The act of reading ... begins on a flat surface, counter or page, and then gets stirred and chopped and blended until what we make, in the end, is a dish, or story, all our own.
— Adam Gopnik

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October 29, 2016

Thrice the Brindled Cat Hath Mew'd

The winter rain slashes at my face like icy razor blades, but I don't care. I dig my chin deep into the collar of my mackintosh, put my head down, and push on against the buffeting of the furious wind.
      I am cycling madly toward the village of Bishop's Lacey, fleeing hordes of Hell's hobgobblins.
      The past twenty-four hours have been a nightmare. All I can think about is getting away from Buckshaw.
      Gladys' wheels groan horribly between us. The biting cold has penetrated her steel bones and seized the tendons of her brake cables. She judders wickedly on the slick tarmac, threatening to skid off the road entirely and pitch me into the icy ditch.
      I want to scream into the wind, but I don't. One of us, at least, must keep her wits about her.

As Inspector Hewitt would say, 'Flavia, Flavia, Flavia,'  This is probably the mystery series I look forward to the most, and even though things are changing a little — our Flavia is twelve now, after all — this new one as good as I always hope they will be.

Returning home from her term at Miss Bodycote's Female Academy, Flavia expects a warm welcome at the station, but is greeted by Dogger with the news that her father is in the hospital, seriously ill with pneumonia.  When she visits Cynthia, the overworked vicar's wife, Flavia volunteers to deliver a message to Mr. Sambridge, 'a very clever wood-carver' who lives in the neighboring village of Stowe Pontefract.  Of course, being Flavia, she discovers a body, and becomes embroiled in a mystery involving a famous author and his main character, a boy named Crispian Crumpet.

As in the last book, there's a little less chemistry and a little less silliness, but Flavia is still a wonderful character.  I started reading this book in print {thanks to NetGalley and Random House!} but I finished with the audiobook, narrated as usual by Jayne Entwhistle, who is as always a perfect Flavia.

{It's just a coincidence that I'm reading another mystery — Closed Casket, Sophie Hannah's second Hercule Poirot novel — that revolves around a famous author of children's books, but I'm enjoying that one too.}

Thrice the Brindled Cat Has Mew'd:  a Flavia de Luce mystery, by Alan Bradley
Random House, 2016
From Random House, via NetGalley, and as an audiobook, borrowed from the library


JoAnn said...

Why haven't I read any of these books yet? I've never met a reader who doesn't love Flavia :)

Audrey said...

Listen to one! I think you'd agree with me about the narration. :)

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