Eleven year old Flavia de Luce returns for her fourth crime solving outing in this delightful suspense novel which unfolds during the holiday season at the de Luce family's decrepit ancestral estate .
In need of money to pay His Majesty's Board of Inland Revenue what they believe he owes and keep Buckshaw in the family, Colonel Haviland de Luce, Flavia's father, has agreed to let a film company shoot sequences of their latest movie in the decrepit, old house.
Flavia, along with her two older sisters, Ophelia and Daphne, and residents of nearby village are excited at the prospect of having a movie shoot and famous film star in their midst.
Unfortunately, the situation takes a decidedly nasty turn when that well known actress is found strangled in her bedroom. With a blizzard isolating within the great house's draughty halls.
Naturally this gives the young amateur sleuth the opportunity to once again display her considerable investigative skills and dazzle the reader with her analytical ability and dry wit.
An accomplished multi-tasker, Flavia divides her time between playing Sherlock Holmes and whipping up some new, exotic concoctions in her upstairs chemistry lab. Along with a sticky substance that is intended to glue Father Christmas to Buckshaw's roof when he alights from his sleigh, the young girl is also creating a fireworks display that will get the festive season off to a memorable start.
Alan Bradly cleverly brings together his young heroine's science "projects" with the culmination of the murder investigation. The exciting "moment of truth" arrives atop Buckshaw's snow covered battlements on Christmas Eve and it is one you'll not soon forget.
This fairly new series already has generated much well deserved praise and a handful of awards. Alan Bradley serves up a holiday present here that his legions of fans will heartily enjoy and want to share with friends and family. With her engaging personality and wisdom far beyond her chronological age, Flavia de Luce is a very special character and one you'll quickly fall in love with.
In the extremely unlikely event that the legendary Sherlock Holmes either had a younger sister or sired a daughter, her name would be "Flavia"!
It's Christmastime, and the precocious Flavia de Luce-an eleven-year-old sleuth with a passion for chemistry and a penchant for crime-solving-is tucked away in her laboratory, whipping up a concoction to ensnare Saint Nick. But she is soon distracted when a film crew arrives at Buckshaw, the de Luces' decaying English estate, to shoot a movie starring the famed Phyllis Wyvern. Amid a raging blizzard, the entire village of Bishop's Lacey gathers at Buckshaw to watch Wyvern perform, yet nobody is prepared for the evening's shocking conclusion: a body found, past midnight, strangled to death with a length of film. But who among the assembled guests would stage such a chilling scene? As the storm worsens and the list of suspects grows, Flavia must use every ounce of sly wit at her disposal to ferret out a killer hidden in plain sight.
From the Hardcover edition.