You can almost smell the smoke of wood fires in remote cattle stations, taste the dry air of the Kalahari, see the vivid sunsets, and feel a trickle of sweat in the October heat.
Flavia de Luce feels she is being exiled. But on her first night at Miss Bodycote’s Female Academy in Toronto, a desiccated corpse wrapped in a Union Jack, with the wrong head attached, drops out of the chimney into her dorm room and makes her feel right at home again.
One of the lighter confections in an already light and sugary series full of roguish old-country charm, this installment has an extra layer of romantic nostalgia, a chilling touch of fate, and a spun-sugar filigree of magic.
Flavia’s enthusiasms are infectious. Her feelings and their causes are touching. Her suspicions are hair-raising. And her sisters’ antics at their mother’s funeral gave me one of my biggest laughs in recent memory. I could use more like it.
This book is a gift to children who love reading and to adults who once were such children. Not only does it contain a bonus puzzle that the author invites readers to solve on their own, but it also features rebuses, riddles, book trivia, and a veritable bibliography of books every child should read sometime.
Skottie Young’s illustrations take up at least as much room as Neil Gaiman’s words in this book, and they are just as important to its enjoyment. The story begs, with puppy-dog eyes, to be read out loud by an adult to one or more children.
This is a delightfully quirky, funny adventure that places a touching emphasis on friendship, loyalty, courage, and the resiliency of children. It should appeal to all readers ready for the secret that kids are better than grown-ups, and anyone who likes fairy-tale endings that don’t come too easily.
Originally posted on Tumblr, “Nimona” started off as a collection of web comics. The title character, Nimona, is a shape-shifter who buddies up with villain Lord Ballaster Blackheart. He’s out to prove that Sir Ambrosius Goldenloin and the Institution of Law Enforcement and Heroics aren’t the heroes that everyone thinks they are.
Styled like a tale of ancient days in the part of the world I like to call “the Stans,” this is a magical, romantic, and at times suspenseful tale.
In the fifth Flavia de Luce mystery, a sleuth who is hardly 12 years old discovers her fifth corpse and, as usual, solves the crime.