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The Weed That Strings the Hangman's Bag

by Alan Bradley

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Flavia de Luce (2)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
3,4702643,723 (3.96)1 / 410
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.
  1. 62
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  3. 52
    We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson (kraaivrouw)
  4. 21
    Hotel Paradise by Martha Grimes (y2pk)
    y2pk: Pre-teen girl investigating adult crimes, while putting up with her sometimes-strange family and home life. Emma Graham also appears in two other books, Cold Flat Junction and Belle Ruin. They should be read in order.
  5. 01
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Group TopicMessagesLast Message 
 Book talk: Flavia de Luce edition question1 unread / 1leahbird, August 2011

» See also 410 mentions

English (263)  Italian (1)  Spanish (1)  All languages (265)
Showing 1-5 of 263 (next | show all)
I'd skipped this one because it wasn't available when I was ready for the next book, and then each book lead to the next so that I didn't want to backtrack until I got to the end, which I had. So it was great to learn more about Dieter, who'd seemed to pop up out of nowhere--but actually had been well introduced in this one. Although I'm not too pleased with her penchant for speaking untruths, and would prefer a character to demonstrate what bravery, skill, and good will there is in adhering to the truth, I continue to adore Flavia's affection for Dogger, and her enthusiasm over chemistry as she rattles off the names of compounds and what they do; art, as she describes famous paintings; music, as she talks about composers and their works, all in the course of ferreting out the hows, whys, and wherefors of the latest crime. ( )
  TraSea | Apr 29, 2024 |
To me, it was good, but as good as the previous book in the series. I adore, Flavia the super smart eleven year with a passion for chemistry.

The book had tendency to drag once in a while, but Flavia knowledge of chemistry, keen desire to find out about her mother who died before she got to know her and her impatience with her two older sister kept it from dying.

I love learning and I never took chemistry but the main character and sleuth, Flavia made appreciate the value of knowing as much chemistry as possible.

I loved the part about pigeon poop, that was a delightful surprise. The evil person was beautiful drawn, you will hate her too, ( )
  Carolee888 | Apr 20, 2024 |
Usually not a fan of books with 11 or 12 year old narrators, but enjoyed this.A mild and amusing mystery with an entertaining and imperfect tween narrator ( )
  cspiwak | Mar 6, 2024 |
Clever, engaging, and parts are laugh out loud funny. A little bit dark in parts, but nothing too dire (and believe me, I am a weeny!). ( )
  BethOwl | Jan 24, 2024 |
Really enjoyed this mystery set in 1950 and told from the viewpoint of an eleven year old girl, Flavia de Luce. Flavia is the youngest of three sisters whose father is often withdrawn and absorbed in his stamp collection, and whose mother was killed in a climbing accident soon after Flavia was born. Intelligent, imaginative and precocious, she is a keen amateur chemist with a special interest in poisons. Flavia views the adults around her with a shrewd clear eyed understanding and is extremely adept at manipulating them when necessary, but is at the mercy of her cruel older sisters. Her one ally is the manservant at her family's stately home, Dogger, who has psychological issues due to wartime experiences, but is also very astute.

This is the second in a series which consists of seven books with an eighth due out this September. On the strength of this, I will definitely read the others. ( )
  kitsune_reader | Nov 23, 2023 |
Showing 1-5 of 263 (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

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Alan Bradleyprimary authorall editionscalculated
Aldred, SophieNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Aspen, NinaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Beck, LauraTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bronswijk, Ineke vansecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Entwistle, JayneNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Goudy, Frederic WilliamTypeface designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hobbing, DianeDesignersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Jung, GeraldÜbersetzersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Montgomery, JoeCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Orgaß, KatharinaÜbersetzersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sawatzki, AndreaSprechersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sullivan, SimonCartographersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Turró Armengol, AnnaTranslatorsecondary 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.

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