Jeffrey Keeten's Reviews > The Weed That Strings the Hangman's Bag

The Weed That Strings the Hangman's Bag by Alan Bradley
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Nov 08, 2011

it was amazing
Read from November 04 to 06, 2011

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.

Flavia de Luce our 11 year old heroine is pretty much left to her own devices. Her mother died young. Her father buries himself in his stamp collection leaving Flavia at best barely supervised. Her sisters Daphne and Ophelia known with a bit of venom as Daffy and Feely are in an on going conflict with Flavia. They despise Flavia and the feeling is mutual.

The problem for the sisters is Flavia has more than an interest in poisons bordering on an obsession. Flavia is over the space of the first two books in a battle with herself over whether she should just get it over with and poison her sisters.

Flavia, with the use of her trusty bike Gladys, ranges all over the countryside. It is no wonder that if there is any intrigue afoot in the county Flavia will find herself in the middle of it. She is precocious, manipulative, intelligent, and curious to the point of lunacy.

One of my favorite moments in the book is when Flavia mixes sun dried pigeon poop with egg yolk to create an antidote for cyanide. WHOA MACGYVER MOMENT.

If you are looking for a fun bit of English countryside with an Agatha Christie investigation and a good dose of hilarity inducing sibling rivalry this book will fit the bill.

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Comments (showing 1-5 of 5) (5 new)

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message 1: by Dawn (new) - added it

Dawn Currie Hey Jeff, picked up this book and just realized its the 2nd book in this series. Im wondering if you think it's important to read them In order or could I read the 2nd first and read the 1st one later? thanks Dawn


Jeffrey Keeten Dawn wrote: "Hey Jeff, picked up this book and just realized its the 2nd book in this series. Im wondering if you think it's important to read them In order or could I read the 2nd first and read the 1st one..."

Dawn because the series builds on each book I'd read them in order. I think your enjoyment will be enhanced.


Jeffrey Keeten Sabah wrote: "loved the whoa macgyver moment!!! So funny. Thankyou for another wonderful review."

You are most welcome. This is a fun series. I normally wouldn't read anything along these lines, but I find Flavia irresistible.


message 4: by Booklovers (new)

Booklovers Melbourne I read the first one a while ago and wasn't sure I really liked it. Flavia seemed too precocious and unnaturally intelligent for an eleven year old and I just didn't warm up to her! Is the 2nd one different?


Jeffrey Keeten Booklovers wrote: "I read the first one a while ago and wasn't sure I really liked it. Flavia seemed too precocious and unnaturally intelligent for an eleven year old and I just didn't warm up to her! Is the 2nd one ..."

From my standpoint I wouldn't have read past the first book if she had been a normal eleven year old. I think she is an exceptional girl with a gifted mind so her precociousness and unnatural intelligence, though unusual, are not unheard of. I think we underestimate what we are capable of at young ages. We try to make kids fit specific patterns. We dumb them down. Flavia doesn't really have the standard childhood. Thank goodness she found her Uncle's books and laboratory or all that beautiful natural intelligence might have evaporated. If you didn't like Flavia in the first one I would guess you won't like her any better in the second one.


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