill
Mar 28, 2011 Carolyn Hill rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Kathy Stewart
The best of the series so far. With a gypsy fortune-teller, an underground religious sect, antique forgeries, an unknown family portrait, a vicious attack, and a murder at the Poseidon fountain, the plot bubbles over with intriguing dynamics like a boiling beaker in one of Flavia's chemical experiments. The irrepressible voice of eleven-year-old Flavia lifts this series way above the norm for English cozy mysteries. Despite her acid tongue, I found her more sympathetic in this book as she shows ...more
Flavia de Luce is back and in top form in this third in Alan Bradley's delightful series that began with Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie. "Red Herring" was every bit as fun as Sweetness. Flavia is plucky as ever, roaming through the halls of her father's manor, conconting chemical brews and tricks to rorment her sisters, chatting with her ever-faithful bicycle Gladys, and, of course beating the local constabulary to the solution of crimes, murders, and mysteries. More is revealed of Falvia's ...more
Flavia is at it again, and it was a true delight to follow her through this mystery. The constant battle with her sisters, the desire for her murder solving skills to be recognized and appreciated by Inspector Hewitt, and her grief over the mother she's never known, are some of the continuing threads of Flavia's personal story that allowed me more of an insight into her character. This along with her brilliant mind and ability to solve the mystery kept me reading long after I should have put the ...more
An Odd1
"A Red Herring Without Mustard" (Flavia 3) by Alan Bradley is from Thomas Lodge and Robert Greene 1592 like "a cup of ale without a wench ... an egg without salt". I've given up relating the titles to the content, and let it add old-timey atmosphere. I like all chapters titled; his would be a treat and a half. In this episode of the series, our heroine is almost a villain, she misbehaves so.

Flavia 11 burns the church fête tent of gypsy Fenella Faa, offers a campsite in recompense when the docto
Flavia! You're at it again. This time, our story begins at a small town fair in which you and the gypsy palm reader suddenly find yourselves intimately acquainted. When the gypsy is attacked while staying on the property at Buckshaw, Flavia is, of course, immediately involved in trying to solve the crime behind the backs of the local constabulary. Before she's even had a moment to truly assess the evidence, another crime is committed, bringing the excitement level to a new high. While traipsing ...more
Fabulous! Flavia does it again! I'm absolutely in love with Flavia de Luce as she glides around Bishop’s Lacey on good old Gladys.

Crime is literally in Flavia's back yard this go 'round; Buckshaw's gardens are rife with unsavory behavior of the most appalling kind. Flavia must again find a way to seek revenge on her awful sisters while attempting to piece together a scramble of hints and clues before Inspector Hewitt can get his hands on them. Of course, Flavia has the upper hand as the scene of
Here is my review from my Library Thing profile:

As a big Flavia de Luce fan, I expected to enjoy this book, and was not let down, not a bit. I must congratulate Alan Bradley on another unqualified success. His writing continues to bring joy to the reader. His descriptions are deft enough to make them jump off the pages. I especially liked the one of the gypsy caravan. It made it seem as though I could climb right in. His map and detailed description of the de Luce house and its environs enable t
Flavia de Luce is an eleven year-old girl living with her widower father and two older sisters in crumbling mansion in the English countryside circa 1950. I think the main reason I didn't enjoy this third book of the series as much as the first two is because of the performance of Jayne Entwistle, the actress reading the book in this audio edition. Her Flavia is a smarmy British twit, not the precocious sardonic chemistry savant we came to know and love in the earlier book. Plus there appear to ...more
Shonna Froebel
This is the third novel in the Flavia de Luce series. It started with The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie, and continued with The Weed that Strings the Hangman's Bag. I thought the first much better than the second, but the third is back to the quality of the first. The plot itself is strong, and Flavia shows some character development, as does her father the Colonel.
There is less about the two sisters here than in the previous books, but Flavia more than makes up for it. Her adventures star
Elizabeth (Miss Eliza)
Flavia de Luce really has a bad habit of being at the center of whatever catastrophe is currently gripping Bishop's Lacey. For example, the fire that is currently engulfing the fortune telling tent at the local fete... well, she may or may not be responsible depending on who you ask, so please don't ask. But while the pillar of black smoke rises, Flavia sees that all of Bishop's Lacey is there, even Brookie Harewood, that most mysterious of nefarious men whose income is questionable was berating ...more
Mi pequeña y traviesa Flavia ♥ yo amo por encima de todas las cosas a esta chica.
Con el título del libro me esperaba un desarrollo distinto de la historia la verdad. Eso no quita que me haya encantando. Siempre está metida en medio de un berenjenal. Muchos más misterios por resolver que hacen dudar incluso a la protagonista.
Vamos conociendo más cosas de su historia familiar pero me he quedado con ganas de más. No voy a decir a quién me refiero para no crear spoiler pero seguro que se puede deduc
To fans of the previous two: this is just as good, and Flavia is just as precocious and hilarious. To anyone who hasn't picked this series up: if you enjoy a well-written mystery, you really don't have an excuse.

This time around, Flavia gets mixed up in the mystery by discovering a gypsy woman who had been brutally attacked in her caravan. Not too long after that, she stumbles across the body of one of the local no-goods, and things just get more complicated from there. This goes quite a bit int
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
  • Naughty in Nice (Her Royal Spyness Mysteries, #5)
  • Birds of a Feather (Maisie Dobbs #2)
  • The Case of the Gypsy Good-bye (Enola Holmes Mysteries, #6)
  • The September Society (Charles Lenox Mysteries, #2)
  • The God of the Hive (Mary Russell, #10)
  • Full Dark House (Bryant & May, #1)
  • A Trick of the Light (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, #7)
Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the Goodreads database with this name.

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
More about Alan Bradley...
The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie (Flavia de Luce, #1) The Weed That Strings the Hangman's Bag (Flavia de Luce, #2) I Am Half-Sick of Shadows (Flavia De Luce, #4) Speaking from Among the Bones (Flavia de Luce, #5 ) The Dead in Their Vaulted Arches (Flavia de Luce, #6)

Share This Book

“Whenever I'm with other people, part of me shrinks a little. Only when I am alone can I fully enjoy my own company.” 150 likes
“Compared with my life Cinderella was a spoiled brat.” 24 likes
More quotes…