Saturday Series – Flavia De Luce

Happy Saturday! Saturday Series is a weekly (or maybe not so weekly) meme where we get to share those book series that we love and adore. The ones where you get so attached to all the characters that they have your whole heart. You may have been in from book one, anxiously waiting for every single sequel. Or maybe you joined the crowd anywhere along the way and then had to catch up. It might be a series that’s not even finished yet, and you’re just counting the days for the writer to catch up. In any case, this is the place to gush all you want! Feel free to share this and the banner with any one.

The Flavia de Luce series by Alan Bradley

Have you tried these books yet? If not, why not? A few years ago when book 1 came out, I didn’t know what to expect, just that it featured a young girl who solved mysteries and that it was set in post WW2 England. I love that setting, but I didn’t know if I would like the girl. Turns out it’s very hard to resist Flavia de Luce.

Not that her older sisters, Daphne and Flavia (known in the English way by dorky nicknames, Daffy & Feelie) have any trouble with it. They can be truly horrible to each other. I guess I might be resentful of a such a brilliant younger sibling too. Flavia’s particular genius is chemistry.  She has an almost professional chemistry lab in the attic, where she frequently blows things up. They also live with their father and his manservant. Here’s a book description for the first book, The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie.

It is the summer of 1950–and at the once-grand mansion of Buckshaw, young Flavia de Luce, an aspiring chemist with a passion for poison, is intrigued by a series of inexplicable events: A dead bird is found on the doorstep, a postage stamp bizarrely pinned to its beak. Then, hours later, Flavia finds a man lying in the cucumber patch and watches him as he takes his dying breath.

For Flavia, who is both appalled and delighted, life begins in earnest when murder comes to Buckshaw. “I wish I could say I was afraid, but I wasn’t. Quite the contrary. This was by far the most interesting thing that had ever happened to me in my entire life.”

At first the local police have no intention of letting a girl get involved in a murder investigation. As the series continues, they begin to loosen up a bit. Flavia makes friends and her relationship with her older sisters improves a bit. But Flavia herself remains irrepressible.

This is definitely a book series that you need to read in order. There’s a lot of character growth and plot development that occurs and you wouldn’t appreciate it if you didn’t start at the beginning. I’ve read some and listened to some, and the audio version is excellent. Either way it’s a lot of fun. You might expect it to be a bit cheesy and saccharine, but there’s enough bite to prevent it from becoming too sweet.

Alan Bradley

Author Alan Bradley lived in Canada for many years but now lives in Malta. He’s received numerous awards for the series, and as far as I can tell, plans to keep writing more stories about Flavia.

Have you tried this series? What did you think? What other mystery series do you like? Let me know in the comments.


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