Cheery Lightheartedness

6477877 by
My Rating: 3/5 Stars

If I were an eleven-year-old girl, I’d like to think I might resemble Flavia de Luce. Precocious, ubiquitous, and intelligent, she’s filled with energy and life, refers to her sisters as Feely and Daffy, and has an unbounding curiosity about the world around her, even though there’s always the chance she could blow up Bishop’s Lacey with her latest science experiment. Not knowing what trouble she might find herself in next kicked my curiosity into overdrive. Her voice kept me finely tuned into her mesmerizing world, as my eyes widened in surprise and awe.

Filled with a cheery lightheartedness, I couldn’t help but smile at some of her adventures, even if I did wonder slightly how she managed to insert herself so readily into the crime solving arena, without so much as a stray comment from the commanding officers. But it was her sweet escapes and near misses that felt a tad more contrived and too convenient, rather than showcasing the work of an expert planner or master crafter. The story would have been better served with hints or groundwork rather than fanfare eureka moments that provided narrow escapes.

While I realize a plethora exclamation points are a stylistic choice, and I’ll even grant that said exclamation points added to Flavia’s voice and helped enhance her childlike wonder, I couldn’t help my burning desire to pound a few out of the page and cry “Curses!” all the way to Mother England.

THE SWEETNESS AT THE BOTTOM OF THE PIE proved rather sweet indeed, but it did have the hint of a bitter aftertaste, which prevented me from rating this book higher.

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