Library Journal Review
Flavia de Luce's most recent adventure (after Speaking from Among the Bones) is once again set in the small English town of Bishop's Lacey in the early 1950s. Flavia, 11 years old and an aspiring chemist and sleuth, has two mysteries to solve: one intertwined in family secrets and the other caught up in the mysterious circumstances surrounding the death of a stranger. Flavia's interactions with her sisters, her father, and other recurring characters are quite entertaining; even Winston Churchill makes an appearance! Although it may be appreciated as a stand-alone, this program will be more enjoyable in its proper order; this is a pivotal entry in the series as listeners will delight not only in the action but in Flavia's maturing from a child into a young woman. Narrator Jayne Entwistle does a superb job with all of the voices, but the listener will relish her interpretation of Flavia. VERDICT Although this is a unique series, those who enjoy works by Deborah Crombie, Alexander McCall Smith, and M.C. Beaton will savor Flavia's forays. ["This latest adventure contains all the winning elements of the previous books while skillfully establishing a new and intriguing story line to explore in future novels," read the starred review of the Delacorte hc, LJ 1/14.]-Sandra C. Clariday, Tennessee Wesleyan Coll., Athens (c) Copyright 2014. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Booklist Review
The irrepressible, nearly 12-year-old Flavia de Luce, amateur detective, faces a particularly personal crisis in this, her sixth outing. Her mother, lost in the Himalayas when Flavia was a baby, is coming home in a coffin, escorted by none other than former British prime minister Winston Churchill. If that isn't odd enough, the great man, before leaving, approaches Flavia and asks her if she has acquired a taste for pheasant sandwiches. Shortly thereafter, she is approached by another man with an equally cryptic message, after which he is crushed beneath a train. Despite her curiosity, Flavia must temporarily push such strange occurrences aside to evaluate her feelings about her mother and the ongoing difficulties she is having with her odious sisters and distant father. If the somewhat tangled plot requires a bit of patience to negotiate, be assured that Flavia (who leaves the fingerprints of her brilliant mind on nearly everything) is as fetching as ever; her chatty musings and her combination of childish vulnerability and seemingly boundless self-confidence hasn't changed a bit.--Zvirin, Stephanie Copyright 2010 Booklist
Kirkus Review
Poisoning prodigy Flavia de Luce's sixth brush with murder carries her back to the most consequential death of all: that of her long-missing mother, Harriet, whose returning corpse is promptly joined by another, fresher specimen. Harriet de Luce's three daughters have always been told that their mother vanished from the Himalayas back in 1941. Now her body has been recovered from a glacier after 10 years and returned to them. As she waits for Harriet's coffin to be unloaded from the train bringing it home to Bishop's Lacey, Flavia is accosted first by Winston Churchill, who asks if she too has developed a taste for pheasant sandwiches, and then by a stranger who passes on an even more cryptic warning about the Gamekeeper and the Nide. The former prime minister retreats in good order, but someone pushes the stranger under the wheels of the departing train. His death would be just the excuse Flavia needs for her latest murder investigation (Speaking from Among the Bones, 2013, etc.) if she didn't have a bigger job to tackle: alleviating her father's sadness by using a cocktail of forbidden chemicals to reanimate her mother's corpse. The resulting adventures will cast new light on both Harriet de Luce and several lesser relatives; identify the mysterious American clerk who was photographed in 1939 in a room in the family home that had been shut up for 10 years; and finally send Flavia off to pastures new, presumably to spread her unique combination of precocious charm and alarming initiative within a wider field than Bishop's Lacey. Not much mystery and even less poison, but it's hard to resist either the genre's pre-eminent preteen sleuth or the hushed revelations about her family.]] Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.