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The Weed That Strings the Hangman's Bag (edition 2010)

by Alan Bradley

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2,5152252,408 (3.99)1 / 363
Member:wstarmer
Title:The Weed That Strings the Hangman's Bag
Authors:Alan Bradley
Info:Doubleday Canada (2010), Edition: First Edition, Hardcover, 368 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:***
Tags:Fiction, Mystery

Work details

The Weed That Strings the Hangman's Bag by Alan Bradley

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2010, Random House Audio, Read by Jayne Entwistle

Publisher’s Summary: adapted from Audible.com
Flavia thinks that her days of crime-solving in the bucolic English hamlet of Bishop’s Lacy are over — and then Rupert Porson has an unfortunate rendezvous with electricity. The beloved puppeteer has had his own strings sizzled, but who’d do such a thing and why? For Flavia, the questions are intriguing enough to make her put aside her chemistry experiments and schemes of vengeance against her insufferable big sisters. Astride Gladys, her trusty bicycle, Flavia sets out from the de Luces’ crumbling family mansion in search of Bishop’s Lacey’s deadliest secrets.

My Review:
“I am often thought of as being remarkably bright, and yet my brains, more often than not, are busily devising new and interesting ways of bringing my enemies to sudden, gagging, writhing, agonizing death.”

The intrepid, precocious Flavia is back in Gladys’ saddle and investigating the murder of Rupert Porson, renowned puppeteer. And she has no shortage of intriguing characters to suspect: the madwoman who lives in Gibbet Wood, Porson’s charming assistant Nialla, and a German pilot obsessed with the Brontë sisters. Before he was electrocuted, the puppeteer himself was a fabulous character. At Buckshaw, Flavia’s spinster aunt comes to visit – which, naturally, doesn’t sit terribly well with the adventurous eleven-year-old. Oh, and there’s a box of poisoned chocolates from which Flavia herself must save some unsuspecting relations – and she almost doesn’t make it!

Narrators Jayne Entwistle makes all the difference here – she is utterly fabulous! I enjoyed this second Flavia installment even more than the first, which I read rather than listened to. A Red Herring Without Mustard is already cued up! ( )
2 vote lit_chick | Apr 21, 2017 |
I didn't find the plot of this story to be as gripping as that of the first book in the series, but the clever heroine with her chemistry references and feisty behaviour is hard not to love. ( )
  LemonyT | Apr 21, 2017 |
Mord är ingen barnlek (The Weed That Strings the Hangman's Bag), book 2 in the Flavia de Luce series.

Delightful! That's is precisely what this book is. Just a delightful story with the precocious Flavia de Luce. This time is she trying to find out who killed the famous puppeteer Rupert Porson and she does her usually way, by being curious, listening to gossip and putting two and two together. And, thinking of ways of killing people with poisons..especially her sisters.

Flavia de Luce is such a wonderful characters, she will either be a great detective when she grows up or a very deadly poisoner. Her love for chemistry shows through the book and she is especially fond of poisons. But of course, she is still just eleven and even though she is clever there are moments when she doesn't understand things, grow up things like secret relations between grown-ups and I love Dogger when he tries to explain that it's when two people are really good friends. And, I feel for her when her two older sister bullies her. It's not easy with a father who rather spend his time with his stamps, a dead mother, and two older sisters that whenever opportunity shows up tries to tell her that their parents never wanted her. And, in this book her aunt Felicity shows up, but I think that Flavia, in the end, came to appreciate her visiting, especially after they had a talk alone.

The first book in this series was good, but I enjoyed the story in this book even more and it were so many suspects in the story that I didn't figure out how and when was behind it all until the very end. I really enjoyed the part in the end when she explained it all for the police. Hilarious. They should hire her.

4.5 stars ( )
  MaraBlaise | Apr 14, 2017 |
My second Flavia de Luce mystery. Slow until the murder. But, I suspect typically of Bradley, the layers of meaning in every action leading up to the crime are worth teasing out.

What is with the deLuce family?? They are cuckoo in the extreme. 2017-02-08 ( )
  kaulsu | Mar 14, 2017 |
I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads.

3.5 stars! I forgot how delightful this series is. After reading Bradley's The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie I remembered thinking that I needed to get my hands on the next book as I was enchanted by the 11-year-old sleuth Flavia de Luce. Flavia is a brilliant and unique child and is absolutely charming - Bradley does a great job with her voice.

Flavia is quite the detective and Bradley brings a fresh approach to the classic mystery - again, this is done through Flavia's narrative and his spot-on writing.

The Weed That Strings the Hangman’s Bag works as a sequel to the earlier book than as a stand-alone novel. Readers may not get the family dynamics and Flavia's quirky love of all things poisonous. Bradley walks a fine line with Flavia's precocity and childishness. She seems to be so intellectually advanced, yet stunted emotionally. I think this is what makes her such a successful sleuth and I cannot wait to see where Bradley takes her in the next installment. ( )
  GirlWellRead | Feb 25, 2017 |
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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 (23 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Bradley, Alanprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Aspen, NinaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Beck, LauraTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Entwistle, JayneNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Goudy, Frederic WilliamTypeface designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hobbing, DianeDesignersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Montgomery, JoeCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sullivan, SimonCartographersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
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.
Dedication
Again, for Shirley
First words
I was lying dead in the churchyard.
Quotations
"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)

(summary from another edition)

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