Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Book Review: As Chimney Sweepers Come to Dust by Alan Bradley

Flavia deLuce is at it again in As Chimney Sweepers Come to Dust.

This time, she's been sent to an exclusive boarding school in Canada. The boarding school is in what used to be a convent, and her mother was a former student. A body is discovered stuffed up the chimney in Flavia's room, so she is on the case. But it's difficult being in a new place with all new people.

As a matter of fact, she doesn't even get to do much investigating until the very last portion of the book. There is also the mystery of three students who have disappeared before Flavia even arrived. Most of the book is devoted to Flavia trying to fit in to her new surroundings and figuring out if she's going to make any new friends (or enemies).

While the cast of new characters is interesting and keep you guessing, I missed Buckshaw almost as much as Flavia. She does tell stories of her sisters, but it isn't the same as their crazy interactions in the previous books. There is, of course, some interesting chemistry and Flavia is the same intelligent, precocious, witty character that I cannot resist.

Here's a couple of examples of her wit (reminder that this is an ARC, and may be changed.)

Feigning stupidity was one of my specialties. If stupidity were theoretical physics, then I would be Albert Einstein.

I had to include this one, being a librarian:

None of the books were in alphabetical order, which made it necessary to cock my head sideways to read each one of the spines. By the end of the third shelf I had begun to realize why librarians are sometimes able to achieve such pinnacles of crankiness: It's because they're in agony.

If only publishers could be persuaded, I thought, to stamp all book title horizontally instead of vertically, a great deal of unpleasantness could be avoided all round. Chiropractors and opticians would be out of business, librarians cheerier, and the world would be a better place. I must remember to discuss this theory with Dogger.

I've read every one of these novels (this is the seventh) and I don't intend to stop. It isn't necessary to have read the previous books, but I highly suggest you do. The first is The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie. Mature teens that are interested in lighthearted mysteries will enjoy these books too.

Published by Delacorte, January 6, 2015
eARC obtained from Edelweiss and NetGalley
416 pages

Rating: 4/5

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  1. I'm just working my way back to this series. I picked up book 2 at the end of last year and also really enjoyed it. I do plan on continuing the series. Flavia is such a fantastic character!

    p.s. Those quotes you put up are hilarious. Love the one about the books not being in alpha order.

  2. Not heard of this series or author but it sounds like something I might like. :)



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