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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Flavia Is Back... And Better Than Ever
The only problem with writing any book thoughts on a mystery is that you really don't want to give too much away and this is the issue I am facing writing about `A Red Herring Without Mustard' because so far of the Flavia De Luce mysteries I think this is the most twisty and complex. It is still set in the 1950's fictional English town of Bishop's Lacey where the De...
Published on 31 Mar 2011 by Simon Savidge Reads

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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing
This novel gives the impression of having been carelessly written. Flavia doesn't speak like an English girl any more- we have drapes instead of curtains and faucets instead of taps. More importantly, her involvement in the crime is more like unjustifiable interference than before. In the first novel, she had good reasons for not telling the police what she knew, but in...
Published on 27 July 2012 by piscator


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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Flavia Is Back... And Better Than Ever, 31 Mar 2011
By 
Simon Savidge Reads "Simon" (Manchester, UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: A Red Herring Without Mustard (FLAVIA DE LUCE MYSTERY) (Hardcover)
The only problem with writing any book thoughts on a mystery is that you really don't want to give too much away and this is the issue I am facing writing about `A Red Herring Without Mustard' because so far of the Flavia De Luce mysteries I think this is the most twisty and complex. It is still set in the 1950's fictional English town of Bishop's Lacey where the De Luce's reside in the grand house of Buckshaw and it is indeed in the grounds of Buckshaw where a brutal attack is carried out on a gypsy who Flavia has given permission to camp in. Palings is a slightly spooky wooded part of the estate which of course gives great atmosphere to the opening of the book and makes it all the more thrilling.

Naturally the police involved, in particular Inspector Hewitt, don't want Flavia to be. This is much to Flavia's fury and indeed indignation as she has solved a few crimes for them for in the past. So naturally she starts trying to investigate herself. What turns up is not just the mystery of the gypsy but a murder mystery from Bishop Lacey's past and one that isn't as forgotten as Flavia initially believes. If that wasn't enough as Flavia uncovers more secrets new light starts to shine on the very death of Flavia's mother Harriet, all started off by her whimsical visit to the gypsy in question at the village fete.

Some people might say that these are cosy crime novels and yet I think in every one of Alan Bradley's novels so far there is a real darkness, along with a certain camp, that make them so addictive. I also think his choice of Flavia as an unusual child protagonist with her character and observations are precocious, hilarious and blunt all in one, are spot on. You are thrilled and entertained in equal measure. In only a few pages, when discussing her sisters Daphne and Feely and after having caused some absolute havoc, you know you are in the mind of Flavia and the fun begins.

I loved `A Red Herring Without Mustard'. Not only for its plot which is the perfect mystery with thrills and spills, and lots of red herrings, also because I got to spend more time with Flavia, more time with her family and more time with some of the bonkers characters living in the village. If you want a mystery that is entertaining, well written (and really makes you feel you are living in the world it creates) and will have you guessing then you can't go wrong with this.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The third enthralling adventure of Flavia de Luce., 14 Mar 2011
By 
J. Lesley "(Judy)" (United States) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
This charming series of novels written by Alan Bradley is positively addictive. You can start at any point, with any of the three, but Flavia along with her family, friends and neighbors in the tiny British hamlet of Bishop's Lacey will surely capture your imagination, your sympathy, or your heart. Probably all three.

Flavia is the most unusual eleven year old girl you could ever meet. Her interests are centered around chemistry, riding her bicycle (called Gladys) and escaping the evil clutches of her two older sisters who torture her at every turn. Ah, siblings. In this third action packed adventure Flavia starts out wanting to have her fortune told at the village fête and ends up burning down the tent of the gypsy fortune teller. Of course it was all an accident and Flavia does her best to make amends by seeing that Fenella Faa has a safe place to park her caravan while she recovers from the effects of the smoke she inhaled. And what better place than on the grounds of her family's estate, Buckshaw? Events begin to spiral into more and more unusual situations as Flavia begins to uncover facts of an ancient religious group, a kidnapped infant, valuable antiques disappearing and then reappearing, and a vicious attack, then a murder. All the while the police are pursuing their inquiries and Flavia is pursuing her own investigation. What is that smell of dead fish she seems to keep noticing?

I enjoyed this book from start to finish. I had been looking forward to following along while this young detective solved the puzzles which seemed to keep mounting up and I certainly was not disappointed. The deeper Flavia went into the attack on Fenella the more questions were raised about other things going on in both Bishop's Lacey and other nearby villages. In the middle of it all hangs the very real life troubles of the de Luce family and their money problems. Flavia's father has to make some hard decisions and some sacrifices are necessary now, and more will surely be faced in the future. Come along into this wonderful world and meet Flavia's father, her sisters Ophelia and Daphne, Mrs. Mallet, Dogger, the doctor, the vicar, the police inspector and his sergeant and a host of neighbors both nice and not so nice. A small English village, an eleven year old girl, the 1950's and crime of many kinds. A recipe for adventure and delight.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another great Flavia book, 12 Oct 2013
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Flavia is an eleven-year-old Chemistry genius with a dogged determination to solve every mystery that comes her way. The adults around her treat her with affection and tolerance but don't seem to see that she is desperate for affection, having lost her mother when she was just a baby. She talks more to her bike, Gladys, than to other human beings as she cycles wildly about the 1950s countryside gathering and processing information and ruining countless dresses on the way. Thoroughly entertaining and compelling.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I have been transported once again., 6 Jun 2012
I adore the Falvia books. When I read them, I am Flavia cycling down the lanes on Gladys, her bike. In essence when I read these books, I am totally transported to another time and place. I believe that is what fiction is about. Some reviewers find Flavia a bit unbelievable, I have to disagree - many eleven year old girls are Flavias - I know, I was one. So if you want to go back to your world of yesteryear, put your feet up and read this wonderful book, you will not be disappointed.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Engaging and witty, 24 Jun 2014
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The Flavia de Luce books are an absolute joy to read. Sheer escapism. It makes you yearn for a 1950's that sort of only exists in the memory.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous Flavia!, 24 Dec 2013
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Flavia is a fabulous creation, tearing around on her trusty steed Gladys like a 1950's Hermione Grainger with a great turn of phrase and a nose for trouble. I usually avoid the crime genre but just cannot resist returning to Flavia' s adventures.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Flavia's Fortune Teller Friend, 1 Sep 2013
By 
Jo D'Arcy (Portsmouth, UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
Back for a third visit to the house Buckshaw in Bishops Lacey and its residents. Three willful girls, Flavia, Daphne and Ophelia and their quiet father, plus Mrs Mullet the lady that helps in the kitchen and the faithful Dogger who seems to do everything in the grounds.

A seemingly ordinary large crumbling house in a village in Fifties Britain. However this house holds Flavia de Luce, the eleven year old girl who has a penchant for chemistry, even to the fact that she has her own laboratory in the east wing of the house, a fascination with poisons and is well known to the local constabulary - for finding bodies. Dead bodies.

In this book, Flavia befriends the local gypsy and fortune teller, after feeling guilty about setting her tent on fire at the local church fete. She lets her stay on the de Luce land but it causes somewhat of a problem as it seems this gypsy woman has been in the village before just when something unpleasant happened. Is her return opening wounds of the past? It seems to when the gypsy is attacked and it is Flavia that finds her.

So Flavia wants to find out the truth, especially when the gypsy woman's granddaughter Porcelain shows up and thinks Flavia is to blame. Flavia has to use all her precocious skills and knowledge of chemistry to win the girl over but then another body turns up. In fact it is hanging up a bit too close to home for Flavia. It seems the weapon was even closer to home. But distracted by fire irons turning up all over the place when they should be by the fireside at Buckshaw, it seems that Flavia is going to need more than her wits to get to the bottom of this mystery.

All of this you have to remember is occurring when Flavia is merely eleven. You get the very honest emotions about her sisters who seem to be her tormentors and there is that fatherly love which seems to be missing but is shown in parts throughout this book more than before. For me Flavia seems to be missing something in her life and she finds that comfort in her chemistry lab and also with the faithful Dogger and Mrs Mullet who Flavia uses to her own advantage in solving the mysteries that she stumbles across. Flavia is a child in an adult world, and is much older than her years.

This is a traditional village crime book in some ways and like the title there are plenty of red herrings thrown in so you are not sure where exactly the author is going to take you. But rest assured it is a delightful journey and you must simple go along for the ride.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Reading!, 10 Mar 2013
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I always enjoy Alan Bradley`s Flavia de Luce mysteries. The plots are intriguing and the characters and relationships very engaging; this one particularly so with Harriet`s undeniable contribution.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Flavia rules, 2 May 2012
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Another instalment in our narrator's rapidly growing collection of adventures in a unique village in 1950s England. Don't miss this visit to the world of the De Luce family seen through the eyes of the amazing Flavia.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Simply suburb!, 29 July 2011
By 
Gwen Madoc "Gwen" (Swansea, South Wales, UK) - See all my reviews
I have read all three of the Flavia de Luce novels by Alan Bradley and have enjoyed each one enormously. This last one, A Red Herring Without Mustard is as supurb as the previous two. The quaint atmospere draws the reader in. The characters are wonderfully alive. I hope that Alan Bradley is, as I write, busy writing his next Flavia novel. I am a fixed fan of this excellent author.
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A Red Herring Without Mustard (FLAVIA DE LUCE MYSTERY)
A Red Herring Without Mustard (FLAVIA DE LUCE MYSTERY) by Alan Bradley (Hardcover - 31 Mar 2011)
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