This delightful, clever, wryly funny murder mystery, set in 1950, is narrated by a very intelligent, resourceful 11-year-old heroine named Flavia Sabina de Luce, who lives in an English country house and whose passions are chemistry, with an emphasis on poisons, and deduction.
After Flavia happens upon a murdered man in the cucumber patch behind the house, her widowed, philately-obsessed father is arrested, and it's up to Flavia to solve the crime and prove his innocence. (Of her discovery of the body, Flavia says that this was by far the most interesting thing that had ever happened to her in her entire life.)
The story is beautifully written, with a wonderful cast of characters, a well-paced plot and excellent dialogue. Readers who like British cozy mysteries, and fans of Harriet the Spy, are especially likely to enjoy this book, but I also recommend it to anyone who likes an original, refreshing, playful whodunit. Now I'm eagerly looking forward to reading the sequel.