In the bucolic village of Bishop’s Lacey, England in the l950’s, there is a mad woman in the woods, a beloved puppeteer, a German obsessed with the Bronte sisters, a spinster aunt, malicious older sisters, a Philatelist father, and the mysterious deaths, of a child and a popular puppeteer.
Quick-witted, Flavia de Luce, a precocious heroine, is articulate, glib, and a self-educated chemist. She is quick thinking and “more often than not, busy fantasizing of new and interesting ways of bringing her enemies to sudden death.” Her philosophy: poisons were put on earth to be put to good use by persons with the wits but not necessarily physical strength. Flavia, a fully developed child character, must solve the riddle of both deaths. Canadian, Alan Bradley has written a thoroughly satisfying mystery.