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Third Flavia de Luce

A Red Herring Without Mustard (Delacorte, 2/8/2011) is Alan Bradley’s third mystery starring the precocious 11-year-old Flavia de Luce.  Young Flavia lives with her father and two preoccupied and disagreeable older sisters at Buckshaw, the family’s country house in the small village of Bishop’s Lacey.  Her hobby is chemistry, especially poisons, and she has her own little lab where she concocts things to annoy her sisters.  In the first book, The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie (Delacorte, 2009), Flavia finds a mysterious dying man in the estate gardens and begins her career as a detective.. Set in 1950s England, this charming series is full of quaint local characters, droll humor, period detail and twisting plots that will hold your attention to the end. Alan Bradley created Flavia after his retirement from a career in Canadian television.  He has promised not to let Flavia age too quickly so that readers can expect to see her youthful curiosity and innocent guise at work in further volumes.  These are cozies for adults, though younger readers will enjoy them also.

–posted 2/14/2011

Posted February/13/2011

Savannah Reid

A Decadent Way to Die (Kensington, 1/25/2011) is the sixteenth Savannah Reid mystery by G. A. McKevett.  When we first met her back in 1995 in Just Desserts, Savanna was a detective in the San Carmelita, California police force.  But when she crossed swords with the police chief who was sheltering a suspect, she gets fired—ostensibly because she exceeds the weight requirements.  So Savannah, a determined Georgia-born Southern belle, starts up her own detective agency and continues to work closely with her police partner Dirk Coulter.  This is a series that displays a fairly common tendency—the first book got mixed reviews, but with each new installment, the books improved.  Now her books are always greeted with critical acclaim.  Publisher’s Weekly calls this new one “suberb.”  It concerns octogenarian Helene Strauss, a businesswoman nobody seems to like.

–posted 1/30/2011

Posted February/7/2011

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