Sunday, January 20, 2013

A Red Herring Without Mustard

by Alan Bradley

Last January I read the first of the Flavia de Luce mysteries and said I'd probably read another. Well, here it is. This book is filled with many of the same characters and Flavia struggles with many of the same family troubles as mentioned in the first novel. These interactions give a rather morose tone to the overall story, which takes away from the fun.
The story centers around a gyspy, who after reading a villager's fortune is found nearly dead in her caravan. A day later, the likely suspect is found dead, hanging from the trident at Poseidon's fountain. So the search for the killer begins. Unfortunately, in Red Herring, there really isn't much of a mystery, I think any reader could pick up all the clues long before the heroine does.
In his novels, Mr. Bradley references a variety of other literary works as well as providing little factoids about chemicals, their interactions, their uses and their founders.
I read this book for the reading challenge. After this one, I think I've had my fill of Flavia. These books should be marketed to a younger audience.

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