The Weed That Strings the Hangman's Bag (Flavia de Luce Series #2) (Turtleback School & Library Binding Edition)

( 170 )

Overview

Flavia de Luce didn't intend to investigate another murder — but, then again, Rupert Porson didn't intend to die. When the master puppeteer's van breaks down in Bishop's Lacey, he puts on a show with his loyal assistant, the disarmingly charming Nialla, prone (by Flavia's estimation) to strange bruises and long, solitary cries in graveyards. While Nialla plays Mother Goose, Rupert's goose gets cooked, the victim of an electrocution that is too ...
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The Weed That Strings the Hangman's Bag (Flavia de Luce Series #2)

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Overview

Flavia de Luce didn't intend to investigate another murder — but, then again, Rupert Porson didn't intend to die. When the master puppeteer's van breaks down in Bishop's Lacey, he puts on a show with his loyal assistant, the disarmingly charming Nialla, prone (by Flavia's estimation) to strange bruises and long, solitary cries in graveyards. While Nialla plays Mother Goose, Rupert's goose gets cooked, the victim of an electrocution that is too perfectly planned to be an accident.

Putting down her sister-punishing chemistry experiments and picking up her bicycle, Gladys, Flavia uncovers long buried secrets of Bishop's Lacey, a seemingly idyllic town that nevertheless has a mad woman living in its woods, a prisoner-of-war with a soft spot for the English countryside, and two childless parents with a devastating secret. It's possible Rupert Porson's van didn't break down so accidentally in this charming hamlet. It's possible the police won't be able to solve his murder most ingenious. It's possible that his killer may help guide Flavia in way over her eleven-year-old head, and to a startling discovery that reveals the chemical composition of vengeance.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780606238311
  • Publisher: San Val, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 2/8/2011
  • Series: Flavia de Luce Series , #2
  • Format: Library Binding
  • Edition description: THIS EDITION IS INTENDED FOR USE IN SCHOOLS AND LIBRARIES ONLY
  • Pages: 383
  • Product dimensions: 5.20 (w) x 7.80 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

ALAN BRADLEY was born in Toronto and grew up in Cobourg, Ontario. Prior to taking early retirement to write in 1994, he was Director of Television Engineering at the University of Saskatchewan media centre for twenty-five years. His versatility has earned him awards for his children's books, radio broadcasts of his short stories, and national print for his journalism. He also co-authored Ms. Holmes of Baker Street, to great acclaim and much controversy, followed by a poignant memoir, The Shoebox Bible. Bradley lives in Malta with his wife and two calculating cats, where he is at work on the third of six planned Flavia de Luce tales.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 170 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(79)

4 Star

(61)

3 Star

(24)

2 Star

(5)

1 Star

(1)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 170 Customer Reviews
  • Posted May 5, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Not quite as good as the first one

    While I did enjoy the second installment in the Flavia series, I have to say I was a little disappointed after the pace of the first book. For me, the action moved a little too slowly with the murder not occurring until almost half way through the book. But once Flavia's sleuthing skills kicked in, things picked up. All in all, it was a commendable second book in the series and I look forward to the next Flavia adventure. This is a gem of a character that puts a smile on my face!

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 30, 2010

    Fun

    Sometimes it pays to take the road less traveled. My list of last read books includes double intrigue spy and counter spy thrillers, tales of a Louisiana detective, the fall of the Roman Republic, life of Julius Caesar, Siege of Malta and a book about an eleven year old chemist whose hobby is poisons.
    I can begin a conversation about any of the above less the young chemist. What I can say is the English language, wry similes and memorable characters abound is this book. Alan Bradley's writing is a bargain at whatever you pay for his books.
    It is a fair bet you will search out and purchase all of the Flavia stories and you will be like me, not quite sure how to describe the pleasure each brings.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 28, 2010

    Disappointed

    I enjoyed the first book very very much, and I eagerly waited for this second book to come out. I must say, I am very disappointed, because there is no point to the story, the story line is chopped up and all over the place, and Ms. Flavia is so much less witty, wicked and interesting in this second book. I don't think I'll be recommending this book to anyone at all.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 21, 2013

    Better than the first! Flavia is just as charming as in Sweet

    Better than the first!


    Flavia is just as charming as in Sweetness, and I found the story line more compelling in this second. Can't wait to read the next one! Alan Bradley is such a gifted writer who has created an unusual character. There are times when she seems too "wise beyond her years" and the narration sounds too much like an adult, but overall, I love the characters and what Bradley does with them. Very enjoyable read!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 22, 2013

    lovely, funny book!

    This series of books by Alan Bradley are very well written and so cute! The heroine is an 11 year old girl who likes to dabble in her late great uncle's chemistry lab. She seems to fall into sleuthing the problems in her village. Very mid-1900s British background, just wholesome and fun and done quite well!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 31, 2011

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    I Also Recommend:

    Delightful!

    Just like the first book in this series, Flavia de Luce embarks on an adventure to solve a mystery. Everything about her delights me. I think it has to do with her being a little sneaky while still maintaining her goody-girl image. The mystery in this story unfolds at a good pace, keeping you interested till the end.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 5, 2014

    A great sequel to "The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie&q

    A great sequel to "The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie". 11-year-old Flavia de Luce returns in this series for adults, as a unique child with a bit of a mad scientist streak.

    Death strikes again in Bishop's Lacy, England, and Flavia is on the case. Rupert Porson, a traveling puppeteer, dies on stage in front of the whole town. Flavia is shocked, saddened and fascinated with the whole scene as it unfolded onstage. 

    Off to the laboratory for a chemical examination!

    Note: The storyline hints that Rupert was not always the charming entertainer that he seemed to be in public, but that was rather involved with women. Although the book is captivating, it's also not very moral. Even Flavia's cunning deeds show that she has rather evil intentions sometimes --- although still quite laughable.

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  • Posted March 11, 2014

    Brilliant, cheeky, and adorable all at once, Flavia once again g

    Brilliant, cheeky, and adorable all at once, Flavia once again gets the job done almost before the local inspector gets a chance to start. Not his fault though. The bored 11-yr-old scamp can slip freely into places the police cannot and bluntly ask questions an adult wouldn't dare. I went through this one like a newly sharpened pen knife through a cucumber.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 14, 2014

    A wonderful series.

    This is one of the best series of books I've read in a long while. Flavia de Luce is such a remarkable little girl, and I love seeing the world from her viewpoint.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 29, 2013

    A very enjoyable series.  Flavia's personality is captivating.  

    A very enjoyable series.  Flavia's personality is captivating.  From the beginning you are drawn into the story and hooked!  

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  • Posted December 11, 2012

    Just OK

    Flavia deLuce is back again, a precocious 11-year-old who is alternately queen of her universe and tormented little sister. In The Weed That Strings the Hangman's Bag, she befriends a famous puppeteer and his assistant when their vehicle breaks down in Bishop's Lacey. But while he's putting on a show to help repay the kindness afforded him, he dies front a center during the performance. An accident? Flavia doesn't think so. Her superior brainpower awes and annoys the local police. During Flavia's investigation, she also learns the story of a local tragedy some years back that may just fit in with the current crime. I thought the first book in this series, The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie, was charming, funny and altogether wonderful. The Weed That Strings the Hangman's Bag was OK. The magic that imbued every page of the earlier book was absent for the most part. Both the story and the narrator (Flavia) were stretched and pulled to try to recreate Sweetness, but I thought the effort fell short. It could be "sophomore slump" for the author, and I will definitely give the next book in the series a read.

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  • Posted September 17, 2012

    I don't understand my fascination with this series. Have read t

    I don't understand my fascination with this series. Have read them all, but find myself annoyed at the protagonist. Flavia is "over-the-top" and it is too hard to believe her precociousness. Regardless, I've yet to pass by each release.

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  • Posted June 26, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Flavia de Luce, an eleven-year-old with a near-genius mind, app


    Flavia de Luce, an eleven-year-old with a near-genius mind, apparently has way too much time, and too much curiosity, for a child who is benignly neglected by her father and ignored, at best, by her disdainful and tormenting older sisters. When we first encounter her in The Weed That Strings the Hangman’s Bag, she is prostrate in the Bishop’s Lacey village churchyard, imagining her own funeral in all its glory, but is distracted by the sound of a crying woman. The woman is Nialla, assistant to a nationally known puppeteer, Rupert Porson, and their van has broken down in the village.

    While their van is being repaired, Rupert and Nialla find temporary quarters with a local family and Rupert agrees to put on a show of “Jack and the Beanstalk” for the village. Rupert claims to have never met the host family before but one of his puppets bears an uncanny resemblance to the family’s child who died in mysterious circumstances several years earlier. Later, Rupert is killed in a questionable way and Flavia begins to wonder if the two deaths are connected. Abandoning her current chemical experiments, including the dastardly poisoning of a box of chocolates intended for her sister, she and her trusty bicycle, Gladys, are off on the hunt. (One of the funniest scenes in the book takes place when Flavia must retrieve the chocolates before the wrong person eats them.)

    Canadian author Alan Bradley is a mystery in himself—how does a middle-aged man do so well at evoking the charm and ferocious brilliance of this young girl? The first book won quite a few awards and this second entry in the series is no slouch itself. I only wish we didn’t have to wait so long for the next one, A Red Herring Without Mustard, due in March 2011.

    Flavia de Luce is my favorite sleuth these days, hands down. When I first met her last year in The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie, I thought the author had created a wonderful character, one who could appeal to nearly all types of mystery readers, not to mention non-mystery readers who just like a really good story. Throw in a large dash of humor and you’ve got a winner. Best of all, Flavia is a terrific introduction to mysteries for the younger reader and, as a bonus, they can learn a little about post-World War II England. This one’s in my Top Five for 2010.

    Much of my reading is by way of audio editions and I’ve become downright picky about the narrators. This is the second of three I’ve listened to that’s read by Jayne Entwistle and I wish she had more. In both of the Flavia books, Ms. Entwistle IS Flavia and I really can’t imagine any other voice for her . An already wonderful book is made even more delightful by the right narrator and, in this case, Jayne Entwistle is it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 16, 2014

    Another winner!

    Just adore Flavia and her sleuthful ways.

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  • Posted February 21, 2012

    Highly recommended

    Loved it. Is appropriate for all ages from 12 and up. Bought all 4 for my granddaughter's 12th birthdday.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 6, 2011

    Amazing

    I absolutedly LOVED the first book.

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  • Posted October 3, 2011

    Not as good as the first

    But I am going to overlook the sophomore slump and read the next one anyway. Flavia is worth it.

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  • Posted June 22, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Loved it!

    A highly entertaining addition to the series. Flavia is back in full force and remains the most hilarious sleuth out there. Bravo Flavia!

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  • Posted June 5, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    An amalgamation of Pippi Longstockings and the best of all teen detectives!

    Flavia reminds me of an amalgamation of Pippi Longstockings and the best of all teen detectives! I wish these books had been out when I was in high school because Flavia makes chemistry interesting!

    Flavia is Precocious, humorous and a Genius a somewhat scary genius at times but one none the less. I saw an interview on Library Thing with Alan Bradley where he was asked how he imagines Flavia as an adult and he said either the world's greatest Chemist or the World's Greatest Criminal Poisoner and I have to agree with him there!

    Flavia is believable because people tell her things without even realizing they have done so because she is a child they let their guard down.


    This was a great story, it kept me guessing and I didn't figure it out till Flavia did so that's a great mystery!

    I can't wait for the next installment in this series!
    4 ½ Stars

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  • Posted May 17, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Alan Bradley has created a character for the ages in Flavia de Luce

    In this second installment of the Flavia de Luce series, "The Weed That Strings the Hangman's Bag" charms and delights with a delicious mystery surrounding the strangers who arrive in Bishop's Lacey. Rupert Porson is a famous puppeteer breaking ground on BBC television. His beautiful assistant, Nialla, is mysterious and all-to-obviously pregnant. When Porson ends up dead on the stage of his own show, the whole town seems to be a witness to an impossible murder. Does it have anything to do with the death of a six-year-old child from 5 years before? Only eleven-year-old Flavia will be able to piece the clues together and discover the truth.

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