Thrice the Brinded Cat Hath Mew'd
A Flavia de Luce Mystery by Alan Bradley
Review: Returning to her home of Bradshaw in the village of Bishop’s Lacy in England after being sent to—and returned from— Miss Bodycote’s Female Academy in Toronto, Canada, twelve-year-old Flavia de Luca is once again presented with a puzzling murder, in Thrice the Brinded Cat Hath Mew’d, the eighth mystery in this series by Alan Bradley.
Flavia is met at the dock in London by the family’s right-hand-man Dogger and told that her father, Colonel Havilland de Luca, is in the hospital with pneumonia. He was is very ill and she would not be able to visit him for a few days. At home to greet her are her older sisters Ophelia and Daphne, whom she calls “Feely” and “Daffy”. Also there is her younger cousin, Undine. It doesn’t take long before Flavia just has to get away, so she hops on her bike (which she has named Gladys) and heads over to see Cynthia Richardson, the vicar’s wife. After having tea and a nice chat, Cynthia asks Flavia to drop off a message to a local wood carver, Roger Sambridge. Finding his door open, Flavia goes into the house looking for him. She finds the man crucified—hanging upside down on a homemade rack on the back of his bedroom door. Being Flavia, she naturally examines the body and the scene of the crime. Thinking of herself as an amateur detective she made what she thought was a professional examination of the room—swiftly but in detail. Her discoveries set her off and running to begin an investigation of who could have possibly done this cruel deed. Besides Flavia, the only other living creature in the house is a tortoiseshell cat that shows no interest in the alarming sight. When she leaves the house she sees the curtain in the second story window of a neighbor move a little. Was she seen entering and leaving the house? She rides Gladys as quickly as she can back to Cynthia’s and tells her that Mr. Sambridge is dead. Cynthia calls the police and who immediately notify Inspector Hewitt…who is well aware of who Flavia de Luca is and what she is capable to doing.
This is a surprisingly (but in a good way) complicated murder mystery. It’s often hard to remember that Flavia is just twelve years old, her thought processes, deductive and analytical reasoning, and actions more reflective of an experienced adult. The supporting cast is well-drawn, with some memorable characters (including the delightful Dogger). Despite the complexity of the plot, the story moves along briskly. Thrice the Brinded Cat Hath Mew’d is another winning entry in this most entertaining series.
Special thanks to guest reviewer Betty of The Betz Review for contributing her review of Thrice the Brinded Cat Hath Mew'd.
Acknowledgment: Delacorte Press provided a copy of Thrice the Brinded Cat Hath Mew'd for this review.
Review Copyright © 2018 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved
Selected reviews of other mysteries by this author …
The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie
Delacorte Press (Hardcover), February 2009
ISBN-13: 9780385342308; ISBN-10: 0385342306
Location(s) referenced in Thrice the Brinded Cat Hath Mew'd: England
— ♦ —
Thrice the Brinded Cat Hath Mew'd by Alan Bradley — A Flavia de Luce Mystery
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Publication Date: September 2017
List Price: $26.00
— ♦ —
Page Author: Lance Wright
Site Publisher: Mysterious Reviews
Mysterious Reviews is a Division of
The Hidden Staircase Mystery Books
and a Business Unit of the
Omnimystery Family of Mystery Websites