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A Red Herring Without Mustard

(Flavia de Luce #3)

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4.06  ·  Rating details ·  37,509 ratings  ·  4,006 reviews
Award-winning author Alan Bradley returns with another beguiling novel starring the insidiously clever and unflappable eleven-year-old sleuth Flavia de Luce. The precocious chemist with a passion for poisons uncovers a fresh slew of misdeeds in the hamlet of Bishop's Lacey--mysteries involving a missing tot, a fortune-teller, and a corpse in Flavia's own backyard.

Flavia ha
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Hardcover, 399 pages
Published February 8th 2011 by Delacorte Press
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MC Dotson I have been following these books in order, and to me, they are just the run-of-the-mill older siblings who like to torment the youngest, who is quite…moreI have been following these books in order, and to me, they are just the run-of-the-mill older siblings who like to torment the youngest, who is quite different from them as far as personal interests go. They make up a unique family, including their dead mother, and Dogger and Mrs. Mullet as "unofficial" family. For all the nasty things they say and do to each other, I still get the sense that they do care for each other in a weird family way. Plus, if they didn't torment her first, we wouldn't get to revel in her chemistry-driven retaliations! Those are always fun extras to the stories!(less)
MC Dotson I thought that supporting characters didn't harm the plot of the story by providing more background and imagery of Bishop's Lacey. I think they add to…moreI thought that supporting characters didn't harm the plot of the story by providing more background and imagery of Bishop's Lacey. I think they add to world building or setting, like a cozy mystery does. However, they usually reappear from story to story and are convenient to use as bitplayers for moving certain plot points forward. They serve the purpose of providing information or something else without having to explain a whole lot as to who they are or what their function is because we have "met" them before. Flavia's investigative skills as a child are limited, so it makes sense it includes the people and places she can easily use as a resource that are conveniently around her. I have noticed that even if you don't read the books in order, the author does a good job at briefly refreshing the reader's memory or filling in a new reader without a whole of extra detail. (less)

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Average rating 4.06  · 
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Jeffrey Keeten
Oct 28, 2013 rated it really liked it
”ALONE AT LAST!
Whenever I’m with other people, part of me shrinks a little. Only when I am alone can I fully enjoy my own company.” Flavia de Luce


Flavia de Luce spends a lot of time by herself somewhat by choice and somewhat by her incompatibility with the rest of the household. She is the youngest of three daughters and is most decidedly lacking from any constructive supervision. Her father is a philatelist and spends most of his time intently examining stamps with a magnifying glass for those
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Adina
3.5* but I don't think it deserves 4*.

I was another interesting an fun mystery having as lead investigator the 11 years old, chemistry lovin', murder aficionado, Flavia de Luce. As per the previous books, I enjoy the mystery and Flavia's character but it is not very believable. I mean, she acts and talks too much as a grown up. And the relationship with her sisters is just creepy. I can't believe they can be so mean to each other. I will continue with the series but I am still waiting for the v
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Judy
Feb 11, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Full Disclosure--I'm in love with Flavia de Luce, the 11 year old who is deeply devoted to the study of chemistry, with a special interest in poisons, and an amateur sleuth. Flavia spends her time humoring her widowed father, who spends most of his time engrossed in stamp collecting, and bedeviling and avoiding her two older sisters--17 year old Ophelia whose passion is music and 13 year old Daphne whose passion is reading. In this third in the Flavia de Luce series, beginning with The Sweetness ...more
Crowinator
As always, a delight.

One-sentence summary: Flavia de Luce returns in her third mystery, investigating a long-ago missing child, the brutal attack on a gypsy fortune-teller, and a murdered local thug.

I feel like I've already said everything I need to about this series in my short reviews of the other two books. This one isn't any different -- it's delightful, charming, and funny, but it has dark undertones (her sisters' treatment of Flavia, which seems to be worse in this book; her father's abs
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Felicia
Nov 22, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery
I loved the first book in this series, and was not disappointed in the followup, although there seemed to be a lot more sadness in the life of the precocious 11 year old Flavia this time. She is still an intrepid detective, and her fights with her sisters have some of the funniest lines I've read in years, but the dysfunction in the family had a very lonely edge to it that made it hard to have as much FUN. The depth of it, however, was really fascinating.

The mystery in this installment was very
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Emma
Jun 23, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime
3.5 stars. Flavia continues to be the gem in these books. A blend of vulnerable and feisty, dogged and determined. I admire her tenacity and resilience and her ability to create a rich and full life for herself.
Julie Christine
Perhaps I took too long to read A Red Herring Without Mustard. If I'd zipped through it on sunny Sunday afternoon, the rambling plot would have been a trifle to be indulged instead of endured. About two-thirds of the way in, brakes were put on the pace and the exposition became redundant.

There were heaps of elements that I did love, namely Flavia and her irascible, invincible spirit. Bradley loves this little girl and taking care to round out her precociousness with vulnerability. Flavia is tak
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Tatiana
Jul 06, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: all Flavia de Luce fans
If you are contemplating reading A Red Herring Without Mustard you probably already adore Flavia de Luce, a precocious 12-year old amateur sleuth. If you feel wishy-washy about the girl, don't expect her to undergo a major personality transformation in this book, Flavia remains the same smart, naive, sneaky, lying chemist/detective as she was in The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie and The Weed that Strings the Hangman's Bag. And I wouldn't have her any other way.

As such series go, whenever a
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Carolyn
Aug 11, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: cosy-crime, 2017, mystery
In this third book in this charming and entertaining series, Flavia invites a gypsy and her caravan to stay on the family estate (after accidently burning down her tent at a fair), only to find the woman beaten nearly to death the following morning. She later finds a dead body in the grounds of her house, a man who she earlier caught prowling inside the house up to something fishy and is determined to find out what he was up to.

It's always delightful to spend a few hours with Flavia deLuce. Youn
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Kevin
Jan 09, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Warning: I am going to gush.

I adore Flavia DeLuce!! Honestly this 11 year old precocious chemist is someone I wish were a friend or maybe I could be her brilliant uncle...maybe my favorite character in any fiction! In a word, delightful!

A couple of my favorite quotes...
"Anyone who knew the word slattern was worth cultivating as a friend."

"Tell them we may not be praying with them," Father told the Vicar, "but we are at least not actively praying against them."

"It is not unknown for fathers with
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Shayantani
Jul 03, 2011 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: People who love flavia or other precocious yet not arrogant pre teens.
Recommended to Shayantani by: inoli and I can't thank him enough:)
I absolutely love Flavia, this precocious yet not obnoxious child sleuth has won over my heart, and I absolutely love her. Which is why I totally love this book, because it shows us a little more about Flavia. Behind the lab glasses and witty remarks, lies the heart of a small kid, who misses his mother, and is hurt by her sister’s hatred towards her. Some scenes were very very touching, and although really emotional scenes sometimes fail to move me, Flavia with her simple emotions almost made m ...more
Lisa Vegan
This was a wonderful book choice to transition me from 2011 to 2012.

Flavia is so much fun! She’s a hoot. But, with each book, I also find her more & more endearing. And she really makes me appreciate chemistry.

For the first time I’m enjoying Gladys as her own character, not just as an accoutrement of Flavia’s.

I would have preferred Roma to Gypsy, though this is historical fiction and I’m sure the term is more correctly used for this time and place. But then right away the word for horse was give
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Lata
Apr 09, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 stars. While Flavia remains brilliant, funny, annoyed at being excluded from investigations when she keeps providing Inspector Hewitt his best clues, I had some trouble with the plot of this story. The Hobblers and stolen goods stuff kept eluding my interest, though it was important to the resolution of the story. And what the heck is with Feelie and Daffy? Why are they so mean to Flavia? Not having had sisters, I don't get their attitude towards Flavia.
Michael
Jul 18, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: review, mystery, 2011
Review from Badelynge
This third outing of Alan Bradley's irrepressible Flavia De Luce gets the series back up to top form. Flavia saves the life of an old Gypsy fortune-teller who has been beaten and left for dead. Ok our young heroine had almost managed to burn her to a crisp the previous evening but the less said about such details the better. Flavia sets out to track down the assailant, trampling over several crime scenes in the process, bamboozling the local constabulary and driving her fami
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L.M.
Aug 24, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I'm telling you I love these books so much I'm afraid to share them. I would be sad to hear anyone say anything negative about my girl Flavia. These are the Agatha Christie books for the young at heart. I absolutely adore them, and each is even better than the last.
Sandi
Feb 15, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I absolutely adore Flavia de Luce, a precocious 11 year old who tries to solve the murders that seem to be occuring quite frequently in the town of Bishop's Lacy. (I listen to audio, so forgive me if I spell things wrong.) Quite frankly, the little village has so many murders, I would think one would be safer living in South Los Angeles.

Reading A Red Herring Without Mustard, I realized what makes the character of Flavia so appealing. She is extremely intelligent, perhaps too much for her own go
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Nicky
I'm somewhat torn on the subject of Flavia de Luce. I find the books fun to read, but the hail-fellow-well-met Englishness (as portrayed by a Canadian writer who never went to England prior to starting on the first book). It's just a total fantasy, and I can never tell how seriously people are taking it.

As for the mystery in this particular installment, I figured it out relatively quickly, but it's still fun to follow along, and I love that the main character is a young girl who is fascinated wi
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☼♎ Carmen the Bootyshaker Temptress ☼♎
Flavia is such a funny child. Not only is she smart but she is pretty good at getting herself involved in deaths. She seems to be caught accidently or is it. She does help get the right person. I so love how she names her bike and the drama with her sister. Of course the things that she blurts out are quite fun too. Flavia to the rescue I say. LOL
Richard Derus
Dec 03, 2011 rated it really liked it
Review: 53 of seventy-five
Title: [A RED HERRING WITHOUT MUSTARD]
Authors: [[ALAN BRADLEY]]
Rating: 4.125* of five

The Book Report: Flavia de Luce of Buckshaw, Bishop's Lacey, is in it up to her neck again in this third outing of Alan Bradley's wildly popular series. This time she burns down a gypsy woman's fortune-telling tent, takes the woman home over her father's presumed objections, and then finds the lady bludgeoned almost to death in her caravan.

Next up is a meeting with the gypsy's semi-esta
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Jennifer
Apr 04, 2020 rated it really liked it
Zipping through these at the speed of quarantine! I think the series is starting to hit its stride, having fully fleshed its main characters, town, and manor home. Buckshaw is definitely more of a character in its own here, with some interesting family secrets lurking about. The mystery's not bad, either, although I think this series might actually be more about family drama, cleverly couched in Flavia's precocious but blindspotted perspective, than it is about a mystery.

I have to say, the numb
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Tras
Mar 14, 2020 rated it really liked it
Can't believe it's been 12 months since I read the first two books in the Flavia de Luce series. It feels like 5 minutes have passed! I meant to read more, and sooner, but obviously got sidetracked with other things. Anyway, all that to say that this book is an excellent addition to the series and if you enjoyed the first 2 books, you'll love this one too.
Sandy
I am not sure if it is the personality of Flavia or the voice given to her by the narrator of this audiobook that annoys me so much. At any rate, 10 hours and 45 minutes of this story was about 3 hours too long. I finally ended with a marathon listening session simply to avoid having to hear that voice again tomorrow! Not to mention, also, that there are too many (in my opinion) "educational" diversions and unnecessary, long-winded explanations. Stick to the story, please!

The many tentacles of t
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Twig
Mar 04, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I`ve read this book in one sitting and oh my dear Flavia, you are the most adorable 11 year old girl I`ve ever known!! ...more
Anna
"I felt my temper rising. Here was this man – a man in an ordinary business suit, without so much as a badge on his shoulder – dismissing me from the scene of a crime that I had come to think of as my very own. After all, hadn’t I been the first to discover it?

Had Marie Curie been dismissed after discovering polonium? Or radium? Had someone told her to run along?
Tiffy
Jan 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Loved the latest escapades of Flavia's life. This one is just as great as the previous two. It's chalked full of murder, mystery, mayhem and sister drama. Cant wait to read the next one.
Kathy
Fearing that the first word that comes to mind for this review is inadequate, I hesitate to use the word "delightful" in describing the character of Flavia de Luce and the books in which she stars, but delightful she is and they are. I am simply smitten with this enchanting series from Alan Bradley. He doesn't miss a beat with this latest addition to the tale of an eleven year old precocious girl who has her own chemistry lab and an uncanny knack for uncovering puzzling clues and solving mysteri ...more
Stacey
Oh Flavia, you poor, silly child.

I just love Flavia, with her "I'm so clever" attitude, and her youthful misinterpretation of all the adults around her. Bradley does a wonderful job, as usual, of portraying Flavia as an obnoxious, precocious and neglected little girl, who thinks she knows all-sees all, but is still just a child.

There's still a mystery concerning her mother, I suppose Bradley isn't going to hand us that one anytime soon. In the meantime, he gives us another dead body, more chemi
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Brooke
Aug 16, 2015 rated it it was amazing
4.5 rating!

Another wonderful installment to this series written by one of the BEST storytellers I've come across!!

Colleen
Sep 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
A series worth continuing...

Antiques, my sitter! - Mrs. Mullet

If amends were to be made, I would make them on my own-not because I was made to do so by a sense of shame.

The windows were coated with the kind of opaque film that tells of neglect and cobwebs, the kind of windows that watch you.

While the passions and feelings that accumulate like noxious gases inside a house seem to condense and cling to the walls and ceilings like old smoke, the out-of-doors is different. The landscape seems incapa
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Joanie
May 12, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: everyone
Since I was still half expecting a dagger to be plunged between my shoulder blades, I'm afraid I did not return her hug, which I received in stiff silence, rather like one of the sentries at Buckingham Palace pretending he doesn't notice the liberties being taken by an excessively affectionate tourist.

To say I'm a fan of this series would be an understatement.

Flavia de Luce is one of my favourite protagonists around. An 11-year old girl with a flair for chemistry and sleuthing, she possesses the
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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
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Other books in the series

Flavia de Luce (10 books)
  • The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie (Flavia de Luce, #1)
  • The Weed That Strings the Hangman's Bag (Flavia de Luce, #2)
  • 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)
  • As Chimney Sweepers Come to Dust (Flavia de Luce, #7)
  • Thrice the Brinded Cat Hath Mew'd (Flavia de Luce, #8)
  • The Grave's a Fine and Private Place (Flavia de Luce, #9)
  • The Golden Tresses of the Dead (Flavia de Luce, #10)

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