Thursday, March 8, 2012

The Weed That Strings the Hangman's Bag

Title: The Weed That Strings the Hangman's Bag
Author: Alan Bradley
Series: A Flavia de Luce Novel, book 2
Genre: Mystery
Published: 2010

Recommendation: If you liked the first book at all, you will like this one even more.
Rating: 8/10

Summary: A puppet show comes to the small town of Bishop's Lacey and of course Flavia is the first to help out. However, when the puppeteer is murdered in front of the whole town, it's up to Flavia to discover who's done it and why.

Reactions: Despite my somewhat mixed review of the first book, something forcibly drew my hand towards the second book in the bookstore last weekend. There's something about the book covers for this series that I just cannot resist. Plus, I felt like going back to the rustic charm of Bishop's Lacey and 11 year old Flavia biking everywhere and learning everyone's secrets.

Knowing what to expect from the book, I enjoyed it more than the first one and in fact found it pretty hard to put down. I've been waking up half an hour early and reading little bits before heading off to work. The plotting definitely worked well and kept my reading interest strong. The mystery gets unveiled piece by piece and I didn't figure out the twist ahead of time.

The first person narration is still one aspect I am not fully comfortable with. It's hard to see the world through the eyes of a child who is so smart, but at the same time can be so oblivious. Yet, it didn't bother me nearly as much this time around and I really grew to like Flavia and Dogger even better in this book. Flavia's aunt Felicity is a pretty interesting new character with lots of depth whom I hope to see more of in the future.

All in all, The Weed That Strings the Hangman's Bag is a really fun easy read. With lots of antics by Flavia, it had me laughing out loud in some parts and holding my breath in others. It was a perfect read to rekindle my reading mood and I will definitely be picking up the next book in the series as well.


  1. I'm glad this one grabbed hold of you. I actually enjoyed it very much but have read many reviews where fans considered this a step down. I certainly didn't see it that way. And for me the next one is even better. Haven't gotten around to reading the latest, but that time will come.

    1. I am glad we agree on this :) That probably means I will enjoy the third one also. Will definitely pick it up sometime soon.

  2. I felt like the third one deepened the big overall mystery of what exactly is going on in the DeLuce family, especially regarding the dead mother. I'm hoping Bradley continues revealing more and more about this mystery while Flavia continues to solve the mysteries that she is drawn into in each book.

    1. Ah, interesting. I wonder if this is leading to a book where Flavia investigates her mother's death. I guess we'll have to wait to find out.