Thrice the Brinded Cat Hath Mew’d
A Flavia de Luce Novel
Delacorte Press, Penguin Random House, 2016
From the back of the book: “In spite of being ejected from Miss Bodycote’s Female Academy in Canada, twelve-year-old Flavia de Luce is excited to be sailing home to England. But instead of a joyous homecoming, she is greeted on the docks with unfortunate news: Her father has fallen ill, and a hospital visit will have to wait while he rests. But with Flavia’s blasted sisters and insufferable cousin underfoot, Buckshaw now seems both too empty—and not empty enough. Only too eager to run an errand for the vicar’s wife, Flavia hops on her trusty bicycle, Gladys, to deliver a message to a reclusive wood-carver. Finding the front door ajar, Flavia enters and stumbles upon the poor man’s body hanging upside down on the back of his bedroom door. The only living creature in the house is a feline that shows little interest in the disturbing scene. Curiosity may not kill this cat, but Flavia is energized at the prospect of a new investigation. ‘It’s amazing what the discovery of a corpse can do for one’s spirits.’ But what awaits Flavia will shake her to the very core.”
I was so excited to read this book. I’ve been mildly disappointed in the previous two, with The Dead in Their Vaulted Arches being so depressing and As the Chimney Sweepers Come to Dust not being set in England and Flavia filled with so much angst and homesickness. But this book – oh, this book.
Another really great mystery that I didn’t figure out at all, and Flavia with her brilliance and smart-aleck nature made for another great story. However, with Flavia’s father sick in the hospital she is, again full of angst and heartache. We don’t see him through the entire book and – I’m breaking one of my taboos here – SPOILER ALERT – neither does Flavia – ever again. I was so mad at the author after I read the last chapter, the last page, the last paragraph – I wanted to throw the book across the room!! I’m still mad about it. I’m not going to spell it out specifically what happened because I’ve already told you why I’m so mad! I hate it when an author messes with a character I love so much – I know it’s their right, it’s their creation and they can do whatever they want with it. But I don’t like it when they write so much pain and heartache into their fictional lives. I was already on the fence about reading another Flavia novel due to the depressing heartache in this one and then I finished it. So, I don’t know if I’ll read the follow-up novel or not. I’ll decide when it comes out. I suppose if I want a happy-ending mystery I’m going to have to read Nancy Drew.
Rating 5 out of 5 paws because any book that makes me so furious about what happens that I want to throw the book against the wall (I wouldn’t – [a] because it’s a book and [b] because it’s a library book) deserves the highest rating I can give it.