I finished book seven of the Flavia de Luce series last week and let me tell you that I’m still reeling with excitement. In book seven we follow Flavia from England to Canada (Toronto to be specific), where she has been banished. She is now a student of Miss Bodycote’s Female Academy — where her mother once attended as well. A de Luce novel wouldn’t be a de Luce novel without a few disappearances, a bit of chemistry, and a corpse. On her first evening at the academy, a series of events leads to a burned corpse crashing out of the chimney in Flavia’s bedroom. In true form, Flavia nips a piece of evidence off the corpse and begins an investigation going back two years in the history of the academy. Whose body was shoved up the chimney and why were they murdered in the first place?
As Chimney Sweepers Come to Dust is just as wonderfully written as the last six novels. It’s filled with history, mystery, and undeniable suspense. I love how this novel is about more than death, it’s about growing up, making choices and living with the consequences. It’s about adventure and sadness, redemption and love. Alan Bradley has an incredible talent, where he spreads your mind all over the place and brings it right back to the beginning, which is actually the end. Although as the mystery unfolds, the plot gets more complicated, all questions are neatly answered by the very last page.
What could I do? What could I say? The whole world has suddenly, and without warning, revealed itself to be far larger a place than ever I could have dreamed of. I was standing at the edge of a very great abyss whose further lip was so far beyond imagination that only faith could bridge the gap. It was, I suppose, the bridge connecting childhood with whatever vast unknown might lie beyond. (pg 160)
Although Flavia is essentially the same girl, you can tell that her character has grown immensely. Having to be away from any of her comforts has forced her to fend for herself in an entirely different way. The only thing I disliked about this novel was that Buckshaw was nowhere in sight, we barely heard from dear old Dogger and Daphne and Ophelia were nowhere in sight. I missed all of the wonderful characters that Flavia left back in England.
I plan on snooping the Internet for clues that there will be a book eight. There has to be! It just wouldn’t feel right to go another year or two without having an adventure with my favourite sleuth. As Chimney Sweepers Come to Dust will be on sale January 6th, 2015, which gives you just enough time to read the first six books 😉
Disclosure: I requested a copy of As Chimney Sweepers Come to Dust from Random House of Canada in exchange for an honest review.