The irrepressible child chemist and detective, Flavia de Luce, is at it again in the fifth installment of the award-winning series that began with The Sweetness At The Bottom Of The Pie. The town folk of Bishop’s Lacey, an English country village, are eagerly anticipating the unearthing of the bones of St. Tancred, the 500 year-dead patron saint of the village church. Flavia, as always, is ahead of the game and discovers the body of a much less saintly person instead – St. Tancred’s organist, Mr. Collicutt. With the help of her trusty bicycle, her chemistry lab, and her boundless tenacity, Flavia sets out to discover who would have wanted Mr. Collicutt dead and why.
I’ve loved every one of Bradley’s exceedingly charming, funny, and sharp mysteries, but this might be my new favorite. The central mystery is intriguing enough, but the real gems here are the secret of Flavia’s lost and presumed dead mother and the precarious hold Flavia’s family maintains on their ancestral home, Buckshaw. Of course, Flavia herself is dripping with mischief, charm, and mud, as is her bicycle, Gladys.