The Weed That Strings the Hangman's Bag (A Flavia de Luce Mystery #2)
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The Weed That Strings the Hangman's Bag (Flavia de Luce #2)

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3.97 of 5 stars 3.97  ·  rating details  ·  22,880 ratings  ·  3,377 reviews
Flavia de Luce, a dangerously smart eleven-year-old with a passion for chemistry and a genius for solving murders, thinks that her days of crime-solving in the bucolic English hamlet of Bishop’s Lacey are over—until beloved puppeteer Rupert Porson has his own strings sizzled in an unfortunate rendezvous with electricity. But who’d do such a thing, and why? Does the madwoma...more
Paperback, 364 pages
Published February 8th 2011 by Bantam (first published January 1st 2010)
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Jeanette
I see I'm not the only one unthrilled by this second book. There are no spoilers in what follows, but if you loved the first one and are excited for this one, read no further. Or if you do, don't complain to me that I killed your joy.

This story meandered way too much to keep my interest, and I thought the plot was dreadfully thin. Lots of window dressing and trying too hard to be cute. It felt very much like a 70-something-year-old man trying to sound like an 11-year-old girl. And of course, th...more
Laurie
Flavia returns! Oh, delicious young poisoner Flavia de Luce, cousin to Wednesday Addams, Sherlock Holmes as an 11 year-old girl. A delight.
Heather
The Weed That Strings the Hangman's Bag picks up a little more than a month after The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie leaves off, so it was good to read them consecutively. It's summer in Bishop's Lacey, the little village outside of which eleven-year-old Flavia de Luce lives with her father and two older sisters in the old family manor, Buckshaw. Flavia's relaxing in the churchyard when she sees that she has company: it turns out that the van of a famous puppeteer, Rupert Porson, has broken...more
Richard Reviles Censorship Always in All Ways
These are cute, cute, cute books! I don't buy it, a kid being this kind of smart, but I don't care. The plot's a little on the thin side, but I don't care. The fun of these books is the delightful fantasy of Eng-er-land post-WWII seen through the eyes of eleven-year-old Flavia, daughter of decayed privilege.

The murdered man, a puppeteer/drug dealer, *richly* deserved killing, which always makes a mystery more fun for me. His relict, of sorts, is of course a suspect, but her Delicate Condition (w...more
Carol
OK, I could only barely make it through one Harry Potter novel even though I lived in Edinburgh frequented the same cafes in the years that J.K Rowling wrote her books. Yet I am addicted to Flavia de Luce books as much as Flavia is addicted to chemistry, solving mysteries and devouring horehound sticks. Flavia has a hilarious and sweet view of her world and she make you want to be a part of it.


Eleven year old Flavia lives in Buckshaw, an old estate on the edge of Bishop's Lacey. She is know by...more
Lisa Vegan
I think I liked this second book even better than I did the first book in the series, even though I didn’t get to experience the same novelty of Flavia as a character.

I love Flavia and Flavia’s narration. She’s such a hoot. It helps to have a very warped sense of humor to enjoy this mystery series, and I am the proud possessor of a warped sense of humor, which allows me to enjoy all sorts of humor.

I knew too much about the mystery too soon, sort of, but the whole joy of this series is Flavia as...more
Jeffrey Keeten
I can't really explain it, but I really like this series. I don't read books like this and yet here I am with book two under my belt and looking forward to book three. I actually liked this book better than the first book The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie. I was talked into reading the first book, and prejudged the book which it took 3/4 of the book to convince me that I really was having a good time. With book two I picked it up already convinced I would like it and I wasn't disappointed....more
Lorraine M. Thompson
I read this book because I fell in like with the protagonist Flavia de Luce in "The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie". (And yes, I do sometimes select a book to read by its cover which is the main reason I picked up "The Sweetness...It had a crow on the cover and I am a huge corvoid fan!).

I just learned that there is a new Flavia book out and an totally looking forward to reading it.

Anyways, how can you not like a writer who pens:

"If you remember nothing else, remember this: Inspiration from...more
Tatiana
Jul 07, 2010 Tatiana rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: all Flavia de Luce fans
Another lovely and funny Flavia de Luce mystery.

One afternoon Flavia stumbles upon a traveling puppet show van at the local church's graveyard. The van is broken and in the temporary absence of the mechanic, stranded in Bishop's Lacy for a few days. Not to waste their time, performers decide to do a couple of shows to entertain local public. Of course, Flavia doesn't hesitate to befriend the famous puppeteer Rupert Porson and his beautiful (and pregnant) assistant. Tragedy strikes when during th...more
Nancy Oakes
Second in the series featuring young Flavia de Luce, The Weed that Strings the Hangman's Bag has our young heroine embroiled in yet another sticky situation or two, trying to uncover the identity of a murderer who dared do the deed in the middle of a performance of Jack the Beanstalk at the village church. As it just so happens, Flavia and her family, including Aunt Felicity (a new arrival to this series) are in the audience watching as the death occurs. Flavia knows right away that the death wa...more
Beth Cato
I don't read many mystery books, but I am hooked on this series--and have gotten my mom hooked as well. In this second book, 11-year-old Flavia continues her adventures in the British countryside where she roams wild with her unhealthy interest in murder and poison. In this book, a visiting puppeteer is murdered, and the cast of suspects is wide. Bradley, a Canadian, has a magnificent knack for creating characters who are brilliant and quirky in that perfectly British mold. Really, it would be a...more
Stacey
Oh Flavia, you and your poison...

This second installment in the Flavia De Luce series was a bit slower than the first (the murder doesn't even occur until half-way through the book!) but more revealing of the De Luce family background, which made up for the slower start. Flavia is freakishly observant and manipulative, and she's 11 years old.

The mysteries are told from the viewpoint of a very precocious, highly intelligent child. She misses things that an adult would grasp immediately, but she...more
Sara
Bradley ups the ante with The Weed that Strings the Hangman’s Bag, his second Flavia deLuce novel in which our spunky heroine (an eleven year old budding chemist with a passion for poison) investigates the sudden death of a celebrity puppeteer. And of course, the mystery she sets out to solve twists and turns along adding another possible victim, and quirky hilarity ensues.

I usually approach the second installment of any series warily. After finishing The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie, and...more
Marleen
This book was send to me by Bookdagger for my honest review.

This is the second book by Alan Bradley featuring the precocious Flavia de Luce.
Flavia is eleven years old, the youngest of three sisters who live with their philatelist and rather absent father in a mansion in the country-side in England in the 1950's.
Flavia could easily have been a lonely and sad little girl, bullied by her sisters, half believing that she caused her mother's death and more or less ignored by her father, but she's far...more
Joel
The characters are lightly amusing in that British way, and Flavia is much less annoying in print than she was as an audiobook character, but the mystery this time around is rather arbitrary and lacking even the modicum of suspense that propelled The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie. I suppose it isn't very plausible that Flavia would be involved in another death-defying case, but a little more intrigue would be welcome.

It is a fun series, though. I like the way Flavia's brilliance as a chemis...more
Kathy
Flavia de Luce is one of the most delightful characters to come along in contemporary mystery fiction in some time. Introduced to this charming character in The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie, she continues to entertain and engage the reader in this second novel of the series. Bradley in his writing, full of wit and humor, is able to spin tales that are totally absorbing, literally the kind you don't want to put down and can't wait to pick up again. The reader is definitely left hungry for m...more
Kendra Recht
It's hard to write a review of the second book in a series, because for the most part, my thoughts about the general writing remain the same. Thus this will have to be quite a bit shorter than my review of The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie, but not for lack of loving it. Everything that I enjoyed in the previous book was brought back here.

As in the last book, young Flavia de Luce stumbles upon another mystery -- another murder mystery, to be precise. And, much like the last book, there are...more
Jennifer
2 Words that describe the book: Girl detective

3 Settings where it took place or characters you met:

1. Setting: 1950s England in and about the village of Bishop's Lacey

2. Flavia de Luce—The precocious, fearless, trouble-making, sneaky, aspiring chemist/amateur detective is back for another installment of this delightful series. Flavia is 11-years-old going on 30, and her quick thinking, penchant for trouble and inquisitiveness bring her once again into the thick of a murder mystery.

3. Rupert Pors...more
Nancy
The/My second Flavia de Luce mystery. Such a clever series. It's a shame this precocious 11-year-old has a macabre fascination with death, because otherwise she would be quite the heroine for young readers. Alas, I think the plot lines, despite their charming protagonist, is meant for more mature audiences.

I wish I could speak like Flavia-- so very witty, British, and fabulously 1950s (a time when kids still rode their bikes everywhere and had machinery in their mouths for braces).

I am so impr...more
Nikki
After my disappointment with The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie -- it didn't live up to the rave reviews I'd heard -- I was prepared to just gently enjoy this, with a few smiles and nods of the head. The nostalgia for an England that never existed is rife throughout this, of course, and Flavia de Luce is completely unbelievable, but if you try and read it as a sort of parody/wish-fulfillment of that dream of the gently decaying gentry in their sleepyish village, it goes a lot more smoothly....more
Lee
Dec 16, 2011 Lee rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Lee by: Kathy Reel
Eleven year old Flavia has done it again! Outsmarted the local constabulary, saved the day with an extremely creative, chemical concoction and solved another murder accompanied by her trusty bike Gladys. She pedals around the village and surrounding countryside, ferreting out secrets and succeeds where the kind but stern, Detective Inspector fails.

This second book in the Flavia de Luce series set in 1950’s rural England drew me in immediately and has just as much, if not more charm than the firs...more
April Steenburgh
Flavia de Luce has settled into being my favorite heroine. And has managed to get me insanely excited about reading a good, old fashioned murder mystery. How could one resist a book written from the point of view of a brilliant, cheeky, poison-loving kid?

Now, I have heard some folks say that Flavia's inner monologue and actions are not true to that of an 11 year old, but I will point out I have met some brilliant kids, and honestly, had I the access to the chemistry this girl has in the depths...more
Shirley Schwartz
I enjoyed this second Flavia de Luce book almost as much as the first. I love Flavia, and it was wonderful that six months later in her world, she hasn't changed a bit. She still schemes of creative ways to get back at her sisters, Ophelia and Daphne. She still trys to keep her totally muddled father out of the picture of eveything that she is up to. The only one that she can't fool is dear old Dogger. He knows what she's going to do before she even does herself. In this book Flavia meets a pupp...more
leenleen1984
I sat down to read "The weed that strings the hangman’s bag" and to be perfectly honest I expected the same old over published drivel. I certainly didn’t expect to enjoy it, but as with any book I start reading I continue on to the end.
My head was filled with doubts, how can I have an interest in an expert chemist in the 1950's let alone a pre pubescent girl who solves mysteries? It all seemed very unbelievable. How wrong I was.

Alan Bradley has an amazing skill and considerable zest, he project...more
Michael
Review from Badelynge
The previous book in this series had me rummaging around in my cupboards to find my old stamp books, since the plot revolved around stamps and their collectors and admirers. Said rummaging also involved turning over some of my childhood memories connected to my own involvement in the hobby. See review of The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie. This time the old traditional puppet show takes centre stage instead and unfortunately I'm not a closet puppet collector with vintage...more
Lelia Taylor
The Weed That Strings the Hangman's Bag
Alan Bradley
Read by Jayne Entwistle
Random House Audio, March 2010
ISBN 0307576418
Unabridged Audio Book

Flavia de Luce, an eleven-year-old with a near-genius mind, apparently has way too much time, and too much curiosity, for a child who is benignly neglected by her father and ignored, at best, by her disdainful and tormenting older sisters. When we first encounter her in The Weed That Strings the Hangman's Bag, she is prostrate in the Bishop's Lacey village c...more
Michael
Probably more like a three-and-a-half starrer.

The great pitfall for these Flavia de Luce books are obviously that we won't buy this precocious girl's voice, or that we won't buy this sometimes twee British world she lives in, or that it will all be too much for entertainment's sake and with no real emotional stake for the reader. (In that way, I suppose it is like the second season of Downton Abbey, which was a kind of cloying dreadful that makes me spitting angry). For the most part, this nove...more
LJ
First Sentence: I was lying dead in the churchyard.

Ten-year-old Flavia de Luce is ignored by her father, and continually set upon by her sisters. To compensate, she has her grandfather’s old laboratory, where she indulges her love of chemistry and skill with poisons, her bicycle, Gladys, and her skill at solving puzzles.

Flavia befriends a beloved BBC puppeteer, Rupert Porson, and his “assistant,” who are stranded with a broken-down fan. When Rupert is electrocuted during a performance of “Jack...more
JoLene
3.5 stars
Audio version: this is the 2nd book in the Flavian de Luce series. I think I prefer the audio as the narrator is really good. Also, I found that Flavian a bit annoying in the first one. I think in audio format, I found her less annoying because I did not dwell on some of the unbelievability. The author does a great job in creating the small English town where everyone knows everyone, but not well enough that there aren't still secrets lurking around :-). I do find Flavia's home life to...more
Wealhtheow
A well-known puppeteer drops dead during a performance in front of the entire village. Flavia de Luce, a girl overflowing with curiosity and arcane chemical knowledge, is on the case. I love her so much.
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Goodreads Librari...: Incorrect publication date 4 15 May 18, 2014 07:38PM  
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1074866
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
More about Alan Bradley...
The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie (Flavia de Luce, #1) A Red Herring Without Mustard (Flavia de Luce, #3) 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)

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“If you remember nothing else, remember this: Inspiration from outside one's self is like the heat in an oven. It makes passable Bath buns. But inspiration from within is like a volcano: It changes the face of the world.” 75 likes
“I am often thought of as being remarkably bright, and yet my brains, more often than not, are busily devising new and interesting ways of bringing my enemies to sudden, gagging, writhing, agonizing death.” 71 likes
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