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

by Alan Bradley

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2,3922172,607 (3.99)1 / 355
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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Showing 1-5 of 222 (next | show all)
This is the second book in the series about Flavia de Luce, an eleven-year-old chemistry whiz of a girl. She lives at the family estate, Buckshaw, in the small hamlet of Bishop's Lacey. A small sleepy town that still has murders happening.

Rupert Porson, renown puppeteer from the BBC, has taken a leave of absence from his show and has appeared in Bishop's Lacey. He and his assistant, Nialla, are stranded by car trouble. The Vicar asks if they would put on a couple of performance at the church while they are waiting for their car to be repaired. Well known for being behind the character of Snoddy the Squirrel, and adored by children far and wide, he would help raise money for St. Tancred's church.

Unbeknownst to most of the citizens, Porson has a tie to the area and the strange Ingleby family. He also has a not too great reputation. These things come to light after his lights are put out...as in dead.

Flavia and her analytical mind go into high gear to try and solve who killed Rupert. She wants to find out before the police so she won't have to wait to read it in the local newspaper.

Meanwhile she has to contend with her two older sisters, Feely and Daffy (Ophelia and Daphne), and their constant teasing, and their Aunt Felicity's unexpected arrival. Their father, meanwhile, is still more involved with his stamp collecting that dealing with the family.

What is the connection between Rupert and the Ilglebys? Rupert and Nialla? How does the Vicar and his wife fit in? What is the reason for the Ingleby's strange behaviour?

Along with solving the murder, there are some really funny happenings that just add to the enjoyment of this series. I am looking forward to reading the next book, and the next book, and... ( )
  ChazziFrazz | Jun 23, 2016 |
Flavia de Luce, the eleven year old sleuth and chemist obsessed with poison, meets famous TV star and puppeteer, Rupert Porson and his assistant Nialla, who are stranded in their broken down van. They agree to put on a performance of Jack and the Beanstalk for the residents of Bishop's Lacey and Flavia swings into action to help set it up. During the matinee performance the audience realizes the “Jack” puppet looks liked five year old Robin Inglesby found hanging in the woods a few years earlier. During the evening performance the audience will witness a shocking murder.

Flavia quickly inserts herself into the investigation and will use her deductive skills and encyclopedic knowledge of chemistry to help solve the mystery. The village of Bishop’s Lacey and the characters that live there are so well defined I can see them with my eyes closed. Flavia still lives in the crumbling mansion of Buckshaw with her detached widowed father and two awful sisters, Ophelia and Daphne, who devote themselves to mentally abusing Flavia. We are also introduced to eccentric Aunt Felicity in this book.

This may look like a child’s book but Flavia is one of the greatest female detectives you’ll ever meet. A mini Miss Marple with a dash of Sherlock Holmes. The dialogue is hysterical. At one point in her investigation Flavia says “I had no more intention of making tea than signing on as a coal pit donkey”. Alan Bradley gives us a good feel for the 1950’s time period and the crumbling mansion Flavia and her family live in. I thought the storyline was reasonably complex. It was slow to get into but then turns into a classic British mystery.

I enjoyed this book even more than the first one (The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie). I plan to pick up the next one soon.
( )
1 vote Olivermagnus | Jun 16, 2016 |
The Weed that Strings the Hangman’s Bag – Alan Bradley
4 stars

There’s been another murder in Bishop’s Lacey and Flavia de Luce is on the case.
As with any cozy mystery series we must set aside the unlikely coincidence of two unrelated murders occurring so closely together in such an unusual way. It’s best to simply accept the quirky mix of characters. More than anything it is important to just sit back and believe in Flavia and her exceptional abilities to outsmart all of the adults. Alan Bradley makes it easy to slip into Flavia’s world. In this book, I especially enjoyed the historical details of a decaying English village in the early 50’s. With the help of Flavia’s sister Daffy, I was even more aware of the many literary references that Bradley scatters through the story. Overall, this was a very enjoyable read. I look forward to the next one.

( )
  msjudy | May 30, 2016 |
This was a fun read. I love Flavia unconventional direct way to solve a murder. It's not only that she illuminats the things in the now but also how she brings the past to light. She knows no taboos when it comes to the human weaknesses. Furthermore, I also like how she examines things with the help of her beloved chemistry labs, while more familiar than studied people. This time, she examines the murder of a puppeteer. As it turns out, he was known of many people from Flavia's environment from an earlier period and could therefore put these people under pressure. Therefore, there was too many people who had an interest in his death. Just the thing for Flavia to start their studies. ( )
  Ameise1 | May 11, 2016 |
Another fun Flavia de Luce mystery. It had some threads that were left hanging, but all in all, it was enjoyable brain candy. ( )
  Gwendydd | Mar 27, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 222 (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 (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.
COPYRIGHT PAGE NOTICE (for Mystery Guild reprint, presumably also the Delacorte Press hardcover edition):

The Weed That Strings the Hangman's Bag is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Information from the German Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Original language
Information from the German Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.

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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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