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

by Alan Bradley

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
1,9391823,524 (4.01)1 / 292
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

1950s (66) 2010 (36) 2011 (17) amateur detective (19) ARC (17) audiobook (25) British (34) chemistry (84) crime (25) crime fiction (22) detective (18) ebook (28) England (156) fiction (196) Flavia de Luce (86) historical (19) historical fiction (45) humor (17) Kindle (15) murder (52) mystery (452) poison (29) puppets (53) read (31) read in 2010 (25) read in 2011 (17) series (47) to-read (37) YA (14) young adult (16)
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Showing 1-5 of 183 (next | show all)
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 |
I enjoyed this one more than The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie; I liked Flavia better this time around, and obviously I can't resist a Brontë-obsessed German POW. ( )
  thatotter | Feb 6, 2014 |
One of our favourite sleuths, 11 year-old Flavia de Luce, is at it again solving the murder at a show given by a famous puppeteer as well as solving the death a few years ago of a young boy. The plot is thin and highly implausible but somehow that doesn’t prevent us from enjoying this book and marvelling at how Flavia’s fertile brain works. Great fun. ( )
  mlbelize | Jan 27, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 183 (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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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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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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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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