A Red Herring Without Mustard

A Red Herring Without Mustard

Large Print - 2011
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Camped in her horse-drawn caravan at Buckshaw, a young Gypsy woman is charged with the abduction-and then the murder - of a local child, and Flavia must draw upon her encyclopaedic knowledge of poisons - and Gypsy lore - to prevent a grave miscarriage of justice.
Publisher: Waterville, Me. : Thorndike Press, 2011
Edition: Large print ed
ISBN: 9781410434241
1410434249
Branch Call Number: LP MF BRADLEY
Characteristics: 517 p. (large print) : map ; 23 cm

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A fun series with a spunky 12-year-old girl!


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kazizumi
Sep 01, 2018

Enjoyed very much, more so than the 2nd book in the series and moves me to continue with the next in the series.

PimaLib_ChristineR Mar 23, 2018

3 1/2 stars. I find that when I walk away from a Flavia de Luce novel, I'm first excited, but then within a few days I've sometimes forgotten what the actual crime was and who did it. That can be a bad or a good thing, I suppose. Bradley weaves so much into these stories, that sometimes the crime feels like an aside. Just within this novel we have a clubbed gypsy, two bodies, a smuggling ring, a missing painting, and a secret religion. Of course, many of these are red herrings, but often given enough story time that the main thread is easily lost.

Why you should read it anyway: Flavia de Luce is a terrific character and despite the story's meandering, every little byway and side note are fun little trips into Flavia's world. This third installment really brought home the loneliness of Flavia's life. With her mother missing, and her father with his nose in a philatelist journal, Flavia and her two sisters don't attend school, but are left to fend for their own amusement and education on the ancient Buckshaw estate.

For her sisters, that often means finding new ways to torture Flavia. She seems to give as good as she gets, and often does things that she doesn't realize are hurtful, but then Bradley will throw in a line like,"the idea of burglars inside Buckshaw was unthinkable. That left Daffy and Feely. In an odd way I wished it had been burglars," and my heart hurts for Flavia. Also, in this novel Flavia makes a "friend" of the granddaughter of the gypsy and the way all of the de Luce's react gives us a little insight into how lonely ALL of their lives at Buckshaw are.

After all that I needed a murder or two just to cheer me up. Besides the mystery, Bradley always keeps me laughing with terrific metaphors like "Porcelain and I tore into our food like cannibals after a missionary famine." While A Red Herring Without Mustard may not be as filling as a missionary, it is certainly an amusing little meal with very little aftertase.

n
nilooo
Feb 11, 2018

A Red Herring without Mustard was the first of the Flavia de Luce series I read, and I fully enjoyed the content. I found the novel to include many twists and exciting details that are especially enticing to a refined mystery reader's eye. Even Flavia herself is a lovable and relatable work of art to a reader of any age. Moreover, this series is easy enough (although perhaps a bit too mature for some middle schoolers) for high schoolers and mature middle schoolers to read, and challenges the reader to make predictions about the culprit of the book and connections between seemingly unconnected events in the novel. Alan Bradley's books are fun to read and excellent for any reader due to its face-paced plotline, and I believe those who generally enjoy the mystery genre, particularly admirers of Agatha Christie such as myself, will delight at the style in which the author writes, as it is both formal and complex like classics, albeit colloquial and down-to-earth like modern novels. There's even a Flavia de Luce fan club online for those especially dedicated readers of the series! I highly recommend this novel, and prequels and sequels to it, as they are indeed an adventure to behold.

l
lbeast
Jan 03, 2017

Sometimes when I find an author who is new to me, I read a bunch of books that they've written. I loved the first Flavia de Luce. And I liked The Weed That Strings, so I was looking forward to Red Herring. I should have waited a bit longer before reading one after the other. I thought Red Herring lagged a bit. And I thought Flavia made some really ridiculous decisions, even for an 11 year old. Down from 4 stars to 3. I'll take a break and try more of Bradley's work later on.

a
amalyndb
Jan 22, 2016

In this, the third novel in the Flavia de Luce series, Flavia encounters a Gypsy woman at a church fair. After the woman is nearly killed, Flavia is drawn into an investigation of the disappearance of a child years earlier. Twisting and winding, a great Flavia mystery!

martha_w Oct 19, 2015

I really like the Flavia de Luce series -- a cozy mystery series with a precocious eleven-year-old amateur sleuth/chemist, in 1950s England? Sign me up. Flavia's narration is what really makes this series excel -- at one point in this book, when she's trying to figure out how to talk to a much-younger child, I actually laughed out loud -- and this installment, like its predecessors, makes for fun, light reading.

ehbooklover Jun 20, 2015

A humourous, light mystery chock full of red herrings. I just love this series and its wonderful protagonist.

cathrinejansen Jul 31, 2013

Only available at digital book? :(

andreajomartin Apr 12, 2013

Adorable! I love Aland Bradley's stories about Flavia. What a fun character to read about. I can't wait to read the 4th book in the series!

m
modestgoddess
Mar 07, 2013

Only gave this two and a half stars because the red herrings drove me nuts. I wanted to know more - why did the gypsy say, "We are all dead" and what was that business about Hilda Muir/Hildemoer? never fully explained and so frustrating.... But Bradley's work is always engaging and fun to read. Looking forward to the next one (I am Half Sick of Shadows) - already have it at home waiting its turn in the queue on my night table....

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dachsie May 09, 2011

dachsie thinks this title is suitable for All Ages

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DanniOcean Feb 27, 2011

Alan Bradley has invented possibly the most interesting detective since Poirot, complete with as unique a name, eleven-year old Flavia de Luce. She is interesting because of her twelve-dollar vocabulary, first-rate wit, and scientific mind (she has a penchant for chemistry and poisons in particular). She is believable because of the battles she has with her two older sisters, Ophelia (“with Feely it’s always best to employ the rapid retort”) and Daphne (“two-years older than me and already an accomplished co-torturer”). But far from being merely precocious, Bradley gives audiences reasons to empathize with Flavia – a distant father, a mother she never knew but hopes to become, and a desperate wish for respect and affection from the very sisters with whom she bickers – smart as Flavia is, she cannot tell when they are merely teasing, because like most sisters, they know exactly which buttons to push for maximum effect. Flavia retorts with her wits (calling them such names as “stupid sausage” and “unpleasant porpoise”), but this gives her the drive to be a heroine in her own stories, to ferret out the clues to local mysteries, and in this third Flavia novel, the crimes are two-fold: who would attack an elderly Gypsy, and who would murder the local troublemaker? And does either have anything to do with some missing antiques from Buckshaw, Flavia’s ancestral but fast-decaying home, or a near-forgotten religious cult called the Hobblers? Flavia’s imagination leads to self-flattering fantasies so she is always a little hurt when people do not respond like she hopes, and her eager mind has not the subtlety of older detectives, so she (and her audience) are prone to conclusion-jumping. But following red herrings throughout 1950’s village England with such a well-drawn guide is a lark, especially one with gifts for lively description and imagination.

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dachsie May 09, 2011

“"Come on," I said, leaping to my feet and tugging at her arm. "I'll show you what ladylike young women get up to when no one is looking".

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