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The Weed That Strings the Hangman's Bag…

The Weed That Strings the Hangman's Bag (FLAVIA DE LUCE MYSTERY) (edition 2011)

by Alan Bradley

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1,9621853,466 (4.01)1 / 293
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Showing 1-5 of 185 (next | show all)
Clever and interesting. Excellent as a book on tape. ( )
  trinityM82 | Aug 15, 2014 |
Synopsis: Flavia discovers a woman crying in the cemetery. This meeting leads to a puppet show, a murder and the eventual questioning of the true fate of a young boy thought to have committed suicide years earlier.
Review: Bradley accurately captures the angst of a young girl, who is teased by her older sisters and misses her deceased mother. The plot is substantially twisted, keeping this reader interested and reading long after I should have been asleep. Any pre-teen interested in and capable of concocting a variety of poisons is a bit scary! ( )
  DrLed | Jul 25, 2014 |
When I read the first book in the series, The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie, I was charmed by the story and the humor, but I have to admit that thinking of the eleven-year-old main character sneaking around trying to poison her sisters presented me with a misgiving or two. Now that I've read this second book, those misgivings have disappeared, and it's all due to author Alan Bradley's characterization. The entire de Luce family has grown and developed in this second book, and Flavia's behavior is much better understood. In fact-- since her two sisters remind me a great deal of Cinderella's stepsisters-- I rather hope Flavia is successful with her potions. (And I'll have the pleasure of finding out by reading the other books in this series.)

It is pure pleasure to watch this little girl uncover evidence... clues... secrets... and then try to get the police to act upon her discoveries. She sometimes appears to be by far the most adult person in Bishop's Lacey and the surrounding area. I also love how she applies her reading and her scientific experiments to her investigation.

The wit, the humor, the twists and turns of the plot, and an incredibly bright little girl make these books a joy to read. ( )
  cathyskye | Jun 12, 2014 |
3.5 stars

In the second book in the Flavia de Luce series, a puppeteer is murdered during a performance. There is also an unsolved (ruled an accident) hanging of a little boy from a few years previous.

I'm still really liking Flavia as a character and Jayne Entwistle is still really good as the narrator of the audio, but I'd like to see a bit more plot. The “plot” in this one didn't really get going until half-way through, and even after that, there were a lot of tangents. I'm rating it just under the first book, but if I continue with the series (I'm not sure if I will), I am hoping to find more plot, or at least the plot being more in the forefront of the book. It's still getting rated as highly as it is due to Flavia herself, and the narrator of the audio. ( )
  LibraryCin | May 5, 2014 |
Liked this one a little better than the last. Wish Flavia was a little more likeable. ( )
1 vote | mbmeadow | Feb 6, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 185 (next | show all)
The secret of the novel’s charm involves the way in which Flavia teeters on the border between precocity and childishness, spouting faux-cynical epithets that result from the fact that her intellectual gifts far outpace her emotional capacity.
All in all, it’s a perfectly detailed and credible English village in the Agatha Christie manner, inhabited by people you can believe in and sympathize with.

» Add other authors (3 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Bradley, Alanprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Entwistle, JayneNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Montgomery, JoeCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Sir Walter Raleigh To His Son

Three things there be that prosper up apace,
And flourish while they grow asunder far;
But on a day, they meet all in a place,
And when they meet, they one another mar.

And they be these; the Wood, the Weed, the Wag;
The Wood is that that makes the gallows tree;
the Weed is that that strings the hangman's bag;
The Wag, my pretty knave, betokens thee.

Now mark, dear boy -- while these assemble not,
Green springs the tree, hemp grows, the wag is wild;
But when they meet, it makes the timber rot,
It frets the halter, and it chokes the child.
Again, for Shirley
First words
I was lying dead in the churchyard.
"Children ought to be horsewhipped," she used to say, "unless they are going in for politics or the Bar, in which case they ought in addition to be drowned."
"Fetch my luggage, Clarence," she said, "and mind the alligator."
Seen from the air, the male mind must look rather like the canals of Europe, with ideas being towed along well-worn towpaths by heavy-footed dray horses. There is never any doubt that they will, despite wind and weather, reach their destination by following a simple series of connected lines.
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Flavia de Luce, a dangerously brilliant eleven-year-old with a passion for chemistry and a genius for solving murders, sets out to solve the murder of a beloved puppeteer. All clues point toward a suspicious death years earlier and a case the local constables can't solve--without Flavia's help.… (more)

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