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The Weed that Strings the Hangman’s Bag – Alan Bradley

February 25, 2011

The Weed that Strings the Hangman’s Bag is a entertaining detective story which grips the readers attention from the very first line. Full of gentle humour, and children being smarter than adults, it is an engaging story full of twists and turns right through to the end.

Set in the 1950s the author has created a vivid sense of village life at the time with a cast of memorable characters, all seen through the eyes of Flavia de Luce, a charming and precocious eleven year with a morbid interest in death and a fascination with chemistry, especially when it comes to creating poisons. It appears only natural to her (and to the reader) that when a dead body appears she is the one who should be investigating it.

The mystery moves along at a decent pace and held my interest all the way through. Although it was the second book in the series I haven’t yet read the first, but this didn’t prove a problem as it stands alone well.

I would recommend this book to anyone who likes their detectives quirky and charming, and obsessed with poisons.

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