Wednesday, May 6, 2015

April's Best Books

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I loved this last installment in the story of Flavia de Luce (whose name, I learned seven books in, is pronounced FLAVE-ee-uh, not FLAH-vee-uh, as I had always assumed), the 12-year-old motherless poisoner bent on solving crimes and carving out a place for herself in her eccentric family.  These are shelved under mysteries, not as young adult or middle grade books, and I like the combination of a young narrator and heavier themes.

I am constantly in awe of how Bradley takes pretty non-threatening situations and makes them life-or-death for the young narrator.  Flavia herself is as charming as ever in this book, and I enjoyed seeing her in the unlikely environment of an all-girl Canadian boarding school.  I wasn't sure I could enjoy any setting as much as Bishop's Lacey where the others are set.  A little bit of the overarching story line unfolds here, but mostly it is a satisfying investigation and reconciliation.

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The Housekeeper and the Professor is a quiet, sweet look at a mathematics professor whose memory only lasts for 80 minutes, his housekeeper with minimal education, and her bright and beloved son.  I would recommend this to anyone with an interest in math, baseball, or sweet, lovely writing that makes you think.

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Oh, wow, this was a delightful book!  The narrator had the same cheeky, defiant tone as the one in The False Prince series (which I also loved).  Mark of the Thief is set in ancient Rome--but with magic.  Very fun concept, multifaceted and kind characters, great pacing.  The pacing was so good at one point that I was a little confused about one of the characters turning into a bad guy.  I wouldn't have minded a bit more development on that point.  The images were just spectacular.  I felt like I was watching a movie reading the descriptions of the gladiators and the cave.

I'm excited to read the other books in the trilogy when they come out.  Write faster, Jennifer Neilsen!  I can't wait for the next installment.


  1. I have THE MARK OF THE THIEF and just haven't had time to read it yet. Clearly I'm going to have to make time, and soon!!

  2. Thanks for stopping by my blog to give Maria feedback on her first page!

    I have not read the Flavia de Luce books, but the idea of a 12 year old motherless poisoner is something I don't think I can resist. I've been eyeing up The Mark of the Thief because I LOVED The False Prince, but haven't gotten around to it yet. But I'm traveling next week and need to load up my Kindle, so ... Thanks for the ideas!