Whitney 's Reviews > A Red Herring Without Mustard

A Red Herring Without Mustard by Alan Bradley
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's review
Apr 18, 13

bookshelves: mystery-thriller, own
Read in October, 2011 — I own a copy

Flavia de Luce is back for her third mystery and just as nosy as ever. Although this time she can't help it, murder has occurred right outside her front door! After setting a traveling fortune teller's caravan on fire, Flavia offers her home for the gypsy to crash. Unfortunately, this is a fatal suggestion as Gypsy woman's life is put in danger. After seeing that all is right with her guest, Flavia heads back to Buckshaw to find Brookie, the local hooligan hung from above the the home's fountain and that is where Flavia seriously begins her investigative work.

Flavia is one of the reasons why I have recently fallen in love with mysteries. She is like a cat, quick on her feet, mischievous and plays by her own rules. Although Flavia is most like a cat in her cleverness, she is smart with being a precocious or a 11 year old know it all, instead she is like Harriet the Spy. And how convenient that her mother's name is Harriet? Which brings us to the skeleton in the de Luce's closet, Harriet de Luce wife and mother who tragically disappears on a mountain exposition. The reader learns a little more of the impact on Harriet and her caring, adventurous personality through vignettes of memories and a portrait of her girls. Mrs. de Luce is the black horse in the book, always hovering in the background. Lastly, the murderers in this mystery series are usually secondary characters (we can't have everyone in Bisho'ps Lacy be a cold blooded murder) because of this waiting behind the curtain technique the reader is always one step behind Flavia herself.
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