Sunday, November 2, 2014

Review: As Chimney Sweepers Come to Dust (Flavia de Luce #7) by Alan Bradley

  • Hardcover: 360 pages
  • Publisher: Doubleday Canada (Jan. 6 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 038567838X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385678384

Book Description

 Hard on the heels of the return of her mother’s body from the frozen reaches of the Himalayas, Flavia, for her indiscretions, is banished from her home at Buckshaw and shipped across the ocean to Miss Bodycote’s Female Academy in Toronto, her mother’s alma mater, there to be inducted into a mysterious organization known as the Nide.

No sooner does she arrive, however, than a body comes crashing down out of the chimney and into her room, setting off a series of investigations into mysterious disappearances of girls from the school.

About the Author

With an education in electronic engineering, Alan worked at numerous radio and television stations in Ontario, and at Ryerson Polytechnical Institute (now Ryerson University) in Toronto, before becoming Director of Television Engineering in the media centre at the University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon, where he remained for 25 years before taking early retirement to write in 1994.

He became the first President of the Saskatoon Writers, and a founding member of the Saskatchewan Writers Guild. His children's stories were published in The Canadian Children's Annual, and his short story, Meet Miss Mullen, was the first recipient of the Saskatchewan Writers Guild Award for Children's Literature.

For a number of years, he regularly taught Script Writing and Television Production courses at the University of Saskatchewan (Extension Division) at both beginner and advanced levels.

His fiction has been published in literary journals and he has given many public readings in schools and galleries. His short stories have been broadcast by CBC Radio.

He was a founding member of The Casebook of Saskatoon, a society devoted to the study of Sherlock Holmes and Sherlockian writings. Here, he met the late Dr. William A.S. Sarjeant, with whom he collaborated on their classic book, Ms Holmes of Baker Street. This work put forth the startling theory that the Great Detective was a woman, and was greeted upon publication with what has been described as "a firestorm of controversy".

The release of Ms. Holmes resulted in national media coverage, with the authors embarking upon an extensive series of interviews, radio and television appearances, and a public debate at Toronto's Harbourfront. His lifestyle and humorous pieces have appeared in The Globe and Mail and The National Post.

His book The Shoebox Bible (McClelland and Stewart, 2006) has been compared with Tuesdays With Morrie and Mr. God, This is Anna.

In July of 2007 he won the Debut Dagger Award of the (British) Crimewriter's Association for his novel The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie, the first of a series featuring eleven year old Flavia de Luce, which has since won the 2009 Agatha Award for Best First Novel,the 2010 Dilys Award,the Spotted Owl Award, and the 2010 Arthur Ellis Award for Best First Novel.

The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie has also been nominated for the Macavity, the Barry, and the Arthur Awards.

Alan Bradley lives in Malta with his wife Shirley and two calculating cats.

My Review

The Flavia de Luce series by Alan Bradley is definitely one of the best series I have ever read. It is a delightful series for both old and young alike. Who knew that an eleven year old British girl could be such an amazing character.

When I first started reading this series I had no idea where author Alan Bradley was going to take us. What an amazing ride it has been. Flavia is one of the most original and engaging characters I have ever read.

We discovered in the last book that Flavia has more in common with her deceased mother Harriet than she ever imagined. And now she has been banished (her words) to Canada to continue her education at her mother's alma mater in Toronto. Flavia's adventures continue in this new setting. There is more than meets than eye to this Canadian girls private school. And on her first night a body is found in the chimney of her room. And so the new adventure begins...

I really don't want to spoil this for anyone else with any information but this is a wonderful book and I am already looking forward to the next one. I highly recommend this entire series. As Chimney Sweepers Come to Dust is an excellent addition to the series. I cannot believe it is already the seventh book in the series.

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