The heroine, Flavia de Luce is eleven, the year is 1950, the setting is an English family manse called Buckshaw. Flavia has two sisters: Ophelia, whom she calls Feely, and Daphne, nicknamed Daffy. Her father, Colonel de Luce, is attentive only to his stamp collection, so Flavia is able to be a free spirit. A self-taught chemist and natural investigator, Flavia is in her element when she finds a dying man in the cucumber patch of her family's kitchen garden.
I'm on Chapter 10, page 115, and life is good. Even going to my (new) doctor's appointment later this morning is easier knowing I have a really good book to read. Even the physical appearance of the book is different; no dust cover, for one thing, and the dimensions - in round numbers- 5"x8". I don't think I'll even be able to loan this one out. I'll have to buy another copy for that.
The author is pretty cool too. First point going for him is that he's Canadian, the province of Ontario, no less. He's 72 years old and this is his first novel. He's written children's books, short stories, and co-authored Ms. Holmes of Baker Street, and a memoir The Shoebox Bible. He's won awards. Mr. Bradley and his wife now live in Kelowna, British Columbia, where the back cover of the book assures me "He is at work on the second Flavia de Luce novel." This next book in Bradley’s new series, The Weed That Strings the Hangman’s Bag, will be published in 2010. Thank God.