Kathryn'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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Jul 04, 12

bookshelves: 2012
Read from June 29 to July 03, 2012

This is the second novel in the series of Flavia de Luce mysteries by this author (the first being The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie). Complicated mysteries still abound, although Flavia stays much closer to her home at Buckshaw this time, and I enjoyed reading this book.

It is well into July of 1950, and eleven year old Flavia de Luce just happens to be at the graveyard at St. Tancred’s (just outside of the village of Bishop’s Lacey) when a puppeteer’s van breaks down. It contains one Rupert Porson, who has a puppet show on the BBC that Flavia has never seen (Father does not hold with television), and Porson’s assistant Nialla. The vicar of St. Tancred convinces Porson to do not one but two puppet shows at the parish hall; as the vicarage’s spare rooms are being repainted, he directs them to Culverhouse Farm, where they can set up their tent just below Gibbet Hill. The Inglebys, who own Culverhouse Farm, are a quiet couple; their only son Robin died five years ago when he was found hanged at the old gibbet up on Gibbet Hill, and Grace Ingleby has never been the same since.

Flavia is very much in the thick of everything happening in the village, at the parsonage, and at Culverhouse Farm, and knows everyone locally, including Dieter, the former German prisoner of war who now stays at the farm, and Mad Meg, whom rumor holds was the first one to find poor Robin’s body up on Gibbet Hill. When a murder occurs, with several likely possible murderers, she and her trusty steed Gladys (her late mother’s bicycle) fly from Buckshaw to Bishop’s Lacey and back again several times, or at least when she can escape Aunt Felicity, who has arrived at Buckshaw for a visit.

In this book Flavia does not get to use her arcane chemistry knowledge much, except that know the antidote to cyanide poisoning does come in handy; and one thinks that surely Flavia would have investigated the death of young Robin Ingleby before now. But I am looking forward to reading the next book in the series in the fullness of time.
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06/30/2012 page 101
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