The Weed That Strings the Hangman's Bag

The Weed That Strings the Hangman's Bag

Book - 2010
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Eleven-year-old Flavia de Luce didn't intend to investigate another murder -- but then, Rupert Porson didn't intend to die. When the master puppeteer's van breaks down in the village of Bishop's Lacey, Flavia is front and centre to help Rupert and his charming assistant, Nialla, put together a performance in the local church to help pay the repair bill. But even as the newcomers set up camp and set the stage for Jack and the Beanstalk , there are signs that something just isn't right: Nialla's strange bruises and solitary cries in the churchyard, Rupert's unexplained disappearances and a violent argument with his BBC producer, the disturbing atmosphere at Culverhouse Farm, and the peculiar goings-on in nearby Gibbet Wood -- where young Robin Ingleby was found hanging just five years before.

It's enough to set Flavia's detective instincts tingling and her chemistry lab humming. What are Rupert and Nialla trying to hide? Why are Grace and Gordon Ingleby, Robin's still-grieving parents, acting so strangely? And what does Mad Meg mean when she says the Devil has come back to Gibbet Wood? Then it's showtime for Porson's Puppets at St. Tancred's -- but as Nialla plays Mother Goose, Rupert's goose gets cooked as the victim of an electrocution that is too perfectly planned to be an accident. Someone had set the stage for murder .

Putting down her sister-punishing experiments and picking up her trusty bicycle, Gladys, Flavia uncovers long-buried secrets of Bishop's Lacey, the seemingly idyllic village that is nevertheless home to a madwoman living in its woods, a prisoner-of-war with a soft spot for the English countryside, and two childless parents with a devastating secret. While the local police do their best to keep up with Flavia in solving Rupert's murder, his killer may pull Flavia in way over her head, to a startling discovery that reveals the chemical composition of vengeance.

From the Hardcover edition.
Publisher: [Toronto] : Anchor Canada, 2010
ISBN: 9780385665858
Branch Call Number: BRAD
Characteristics: 347 p. : maps.


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Mar 09, 2018

This story meandered and moseyed, with more than its share of bon mots, and I still don't care. Once again Flavia finds herself trying to solve a murder, but because it involves another death, from years before, she wanders far and wide to try and piece it together. It doesn't help that she still isn't sure what an affair is or "taken" means in her sister's novel. Yet, as she says, she may get there a different way, but get there she does, and takes us all along for a clever and fun time in the English countryside.

This novel is much more about the journey than the destination, and in fact, the destination is quite a bit more dark and disturbing than the journey would lead us to believe. But if you like meeting quirky characters by the armful and listening to Livia hold forth on the wonders of chemistry, it's a trip worth taking.

Jan 22, 2016

Flavia returns in her second adventure. A puppeteer and his assistant, having broken down in the village are convinced to perform a show in the church. Things go quite not as planned when the puppeteer dies. A madwoman, a child several years dead, a missing clip– Flavia endeavors to piece together the full story in this most exciting tale.

Jul 08, 2014

Ah, Flavia. You continue to perversely if cheerfully spurn the social conventions of adulthood...

The three somewhat Gothic sisters in this series remind me of the kids in the Adams Family, but Ophelia, Daphne and Flavia are far edgier.

Jun 08, 2013

This Flavia is way better than the first one who dealt with a stamp. This one is about real people and real intrigue . Flavia is also more herself, if you wish. A little pest that you love to love. Can't wait for the third instalment.

Apr 07, 2013

better than the 1st - so much so I'm looking forward to the 3rd...

Dec 29, 2012

Like Alan Bradley's Flavia mysteries - very enjoyable. Found this one started much slower than the first and wasn't sure I would like it so much - but it picked up and was ultimately very engaging. Looking forward to reading the next one!

Aug 24, 2012

A really enjoyable book. I read the first one months ago and had forgotten how much fun Flavia and her setting are.

Aug 17, 2012

The Weed. . . is the 2nd in the Flavia Mysteria stories and such a charming story it is. Alan Bradley has a great way of putting together words to tell his story and to create great characters, especially 11-year-old Flavia, who doesn't always get the hints given at things that go over her head, but we, the reader, know exactly what is going on. She peddles the through 1950 English countryside with great care, using her chemestry knowledge wherever she lands. This is a great book, along with book #1. Can't wait to go on to the next.

Nov 27, 2011

Somewhat preposterous; however delightfully funny. Flavia is loved by readers.

Aug 28, 2011

How Flavia, the "little Miss Marple" again takes the clues she finds to both a newly committed murder and one a few years old in her rural English village and weaves them into a solution thus solving the crime ahead of the village detectives makes for a very enjoyable read. Set in the 1950s, the story has an old fashioned feel to it as the teen characters love reading... even classics...have no TV, nor other modern day communication technology. While I have reserved the third title in the series, I keep wondering how many murders can be committed in this small rural village. I don't think it is necessary to read the titles in order as the author fills in background info on the characters in the first chapter.

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wodneywat May 04, 2011

wodneywat thinks this title is suitable for All Ages

Feb 19, 2011


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