Title: The Weed that Strings the Hangman’s Bag
Author: Alan Bradley
Narrator: Jayne Entwistle
Published: 2010; Pages: 358
Genre: Fiction, Mystery
In Short: The ever inquisitive Flavia de Luce finds herself in another mystery when a traveling children’s puppet show makes its way into her local parish and stirs up questioning when one of the puppets resembles a little boy who accidentally hung in the woods a few years prior. Ya–the plot is a bit complex with this one.
Why I read/Listened: I really enjoyed the first Flavia novel, Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie and during my maternity leave I needed something quick and snappy. Both Amanda and Tanya are curious why I read AND listened to this one. I listened to it several months ago (and months after finishing the book) in hopes of remembering it well enough to write a review. Ha!
What You Wanted to Know:
How did this book compare, for you, to the first book in the series? (Kailana)
As with anything else, circumstances while reading greatly affect my enjoyment. I mostly read this book while nursing Elle, so in short bursts, whereas I read Sweetness within a few hours during a Readathon. Consequently I never really felt completely pulled into Hangman. Another factor was that the action in Hangman seems to come much later than in Sweetness. I think that my reaction would have been a little different had some of the mystery not be as delayed. All that said, I did still enjoy this one.
What do you think of Flavia as a character? Is she believable? (Kailana)
I love Flavia. She has a lot of characteristics that I would love to see in my own daughter when she’s older–curiosity, intelligence, persistance. Maybe too smart for her own good but all in fun.
I thought this one was much darker than the first and not as believable. What did you think? Did you believe that an eleven-year-old could get mixed up in all that? (Joanna)
It is tough to keep in mind when reading these books that Flavia is only eleven. Granted a very intelligent eleven-year-old, but just as you begin to forget, Flavia does something pesky to remind you of her relative immaturity. I think I just had to swallow any bit of inconceivability and just go with it? What do you guys think of Flavia?
Bottom Line: I enjoyed reading this one and listening to it, but the audio only worked for me when I increased the speed to double time. Jayne Entwistle sounded too old and it was difficult to keep in mind that Flavia is so young–I think that Sarah Drew would have been a better fit. Overall? Liked Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie better but I’ll eventually pick up the next book in the series.
Have you read any of the books in this series? What do you think of them?