Friday, February 6, 2015

Shelf Life [adult]

As Chimney Sweepers Come to DustAs Chimney Sweepers Come to Dust by Alan Bradley
@SPL: FIC Bradl

 Flavia de Luce… is in Toronto.

Shipped off from her family and from her ancestral home, Buckshaw, in England, Flavia has been sent to Miss Bodycote’s Female Academy to further her education. It is the same school which her late and much loved mother attended, and while the official story is that Flavia will fulfil her academic potential there, Flavia’s Aunt Felicity, the leader of a secret organization called the Nide, has a different purpose in mind for her. Because, as Flavia soon learns, Miss Bodycote’s is far from your regular sort of Boarding School.

For instance, the chemistry teacher was acquitted of her husband’s murder. Several students have disappeared in recent years. The headmistress is both fiery and icy toward Flavia.  And on the first night of Flavia’s arrival (or imprisonment, as she comes to view it), the mummified remains of… someone… falls from the chimney in her room. Since Flavia likes nothing more than solving a grisly murder this barely phases her, but making friends and enemies among the students is a much harder task for her to navigate.

As with all previous novels in the series, the author puts us in the shoes of a young girl who is a fish-out-of-water whether she is in England or Canada. The only fault one may have is that Flavia’s actions don’t always match those of an eleven-year-old, though the thought processes certainly do – jumping from one highly dramatic conclusion to another before finally seeing the light provides as much amusement as red herrings, which keeps Flavia’s fans chomping at the bit for the next installment.

This review appears in the Stratford Gazette. Written by Robyn Godfrey, Outreach and Collections Librarian.

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