Flavia is an 11 year old going on 60. At such a young age she is an aspiring chemist and poison expert and she loves an intriguing mystery. This series of books is written by Alan Bradley and set in and around Buckshaw, England in the 1950s.
The first book introduces Flavia and her home of Buckshaw in the village of Bishop’s Lacey. You also meet sisters Ophelia and Daphne (who she calls Feely and Daffy) and Dogger the aging servant. This first mystery starts with a dead bird with a postage stamp on its beak found on the front doorstep.
Flavia calls her bicycle Gladys and spends a lot of time cycling around searching out clues to help solving the mysteries. After having her fortune told by an old gypsy, the gypsy is found deal later. Flavia tries to unravel the truth from an old tale that the gypsy had abducted a baby years ago and of course uncovers another dead body, this time of someone who had broken into their drawing room.
In the sixth book Flavia and family are going to meet her mother, Harriet, who had vanished years ago. But it is a stranger who gets off the train and has a strange message for Flavia, and then he is mysteriously pushed under a moving train. Blyth Spirit, Harriet’s plane, is used in solving this mystery that seems to involve Winston Churchill.
In this 7th book Flavia is sent to Miss Bodycote’s Female Academy in Canada, a school her mother went to. There are rumours that this school is haunted and girls have gone missing. Flavia is in her element in trying to solve these mysteries.
In the last three books circumstances have Flavia, now 12, being sent home to England after been ejected from the Academy. When she gets home she finds out her father is very ill with pneumonia and an unlikable cousin, Undine, has arrived at Buckshaw. Father passes away a few months later and the estate is left to Flavia. Her oldest sister is about to be married and a gruesome discovery is made inside the wedding cake. Flavia and Dogger set up their own detective agency and crimes are solved, the first one very close to home.
I wasn’t sure I would enjoy this series, but did continue with them and finally wanted to read all of them. Have you read any of Flavia’s mysteries?
Right now I’m reading the newest book in the Maisie Dobbs series. The Consequences of Fear.