Saturday, August 20, 2016

strictly literary: thrice the brinded cat hath mew'd by alan bradley

the always delightful flavia de luce is back in the eighth installment of alan bradley's mystery series, thrice the brinded cat hath mew'd. have i mentioned how much i love the titles to all the flavia de luce novels? this one takes its name from the double, double, toil and trouble speech in macbeth. and indeed poor flavia has her share of toils and troubles in this novel.

1 WITCH.  Thrice the brinded cat hath mew'd.
2 WITCH.  Thrice and once, the hedge-pig whin'd.  
3 WITCH.  Harpier cries:—'tis time! 'tis time!  
1 WITCH.  Round about the caldron go;     
                   In the poison'd entrails throw.—   
                  Toad, that under cold stone,      
                  Days and nights has thirty-one;     
                  Swelter'd venom sleeping got,      
                  Boil thou first i' the charmed pot!  
ALL.  Double, double toil and trouble;      
         Fire burn, and caldron bubble.  

now twelve and recently returned to her beloved buckshaw after being sent home in disgrace from miss bodycote's academy, flavia finds herself struggling to settle back in with the family she dearly missed but with whom she doesn't fit in with. her sisters ophelia and daphne remain as distant as ever, her beloved dogger is clearly keeping secrets, partly because her taciturn father has been installed in a hospital suffering from pneumonia and flavia has been unable to visit. on top of this, her cousin undine continues to be a bane to her peaceful existence.

her spirits lighten somewhat when she finds herself embroiled in another close encounter with a dead body. as always she rides about her trusty bicycle, gladys collecting clues. her distance from her nearest and dearest allowing her to actually roam the english countryside quite a bit, as she visits london twice in search of the solution to her latest mystery. flavia does get her man in the end, and the twists and turns that are taken to get to the heart of the puzzle are engaging. bradley's prose always sparkles when he writes as flavia. and this is no exception.

the book ends with a pretty awful event, and i can't wait to see what the repercussions are in the next novel. so hopefully book nine isn't too terribly far off.

**thrice the brinded cat hath mew'd will publish on september 20, 2016. i received an advance reader copy via a goodreads giveaway/courtesy of delacorte press in exchange for my honest review.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Comments are moderated. No spam please. Let's keep things fun and nice and respectful.